(Update Part III): “Operation Zero Footprint” – What We Know About The Benghazi Mission and Subsequent Attack…

As with all complex stories the valuable discoveries come with time.

We now have a pretty good understanding of who, what, where, and why surrounding the 9/11/12 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi Libya. We are also better positioned to understand why, or perhaps more importantly why not, certain actions were taken before, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the attack itself.

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We know from the Bret Baier interview with Hillary Clinton that she was physically located at her 7th floor office in Washington DC on the night of the attack. Unfortunately we also know during the November 2012 Thanksgiving holiday a mysterious fire took place in that building. Well, actually directly above her exact office – cause undetermined.

A “fire” which preceded an unfortunate slip and fall for the Secretary, resulting in a concussion, which led to the discovery of a blood clot, that ultimately delayed her congressional testimony before a Senate Hearing into the events of the night in question.

We know the Libyan uprising began on February 10th of 2011, and we also know that sometime around the end of February 2011 President Obama signed a presidential directive authorizing the State Dept and CIA to begin a covert operation to arm the Libyan “rebels”.

We know the “rebels” were positioned in two strategic places. Benghazi, and the port city of Darnah, both located in Eastern Libya.

We know this covert operation came to be known as “Operation Zero Footprint“, and fell under the military command authority of NATO not (important to repeat), NOT, the U.S. Military.

We know by the time operation “Zero Footprint” began, AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham was removed from OPSEC oversight in the Libyan campaign and NATO commander Admiral James G. Stavridis was in charge.

Stavridis was the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) at the time of the Libyan uprising. He retired as SACEUR in 2013

In 2011, 57-year-old Stavridis was the perfect pick for NATO Libyan intervention considering he is the son of Turkish immigrants. Turkey played a key role in what might be the most politically dangerous aspect of the events to the White House once the goals changed to redirection of the weapons from Operation Zero Footprint.

We know Operation Zero Footprint was the covert transfer of weapons from the U.S to the Libyan “rebels”. We also know the operation avoided the concerns with congressional funding, and potential for public scrutiny, through financing by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

We also know that officials within the government of Qatar served as the intermediaries for the actual transfer of the weapons, thereby removing the footprint of the U.S. intervention.

We know the entire operation was coordinated and controlled by the State Department and CIA. We also know (from the Senate Foreign Relations Benghazi hearings) that “Zero Footprint” was unknown to the 2011 Pentagon and/or DoD commanders who would have been tasked with any military response to the 9/11/12 attack – namely AFRICOM General Carter Ham.

However, it would be implausible to think that then Defense Secretary Bob Gates or Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral McMullen were completely unaware of the operation, this aspect remains murky.

Both Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chair McMullen were in place when Operation Zero Footprint began but retired from their jobs in Sept of 2011, and were replaced by Bob Gates and Martin Dempsey respectively.

Leon Panetta was CIA Director at the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint (March 2011) and was replaced by CIA Director David Petraeus in the fall of 2011 as Panetta replaced Bob Gates and became Secretary of Defense.

However, Panetta (now as Def Sec) and JC Martin Dempsey were the two who initially briefed President Obama on the night of Sept 11th 2012. Leon Panetta definitely had knowledge of the intents of the joint State Dept/Cia mission in Benghazi, Dempsey may not have.

We know the White House appears to have followed “The Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980” in informing the congressional “Gang of Eight” of Zero Footprint.

The Gang of Eight in 2011 would have included: Speaker – John Boehner, Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi; House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers, and his Democrat counterpart Charles Ruppersberger; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; along with Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss.

From Hillary interviews we also know the White House liaison for Secretary Clinton and CIA Director Leon Panetta during Operation Zero Footprint was National Security Advisor To the President, Tom Donilon.

With this information we can assemble a cast of people “IN THE KNOW” of Operation Zero Footprint on two specific date blocks. March 2011 through Pre 9/11/12 attack – and – Post 9/11/12 attack forward.

