April 30, 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Special Ops Benghazi Whistleblower Claims Obama Could Have Intervened
BAIER: The administration has insisted from the beginning there was no help available for the Americans under assault in Libya. None that could arrive in time to change the outcome in Benghazi. Tonight is the first of three exclusive reports charging that claim is just not true. Because the special operator in this piece is fearful of reprisal, we have agreed to conceal his identity.
Correspondent Adam Housley has the story.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Many Americans are asking indeed, I asked myself. How could this happen?
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a seven months since the Benghazi attacks on 9/11, information from the administration has been incomplete at best. Details and timelines provided by the state department, the U.S. military and the CIA had been contradictory and failed to answer many questions. In December, a state department review concluded
ADM. MIKE MULLEN (RET), FMR JOINT CHIEF CHMN: There simply was not enough time for U.S. military forces to have made a difference. Having said that, it is not reasonable nor feasible to tether U.S. forces at the ready to respond to protect every high risk post in the world.
HOUSLEY: But members of the military who are monitoring events in Benghazi disagree. Only a few dozen people in the world know what happened that night and Fox News spoke exclusively with a special operator who watched the events unfold and has debriefed those who are part of the response.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know for a fact that C-110, the (INAUDIBLE) was doing a training exercise in the region of Northern Africa but in Europe.
And they had the ability to react and respond.
HOUSLEY: The C-110 is a commanders and extremist force. In Layman’s terms, a 40 men (ph) special operations force capable of rapid response and deployment, specifically, trained for incidents like the attack in Benghazi. That night, they were training in Croatia just three and a half hours away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had the ability to load out, get on birds, and fly there at a minimum stage. C-110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in four to six hours from their European theater to react.
HOUSLEY: They would have been there before the second attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They would have been there before the second attack. They would have been there at a minimum to provide a quick reaction force that could facilitate their exfill out of the problem situation. Nobody knew how it was going to develop. And you hear a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of advisors say hey, we wouldn’t have sent them there because, you know, the security was unknown situation.
HOUSLEY: No one knew that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it’s an unknown situation, at a minimum, you send forces there to facilitate the exfill or medical injuries. We could have sent a C-130 to Benghazi to provide medical evacuation for the injured.
HOUSLEY: Our source says many connected to Benghazi feel threatened and are afraid to talk. So far, confidential sources have fed some information, but nobody has come forward publicly on camera until now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is, you know, you got guys, in my position you got guys in special operations community who are — still active and still involved. And they would be decapitated if they came forward with information that could affect high level commanders.
HOUSLEY: Despite the concern, our confidential source says the community feels there was a betrayal all the way to the top. And that people on the ground in Benghazi were left to fend for themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don’t blame them for not coming forward, you know? It’s something that’s a risky, especially in a profession to say anything about anything in the realm of politics or that deals with policy.
HOUSLEY: Our source provides insight into how the U.S. government and military reacted from the moment the attack began through the immediate hours after Ambassador Chris Stevens went missing, what they were told to do and what not to do as Stevens, diplomatic officer, Sean Smith, and former special operations members, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There’s a lot of responsibility, a lot of onus that needs to be taken up and accounted for.
HOUSLEY: The attack began about 9:30 p.m. on September 11th, 2012 at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi and culminated roughly seven hours later at a second location, a CIA annex about one mile away.
While the official responses from Washington have been that the assets could not have made it to Benghazi in time to stop the second attack that killed Woods and Dohety, our source says otherwise and insists there were at least two elite military units that could have made it in time, including the one training in Croatia.
So, besides those guys who went in on their own, we had two more assets that could have been there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two more assets that could have been on the ground. It’s frustrating. It’s upsetting especially being in the community. The hardest thing to deal with in any kind of, you know, dangerous scenario or gun fight, is, you know, we always look to each other to help each other and that’s how we get through situations. It’s not about the assets overhead. It’s about the guys on the ground.
HOUSLEY: He also says that as the attack began, there were at least
15 special forces and highly skilled state department security staff available in the capital Tripoli who were not dispatched, even though they were trained as a quick response force. Meantime, a group of American reinforcements also in Tripoli, which included the CIA’s global response agent, Glen Doherty, and about seven others took matters into their own hands.
