Filled Under: John Kerry
‘Very upset’: CIA sat on Benghazi investigation, US personnel fuming
By Adam Housley
Published March 13, 2014
American personnel on the ground in Benghazi the night of the 2012 terror attack are outraged after learning that the CIA’s inspector general never conducted an investigation into what happened — despite two CIA workers being killed in the attack and despite at least two complaints being filed by CIA employees.
Former Ambassador Chris Stevens, another State official and two ex-Navy SEALs working for the CIA were killed in that attack.
Many in the agency were told, or were under the impression, that an investigation was in the works, but that is not the case.
One person close to the issue told Fox News: “They should be doing an investigation to see what the chief of base in Benghazi and station chief in Tripoli did that night. If they did, they’d find out there were some major mistakes.”
This source claimed an investigation would likely uncover a lot of details the public does not know.
Asked why such a probe has not been launched, a CIA spokesman said: “CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) always reviews carefully every matter that is brought to its attention, and takes appropriate action based on a variety of factors.”
Still, at least two complaints were filed by CIA employees concerned about the attack, which began at the U.S. compound and eventually spread to the CIA annex one mile away. There is no question that CIA personnel saved a lot of lives; those on the ground that night continue to herald the heroism of the individuals who responded to try and help Stevens and others under attack.
Yet questions remain about the overall decision-making, possible destruction of evidence and warnings of an impending attack.
“There needs to be a CIA investigation … there was a lot of things done wrong,” one special operator said.
But a CIA spokesman said the OIG has already “explained fully” to the agency’s congressional oversight committees “why it did not open an investigation into Benghazi-related issues.”
“That decision was based on a determination that the concerns raised fell under the purview of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, and that a separate OIG action could unnecessarily disrupt the FBI’s criminal investigation into the Benghazi attacks,” the spokesman said.
The Accountability Review Board probe was ordered by the State Department, and the board reported its findings in December 2012.
But separate investigations haven’t stopped the OIG from investigating issues before. Why they held back in this instance is a question starting to filter through the agents at the CIA. Fox News has been told some of the investigators initially assigned to review the Benghazi complaints are “very upset and very frustrated” that they were told to stop the process.
Some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed some of these same concerns in their review of the Benghazi attacks. On page 15 of the Republican response on Jan. 15, it states: “… the committee has learned that the CIA Inspector General did not investigate complaints relating to the Benghazi attacks from CIA whistle blowers. Whether these complaints are ultimately substantiated or dismissed is irrelevant. On a matter of this magnitude involving the deaths of four Americans, the Inspector General has a singular obligation to take seriously and fully investigate any allegation of wrongdoing. His failure to do so raises significant questions that we believe the Committee must explore more fully.”
Fox News has also learned that the Senate Committee was told by the CIA that the investigation did not take place because it would interfere with the State Department Accountability Review Board, which was conducted to “examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks.” While that review contained major criticism aimed at State Department officials in Washington, it didn’t directly mention the CIA.
“Since when does the CIA defer to State? The ARB is in a total different agency anyway,” one special operator said.
Former U.S. United Nations spokesman Richard Grenell also is critical of the CIA actions. “It’s puzzling that the Obama administration is so reluctant to do a real investigation of the facts surrounding the Benghazi attack,” he said. “The ARB conveniently never interviewed Hillary Clinton or her political team about what they knew in the lead up or how they reacted during the crisis. And now we learn that the CIA wasn’t interested in conducting a real investigation either.”
The frustration within the agency is building over the fact that many see the CIA inspector general as their last line of defense internally. While the internal complaints are classified, Fox News has learned that besides questioning the actions of the station chief and chief of base, the complaints also question dealings with the Libyan security forces — and include questions about the reliance on a group of local volunteer militiamen called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade for security and their likely participation in the attack.
Adam Housley joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 2001 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based senior correspondent.
Sharyl Attkisson Resigns From CBS; Kept Spotlight on Benghazi, Fast and Furious
By Matthew Balan
Created 03/10/2014 – 3:20pm
By Matthew Balan | March 10, 2014 | 15:20
Sharyl Attkisson, whose coverage of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal won CBS Evening News an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012, and also provided hard-hitting reporting on the September 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, announced her sudden departure from CBS on Monday afternoon in a post on Twitter: “I have resigned from CBS.”
During an October 2013 report on CBS This Morning, Attkisson revealed a new weapons smuggling scandal surrounding the Obama administration that involved a grenade that was used to murder three police officers in Mexico. Several months earlier, in June 2013, the now former CBS correspondent revealed that her computer was hacked – something she had suspected for weeks:
“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts.”
Dylan Byers of Politico provided additional details of Attkisson’s resignation in a Monday item on his blog:
CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations, sources familiar with her departure told POLITICO on Monday.
Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.
At the same time, Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration….
…Attkisson had become a polarizing figure at the network, sources there said. While some championed her relentless dedication to investigations — ranging from defective Firestone Tires to the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal — others saw evidence of a political agenda, particularly against President Obama. (The bulk of Attkisson’s work since 2009 has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the Obama administration, including the administration’s failed green energy investments and the attack in Benghazi, though she has reported on several Republican failures as well.)
Back in May 2013, Byers reported that “Attkisson can’t get some of her stories on the air, and is thus left feeling marginalized and underutilized.” The journalist hadn’t reported about the Benghazi attacks during a five month-plus period between November 23, 2012 and May 8, 2013. Her next report on the issue didn’t come until September 16, 2013 – almost four months later. CBS also ignored Attkisson’s September 2013 scoop on Secretary of State John Kerry’s refusal to let the Benghazi survivors testify.
During a December 2013 report, the correspondent touted ‘Fast and Furious’ whistleblower John Dodson as “a rare example, especially amid the Obama administration’s war on leaks.” Attkisson also highlighted that “there’s still a court battle over the ‘Fast and Furious’ documents that President Obama is withholding from Congress under executive privilege.” A few weeks earlier, she also devoted several reports to the many problems surrounding ObamaCare.