March 2011 through Pre 9/11/12 attack: Who knew of Operation “Zero Footprint”?:

        • President Obama and Vice President Biden (both Dems)
        • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Dem)
        • CIA Director Leon Panetta (March 2011 – June 2011)
        • *CIA Director General David Petraeus (?) (Sept 2011 – Nov 2012)
        • NATO Commander, James G Stavridis
        • White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon (Dem)
        • Speaker of the House John Boehner (Rep)
        • Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi (Dem)
        • House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers (Rep)
        • Minority House Intel Committee – Charles Ruppersberger (Dem)
        • Senate Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell (Rep)
        • Senate Majority Leader – Harry Reid (Dem)
        • Senate Intel Chair – Diane Feinstein (Dem)
        • Minority Senate Intel Committee – Saxby Chambliss (Rep)
        • [State Dept] U.S. Libyan Ambassador – Chris Stevens
        • [State Dept] U.S. Asst Secretary of State – Andrew Shapiro
        • [State Dept] Senior Head of U.S. Weapons Office – Mark Adams

Along with whomever inside each nation’s state government that was involved in either the finance (UAE), or the logistics (Qatar).

Obviously the “know” crowd would include the ultimate end destination users, “The Libyan Rebel Commanders”:

        • Rebel Leader (Islamic Fighting Group) Abu Sufian Ibriham Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu – Darnah Brigade – Ansar Al Sharia
        • Rebel Leader (Islamic Fighting Group) Abu Khattala – Commander of an Islamist militia group called the Abu Obaida bin Jarrah Brigade (17th Feb Brigade) Benghazi – Ansar Al Sharia

*NOTE* Both of these individuals were labeled as officially recognized State Dept. terrorists in December of 2013. Khattala recently having been arrested.

Mustafa-Abdel-Jalil-POTUS

In addition, the “political face” of the Libyan Transitional Government Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, should also be included in this list of people who knew of operation Zero Footprint while it was underway.

Justice Abdel Jalil served as the international face of, and spokesperson for, “the rebels” in 2011/12. He worked closely with Chris Stevens and highly visibly with Secretary Hillary Clinton – However, in my opinion – after extensive research- Jalil was a total patsy. He was paid well to present a comfortable face of the movement, but once Gaddaffi was killed Jalil was quickly dispatched.

This Brings us to who knew about “Operation Zero Footprint” post Benghazi 9/11/12 attack:

To wit you can easily add:

        • CIA Director General David Petraeus
        • Adjunct, and Interim, CIA Director – Mike Morrel
        • U.S. Attorney General – Eric Holder
        • President Obama Advisor and now Chief of Staff – Denis McDonough
        • President Obama Advisor and now Treasury Sec – Jack Lew
        • President Obama Advisor and now National Security Advisor – Tony Blinkin
        • Former UN Ambassador and now Senior Nat Sec Advisor – Susan Rice
        • Chief White House Communications Director – Ben Rhodes

Focusing on the post 9/11/12 team for a moment:

This photo was taken at 1:28am Benghazi time. [7:28pm DC] Following a one hour phone call between POTUS, V-Potus, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

This photo was taken on 9/11/12 at 1:28am Benghazi time. [7:28pm DC] Following a one hour phone call between POTUS, V-Potus, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jack Lew (far right) was Obama’s Chief of Staff. Donilon and McDonough had just left Tommy Vietor in the situation room to update POTUS in the Oval Office. POTUS and VPOTUS had just hung up the phone.

PART II – We know McDonough and Donilon were in the immediate loop on the night of 9/11/12 because they were photographed updating President Obama at 7:30pm in the Oval Office along with a curious Jack Lew who was Chief of Staff at the time.

In addition we know from former White House National Security spokesperson Tommy “dude” Vietor, that President Obama was not in the situation room where Vietor and his boss Tom Donilon were keeping up on events.

Here’s where it gets interesting:

Leon Panetta was the CIA Director when Operation Zero Footprint was authorized and began, but he left the CIA about 4 months later (June 30th, 2011) and was replaced by General David Petraeus (August/Sept 2011).

Under this principle you can see that General Petraeus had ZERO liability for the origin of the Benghazi weapons deals – it was a joint State Dept/CIA program already being conducted when Petraeus arrived. If it blew up, it was not his political problem.

We know that during the summer of 2012 “a whistleblower” popped up and gave House Republican Leader Eric Cantor a tip about CIA Director General Petraeus being in an extramarital affair with a reporter named Paula Broadwell; along with rumors Petraeus may have shared classified information with Broadwell during pillow talk etc.

We also know that Eric Cantor told AG Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller about the claim and Mueller began an investigation of Petraeus in the Summer of 2012 before the Benghazi attack in September.

However, we also know that neither Holder nor Mueller (nor Cantor) informed anyone in congress this investigation of Petraeus was taking place. That investigation included Broadwell turning over her computer to the FBI in the same summer, and later a search of her home which did reveal confidential information supposedly leaked from Petraeus.

