Summary of 60 Minutes interviews on Benghazi:
from Lt. Col. Andy Wood, chief of security at the Benghazi consulate:
- from "Morgan Jones", commander of the guards at the Benghazi consulate:
- Al-Qaeda was openly flying its flag in the city.
- The guards at the consulate were incompetent.
- The guards were unarmed.
- Repeated requests to get new guards were denied.
from Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya:
- Al-Qaeda had published their intent to attack the Benghazi consulate months earlier, and had followed this up with additional planning intercepted by US intelligence.
- State and DoD were informed, repeatedly, with increasing urgency, that al-Qaeda's plans to attack the consulate in Benghazi were in the final stages of preparation.
- In desperation, Wood had called for abandoning the city.
- Wood personally left Benghazi three months before the attack.
from unidentified sources:
- Hicks had made two official requests for more security forces and was denied.
- During the attack, Hicks asked the defense attache what military help could be expected and was told that none was coming.
- (Note: Hicks was demoted for previously speaking to the press, making him one of the few people punished after the Benghazi attack)
- Diplomatic staff had sent numerous "detailed cables" to Washington requesting more security, with one mentioning that "the al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings".
- A CIA "quick reaction force" was ordered to stand down and allow the attack to proceed. They ignored the orders and are credited with saving five lives.
[Edit Nov 8:] The Washington Post found differences between the report "Morgan" gave to CBS and the one he gave to the Blue Mountain mercenary group. The Post also revealed his real name, Dylan Davies. A "State Department" employee using a fake name means he's a covert agent, or at least that it would be harmful to US interests for his real name to be released. This could be another Plame Affair. Davies denied having written the Blue Mountain report. CBS has apologised for the 60 Minutes report after the NYT reported that Davies's report to the FBI corresponded more closely to the Blue Mountain report than to what he had said in the CBS interview. It is well worth noting that Davies
is was selling a book that is was being published by CBS's subsidiary Simon and Schuster. [Edit #2:] The book has been recalled.
The Telegraph has reported that "Darryl Davies" flew out of Libya "hours before the attack was launched".
The reporting on the controversy seems driven to make us look at anything other than the fact that this was an al-Qaeda attack and the allegations by everyone else that the leadership in Washington ignored requests for more security from its people in Libya. [Edit #2: Here's an example, and note also the disruption and redirection by user 'djchefron' of any attempt to raise the relevant issues.] 60 Minutes had two other witnesses and they are all the top officials there after Ambassador Stevens, but all of their testimony is being dismissed because one of them seems to have made up a story about sneaking back into the compound and killing a terrorist to sell his book. Breitbart may have solved this last year: The State Department had issued "Rules of Engagement for Libya" that forbid the standard use of Marines, necessitating the hiring of mercenaries, and also forbid the guards from carrying arms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on the plan, so admitting that it did not work would be politically damaging to her. This explains the freakout from the partisan Democratic blogs whenever anyone suggests that the State Department should have known that the place was vulnerable to attack. They are planning to run her in 2016.
In a side note, Clare Lopez notes a discrepancy in the timeline: the State Department claims "everything is calm at 8:30PM", while five witnesses told the Associated Press that al-Qaeda had begun setting up roadblocks at 8:00 PM, an hour and forty minutes before the attack began. The Turkish diplomat who left the compound at 8:30 would probably have noticed something and failed to notify the Americans. Then again, according to the 60 Minutes interviews, the presence of al-Qaeda in Benghazi would not have been unusual.
[end of Nov 8 edit.]
Other Benghazi-related information: