Author Topic: Sept 2012: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate  (Read 158767 times)

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Online tomahawk6

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The administration today dumped 100 pages of Benghazi emails today.For your light reading enjoyment. :D

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/05/politics/white-house-benghazi-emails/index.html

Offline Thucydides

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #251 on: August 01, 2013, 21:37:01 »
Despite the best efforts of the Administration, more details continue to leak out. Since the legacy media fails to press the issue, this information could continue to dribble out, which may have the opposite effect the memory hole treatment is supposed to elicit; the slow "drip" of information will continue to keep Americans and other interested people aware over a prolonged period of time:

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/01/exclusive-dozens-of-cia-operatives-on-the-ground-during-benghazi-attack/

Quote
Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

Read: Analysis: CIA role in Benghazi underreported

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, "You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well."

Another says, "You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation."

"Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that," said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

"If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it's called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they're looking for something, or they're on a fishing expedition. But it's absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly," said Baer.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

"The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi," the statement said.

"CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want," the statement continued. "The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident."

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

The lack of information and pressure to silence CIA operatives is disturbing to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

"I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it's an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way," said the Republican.

"We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn't any national security issue involved with regards to that," he said.

Wolf has repeatedly gone to the House floor, asking for a select committee to be set-up, a Watergate-style probe involving several intelligence committee investigators assigned to get to the bottom of the failures that took place in Benghazi, and find out just what the State Department and CIA were doing there.

More than 150 fellow Republican members of Congress have signed his request, and just this week eight Republicans sent a letter to the new head of the FBI, James  Comey, asking that he brief Congress within 30 days.

Read: White House releases 100 pages of Benghazi e-mails

In the aftermath of the attack, Wolf said he was contacted by people closely tied with CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk.

Then suddenly, there was silence.

"Initially they were not afraid to come forward. They wanted the opportunity, and they wanted to be subpoenaed, because if you're subpoenaed, it sort of protects you, you're forced to come before Congress. Now that's all changed," said Wolf.

Lawmakers also want to about know the weapons in Libya, and what happened to them.

Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

It is clear that two U.S. agencies were operating in Benghazi, one was the State Department, and the other was the CIA.

The State Department told CNN in an e-mail that it was only helping the new Libyan government destroy weapons deemed "damaged, aged or too unsafe retain," and that it was not involved in any transfer of weapons to other countries.

But the State Department also clearly told CNN, they "can't speak for any other agencies."

The CIA would not comment on whether it was involved in the transfer of any weapons.

Programming note: Was there a political cover up surrounding the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans? Watch a CNN special investigation — The Truth About Benghazi, Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #252 on: August 23, 2013, 12:07:39 »
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/23/team-involved-in-tracking-benghazi-suspects-pulling-out-sources-say/

Team involved in tracking Benghazi suspects pulling out, sources say


By Adam Housley - Published August 23, 2013 - FoxNews.com


Two weeks after the Obama administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently.

Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could "never pull the trigger." In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department -- and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7. 

Meanwhile, months after video, photo and voice documentation on the Benghazi suspects was first presented to high-level military leaders, the State Department and ultimately the White House, prison breaks in the country have eroded security. U.S. special forces have now been relegated to a "villa," a stopover for the operators before they're shipped out of the country entirely.

"We put American special operations in harm's way to develop a picture of these suspects and to seek justice and instead of acting, we stalled. We just let it slip and pass us by and now it's going to be much more difficult," one source said, citing 1,200 prisoners escaping two weeks ago. "It's already blowing up. Daily assassinations, bi-weekly prison escapes, we waited way too long."

The latest development raises questions about when the attackers will be brought to justice in the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last September.

The special operators are starting to get frustrated at the lack of action, and Fox News has been told by multiple sources that one special forces leader "literally yelled" at former Libyan Chief of Mission William Roebuck "and told him, 'so you're willing to let these guys get away with murder?'"

The outburst was "met with crickets," the sources said.

Asked about what actions have been taken on the suspects, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment. However, a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation in Libya suggested there is always intelligence to be gained by simply watching and listening to the suspects.

In addition, Pentagon officials disputed what the operators in question are claiming, saying that group was not specifically tasked with finding the Libyan suspects responsible for the Benghazi attack. These officials said other forces out of Fort Bragg are tasked with that mission, and they are not leaving. Pentagon officials also say the trainers, which were authorized by Congress under part of the defense budget to facilitate training of Libyans for counterterrorism, were not there to track the Benghazi suspects. They insist congressional funding is very clear in its mission: for training locals in counterterrorism.