Sometime in October of 2012 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a conversation with Petraeus urging him to leave.

Immediately after the election of 2012 CIA Director David Petraeus resigned (Nov 9th) and interim CIA Director Mike Morrel took over. This is why Petraeus never testified to the Senate, and Morrel took his place.

General David Petraeus and Paula BroadwellLeon-Panetta-and-Michael-Morell-via-the-Secretary-of-Defense-Public-Domain

We also know this timely switch was beneficial to both the Clinton and Obama camps because Morrel was more politically connected to them than Petraeus.

Given the risks of exposure to both “Operation Zero Footprint”, and worse, the buy-back/redirection to Syria, it’s understandable the risk to Clinton that Petraeus carried. However, Petraeus was not of any risk himself; maybe Leon Panetta would be, but not Petraeus – who, it’s important to add, came from the Defense Department to the office of CIA.

Petraeus’s replacement, interim CIA Director Mike Morrel, and White House Communications Director Ben Rhodes, were the two men who constructed the infamous “Susan Rice” talking points.

After Morrel testified to congress about the CIA involvement around Benghazi, and the issues of terrorism vs. Islamic movie (happy squirrel chase) etc. Morrel was replaced at the CIA by John Brennan.

We know that both Hillary Clinton and CBS immediately hired Mike Morrel. CBS News President David Rhodes -who hired Morrel- is the brother of the White House’s Ben Rhodes; who Morrel coordinated the Clinton friendly, albeit controversial, talking points with.

While it may seem suspect to jump to conclusions, the fact that Eric Holder did not inform either Intelligence Committee of the FBI Petraeus investigation -which is generally standard procedure- lends plausible suspicion to an outline that the events were used as leverage to remove Petraeus; and all of the subsequent risk he represented.

If you accept that Petraeus’s knowledge of, but non-involvement in, “Operation Zero Footprint” represented a potential risk to Hillary and Obama; you’d have to admit that Mike Morrel was by far the more White House friendly person talking about the CIA involvement around the joint State Dept/CIA Benghazi objectives.

Also, it would be disingenuous to ignore the fact Morrel’s loyalty therein was rewarded financially.

Lastly, one of the more slippery people to pin down on the Benghazi attack, and subsequent issues, has been Leon Panetta. If you think about Panetta’s role in the origin of Operation Zero Footprint his comment avoidance makes perfect sense.

Trey Gowdy needs to subpoena Panetta for the Special Committee.

OK, sorry that was more than a moment – but was needed.

Now back to Libya 2011/2012 and the Rift Between State/CIA and DoD/Pentagon over the arming of the “Rebels”. THIS IS REALLY QUITE IMPORTANT because it explains how far out Hillary Clinton had put herself in this covert op “Zero Footprint”.

Duty - by Robert Gates

A few reminder articles will outline and refresh why the White House kept DoD and The Pentagon at arms length throughout their covert operation:

[…] defense leaders in Washington [March 2011] slammed the brakes on the extent of US help to the rebels. Top officials said that some country other than the US should perform any future training and equipping of the Libyan opposition groups. Under withering congressional probing and criticism of what was described as an ill-defined mission to aid a rebel force that officials know little about, Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, sketched out a largely limited role for the US military going forward.

Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of the House Armed Services panel that many other countries have the ability to train and support the rebels. “My view would be, if there is going to be that kind of assistance to the opposition, there are plenty of sources for it other than the United States,” said Gates. “Somebody else should do that.” Gates and Mullen told Congress that future US participation will be limited and will not involve an active role in airstrikes as time goes on. (link)

From a New York Times article about the same hearing -AND- the discussion of the CIA involvement. Again, remember this is 2011 – you have Secretary Gates, Joint Chiefs Mullen, and CIA Director Panetta:

2011 […] Gates and Mullen were testifying before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in the wake of revelations that small teams of CIA operatives are working in Libya. Gates declined to comment on the CIA activities in Libya. US officials have acknowledged that the CIA has sent small teams of operatives into Libya and helped rescue a crew member of a US fighter jet that crashed.

The CIA’s precise role in Libya is not clear. Intelligence experts said the CIA would have sent officials to make contact with the opposition and assess the strength and needs of the rebel forces in the event Barack Obama, the US president, decided to arm them. (link)

In hindsight we are now fully aware that unknown to both Mullen and Gates -at the time they were speaking- was President Obama having authorized Operation Zero Footprint several weeks earlier, and Panetta carrying it out.

