The Benghazi Brief – “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.


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)
        • White House National Security Advisor John Brennan (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.


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.


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.

Operation Zero Footprint

UPDATE IV –  In response to the Times of London report, and in a generally dismissed part of her congressional testimony,  Senator Rand Paul asked outgoing Secretary Hillary Clinton a very specific question – (See @2:20 of this video and pay attention to the “duping delight”):

Which would bring us to a series of now reconcilable questions surrounding the joint State Dept. and CIA Benghazi Mission.

The entire weapons operation was labeled “Operation Zero Footprint”.   The intent is outlined in the operational title – to leave no visible record of U.S. involvement in arming the Libyan “rebels”.   No visible footprint.

We know from congressional inquiry Ambassador Chris Stevens had asked for more security in the months prior to Sept. 11th 2012.   Requests sent to the State Dept that were denied.

We also know that NO MARINE DETACHMENT was ever put in place to defend the Benghazi Mission.

We also know the Benghazi Mission was initially, and mistakenly by media, called “a consulate”, or a “consulate outpost”.  But there was no State Dept record of any consulate office in Benghazi.

All of these seeming contradictions can be reconciled with the simple understanding that this “Mission” was unofficial.   Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

Why were security requests denied?   Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

We know from General Carter Ham (AFRICOM Commander now retired) the Department of Defense was not even aware the State Dept was operating a mission in Benghazi during 2012.   Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

How could Hillary Clinton, Charlene Lamb, or Patrick Kennedy approve or request a marine security detachment knowing the entire mission around Benghazi was covert?  Such a request would have travelled outside the small group of State/CIA insiders.  The request would have gone to DoD.  Short answer, they couldn’t.

Hence the disconnect between what seemed to be obvious and/or simple questions and the inability to accurately discuss in the public venues of congressional inquiry.

To the public Chris Stevens was a U.S. ambassador, a diplomat.  To the folks inside the State Dept and CIA, Chris Stevens was a U.S. Ambassador, AND a CIA operative coordinating covert arms sales.

Even after death the public face of Chris Stevens, the official role, was able to be discussed.   The covert, or unofficial role, was not.   Again, we see the disconnect between inquiry that could be answered, and inquiry that could not be answered.  Many irreconcilables surface because of this intelligence role – even through today.

The second role of Stevens, the covert and CIA aspect, still causes problems for people trying to understand the “why not” questions.   The broader public asking why have we not seen, or heard from the survivors of the attacks?

The short answer is, we have not – but the intelligence community has.

Twice some of the survivors have given testimony to congress.   The problem for the public is that those hearings are closed door, classified, intelligence hearings – led by Chairman Mike Rogers and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.   Again, go back to the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint and you see the congressional Intelligence Gang of Eight were fully aware of the intents.

Why was Speaker Boehner reluctant to establish a Select Committee on Benghazi ?

Simple, again he is one of the Gang of Eight – and he was briefed of the operation.   How is he going to call for a select committee when he knows the substance of the committee investigation is classified under national security.   Such a committee would not, because it could not, deliver what the public was requesting, sunlight.

The only reason Trey Gowdy was finally assigned the task of a Select Committee, was simply because the public lies of the White House and administration were contradicting themselves.

The White House “talking points”, which is a ridiculous squirrel hunt, were created to reconcile the problem faced when unable to discuss a covert operation.  It is far easier to look at the reality of the problem faced by the White House than any nefarious intention.

Unfortunately for the administration they are not that good.   Team Obama was so committed to keeping the covert operation “Zero Footprint” a secret (because of  the political embarrassment from factually arming al Qaeda) that the cover story they manufactured (on the fly) was fraught with contradictions.

How could President Obama dispatch help to the Benghazi team, when DoD was not even aware of it’s existence?   Sending help would have compromised OpSec, Operational Security.

The dispatch of F.A.S.T. would lead to increased knowledge of a covert operation.

Hopefully you are beginning to see the root of the contradictions.  Once you understand the truth of what was going on within the backstory – there’s almost nothing left which would dangle as an unanswered question.   It all reconciles.

Back to the FALL of 2012 – On September 5th/6th 2012 the Turkish vessel “Al Entisar” docked in the Turkish port of Iskenderun.   400 tons of serious cargo including weapons destined for Syrian “rebels”.

In the U.S. that September 5th night former President Bill Clinton was introducing Candidate Barack Obama at the DNC convention in Charlotte North Carolina.   In Afghanistan that night something happened that had already become a serious concern for the operatives within “Operation Zero Footprint”.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia Ramirez.  Ramirez was killed when her OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan Sept. 5, 2012.  Ramirez was assigned to Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. Photo: Photo Courtesy Pro Image Digital;Inc., Courtesy / U.S. ArmyAt the exact time Clinton was speaking in North Carolina, halfway around the world in Afghanistan Army Chief Warrant Officers  Thalia  S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio and Jose  L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of San Juan, in the Rio Grande Valley, were killed while flying an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, a Defense  Department news release stated.

On September 5th 2012 – A U.S. organized ship loaded with weapons including missiles was offloading at a Turkish port.   Bill Clinton was introducing Barack Obama, and the first black female combat pilot was shot down and killed by a shoulder fired missile in Afghanistan.

The relationship between the three events reflects the absolute political fear that revolved around Operation Zero Footprint.

The CIA and Intelligence community had stated earlier the biggest concern anyone held about arming the Libyan Rebels was the possibility those weapons might leave the Libyan conflict and travel to other locations where they would be used against our own soldiers.  More and more evidence of this happening was growing.

In 2011 a total of four air assets were destroyed by enemy fire in Afghanistan.  Two of those helicopters happened at the same time in August 2011 when we lost the Navy Seal unit that killed Osama Bin Laden.  22 Americans killed.

We had been in close quarter full combat operations in Afghanistan for 10 years, and we never had a problem with close air support.    We had never faced the concern of our enemy having MANPADS.    2002 through 2010 saw zero occurrences of SAMS, Stingers, or MANPADS in general.

Within months after delivering weapons to the Benghazi and Darnah rebels (May, June and July 2011) we began facing MANPADS in Afghanistan.

Four instances in late in 2011 including the 22 lives lost in what came to be known as Operation “Extortion 17”.

In 2012 it got worse, much worse:   June 1st AFGHANISTAN:

A combined patrol discovered a weapons cache containing three shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, three anti-tank mines, 423 RPGs, 118,600 7.62 mm rounds, 30 rifles and other ordnance in the Tarin Kot district of Uruzgan province. The cache’s contents were destroyed.  (link)

We had a serious problem and it was picking up speed exponentially.   June 6th 2012 we lost another crew.  July 25th 2012 yet another.  August 16th 2012 again more losses.  September 5th 2012 more deaths.  It just kept getting worse.

By September 5th 2012 in the preceding nine months we had lost 11 helicopters to shoulder fired missiles in Afghanistan.    The following headline hit the media:

America Suffers Worst Airpower Loss Since Vietnam

One of the incidents revealed details of what was being faced.    The July 25th 2012 downing of a CH-47  which was found to have been hit with a “new generation” stinger missile.   The risks were no longer mere worries, they were real:

[O]n July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.

They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.

The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.

The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.

Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.

The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet ­jihad.

Reports of the Stinger reached the highest echelons of the US command in Afghanistan and became a source of intense speculation, but no action.

Everyone knew the war was winding down. Revealing that the Taliban had US-made Stingers risked demoralizing coalition troops. Because there were no coalition casualties, government officials made no public announcement of the attack.

My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the ­Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.

They believe the Qataris delivered between 50 and 60 of those same Stingers to the Taliban in early 2012, and an additional 200 SA-24 Igla-S surface-to-air missiles.  (link)

In Afghanistan the DoD field response was immediate; all Close Air Support was cancelled.

The White House had a problem – “Operation Zero Footprint” missiles were now being used against us, but DoD didn’t know the origin because the Defense Department did not know about Zero Footprint, the State Department and CIA did.

The killing of Army Chief Warrant Officers Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, and Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, might not have been the final straw – but their September 5th 2012 deaths coincided with an absolute change in direction.

While the ISIS-minded Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army were arguing over who gets what from aboard the Turkish vessel, back in Benghazi, Libya it was obvious the ideology of the Syrian factions were too extreme and the CIA could no longer control who would use such weapons.

God forbid DoD ground commanders in Afghanistan find out the MANPADS they were facing originated by our covert efforts in Libya.

Tayyip Erdogan - Turkey, David Cameron - U.K.

Tayyip Erdogan – Turkey, David Cameron – U.K.

Strangely one must give credit to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  As unbelievable as it might sound he was the lone Islamic voice in March 2011 saying “don’t arm the Benghazi rebels“:

March 2011 – Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, has said he does not support the idea of arming Libyan rebels fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi from power.

Speaking at a joint news conference with David Cameron, the British prime minister, in London, Erdogan said: “Doing that would create a different situation in Libya and we do not find it appropriate to do that.”

Erdogan also said that that sending weapons to Libya could feed terrorism, saying such weapons shipments “could also create an environment which could be conducive to terrorism”.  (read more)

Erdogan and U.S. Defense Secretary Bob Gates were of the same mindset.

“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.”  (link)

Alas, given the backstory of DoD not wanting to arm the rebels, and given the unintended consequences of 2011/2012 from Operation Zero Footprint you can see why in September of 2012 the Obama administration would want to discontinue this operation and throw a bag over the events of the past 17 months.

How do you think the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, al-Qaeda, The Muslim Brotherhood et al, would respond to Chris Stevens discontinuing the operation?   Tea? – doubtful.

Perhaps following the fiasco at the Port of Iskenderun a week earlier, Turkish Diplomat Consul General Ali Sait Akin arrives at the Benghazi Mission on Sept 11th to tell Chris Stevens “enough is enough”.

Or perhaps, they were negotiating for better control of the weapon type and best practices for how to get them to the hands they supported.   Regardless of motivation Akin and Stevens were in discussion around the current situation with Turkey suffering the consequences.

Indeed Turkey’s border region was filled with historic numbers of Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting which was completely out of control.   The Scale of the crisis was staggering and out of control.   Over 500,000 Syrians were now seeking shelter in Turkey.

Meanwhile the ideology of the radical elements controlling the arms shipments was openly becoming a danger to the sovereignty of Turkey herself.

What we now know as ISIS – originated inside this group of Zero Footprint recipients, and Erdogan was well aware that these elements do not believe in borders.   These rabid ideologues (now known as ISIS-2014) were quickly evolving into as much of a risk for Erdogan as they represented toward Assad himself.

As the New York Times reported in an Oct. 14 2012 article, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”

We can only imagine the conversation within the Benghazi compound as both Ali Sait Akin and Chris Stevens parted ways for the final time on September 11th 2012.

Outside the compound walls, the 17th Feb Brigade – Ansar Al Sharia – were also assembled to deliver their final goodbyes.    Within 30 minutes of Consul Akin leaving the venue, Ansar Al Sharia executed their attack.

Again, who can actually know what the motivation was for the decision for Ansar al-Sharia to attack.   Regardless, there was something on their itinerary for an attack to begin.

The Benghazi and Darnah Brigades already knew the compound inside and out, as well as the CIA ANNEX compound, a kilometer away, which contained four warehouse type buildings used by the CIA during the collection, distribution and delivery of Zero Footprint’s objectives over the past 17 months.

In June of 2009 the primary Benghazi Mission compound looked like this:

In March of 2011, when Operation Zero Footprint began, the Tactical Operations Command building (TOC) was added and it looked like this:


In December of 2005 the area which became the CIA Annex compound held two buildings:


In 2009 two more buildings were added bringing the total to FOUR:


By the time the CIA took over 2011, and when the compound came under mortar fire 2012, it looked like this:


Author’s notes:

patriotThe primary reason for outlining this brief is to deliver a greater understanding of why things happened the way they did in the post 9/11/12 attack media frenzy.

If you understand what took place from March 2011 through the night of the attack itself all of the contradictions reconcile, and most of the questions become answered.   

The events of the attack itself are gut wrenching and troubling.   Our brave operations folks had to fight their way out of a situation where they literally were on their own due to the political risks inherent in carrying out their objectives.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the mission they were tasked to carry out, there is no doubt they worked honorably to serve their nation.   Ultimately the leadership within the State Department, The CIA, and the White House are responsible for the outcomes of policy.

Our hope is that this outline will stimulate journalists to question those who were at the heart of this operation.   There are numerous angles which can be taken to release the truth.  Perhaps demanding answers to the unidentified State Dept $6 billion contractor fund from Hillary’s term as Secretary of State might open a crack for sunlight.  Or perhaps just pointed questions directly about the operation as it is outlined.  

~ Sundance 

This entry was posted in Benghazi-Gate, Big Stupid Government, CIA, Clinton(s), Conspiracy ?, Dem Hypocrisy, Desperately Seeking Hillary, Egypt & Libya Part 2, Election 2012, Extortion 17, Heros, Islam, Jihad, media bias, Military, Mitch McConnell, Notorious Liars, Obama re-election, Obama Research/Discovery, Operation Zero Footprint, propaganda, Secretary of State, Sept 11, Susan Rice, Syria, Terrorist Attacks, The Story of Libya, Turkey, Uncategorized, United Nations, White House Coverup. Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to The Benghazi Brief – “Operation Zero Footprint” – What We Know About The Benghazi Mission, And Subsequent Attack…

  1. Stormy says:

    What are the possible motives and implications to the mysterious fire directly above Hillary’s office? The second link is password protected.


    • sundance says:

      “The second link is password protected”

      What does this mean ? What second link?


      • Stormy says:

        The link under the words: directly above her exact office takes me to a page for receiption tours that displays a login box that requires a user name and password.

        [My apologies for that question being as clear as mud…]


      • chiavarm says:

        The link contained in this:
        “Well, actually directly above her exact office – cause undetermined.”
        requests a password.


  2. Stormy says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. yankeeintx says:

    So do we know how much $$$ was taken from the safe at the consulate/outpost/diplomatic mission(depending on the time frame-nobody knew what to call Benghazi)?


  4. bstannehill says:

    Sweet Jesus…. I had a feeling this administration had SOEMTHING to due with the deaths of those DEVGRU members (Development Group, the official name for SeAL team 6), but for it to go this far… my brothers being killed by weapons that came from Obama’s pen?

    Words cannot describe….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. BertDilbert says:

    It is interesting that after the Obama administration creates the problem in Iraq by actions through Libya/Syria, he turns to Iraq and says you have to solve your internal problems. Here Iraq, we will lend you 350 advisers to combat the army we created. It is like lighting a forest on fire and then handing the forest ranger a water pistol and walking away while trying to convince others you have done your part

    Maybe Iran can turn this around by having the Iraq people vote to become part of Iran and assimilate the affected area and give the Kurds their section up north lol. .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stormy says:

    LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause. Jeremiah 20:12

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dws says:

    Part of me wants to cry from the tragedy of supplying the arms that killed our own soldiers and part of me wants a lot of revenge. The timing of the Turkish envoy leaving just minutes before the assault began is very suspicious. Maybe it was just a coincidence but it seems suspicious that perhaps his leaving was a signal of some sort? If he was there to tell Stevens it needed to end, he would seem to be an enemy to those who assaulted the compound, whether they realized it or not. And if they didn’t realize it they at least wouldn’t have waited until he left to begin the attack. But maybe it was just a coincidence. I love how you pieced it together of why there were no Marines, etc. It’s one of those “duh” moments. Of course this was not official so they couldn’t upgrade the security, have a Marine detachment, call in support after the attack began, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Old Hillbilly says:

    Maybe this will also explain why we are not flying any air-support missions against ISIS in Iraq (other than not wanting to be the de-facto Iranian air force).

    When push comes to shove and our military people are ordered to fire on American citizens here in our homeland (e.i. when TSHTF) some time in the near future, I really hope the guys ordered to do the shooting are aware of the treason that has been perpetrated on them by the SCUM in the white hut!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yankeeintx says:

      The military is very aware of it. They do not like what the president has done to them. The problem is that Obama is turning the military into his own. The repeal of don’t ask/don’t tell, the purging of all the Generals/commanding officers, wanting to enlist illegals, it just keep getting worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. justfactsplz says:

    Clinton and Obama have the blood of a lot of Americans on their hands. They should have to pay. Now we have to worry about Isis launching an attack later on Israel or us. They show no remorse.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ellie says:

    Chris Stevens would never get out of there alive, nor would those brave Americans who died trying to defend him.

    What kind of foreign policy is this? This administration is going to get us all killed…IMHO.


  11. Chance says:

    Obama, Clinton, et. al. should be prosecuted as “accessories to murder”! There is blood on their hands, the blood of American service members who deserve to be vindicated. Forget impeachment, these bastards should hang!


  12. s1ct says:

    Petraeus is the dog that’s not barking. He was obviously blackmailed to resign in disgrace. POTUS blackmailed the director of the CIA. Also Mike Rogers taken out of the picture, I think by forces on the right to get him out of a position to protect the original intel operation. And now Khattala with a bag over his head as well.

    Conservative powers that be know Clinton is in it up to her ears. The story will break when the 2016 campaign gets heated. But at that point, what difference will it make?


    • doodahdaze says:

      The truth of Benghazi is classified info. Of course each and every inteelegence agency in the world know exactly what went on. It is only worthy of classified status to hide the truth from American citizens and voters who are too stupid or unwilling to know.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. doodahdaze says:



  14. jetstream says:

    sundance, you’re work is so inspiring and thought provoking. Our country may just have a fighting chance if minds like yours and your contributors continue to be applied in the search for the truth and a way out of this mess. So thank you all from this fellow citizen.

    To possibly explore a bit more:
    Something bothers me about this story of the US ignoring advance warnings and offers to help combat the rise of ISIS. Why? Why not try to stop ISIS before they became too big of a threat to Iraq? We were just about to leave, so what advantage could there be in just walking away from an imminent threat to our mission in Iraq, which would immediately turn into a failure?

    Since ANYTHING is possible with this administration, I have an amateur theory (stimulated by your analysis) that the fall of Iraq was purposeful and is being used as the excuse for how US weapons got into the hands of terrorists.

    Our military, our allies, and our country have been or will now be targeted by terrorists using US weapons. So the question the administration had to have an answer for, is how the terrorists got those weapons which caused (and will cause far in to the future) so many people to die as a result.

    With the seizure of US weapons in Iraq, the rapidly expanding and disastrous outcome of the insane covert White House/CIA/State Department operation, you so chillingly outlined above, is neatly obscured. The extent of the loss of life caused by this criminal arming of terrorists simply disappears into the “fog of war” with the convenient excuse that terrorists seized US weapons during the fall of Iraq. No more uncomfortable questions about Operation Zero Footprint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nomorebsplease says:

      This work is incredible and need time to digest. But stormy brought up something – seal team 6. I would love to see you and levin etc amplify pressure on that. Like behghazi i feel we will never get the full story. Ty for this effort and make sure to screen grab that cnn video before yotube gobbled them up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • yankeeintx says:

      It is just mind numbing when you try to piece together all of their schemes. It would have just made more sense to claim that they left Libya before then were able to secure all the manpads through the buyback program. Of course if the annex had a stockpile of weapons that were all ready secured, the terrorists got those too.


    • sundance says:

      What you are outlining is what I have historically labeled “the theory of the overflowing bathtub”.

      It’s a strategy when you knock over the fish tank in the bedroom and soak the carpet. You can either take responsibility for it (and begin the cleanup), or you can turn on the bathtub and wait for it to overflow thereby obscuring the fish tank spill and have the insurance company pay for a replacement.

      You overwhelm the created mess with an even larger mess you can call a disaster.

      Yes, it does seem to fit here.


      Liked by 1 person

    • jetstream says:

      And so it goes…and grows. ISIS holds parade of seized military hardware

      Liked by 1 person

      • jetstream says:

        Intriguing comments by Al Maliki in report from June 13th…

        “I know the reasons why the Army collapsed,” Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
        Al Maliki said. “But now is not the time to point the blame to whoever
        ordered the Army to fall back.”

        In an address on June 12, Al Maliki did not identify the military commanders who ordered the withdrawal from such provinces as Nineveh and Salah Eddin. Officials said two U.S.-trained Iraq Army divisions, or 30,000 troops, fled the ISIL offensive since June 10. They said commanders ordered their troops to leave weapons and equipment behind.

        “Even if it’s a ploy, the generals who are responsible must be held
        accountable,” Al Maliki said. “A conspiracy has led ISIL to occupy Mosul.
        Whoever is responsible will not get away with that they did.”

        Liked by 1 person

  15. peachteachr says:

    Great work, SD. It really hurts my heart to read where we really are and how this mess came to be our foreign policy. All of America’s blood and treasure squandered for an election. And, I shall always believe that Seal Team 6 was a blood atonement for killing OBL. Our country is circling the drain.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Abortion Barbie says:

    The Hildabeast was distracted, worrying about her multiple mansion mortgages and Chelsea’s student loans, and didn’t put her cig out all the way. Easy mistake!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. liloldlady says:

    TY Sundance. This is a terrific study.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. liloldlady says:

    I forgot to mention in my above comment that I came to this study because Lt. Colonel Allen West brought it to attention, and I’m grateful he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Judy says:

    Wanted to say thank you, Sundance, for doing all the research and writing it up in an understandable and clear way. So much makes sense, now. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sam says:

    Excellent work, Sundance. Especially about the stinger used to bring down Extortion 17. I heard not too long after it happened that it was a Stinger missile, not an RPG as claimed. But it had no corroboration, just hearsay because of the way the Chinook went down. There are still some loose ends, at least for me, but your report seems to get the gist of what happened and why certain actions were taken.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. P.Spinach says:

    Back in 2011, the shoot down of Navy Seals right after Bin Laden’s raid with all of them in one old helicopter over mountains or forest of Afghanistan was a shock. We were just celebrating a win. He couldn’t let this victory stand. Extortion 17 to Benghazi to ISIS 2104 and everything connected to the actions of B Hussein Obama.

    This is the first time I’ve ever referenced him by his middle name, because his evil intentions have been mapped exactly from the 2009 get-go as compared to events in the middle-east under previous presidents. We now know how B Hussein would terrorize America and the globe without getting caught. It is Islamic conquest of every nation and sponsored by the Sunnis.

    As of SD’s incredibly key exposition today, Operation Zero Footprint is now officially Operation Zero’s Footprint.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. P.Spinach says:

    Darn, trying again.

    Back in 2011, the shoot down of Navy Seals right after Bin Laden’s raid with all of them in one old helicopter over mountains or forest of Afghanistan was a shock. We were just celebrating a win. He couldn’t let this victory stand. Extortion 17 to Benghazi to ISIS 2104 and everything connected to the actions of B Hussein Obama.

    This is the first time I’ve ever referenced him by his middle name, because his evil intentions have been mapped exactly from the 2009 get-go as compared to events in the middle-east under previous presidents. We now know how B Hussein would terrorize America and the globe without getting caught. It is Islamic conquest of every nation and sponsored by the Sunnis.

    As of SD’s incredibly key exposition today, Operation Zero Footprint is now officially Operation Zero’s Footprint.

    Duckie gonna Whup a Footprint on Zero’s Skinny Butt.


