Arnold Ahlert: The Benghazi-Syria Weapons Connection

he shameless lying that has formed the heart of the Obama administration’s Benghazi narrative took another turn yesterday. Documents obtained by Fox News reveal that U.S. intelligence agencies were “fully aware” weapons were being moved from Benghazi to Syria before the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 that claimed the lives of ambassador Christopher Stevens, Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and diplomat Sean Smith, The documents also put the lie to President Obama’s assertion that the rise of ISIS caught the administration “by surprise.”

“Newly released documents show a serious disconnect between what the administration said, and what was known at the Defense Intelligence Agency, also known as the DIA,” reported Catherine Herridge yesterday morning on “America’s Newsroom.” 

“This Sept. 16, 2012 memo, copied to the national Security Council, State Department, CIA and others, concluded that the Benghazi attack was planned at least 10 days or more in advance. The DIA memo also reports the attack was tied to 9/11, and was retaliation for a June 2012 drone strike that killed an al Qaeda strategist. There is no discussion of a demonstration or an anti-Islam video,” Herridge added.

The memo is indeed damning. It reveals that the “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR) who claimed “ultimate responsibility” for the Benghazi attack were engaged in an effort “to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for the [U.S.] killing of Aboyahiye (Alaliby) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.” The memo further reveals the Obama administrations knew these terrorists had access to sophisticated weapons, including SA-7 and SA23/4 MANPADs “as well as unidentified missiles over two meters in length.” They knew a force of 120 men under the age of 28, led by Abdul Baset (AZUZ), had established a headquarters and training facility in the city of Derna “where they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scripture including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology,” the memo stated.

In addition to sources named by Herridge, the memo was also copied to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.

A second document from Oct. 2012 is the first official confirmation the Obama administration knew weapons were being shipped to Syrian rebels “from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria,” an effort made easier by “uncertainty” directly attributable to the downfall of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. “The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.],” the document states.

A third document from August 2012 reveals events in Libya were taking a “clear sectarian direction,“ and that Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) “are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The development was seen as creating “dire consequences” for Iraq, as well as facilitating the subsequent rise of ISIS:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI [ISIS] could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Once again, Americans owe a debt of gratitude to Judicial Watch (JW). A court order demanding the documents’ release arose from JW’s filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against both the DOD and State Department on May 15, 2014. The suit sought communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.” As a result DOD and State were forced to release more than 100 pages of documents previously classified as “Secret.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton rightly described the implications from the data disclosure. “These documents are jaw-dropping,” he stated.

No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them. If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go–and yet lied and covered this fact up–Mitt Romney might very well be president.

Fitton continued with a highly disturbing question. “And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war —and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists. These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

The Judicial Watch revelation comes only one day after the New York Times revealed Clinton used more than one private email address during her tenure as Secretary of State, contradicting claims made by her office in that regard. Clinton used “” to engage in a series of communications with longtime Clinton hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal. The paper explained that Clinton took seriously much of the information Blumenthal supplied to her, passing it on to members of the State Department and “at times asking them to respond…even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable.”

Blumenthal was seeking business contracts from the newly-formed Libyan transitional government, such as the construction of floating hospitals to take care of the war wounded and the construction of schools, both of which would have required State Department permits. Even as he was advising Clinton on Libya, Blumenthal was employed by the Clinton Foundation and worked on occasion for Media Matters and American Bridge, two leftist organization involved in the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign. “Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government,” the paper states.

As a result of this relationship, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who leads the congressional committee investigating Benghazi,  has said he will subpoena Blumenthal for a private, transcripted interview.

And the revelations just keep on coming. Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras announced he will order the State Department to effect a “rolling production” of Clinton emails only hours after the agency announced it would hold them back until January 2016. A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Vice News precipitated the order. Their lawyer explained State has one week to provide a general schedule of releases—and a specific one regarding the release of records related to Benghazi.

For more than two years, the American left has continually insulted the public’s intelligence, insisting “there’s no there there” with regard to Benghazi, embracing the preposterous fraud perpetrated by the Obama administration. And while the litany of lies perpetrated by numerous administration officials, as well the president himself are egregious, one Benghazi lie stands out above all the rest:

“She came over…she talked with me. I gave her a hug and shook her hand and she did not appear to be one bit sincere at all and she mentioned about, ‘We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video,’” recalled Charles Wood, father of Tyrone. “That was the first time I even heard about anything like that.” Wood was referring to the exchange he had with Hillary Clinton when his son’s body arrived at the receiving ceremony on September 14, 2012, two days after his murder.

In a better world that kind of politically-calculated callousness would be chilling. In this one it may be insufficient to derail Clinton’s presidential ambitions. It remains up to the public to determine the outcome.