However, special operators in the region counter the claims and suggest the Pentagon and State Department are playing with words, saying those being pulled are in fact tasked with both training the Libyans and identifying Benghazi attack suspects. "The training is partly a cover and some of these guys ... provided the information on suspects directly to U.S. military commanders and the U.S. State Department last November and again in January. They are there and trained to find, fix and finish," one said.

Fox News reported earlier this year that American forces had identified suspects by the end of November 2012, and reported on their whereabouts to Roebuck last January, yet no action was taken. They returned again in January to identify and locate these same suspects after being requested to do so by military leaders. In the months since, the operators in the region have been sitting in de facto standby, despite the Justice Department charges being filed.

To make matters worse, the U.S. trainers have been sitting in their Libyan "villa" now for a number of days after a Libyan military leader kicked the Americans out of the camp where they had been standing-up a Libyan special forces team for nearly a year, backed by U.S. taxpayer dollars. The maneuver by the Libyan chief of defense has "left our guys high and dry," and this same chief has locked down Tripoli as well, Fox News is told. The sources say U.S. leaders have now let the Libyan government occupy the special forces camp -- and in turn undermine the effort to train a legitimate force capable of countering Al Qaeda, which was the initial assignment before the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi.

The men tell Fox News their mission was to capture or kill the suspects in question, and they briefed the acting U.S. ambassador in Libya and the senior CIA representative in the country. The men were told both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and an under secretary were briefed about their information and their ability to capture or kill those responsible. Still, they did not get approval from the Department of Defense or the White House.

Some of the individuals report seeing former AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham tell former Libya Chief of Mission Laurence Pope that he could easily submit a plan to kill or capture the suspects, but "politics and fallout kept us from acting. To do an operation we have to have (Chief of Mission) and state approval. We didn't get it. ... They sat on it."

Multiple sources in Libya tell Fox News that the politics in the lack of response to the Benghazi attacks involves the U.S. State Department position in Libya. "No career diplomat wants to be responsible for giving the green light or supporting an operation that if goes wrong, another Somalia, Blackhawk Down, turns into a political fragmentation grenade that puts any group, party, or element in the public scrutiny spotlight ... especially after the train wreck on September 11th."

Sources told Fox News, though, that the Obama administration will be under pressure to produce some result from its investigation with the one-year anniversary of the attack looming.

Meanwhile, some of the same suspects in the Benghazi attack are continuing to help the Muslim Brotherhood in eastern Libya and are directly aligned with the militant group Ansar al-Sharia, which has already begun operations to undermine the fledgling Libyan government.

The special operators tell Fox News that Libyan militia leader Ahmed Khattalah, among those charged by the DOJ, is a member of a prominent and influential group in the eastern part of Libya and directly tied to Ansar al-Sharia, the group believed to be behind the attack on Benghazi .

"It won't be long, they're already at war. We are just behind," said one operator after being asked about the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood to overtake the current Libyan government in Tripoli. "So the terrorism will continue to grow and the terrorists responsible for killing an ambassador are right now growing along with it."




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Offline Thucydides

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #253 on: January 21, 2014, 20:55:51 »
More revalations on Administration obstruction of investigative reporting. It is a sad comment that only one news outlet seems to have attempted any real investigative journalism on this story (for that matter, how many outlets investigates other stories like "Fast and Furious", the IRS harrassment of TEA Party movement groups and so on?):

http://youngcons.com/wow-greta-drops-a-bomb-about-white-house-trying-very-hard-to-get-fox-not-to-report-on-benghazi/

Quote
Wow: Greta drops a bomb about White House trying “very hard” to get Fox not to report on Benghazi
Posted by: Joshua Riddle  January 17, 2014 62 Comments

In all seriousness, if you’re a reporter for any other outlet besides Fox, and you are seeing this, you should either feel obligated to prove her wrong by pointing to all your own investigative work on this story, or just hang your head in shame because you’re just a disgrace to your profession.

On Thursday, Greta Van Susteren wrote at her blog, “After Benghazi on 9/11/2012, the Obama administration tried very hard to discourage Fox News Channel from reporting on it. The effort was obstruction – pure and simple.”

