The latest Benghazi revelations come from Fox News and dropped on Friday afternoon. Rather than allow a late-August scoop to wither and disappear over the weekend, I figured that a Monday morning might serve as a more effective platform to highlight it. At a moment when criticism is mounting over the glaring lack of accountability over the terrorist attack that killed four Americans -- including sitting US Ambassador Chris Stevens -- nearly one year ago, this report raises additional questions about the Obama administration's judgment and decision-making process. Inexplicable:
Two weeks after the Obama administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently. Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could "never pull the trigger." In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department -- and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7...The special operators are starting to get frustrated at the lack of action, and Fox News has been told by multiple sources that one special forces leader "literally yelled" at former Libyan Chief of Mission William Roebuck "and told him, 'so you're willing to let these guys get away with murder?'" The outburst was "met with crickets," the sources said. Asked about what actions have been taken on the suspects, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.
Crickets. Correspondent Adam Housley's exclusive is packed full of relevant nuggets, and reads as if his sources are confounded and demoralized special ops members whose frustrations have reached a boiling point. This wouldn't be the first time Housley's connections within that tight-knit community reaped new Benghazi details. Housley employs the term "operators" to describe his sources, strongly suggesting that his latest information comes from multiple individuals with insider knowledge. The administration is denying allegations that the team tasked with bringing the Benghazi terrorists to justice has been ordered to withdraw from the Northern African nation. Housley's "special operators" fire back against these denials, accusing the official brass of playing "word games:"
Pentagon officials disputed what the operators in question are claiming, saying that group was not specifically tasked with finding the Libyan suspects responsible for the Benghazi attack. These officials said other forces out of Fort Bragg are tasked with that mission, and they are not leaving. Pentagon officials also say the trainers, which were authorized by Congress under part of the defense budget to facilitate training of Libyans for counterterrorism, were not there to track the Benghazi suspects. They insist congressional funding is very clear in its mission: for training locals in counterterrorism. However, special operators in the region counter the claims and suggest the Pentagon and State Department are playing with words, saying those being pulled are in fact tasked with both training the Libyans and identifying Benghazi attack suspects. "The training is partly a cover and some of these guys ... provided the information on suspects directly to U.S. military commanders and the U.S. State Department last November and again in January. They are there and trained to find, fix and finish," one said.
Meanwhile, the security situation in Benghazi continues to deteriorate, perhaps complicating future intervention efforts aimed at detaining those responsible for the 9/11/12 murders:
Months after video, photo and voice documentation on the Benghazi suspects was first presented to high-level military leaders, the State Department and ultimately the White House, prison breaks in the country have eroded security. U.S. special forces have now been relegated to a "villa," a stopover for the operators before they're shipped out of the country entirely. "We put American special operations in harm's way to develop a picture of these suspects and to seek justice and instead of acting, we stalled. We just let it slip and pass us by and now it's going to be much more difficult," one source said, citing 1,200 prisoners escaping two weeks ago. "It's already blowing up. Daily assassinations, bi-weekly prison escapes, we waited way too long."
Click through for yet more information, including (a) inferences that high-level politics are obstructing justice in Benghazi, (b) assertions that the president and his advisers have balked at authorizing direct action, and (c) suggestions that State Department officials have been reluctant to "pull the trigger" over career-related concerns. (Former Sec. Hillary Clinton was allegedly personally briefed on various operational contingencies). Allahpundit is right to ask how any of this makes sense in view of the administration's extremely belated indictment one of the alleged attackers, which may only have been triggered by a particularly humiliating media account. If they want to at least pretend to be "doing something," why pull this group out now? Also, is the Obama White House so obsessed with civilian-style 'due process' for these perpetrators that they're willing to suffer extra bouts of bad publicity? Or might these still-unexplained bombshells have something to do with the administration's perplexing behavior? In any case, if Housley's sources are correct, the goal of accountability over Benghazi may be even farther from materializing than previously thought, which is really saying something.