  23. Ellie says:

    Thank you for making this horrendous story understandable. Excellent reporting!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Old Hillbilly says:

    If (as has been speculated elsewhere) Rand Paul knows about any of this and is just sitting on this information (in order to use it against Shrillary in 2016), what does that say for his commitment to doing what is best for his country? I say that in view of the pointed questions he asked her on the night of the “what difference does it make” blowup by Shrillary! I don’t personally dislike Rand Paul but this just looks like “politics above patriotism” AGAIN!

    This also bodes ill for Trey Gowdy’s select committee ever actually revealing anything regime-changing because ALL of the damaging information will be wrapped up in the cloak of “national security” and promptly buried (that is apparently Elijah Cummings’ role on Gowdy’s committee)!

    Guess my question (really) is WHO IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO BRING THIS HOUSE OF CARDS DOWN, without ending up ‘suicided’ like Michael Hastings first? This just makes my ulcer bleed!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Old Hillbilly says:

    I forgot to add on my last comment, please Sundance, “watch your six”. God bless you for all your efforts!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Martha555 says:


    Thank you for this amazing analysis. The treachery of Obama is overwhelming.

    The chronology of events in your analysis is outstanding and really made me consider what other events were taking place in this timeframe and how they might fit in to the big picture. Case in point: The raid / killing of Bin Laden in early May 2011. There were reports that the military wanted the go- ahead for several months before, but were turned down repeatedly. I imagine this mission was keeping the DOD Gates and JCS Mullen occupied while Operation Zero Footprint was beginning. Remember how news accounts after Osama was killed said CIA Panetta and DOS Hillary Clinton [the two dept in the know about Zero Footprint] were the ones that gave the order to execute the raid. What do you make of that?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pingback: Update IV of The Benghazi Brief – “Operation Zero Footprint” – What We Know About The Benghazi Mission, And Subsequent Attack… | The Counter Jihad Report

  28. Sean Womble says:

    Any chance the missing Malesia flight was shot down by one of the Stingers?


  29. hoosiergranny says:

    There is a tremendous amount of information here that I need time to digest. Can’t blame it on age, I’ve always needed time to think things through. As to your questions: What could possibly be learned ? What possible benefit/value could come as a result?

    First, if the truth comes out and is widely discussed (not just in the conservative media) it may take the question of Hillary in 2016 off the table. This would be a good thing.

    I still want to know what “the one” was doing that night. How divorced was he from what was going on? Did he do anything? Was he engaged? or was he totally disengaged? Why is fundraising more important? Does this truly reflect the priorities of our government?

    And finally, I want someone to be held accountable. There are so many lies/scandals, etc. and no one has every been held accountable. The buck stops where? Or does everyone just have absolution and no one is accountable. This needs to be discussed in ALL the media, not just the conservative media. People want to know!


    • sundance says:

      “The One” was probably disengaged, and actually there’s really a good reason for that.

      The operation zero footprint was a State Dept and Intelligence (CIA) Op. DoD uninvolved.

      So with that in mind more than likely Obama deferred to State and CIA, it was, after all, their op. The problem was State and CIA didn’t have an emergency exit strategy and calling for DoD support would have outed the Op…. They were stuck betwixt revealing the op and saving the personnel in the fight. They chose to keep the op hidden. National security becomes their shield, and the people killed were unfortunate damage.


      In this case, FUBAR, actually protects POTUS.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Changing our Republic into a Democracy legitimizes the SNAFU.


  31. annieoakley says:

    Finally able to use my computer again. What a report! And yes, Democracy (compatible with the sharia) is the goal. Better known as mob rule.


  32. Coleman Young says:


    Fantastic article!
    Why didn’t you mention — CIA stopped and arrested Admiral Gayoutte Gaoutte and General Ham Hamm from launching a rescue mission designed to save U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens?
    What happened to the Admiral and General after they were arrested?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Coleman Young says:


    Great article!

    Why didn’t you mention the overall objective — overthrowing Libya so as to institute another privately owned central bank (federal reserve bank) like what we have in the US?
    Why wasn’t General Wesley Clark’s big picture comments included? “It says we’re going to attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in 5 years. We’re gonna start with Iraq, and then we’re going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” ,, 1:07:39 , , .


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