“They tried to prevent the truth from coming out and the Administration tried just about everything to discourage Fox from investigating and reporting,” she continued. “All the American people wanted, and all I ever wanted, was just the facts – why did 4 Americans die? What happened?”
“The Obama Administration put out that phony video story — but who could not have been suspicious of the Administration after hearing that?” Van Susteren asked. “Frankly, if they had been candid on day 1, the Benghazi story would have been over in short order. It would not be to the point we are now: with a Senate Bi Partisan Intelligence Committee report with the very painful conclusion that the murders at Benghazi could have been prevented.”

Van Susteren gave examples of how the Administration tried to prevent Fox from telling Americans the truth:

In the early days after Benghazi, the State Department omitted only Fox News Channel from its conference call to all the media when it claimed to be answering questions about Benghazi for the media. Our friends in other media outlets were scandalized that Fox was not included and told us all about it. They were suspicious of State Department forgetting us/Fox and courageous to tip us off. The State Department claimed it was accident and not intentional.

And then shortly thereafter, there was the CIA briefing about Benghazi at the CIA for all the networks – except one: Fox News Channel. The CIA would not let Fox News Channel attend. [...]

And there were many times in the months and years since September 2012 when Obama Administration officials would make comments to suggest that Fox was just doing the Benghazi reporting for political reasons. The Administration was doing what it could to deter and demean the Fox News Channel investigation. They did not want to give us the facts — so their strategy was to attempt to belittle and demean our reporting.
After taking a swipe at the New York Times for issuing an analysis that has since been completely debunked by a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report, Van Susteren wrote of attempts by a friend of hers within the Adminstration to get her to silence Fox’s Jennifer Griffin:
[M]y friend told me that my colleague Jennifer Griffin, who was aggressively reporting on Benghazi, was wrong and that, as a favor to me, my friend in the Administration was telling me so that I could tell Jennifer so that she did not ruin her career. My friend was telling me to tell Jennifer to stop her reporting. Ruin her career?

In 20 plus years, I have never received a call to try and shut down a colleague – not that I even could – this was a first.
Knowing Griffin to be one of the best investigative reporters in the business, Van Susteren demanded her friend offer proof that her colleague was wrong. None was forthcoming:

I got no proof. Zero. I smelled a rat. Favor to me? Hardly. My friend was trying to use me. I feel bad that a friend did that to me, tried to use me for a dirty reason. I knew then — and it is now confirmed by BIPARTISAN Senate Intelligence Committee — Jennifer was getting her facts right. I think it is really low for the Administration to stoop this low.

To be sure, the Administration should be ashamed of how it’s behaved since September 11, 2012. But it wouldn’t have been able to behave this way if other news organizations covered this story as aggressively as Fox News did.

Sadly, Obama and Company knew from the start that their accomplices in the media would parrot anything they said, and go along with their contention that this was a “phony scandal” ginned up by the President’s enemies which of course include Fox News.

Since a junior senator from Illinois first threw his hat into the presidential ring in February 2007, we’ve watched America’s media totally abdicate journalism for his benefit.

Benghazi is just another example.

With three more years left of this presidency, it likely won’t be the last.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #254 on: January 26, 2014, 18:35:10 »
Judge Jeanine Pirro calls out Hillary Clinton over Benghazi.

http://yournation.org/judge-jeanine-embarassess-hillary-clinton-over-benghazi/


Quote
Fox News host Judge Jeanine blasted Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi incident. She shredded Hillary to pieces, calling her “incompetent” and a “selfish failure”. Jeanine made it clear that she believes Hillary cares more about her own political career than the USA.

The verbal assault started when Jeanine told America all about the documents released by the Senate that catch Hillary in bald faced lies. The documents indicate that the Benghazi attack could have been stopped and four people would still be alive today.

Jeanine actually labeled Hillary as a criminal as she allegedly made up a story about a negative video toward Muslims before Obama’s second election in order to take the spotlight off his poor track record. Jeanine caps it off by saying Hillary should be hanged for treason!

Jeanine accurately points out how Hillary shifted the focus to a separate incident in Tunisia when she was questioned during a hearing. Almost nobody knows anything about this Tunisia incident. That’s exactly why Hillary brought it up. Hillary had been side stepping the blame for four months until this hearing. Her most damning line from the questioning is “what difference does it make?”. That’s a terrible look for Hillary.


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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #255 on: January 26, 2014, 19:51:39 »
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/011414-686352-defense-officials-briefed-obama-on-terrorist-attack.htm?ven=rss

Excerpts: 
Quote
........transcripts of congressional testimony by military leaders confirm that President Obama knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack before he went to bed to rest for a Las Vegas fundraising trip.

Fox News reporter James Rosen examined 450 pages of declassified testimony given by senior Pentagon officials in closed-door hearings held last year by Congress. In those hearings, Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time headed Africom, the Defense Department combat command with jurisdiction over Libya, testified that he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its start, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, from the Africom Command Center.

Ham said he immediately contacted Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to say he was coming down the hall at the Pentagon to meet with him.

"I told him what I knew. We immediately walked upstairs to meet with Secretary Panetta," Ham testified, adding "they had the basic information as they headed across for the meeting at the White House."

Ham responded that "there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack" and that was the "nature of the conversation" Ham had with Panetta and Dempsey moments before their 30-minute meeting with President Obama.

This confirms Panetta's testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in February of last year that it was he who told the president "there was an apparent attack going on in Benghazi."

This all happened within 30 minutes of the commencement of the attack: Ham, who was in Washington, walking down the hall, Panetta and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs meeting with the President.

Apparently President Obama did not attend this meeting for very long, but nobody knows where he went etc.



During the repat ceremony (televised) at Dover AFB, Hillary blamed the video as the cause. Inappropriate don't you think?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2203298/Victims-Benghazi-massacre-return-home-Obama-Clinton-pay-tribute.html

She then spoke personally, face to face, to the immediate relatives of the four stating the US will get those responsible.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2203298/Victims-Benghazi-massacre-return-home-Obama-Clinton-pay-tribute.html

Quote
'Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. We will bring to justice those who took them from us,' said  President Barack Obama during his speech in front of the dead men's family. 'Chris Stevens was everything America could want in an ambassador,' he added.

Note Ambassador Chris Stevens was one of Obama's guys, and Obama hung him out to dry.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 19:55:39 by Rifleman62 »
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #256 on: September 04, 2014, 18:45:59 »
Ordered three times to wait, and told to "Stand Down". Delay of 30 minutes before they disobeyed orders and responded.

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/13-hours-the-inside-account/9781455582273-item.html?ref=shop%3Abooks%3Anew-and-hot-books%3Abooks-main-new-and-hot%3A60%3A

13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi by Zuckoff Mitchell

Grand Central Publishing | September 9, 2014 | Hardcover |

The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi.
13 HOURS presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack.

13 HOURS sets the record straight on what happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Written by New York Times best selling author Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one another, for their countrymen, and for their country.

13 HOURS is a stunning, eye-opening, and intense book--but most importantly, it is the truth. The story of what happened to these men--and what they accomplished--is unforgettable.


http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/09/03/don%E2%80%99t-miss-%E2%80%98fox-news-reporting-13-hours-benghazi%E2%80%99-friday-10p-et

Don’t Miss: ‘Fox News Reporting: 13 Hours at Benghazi’ Friday at 10p ET


This weekend, Fox News Reporting will bring you a special on the untold story of the Benghazi terror attack.

It has been nearly two years since the fatal attack. Now, hear for the first time from the men who fought that battle.

“Fox News Reporting: 13 Hours at Benghazi” is based off a new book, to be released next week, called “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi” by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team.

The special premieres Friday, Sept. 5 at 10p ET. It re-airs Saturday, Sept. 6 at 1a, 5p and 9p ET, and again on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 12a, 8p and 11p ET.

Watch the clip above at link.








« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 18:55:31 by Rifleman62 »
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

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Re: U.S. Ambassador in Libya and two others killed in attack of consulate
« Reply #257 on: September 12, 2017, 23:28:38 »
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/12/contractors-say-clinton-state-department-silenced-them-on-benghazi-security-lapses.html

Contractors say Clinton State Department silenced them on Benghazi security lapses - Catherine Herridge - September 12, 2017 - Fox News


EXCLUSIVE: Security at the State Department's Benghazi compound was so dire that another contractor was brought in to clean up the mess just two weeks before the 2012 terror attack – and was later pressured to keep quiet by a government bureaucrat under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to two men from the American security company.   

Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.

They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department's account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.

Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions provides security for U.S. embassy and consulate personnel around the world in some of the most dangerous locations spanning Africa, the Middle East and South America, according to the firm. 

