Eyes Open Report
President Barack Obama delivers a statement from the Rose Garden about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a group consisting of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think tankers, release a report on Tuesday in Washington that claimed the 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi could have been prevented if the United States had not been arming al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
Lopez put blame on the Obama administration for failing to stop a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez said. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..”
Lopez stated that the State department, and most certainly top officials in the Obama Administration, National Security leadership and potentially congress – if they had been briefed – knew about the neglect of direct arm shipment to al-Qaeda and the presence of the weapons.
The group wrote inside the report that ’the White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’
‘The result in Libya, across much of North Africa, and beyond has been utter chaos, disruption of Libya’s oil industry, the spread of dangerous weapons (including surface-to-air missiles),
and the empowerment of jihadist organizations like al-Qa’eda and the Muslim
Brotherhood,’ the report continued.
The Commission’s findings are based on information they got from interviews with several sources knowledgeable of the flow of weapons in Libya and elsewhere in the African Maghreb.
This is not the first report to claim that prevention was possible and the State Department and the intelligence community are at fault. A Senate Intelligence committee report released in January claimed that “based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya — to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets — and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission” the death of four U.S. diplomats could have been prevented.
Media Matters has come out in a attempt to discredit The Citizens Commission on Benghazi’s reportby calling them a group of ‘conspiracy theorists’.
Which may be a tell-tale sign of truths within the groups report as that label has been used over and over again to demonize anyone who has information capable of tarnishing the Obama administrations image.