News Release

Benghazi: Was the Consulate a CIA Front?

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CNN reports this morning: “House Republicans released a long-awaited report Tuesday on the Benghazi terror attacks that killed four Americans on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state, reviving the politically charged issue less than five months before the election.”

MELVIN GOODMAN, goody789[at]verizon.net
Goodman is director of the National Security Project at the Center for International Policy. He was an analyst at the CIA for 24 years, including as chief and senior analyst at the Office of Soviet Affairs for a decade. His books include Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. His forthcoming book is Whistleblower at the CIA.

He said today: “This Benghazi report is of a continuing media circus that the Republicans have created. But we still have much to learn about the CIA’s role in Benghazi; the interest of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi; and the communications between the White House and the CIA in trying to explain the events of that terrible night.”

Goodman wrote in 2012 for ConsortiumNews that: “The consulate was the diplomatic cover for an intelligence platform and whatever diplomatic functions took place in Benghazi also served as cover for an important CIA base.” See: “The Why Behind the Benghazi Attack.”

Goodman wrote the piece in 2013 “The Real Benghazi Scandal,” for CounterPunch, which states: “When congressional Republicans complete manipulating the Benghazi tragedy, it will be time for the virtually silent Senate intelligence committee to take up three major issues that have been largely ignored. The committee must investigate the fact that the U.S. presence in Benghazi was an intelligence platform and only nominally a consulate; the politicization by the White House and State Department of CIA analysis of the events in Benghazi; and the Obama administration’s politicization of the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General, which has virtually destroyed the office and deprived congressional intelligence committees of their most important oversight tool.

“When U.S. personnel were airlifted from Benghazi the night of the attack, there were seven Foreign Service and State Department officers and 23 CIA officers onboard. This fact alone indicates that the consulate was primarily diplomatic cover for an intelligence operation that was known to Libyan militia groups. The CIA failed to provide adequate security for Benghazi, and its clumsy tradecraft contributed to the tragic failure. On the night of the attack, the small CIA security team in Benghazi was slow to respond, relying on an untested Libyan intelligence organization to maintain security for U.S. personnel. After the attack, the long delay in debriefing evacuated personnel contributed to the confusing assessments.”