The State Dept (Hillary) and CIA (Panetta) were now in the execution mode of the covert op.

We now know against the March/April 2011 backdrop of growing information about al-Qaeda’s presence within the rebel units – there was a genuine difference of opinion on whether even getting involved was a good idea.

The Defense Department (Gates, Mullen) was saying no, the State Department (Clinton, Rice), was saying yes.

Remember too, this covert operation was going to require NATO Admiral James Stavridis to allow the weapons into Libya. So lets look at what he was quoted saying around the same timeframe as Mullen and Gates, *knowing Stavridis was one of the actual key figures to make the weapons delivery possible*:

2011 – […] Now, as the White House and NATO continue to debate the possible ramifications of arming the Libyan opposition, the Haqqani network-linked Afghan commander says Libyan al Qaeda affiliates seem to be more “enthusiastic” about the war against Gaddafi every day.

And from what the Afghan Taliban commander has seen, there appears to be more than “flickersof al Qaeda’s presence in Libya, the description given by NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis. (link)

There is Stavridis playing down the possibility of al-Qaeda ideology within the make-up of the Islamic Fighting Group – which is important because by the time this quote was attributed Stavridis was already part of the team coordinating the shipments.

Samantha Power - Susan Rice - President Obama

Also, remember R2P? This March/April 2011 timeframe is when “Responsibility To Protect” came up as a justification for our engagement. Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton all wanting to fully support “the rebels”.

Ultimately Obama/Jarrett (The White House) agreed with Hillary Inc (State Dept); hence “Zero Footprint” got the nod – well, let’s be really accurate: it “sort of” got the nod.

Think about it. President Obama authorized arming the Libyan rebels, but the covert nature of Zero Footprint actually reflects the political filter through which all Obama White House decisions are made. A White House team that always looks for an escape hatch in case any decision is ever publically wrong.

If the rebels were al-Qaeda, the covert op lends plausible deniability.

Isn’t it strange how in 2014 hindsight you can clearly see exactly what we now know as the “Benghazi narrative”; the use of their exact escape hatch because they were al-Qaeda, and it did go horribly and publically wrong.

Libya Banner 3

update-1PART IIIOperation Zero Footprint Becomes Political and Legal Risk

It should be noted, and actually emphasized, that Operation Zero Footprint, at least in 2011, was not illegal.   Indeed, all indicators are that President Obama followed his constitutional responsibility as he carried out his executive authority.

We know in late February 2011 President Obama signed a Presidential Finding Memo authorizing the State Department and CIA to engage in actions within Libya to identify a course of action.

We know in March 2011 when Hillary Clinton (State Dept) and Leon Panetta (CIA) constructed “Operation Zero Footprint” that President Obama approved the covert action and then informed the Gang of Eight of the weapons transfer operation.

Both of those known facts speak well to the Executive Office following a legally outlined process.   This does not, however, dismiss the concern, which became the reality, that the action itself was terribly flawed and horridly imprudent.

During March, April and May 2011 there was enough intelligence information flowing to the White House informing them of exactly who would be the beneficiaries of U.S. Libyan involvement and specifically providing weapons.   It did not take long to identify the Benghazi and Darnah “rebels” were actually affiliates of al-Qaeda.

While no-one reporting in 2011 was aware of Operation Zero Footprint, there were literally hundreds of media reports showcasing the ideology of the Libyan “rebel” uprising.    Indeed there were numerous reports in mainstream media outlets of al-Qaeda fighters (numerous factions) flowing to Libya to oust their life-long nemesis, Gaddaffi.

From a policy standpoint it will have to be left up to historians to pore over the facts and ultimately decide what was *this* White House goal in the entire region.

      • Ben Ali removal -Tunisia- seemed OK to the administration, Obama and Clinton.
      • Hosni Mubarak removal -Egypt- seemed even more ok to Obama and Clinton.

Both of the above were viewed as potential sources for favorable policy outcomes.  Indeed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt -and election of President Morsi- did not seem to be a concern for the White House.

However, when you get to Gaddaffi’s removal -Libya- you see a serious split between ideologies within the U.S. political class as Obama/Clinton actually pushed the outcome.  The U.S. defense department saying they were apprehensive about this outcome, and Obama/Clinton going “all in” for Gaddaffi ouster with French President Sarkozy.

The same interventionist Obama/Clinton motivation was evident with Syria’s Assad as yet another uprising surfaced in yet another Mid-East nation – again in March/April 2011.

We know on October 20th 2011 Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddaffi was finally captured, then killed by “the rebels”.

Gaddafi being shotDead-Gaddafi

From the standpoint of “regime change” operation Zero Footprint was a success.

The Libyan Transitional National Council was now in control.  Well, maybe in charge, or, well, sort of.

The TNC (pictured below 4 days later) may have been the face of Libya the Obama/Clinton team wanted to portray.  But they were merely just that, a face.

Abdel Jalil and the Libyan National Transitional Council

We know Eastern Libya was then (2011), and is now (2014), a hotbed of radical Islam controlled by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups, the very people who benefitted from the arms that were part of Zero Footprint.

We know by the Fall/Winter of 2011 the U.S. State Dept and CIA were joined and trying to re-secure the same weapons they provided in the Spring/Summer.

December 2011 – New York Times:

“Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro raised the American desire to arrange a purchase program in a meeting this month with Libya’s new defense minister, according to American officials familiar with the proposal.

The United States has committed $40 million to secure Libya’s arms stockpiles, much of it to prevent the spread of Manpads. No budget has been designed for a purchase program, and the price to be paid for each missile and its components has not been determined, the official said. (link) 

We know from a speech delivered by Asst. Secretary of State Shapiro in Feb of 2012 the actual program to recapture the Zero Footprint weapons began in August of 2011 about two months before Gaddaffi was killed:

“Once the stalemate broke and the fighting rapidly shifted in the TNC’s [Libyan Transitional National Council] favor in August, we immediately deployed a State Department expert from the MANPADS Task Force to Benghazi.

Mark Adams, who you will hear from shortly on the panel, is the head of our MANPADS Task Force and spent considerable time on the ground in Libya.

[… ] The initial primary objective was to reach an agreement with the TNC to set up a MANPADS control and destruction program that would enable us to set up what we call our Phase I efforts.

Phase I entailed an effort to rapidly survey, secure, and disable loose MANPADS across the country. To accomplish this, we immediately deployed our Quick Reaction Force, which are teams made up of civilian technical specialists.”

We know those “civilian technical specialists”, being talked about in August 2011, were contractors, CIA contractors, hired by the State Department to recapture the weapons – some of which they provided as a specific consequence of Operation Zero Footprint.

If the story ended there it would be bad enough.  A flawed policy, a secret mission arm the Libyan “rebels” without a great deal of thinking through the longer term consequences.  A flawed policy with political consequences.

But when you think about the larger picture you understand why the details of the covert weapons operation Zero Footprint were so tightly guarded among select members of Congress (the Gang of Eight), the CIA (Panetta), the State Department (Clinton) and the White House (Donilon).

Each of them was trying to manage a covert operation that would expose a U.S. policy decision to arm al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist militias.

But that’s only “IF” the story ended there, in Libya, at the end of 2011 into the beginning of 2012.  It didn’t, the decisions got worse – much worse.

Syria Banner

The uprising in Syria was only a few months behind the uprising in Libya.   Arguably if the timing were reversed you could ponder that Assad would have met Gaddaffi’s fate, and Gaddaffi would be as alive today as President Assad.

Whichever rebel group got the attention of the R2P crowd was sure to be the first to get assistance.   The Obama R2P Doctrine is so tenuous, and so lacking in political principle, it’s subject to change based on the political whims of capitol hill at any given moment.

The Libyan “rebels” got all the weaponry love – the Syrian “rebels”, not-so-much.

Enter Hillary Clinton.   As she reiterated vehemently to Greta Van Sustern during a recent interview, it was Hillary who wanted to help the Syrian rebels when no-one else wanted to assist them.   Secretary Hillary Clinton wanted early and direct interventionist action in Syria to topple Assad just like Gaddaffi.

Obviously consequences from the first covert weapons mission in Libya made a stark case for not repeating it in Syria.   Another huge factor against helping the FSA was Israel.   Ultimately Israel could not afford to be put into such a risky position if Syrian rebel forces were given arms that ultimately might be used against them.

There’s no way congress, in an election year, would approve of funding Syrian rebels against the possibility of it hurting Israel;  And the White House was not about to do a known and official covert operation which had a great potential to go sideways, and become far too politically dangerous.   2012 was an election year.

Unless of course, you’re a Clinton.

Who wanted to aid Syria more?  President Obama or Hillary Clinton?  That is a question for later year historians.   Regardless of how the idea came up, we know a decision was made to do it, and to do it covertly and illegally.

Arming the Benghazi Darnah rebels was, well, stupid.   It was actually stupid, and politically stupid, but it was not illegal.

Arming jihadist fighters in Syria without congressional approval, and without official covert notification laws being followed, *WAS* illegal.

obama-hillary-holding-hands-wh-photo

Everything Iran-Contra was -and was not- can be rolled up with a big exclamation point.

We know the basic set up to arm the Syrian rebellion was generally not too complex.

Turkey would be used as an intermediary, and the U.S. had Sunni friends in Saudi Arabia -who were more than willing to see Assad removed- and financially assist in arming the Syrians without too great a concern for what could happen to Israel.

For Obama/Clinton to get weapons to the Syrians, without going through congress, would involve buying back the weapons already floating around from Operation Zero Footprint and redirecting them to Syria through Turkey.

The Saudis would be a willing financier if the State Dept needed additional money to facilitate the transfers.

We know Ambassador Chris Stevens set up a formal U.S. Embassy consulate in Tripoli around May 26th of 2012.  And we know the State Dept and CIA set up their joint operations in Benghazi around the same time.

The official U.S. State Dept presence was vacated on Feb 25th of 2011 when the embassy personell were evacuated.  Stevens was re-establishing the diplomatic office and acting as Ambassador to Libya during the 2012 reconstruction phase.

What we did not know at the time was that Chris Stevens was also acting as the facilitator for U.S. arms shipments OUT OF LIBYA, through Turkish diplomatic couriers and into Syria.

A very strong argument can easily be made that Chris Stevens was a CIA operative inside the State Department.    Many people within the State Department are CIA personnel using the State Dept as part of their visible cover.

In Eastern Libya June, July, August 2012 – Obviously the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Ansar Al Sharia, aka 17th Feb Brigade, and all of their commanders knew of the U.S. Benghazi weapons programs.   Both the 2011 distribution, and the 2012 repurchase.

Considering the redeployment to Syria – for the most part the Benghazi and Darnah brigades would have been in alignment with their Jihadist brethren in Syria being the beneficiaries of the shipments.

But there was in 2011/2012 – an ideological rift between the newly emboldened Muslim Brotherhood and the ‘more initially moderate’ Free Syrian Army (FSA).    As the Libyan conflict rolled on through the summer of 2011 more al-Qaeda elements flocked from other engagements into the Syrian fight.   Moderates were replaced by extremists.

By the time Hillary and Chris Stevens were working on support for Syria, Summer 2012, the radical Syrian opposition was embedded inside the FSA.   Arguably they were the majority element. The Syrian opposition had three al-Qaida arms operating within it.   Including one that also operated in Libya:

      • Jund al-Sham, which is made up of al-Qaida militants who are Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese;
      • Jund al-Islam, which in recent years merged with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group of Sunni Iraqis operating under the al-Qaida banner and operating in Yemen and Libya;
      • Jund Ansar al-Allah, an al-Qaida group based in Gaza linked to Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria.

It would be into this eclectic mix of Jihadist ideologues that any diverted U.S. arms would flow.  It’s no wonder that Senator John McCain was so confused when he was calling them “moderates” in 2012/2013.  Almost no-one knew the severe elements in Syria would rise to the surface and become the modern ISIS now capturing all of the global attention.

al-Qaeda with flags

And…. If you just realized…. Yes, ISIS or ISIL currently on the march in Iraq, came from Syria, fought in Syria and more than likely was armed by the U.S. inside Syria; and trained by the same CIA operatives used by the State Dept to send Syria weapons from Benghazi and Darnah back in Libya.

If Operation Zero Footprint in Libya was stupid, arming the Syrian branches of al-Qaeda two years after the FSA was thoroughly corrupted by al-Qaeda, is infinite degrees beyond stupid.

But that’s hindsight for ya….. or as Secretary Clinton would say “Whether they were, … at this point, what difference does it make?

By June of 2012 the New York Times was reporting that the CIA is operating a secret arms transfer program to Syria that sounded exactly like the re-diversion plan Clinton developed with Panetta/Petraeus.  According to the Times suddenly, there is: “…an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels.”

We know on September 5th 2012 – A Libyan flagged ship called Al Entisar (“The Victory”) docks in the Turkish port of Iskenderun.    It is carrying 400 tons of cargo including many weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS) destined for Syrian rebels 35 miles away from Iskenderun.

The ship’s captain told the Times of London that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army broke into a fight over the arms.

