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What The Benghazi Committee Was Really Trying To Accomplish

Hillary Clinton knew what the trap was. She didn't fall into it.

Just another reminder of the purely political purpose of yesterday's Benghazi circus. When they were badgering Clinton as to whether the State Department had a "presence" in Benghazi, they were trying to get her to talk about classified information in a public hearing. Of course the Benghazi compound's primary mission was as a CIA station. Of course they were smuggling arms to the Libyan rebels. You'd have to be an idiot (or a Republican, which has a lot of overlap) not to know that. And of course Clinton couldn't go into detail about it. Via WhoWhatWhy:

The underlying story of Benghazi is one that cannot and will not be talked about in any open session of Congress. This means that Thursday’s hearing featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was nothing but an exercise in futility.

It is the story of a covert CIA operation that was operating from a separate facility in the Benghazi compound that was simply known as the “Annex.” Some two dozen CIA case officers, analysts, translators and special staff were a part of this operation and its security was provided by CIA Global Response Staff (GRS), who had entered the countryunder diplomatic cover.

The CIA’s mission included arms interdiction — attempting to stop the flow of Soviet-era weapons to Central Africa — and very possibly the organization of Libyan arms shipments to vetted insurgent groups on the ground in Syria.

There is also evidence that the mission was working in concert with military personnel from the Joint Special Operations Group Trans-Sahara. At the time of the attack, an unarmed American surveillance drone was in flight over the territory east of Benghazi and Trans-Sahara military personnel were stationed in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

In contrast, the State Department’s special diplomatic mission facility, classified as “temporary,” was minimally staffed with a rotating series of State Department officers sent to and from Tripoli.

US Ambassador Christopher Stevens had not been in Benghazi for a year. When he arrived for a short stay in September 2012, only a single diplomatic officer was present there, and that officer rotated back to Tripoli upon the ambassador’s arrival. Stevens was accompanied by a communications officer and a handful of Diplomatic Service Security staff. The security personnel provided protection for the ambassador during his travels and meetings in the city. His presence was intended to be extremely low key, but it was exposed in the local media shortly after his arrival.


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FRUITLESS, MEANINGLESS, POINTLESS QUESTIONING
Asking Clinton to justify maintaining the State Department temporary mission in the face of a worsening security situation is fruitless, given its actual function as a clandestine national security mission cover.

Questioning Clinton about that role would be as meaningless as questioning senior CIA personnel about operational information. Such missions cannot be publicly acknowledged or discussed, and revealing anything about them is strictly prohibited.

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