Benghazi was a retaliation raid in a war nobody, including Stevens and Petraeus, knew Brennan was wagin
A co-author of the new book “Benghazi: The definitive report” told Human Events John O. Brennan, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, was the mastermind behind a secret war in North Africa, which led to the Sept. 11 raid on our mission in Benghazi.
The Senate should not confirm him as the new director of the CIA and Brennan should not continue in public life, said Jack Murphy, who wrote the book with Brandon Webb. “I think we need to let this guy go.”
Brennan spent more than 20 years in the CIA and Jan. 7 President Barack Obama nominated him to be the agency’s director.
In addition to his direction of black ops that raised the security threat to Americans without taking steps manage the increased risk, Brennan is the champion of the drone attack, which cause horrific civilian casualties and generate ill-will towards the United States, he said.
The campaign against Al Qaeda in the Islamic Meghreb and Ansar Al-Shari in North Africa was full-blown kinetic operation, he said. When AQIM and Ansar Al-Shari retaliated with the Benghazi raid nobody was prepared because Brennan never let anyone know how hot and heavy his personal war was getting
“It definitely had shades of the whole Iran-Iraq scandal, where you had the National Security Council running its own operation,” said Murphy, a former Army Ranger and Green Beret. With Webb, who is a former Navy SEAL, the two men run the SOFREP.com, website for the special operations community. Webb was best friends with former SEAL Glen Doherty, who was killed at Benghazi.
The central narrative of the book is that Brennan ran a secret war, independent of the Pentagon, exercising direct control of the Joint Special Operations Command, the senior command echelon for special operational units from all services.
Murphy said he was disappointed that coverage of the book has focused on the one-page aside that described how long-tenured CIA bureaucrats and his own personal security detail fanned the controversy that cost retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus his job as CIA director. “That’s what you get when you are dealing with tabloids.”
Murphy said the black ops in Eastern Libya were mainly to secure dangerous war materiel still loose from the country’s 2011 revolution against Kaddafi and to take out members of the Al Qaeda network.
The problem was that some of the raids upset certain militia who operate independent of the central government in Tripoli, he said.
The White House gave Congress the bare minimum of information to fulfill the letter of the law and whoever got those briefings just rubberstamped them, he said. “As I understand, it was off the books.”
Brennan’s secret war is not rogue, he said. It is an officially sanctioned campaign.
The controversy in Egypt and the riots over the YouTube video did help the local organizers of the Benghazi raid motivate foreign fighters and others to join in the battle, he said.
“The main contributing factor, and what broke the camel’s back, was the JSOC operations going in Libya,” he said. “It is what pushed them over the top.”
Amb. J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on American diplomatic and para-military facilities in Benghazi, Libya, was aware of the general outline of Brennan’s operations, but Murphy said Stevens did not fully realize the animosity that Brennan was fomenting.
“I don’t want to say ‘arrogant,’ but Stevens may have been overconfident,” he said. “I question how good a read he had on the situation and how well he really understood what was going on over there.”
The ambassador was a highly-skilled diplomat, who was personally popular with the Libyans, he said. The fact that he spoke Arabic and preferred to move around the country without heavy personal security made him more vulnerable than he realized.
Stevens was kept in the dark about many things, he said.
“I think because he was such a smart guy, so familiar with the whole political situation, he had an idea about what was going on—he was smart enough to put two-and-two together, but he was not read on to these operations, and my understanding is neither was Petraeus.,” he said. “They both probably had an idea about what the White House was up to, but I don’t think it really hit home until that night,” he said.
The former Ranger and Green Beret said Stevens was focused on convincing militia to enter civil society and reduce the number of weapons in circulation in Libya. “I really believe he was involved in the consolidation of the weapons, because he knew so much about the weapons and what was going on in the country going all the way back to Kaddafi.”
One of the narratives to come out of Libya after the raids on Benghazi was that Stevens was in the business of transferring the weapons he collected and sending them to Syria to support the rebellion there.
Murphy said he is skeptical that the ambassador was involved in sending weapons to the Syrian rebels.
The American facilities at Benghazi were classified simply as a “temporary mission facility,” which was the walled compound, where the diplomatic business took place and the “mission annex,” which was the CIA safe house and operations center, he said. The installations never had the status of “consulate.”
Murphy said both American operators from the CIA, State Department and their associated contractors, swarmed in and out of the installations with a high operations tempo and sheer size of force that belied the “mission” nomenclature.
“That was a very significant operation being run out of the annex,” he said.
“The fact that they got blown out of there that night is a huge deal,” he said. “Petraeus must have been extremely angry. He was not being told what was going on, and it intended up getting a couple of his guys killed and completely destroying that entire operation.”
Keeping the mission nomenclature also meant that State Department bureaucrats, unaware of what was going on there, did not fully appreciate the need for security at Benghazi, because he said. They just looked up the required security packages for missions and met those requirements.
“Essentially, they opened up what was notionally a State Department facility and they jammed packed it with special operations operatives,” he said.
“It was a very ad hoc situation,” he said. Stevens wanted to upgrade the Benghazi mission to a consulate, so it could require more security, but it never happened. There was never the money or resources allocated to meet the real threat.
Further compounding the problem, personnel from State’s Diplomatic Secret Service rotated in and out so quickly, there was never institutional memory and reference points, he said. “You can imagine what it is like if there is a new guy every week.
Because of the covert nature of the operations at the Benghazi compound and the relative low-status of the “mission,” Marines were not an option, either, he said.
Putting the book together, Murphy said it was not had to get people to talk to him about the general situation in Libya or even about FBI or State Department functions. “When you start getting into JSOC and CIA covert operations, it gets really difficult to find out what is going on.”
Because of the sensitivities involved, the authors double-source the claims in the book, he said. Many more stories were left out because there was no independent confirmation.