This morning the chair of the Benghazi committee responded that eleven hours of testimony from Clinton had not produced anything new.  Given that its members asked the same questions as before I suppose that is not a huge surprise to him.  I honestly do not know if he and the members are as clueless about national security law as they seem – and its limits on testimony – but I sure wish they would get some educated counsel and ask the questions that could be productive.

I was particularly shocked by the political discussion of the early releases about the attack being triggered by a movie being a political ploy…when it was clear within a day or so that it had been a planned and coordinated attack.  That has to be all  politics because I refuse to believe that the Congress person does not understand that lives and operations were both still in progress and at risk and needed to be protected. Disclosing why al Qaeda had attacked a minor and temporary facility would have led directly to a major CIA operation and you just don’t do that.

However, rather than  yammer on about the fruitlessness of it all,  anyone interested can see further elaboration in the article below:








About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

6 responses »

  1. Jim Stubbs says:

    I think it’s obvious that this was likely a CIA-State covert operation that went bad. The whole purpose is something that needs to be reviewed, although I doubt that it would do much good. Covert ops are the magic button, many presidents have believed. The post mortems after the failures don’t prevent their recurrence. The idea that anyone would get a straight story out of Hillary Clinton is laughable. I’ve been following her and hubby since Paul Greenburgh (sp?), as well as others I know in Arkansas, warned us about them back during Bill’s first term as governor. Hillary hasn’t told a straight story, or accepted responsibility for any failure yet – ever. I’d want to check her birth records before I’d fully believe her about her name.

    • Jim, I’m not going into politics or character. The truth of the matter is that Clinton is legally prohibited from disclosing anything meaningful about the joint operation, CIA security agreements or the CIA mission even if she wanted to…as would be the CIA director, any other government employee, and certainly any Congress person on an intelligence committee as well as the Benghazi committee. Hence its all nothing but political theater. There is a serious lack of balance though in not even questioning senior CIA or military principals even if they can’t talk about that. Certainly SecDef bears the responsibility for military quick reaction and could talk about what is needed and the funding for it. Clinton could have been asked the same questions, but she was not. And nobody asked anyone for a list of the fixes which have been put in place…which are extensive. The other point is that there were questions that should have been asked and very fundamental issues that could have been but the committee failed in its job to do that – and that has nothing to do with Clinton.

      • jim stubbs says:

        Agree with all the questions that could have been asked. The question is, why weren’t they – three years ago. The president could have sat down with the members of the proper congressional subcommittees at the time and hashed this out. There would have been nothing to shoot at. Political theater is well practised by both sides. I well remember Iran-Contran an operation with which I vehemently disagreed. But I also remember the political theater that got played there, and why the illegal funding and supply system was set up. More responsible consideration of options then and now would have benefitted us better. As to Hillary, I’d not normally bring personalities into it, but she was SecState at the time so her credibility is very much an issue since this administration has let this go on so long. The whole issue of truthfulness should have been laid to rest long ago. She wouldn’t be testfying now.

      • Good points Jim. In some aspects they did do that – outside the Congressional committees – especially in regard to the facility security issues and the lack of quick response assets. I dig into that in considerable Surprise Attack – including the demands we are now making in regards to putting Marines inside the embassies or just flat closing them. Also in regard to evacuation procedures and quick response preparedness. The real problem there is the standard one, those things get put into place and then budgets get cut and they get defended. That would have been a really good area for this committee to explore. They also could have probed on the question of just how much risk we are prepared to tolerate to conduct diplomacy at the “tip of the spear” as its called, in areas which are unstable and risky. That is very controversial and they could have called several former principals and diplomats for data on that. For that matter as far as I could see they did not ask for or do any comparison of the history of diplomatic risks globally. But there is one issue I just don’t know how you fix – and that is the “trust” issue. The State Dept and our UN Ambassadors are always at risk for having to fall on their sword in regard to covert operations – from Adlai Stevenson on. Well actually in SW I talk about it in regard to the very first CIA op in Burma right after WWII where the Ambassador was ordered to lie to cover a covert op into southern China. That takes you back to truthfulness and when national security and covert operations are involved its a Catch 22. Are you going to give up operations in progress and people in the field by immediately going public that it was a planned al Qaeda attack…if you do smart people will ask what their real target was…and it was the Ambassador and Annex, not the single diplomat rotating into and out of the temporary diplomatic compound. I’m not going into Clinton’s whole history as SecState but in regard to Benghazi, national security precluded transparency then, as it does now. And as it will until we change or the world changes. Either you stop covet ops or you conduct them totally independently of State Dept covers, of AID covers, etc. Personally I prefer the transparent model, if you need to kick butt say it and do it, otherwise stay away. But that is most certainly not what was going on in Libya.

  2. JIm Stubbs says:

    I’m in complete agreement with you on covert ops, Larry. Long ago, it became the magic button, a way to seemingly affect foreign affairs to our so called benefit without a big military committment and supposedly without seeming to be involved. Which is ludicrous. Dave Phillips said, in an old interview, that poilticians became enamored with what covert ops accomplished in Iran (Mosadegh), and Guatemala (Arbenz), and wanted more of that kind of thing,and when the military should have been doing it (Bay of Pigs). Our covert ops should have been, and should be today, evaluated in light of what we see as a national priority long term. The have all too frequently failed, the plausible denial has been foolish, even childish, and so many haven’t played to our benefit. Meanwhile, the intel community has always seemed to miss the next big thing. Russia moving militarily into the Middle East seems to have caught the administration off guard. Why? I’m no expert but I predicted something like this, as did a number of my friends (we ARE old farts and have been around awhile, and have seen Russia in action before). The overthrow of the Shah, the fall of the USSR. I mean the list is long. And they’re still screwing around with ticky tacky ops like the gun running out of Benghazi. Col. Dave Hackworth, at the end of his amazing story STEEL MY SOLDIERS’ HEART analyzed much of the problems in our leadership for a long time now. He calls it the CRS Syndrome (can’t remember shit). The lessons that were learned the hard way are forgotten over time and we have to relearn them, only to forget them again.

    • I’m afraid that in the end it grows out of our cultural desire for a quick fix – while at the same time dodging our general political inability to agree on any major commitment. One lesson of Shadow Warfare is that administrations – any administration, take your pick – are constantly forced towards action by political pressures. Yet if they actually undertake any national security action, within 24 hours they will be under immense scrutiny and criticism for actually do something along the lines of what everybody wanted the day before (I’m still waiting for Congress to declare war on ISIS). We just can’t seem to help doing that, culture, political dynamic, whatever. The corollary is that as a nation we just are not all that good at denial, Russia (either Soviet or Federated) can say all day long that they are not involved in the Ukraine, their missile system didn’t shoot down an airliner or that they only bomb military targets in Syria – regardless of the evidence. It seems like our alternative is to go covert in the first place, generally doesn’t work but….

      I really like the CRS syndrome thing, its a lot more robust than “failure of institutional memory”. CYA is good, I need to start using CRS. If anything, that is the mantra for the lessons in Surprise Attack. If we learn a lesson in one administration you can be darn sure it gets lost in the transition to the next.

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