This ongoing research outline is going to extend well beyond several thousand words. In the interests of absorption I will cut it off here and begin again below with the next update in approximately 12 to 24 hour increments.

Readers have shared their preference for this staggered process as the best for being able to read, understand and analyze the complexity within rather challenging research discussions.

The Final Installment Is Located HERE

 

This entry was posted in Benghazi-Gate, CIA, Clinton(s), Conspiracy ?, Dem Hypocrisy, Egypt & Libya Part 2, Election 2012, Islam, Jihad, media bias, Military, Notorious Liars, Operation Zero Footprint, propaganda, Secretary of State, Sept 11, States, Susan Rice, Syria, Terrorist Attacks, The Story of Libya, Turkey, Uncategorized, White House Coverup. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to (Update Part III): “Operation Zero Footprint” – What We Know About The Benghazi Mission and Subsequent Attack…

  1. Chance says:

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave…”

    Like

  2. benzy says:

    It’s almost as if the U.S. government got involved in a high stakes game of Three Card Monty… with weapons and munitions being moved from place to place, much like the shell under the card is moved in three card monty. Only, in this game… we ALL lose… BIGTIME!!

    Like

  3. BabyBoomer says:

    …a special kind of stupid

    Like

  4. Sam says:

    Hillary was in this up to her eyebrows. State claimed Stevens was in Benghazi to open a cultural center that day. Only if SA-7s are considered culture.

    Like

  5. dws says:

    That’s why I find it so interesting to see Obama’s maneuvering in Iraq today. He calls ISIL terrorists but doesn’t want to intervene on the side of one sect. Moqtada al-Sadr is back in play in Baghdad and is more vocal about his planned targeting of incoming American Marines. ISIL is trained, armed and supported by the US and allies. Is this all aimed to draw Iran into Iraq as the point of engagement? Obama just said something about wanting Iran’s help, which he defined as them saying to Maliki exactly what the US is saying, but stipulated that Iran coming in to defend the Shia would not be acceptable. So on one side we have the Sunni extremists fomenting sectarian actions against the Shia, and on the other side we have an incompetent Iraqi military that if incapable of defending against a Shia genocide would leave Iran with no choice but to insert into Iraq.

    Like

  6. lovemygirl says:

    SA-7s ? I can’t wait until the next edition is published, or maybe I can… Just wondering if they got them.

    Like

  7. ctdar says:

    Format is great Sundance.

    Like

  8. LittleLaughter says:

    I’m curious how the State Dept/ CIA were able to pay for all these weapons? Both the giving to the “rebels” in Lybia, and the buying back for Syria. That’s a lot of money and arms transferring hands. There are others involved whose names haven’t yet surfaced, I think. Missing 6 Billion Dollars– Somebody gots to sign da checks! At what point did someone in congress(the purse strings of the federal government) notice this?? Did I miss the part where a member of the White House press corPs asked Jay Carney about the missing 6 billion??
    Looking forward to update 4.

    Like

    • LetJusticePrevail" says:

      The OIG report spells out a lot of this, but you’re right…no one in the WH press corps has held Carney’s feet to the fire over this. At least not that I know of.

      http://oig.state.gov/documents/organization/224580.pdf

      Like

    • sundance says:

      The Saudi’s financed the original Zero Footprint weapons through UAE bank accounts.

      At least a significant portion of the unaccounted State Dept $6 Billion was more than likely used in the follow-up repurchasing.

      The April 3 news article “State Department’s IG issues rare alert” reported on the management alert issued recently by my office. In the alert, we identified State Department contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located. The Post stated, “The State Department’s inspector general has warned the department that $6 billion in contracting money over the past six years cannot be properly accounted for . . . .”

      Some have concluded based on this that $6 billion is missing. The alert, however, did not draw that conclusion. Instead, it found that the failure to adequately maintain contract files — documents necessary to ensure the full accounting of U.S. tax dollars — “creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/about-the-state-depts-missing-6-billion/2014/04/13/a6130790-c194-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

      Like

    • triper57 says:

      Think you will find this is why the budgeting process is so important. The budgeting process allocates those dollars authorized to actual departments and accounts.

      Like

  9. Great job, SD. Language usage point:
    A “benefactor” is someone who gives somebody something. “Aunt Grace has been my generous benefactor ever since my mother died,” she said.
    A “beneficiary” is someone who receives money. “My rich uncle named me as a beneficiary in his will, leaving me $10 million!!!” she exclaimed, happily.