A little known fact which also contradicts the version of events in the state department report. The team commandeered a small jet and flew to Benghazi to help try and secure the CIA annex still under fire. Doherty would eventually be killed on the roof along with his friend, Tyrone Woods.
And our source say, these men deserve the highest medal of honor for their actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it wasn’t for that decision, I think we’d be talking completely different about this entire situation. I think you would be looking at either 20 plus hostages loose captured by AQ or you’d be looking at a lot of dead Americans dead in Benghazi.
HOUSLEY (on-camera): We’ve heard some of these same details from a number of our other sources who have not yet come on camera, also some of our British sources on the ground that night, Bret. Tomorrow, more of our exclusive interview including the hunt for those responsible or the hunt that’s lack thereof — Bret.
BAIER: Interesting story. Adam, thank you. We’ll look for part two tomorrow.
Obama administration officials threatened whistle-blowers on Benghazi, lawyer says
By James Rosen Published April 29, 2013 | FoxNews.com
At least four career officials at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have retained lawyers or are in the process of doing so, as they prepare to provide sensitive information about the Benghazi attacks to Congress, Fox News has learned.
Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistle-blowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.
“I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi – that people have been threatened,” Toensing said in an interview Monday. “And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.”
Toensing declined to name her client. She also refused to say whether the individual was on the ground in Benghazi on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorist attacks on two U.S. installations in the Libyan city killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
However, Toensing disclosed that her client has pertinent information on all three time periods investigators consider relevant to the attacks: the months that led up to the attack, when pleas by the ambassador and his staff for enhanced security in Benghazi were mostly rejected by senior officers at the State Department; the eight-hour time frame in which the attacks unfolded, and the eight-day period that followed the attacks, when Obama administration officials incorrectly described them as the result of a spontaneous protest over a video.
“It’s frightening, and they’re doing some very despicable threats to people,” she said. “Not ‘we’re going to kill you,’ or not ‘we’re going to prosecute you tomorrow,’ but they’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over [if they cooperate with congressional investigators].”
Federal law provides explicit protections for federal government employees who are identified as “whistle-blowers.” The laws aim to ensure these individuals will not face repercussions from their superiors, or from other quarters, in retaliation for their provision of information about corruption or other forms of wrongdoing to Congress, or to an agency’s inspector-general.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican from California who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday to complain that the department has not provided a process by which attorneys like Toensing can receive the security clearances necessary for them to review classified documents and other key evidence.
“It is unavoidable that Department employees identifying themselves as witnesses in the Committee’s investigation will apply for a security clearance to allow their personal attorneys to handle sensitive or classified material,” Issa wrote. “The Department’s unwillingness to make the process for clearing an attorney more transparent appears to be an effort to interfere with the rights of employees to furnish information to Congress.”
The Obama administration maintains that it has been more than forthcoming on Benghazi and that it is time for the State Department to move on. At a recent hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kerry noted that administration officials have testified at eight hearings on Benghazi, provided 20 briefings on the subject and turned over to Congress some 25,000 documents related to the killings.
“So if you have additional questions or you think there’s some document that somehow you need, I’ll work with you to try to get it and see if we can provide that to you,” Kerry told committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., on April 17. But Kerry added: “I do not want to spend the next year coming up here talking about Benghazi.”
Asked about Issa’s complaints about attorneys not receiving security clearances, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell on Monday indicated that – far from threatening anyone – the administration hasn’t been presented with any such cases. “I’m not aware of private counsel seeking security clearances or — or anything to that regard,” Ventrell told reporters. “I’m not aware of whistle-blowers one way or another.”
Ventrell cited the work of the FBI – whose probe of the attacks continues almost eight months later and without any known instances of perpetrators being brought to justice – and the Accountability Review Board. The board was an internal State Department review panel led by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. An unclassified version of the board’s final report that was released to the public contained no conclusions that suggested administration officials had willfully endangered their colleagues in Benghazi or had misled the public or Congress.
“And that should be enough,” Ventrell said at Monday’s press briefing. “Congress has its own prerogatives, but we’ve had a very thorough, independent investigation, which we completed and [which was] transparent and shared. And there are many folks who are, in a political manner, trying to sort of use this for their own political means, or ends.”