Jerry Torres remains haunted by the fact specific bureaucrats and policies remain in the State Department after the Benghazi attack despite the change in administrations. "A U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it. And three guys … all died trying to defend him," said Torres, the company’s CEO and a former Green Beret.

Asked if there was a specific effort by a senior State Department contracting officer to silence them, Torres said, "Absolutely, absolutely."

Owens, a former Army intelligence officer, echoed his colleague, saying those “who made the poor choices that actually, I would say, were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they're still in the same positions, making security choices for our embassies overseas now."

In 2012, Owens was the American company’s point man in Libya with extensive experience in the region. After the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in the fall of 2011, Owens stressed to Fox News it was well-known that Islamic radicals including Al Qaeda-tied militias were pouring into the region and security “had deteriorated considerably.”

Based on documents reviewed by Fox News, Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions bid on the Benghazi compound security contract in the spring of 2012. But the State Department awarded the deal to a U.K.-based operation called The Blue Mountain Group.

Owens, who had personally visited the Benghazi compound to assess security, was shocked. "Blue Mountain U.K. is a teeny, tiny, little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we've been able to find, much less in high threat areas for the U.S. government. They had a few guys on the ground," he said.

According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.

Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.

And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed. 

Problems soon arose. One month before the attack -- in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security -- Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a "coordinated attack." The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.

By Aug. 31, 2012, the situation had deteriorated to the point that Owens and Torres said the State Department asked them to intervene – as Owens put it, an "admission of the mistake of choosing the wrong company."

"They came back to us and said, ‘Can you guys come in and take over security?’ Owens said. “So we were ready.”

But Torres emphasized that time was against them, saying it would have taken two-to-three weeks to get set up.

Twelve days later, the ambassador was killed. Torres learned of the attacks by watching television. He called the circumstances leading up to the tragedy "bad decision-making from top to bottom."

“There was nothing we could've done about it. If we'd had one month warning … who knows what might've happened,” Owens said.

In the chaotic days following that attack, the Obama White House blamed the attacks on an anti-Islam video and demonstration which was not accurate. As a former Green Beret, Torres was stunned: "Coming from a military background, I would expect the administration to tell the truth. So I bought into it for a minute. But I didn't believe it in the back of my mind.” He said they later figured out the video was not the culprit. The attack was a coordinated terrorist assault which included a precision mortar strike on the CIA post in Benghazi.

But as the Obama administration and Clinton’s team struggled to answer questions about the attacks, Visintainer apparently took it one step further -- summoning Jerry Torres from overseas to attend a meeting at her government office in Rosslyn, Va., in early 2013.

Torres took Fox News back to the Virginia office building where he recalled that day's events.

"[Visintainer] said that I and people from Torres should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program,” he said.

Torres said he was afraid for his company – and hasn’t spoken publicly until now.

"We had about 8,000 employees at the time. You know, we just didn't need that level of damage because these guys, their livelihood relies on the company,” he said. “I trust that our U.S. government is going to follow chain of command, follow procedures, follow protocols and do the right thing."

Another part of that conversation stuck out to Torres. He said Visintainer told him “in her opinion, that guards should not be armed at U.S. embassies. She just made that blanket statement. … And she said that they weren't required in Benghazi. So I was kind of confused about that. And she said that she would like my support in saying that if that came up. And I looked at her. I just didn't respond."

The State Department declined Fox News’ request to make Visintainer available for an interview, or have her answer written email questions.

The Blue Mountain Group did not immediately respond to questions from Fox News.

Torres and Owens said repercussions against their company continue to this day – and that of the 20 security force contracts they’ve bid on since that conversation, they’ve lost 18.

Torres and Owens are concerned another attack like the one in Benghazi could happen again because the same State Department employees responsible for the Benghazi contract remain in place and the contracting rules are outdated.

"In 1990, Congress passed a law that required contracts of this nature to go to the lowest bidder that's technically acceptable," Owens explained. "Now, what that has created is a race to the bottom, is what we call it. So basically, every company tries to cut every corner they can for these contracts."

The men say they are hopeful that changes will come with the Trump administration’s promise to "drain the swamp."

"Let's just say there's been a change at management at Department of State," Owens said. "I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there's no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen."

On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry "for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys."


Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”

Cyd Upson is a Senior Producer at FOX News.


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