    Like

  10. sundance says:

    Knowing Dianne Feinstein is one of the original people who were notified about Operation Zero Footprint, this interview (from yesterday) takes on a new aspect:

    Like

  11. sundance says:

    Two more who had direct knowledge of “Zero Footprint” – Mike Morrell (CIA) and Mike Rogers (Permanent House Intel Leader) Spoke of ISIS yesterday….

    Like

  12. sundance says:

    Take this video to 3:40 and look at it in hindsight. Remember, CIA Director Petraeus had nothing to lose, he was not directly in a responsibility role for the covert arms shipments, but Mike Morrell was. Morell was specifically knowledgeable and in CYA mode to protect Hillary.

    Now listen to the Q&A knowing now, what you did not know then:

    Like

  13. sundance says:

    Specifically insightful about White House National Security Advisors Denis McDonough and John Brennan, along with Tom Donilon in 2011 communication with the CIA:

    Like

  14. Col(R) Ken says:

    We’ll done Sundance, when do you brief Trey Gowdy?

    Like

  15. The All Real Numbers Symbol says:

    Since liberals to this day scream about Iran-Contra, I would be curious to know what types of different weapons were provided to Iran back then and Syria/Libya now (Thought it really is a different topic for a later time). RPGs? Is that not a bit excessive? And why did we give weapons to Libya and Syria in the first place? Did we really have a reason to be involved?

    Like

  16. triper57 says:

    Just a side note. In the very first video of Shrillary there is a graphic stating that 900 metric tons of yellow cake uranium were found in Libya after the regime fell. You do realize that represents about 6 metric tons of U235 if processed to 100%.

    Like

  17. John Galt says:

    They should call it “Zero’s Fingerprints”

    Like

  18. P.Spinach says:

    H/T Crystal

    “Barry wants this to happen. He had our Special Forces train ISIS in a remote part of Jordan in order to attack Syria. When that failed, ISIS decided to attack Iraq instead. Barry is now saying that the Middle East must sort out its own problems, but what it appears he’s really doing is buying ISIS time to complete the takeover.”

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/06/21/isis-continues-to-defeat-iraqi-military-seizes-28-tanks-downs-3-helicopters-and-wipes-out-an-entire-brigade/#comment-836215

    Completely disingenuous at this point after SD’s sunlight on Obama’s weapon smuggling to the Sunni terrorists resident in Libya who reconfigured from all parts of the globa into ISIS.

    Like

  19. west1890 says:

    It’s almost too mind boggling. Obama and company have literally set the world on fire. My only hope is that the U.S. is able to avoid being consumed in the conflagration, and we cannot do that with Obama in the WH or the cast of traitors in Congress. God help us.

    Like

  20. Yakmaster says:

    H. Clinton has lousy judgment and a narcissism requiring her to get her way, then lie when the truth might expose her to criticism. She shares these traits with Obama, but while I have insight into Obama’s ideological motivations (and political sympathies), I’m beginning to think Clinton is more about her driving desire to prove how smart she is (smarter than cheatin’ Bill) and what a great world leader she would make. I am guessing she actually believes that being a two-term First Lady and then a state senator made her qualified to be Secretary of State. And now, with no accomplishments as Secretary and one completely ignored DISASTER (Operation Zero Footprint) she is out there in the limelight promoting herself for a possible Presidential run. The “possible” is waiting to see how clever her lies will play IF her primary role in the disaster is exposed. She must be horrified at the ISIS march toward Baghdad because of the optics it would create in her campaign should someone throw it out there for folks to see. This woman has no shame, just ambition!

    Like

  21. Pingback: Obama KNEW ... and lied to the American people

  22. GracieD says:

    Well done SD! I iz ready for the next installment!

    Like

  23. Charles says:

    The truth always prevails.

    Like

  24. Tom Roberts says:

    I find it curious that Obama always seems to be on the Sunni side of things. He has Muslim Brotherhood (MBH) working at the WH. One of Hillery’s closest advisers was affiliated with the MBH. Obama attended a Sunni Madrases in Indonesia. He sent weapons and money to the Egyptian President Morrisi (MBH Leader). Now as we are bombing Syria, going after “ISIS” I wonder who they are really bombing. ISIS or Shiite military? One last note, all of the countries attacking Syria are Sunni. Curiouser and Curiouser!

    Like

  25. Pingback: Operation Zero Footprint: The Uncovering of Obama and Hillary’s Asses on Benghazi |

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