Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers is a Republican and the Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence aka HPSCI, but his actions with respect to Benghazi would make a first time visitor to our planet think that Rogers is a Democrat partisan. What the hell is going on with this guy?
Let’s take a careful look at what he said as Fox’s Megyn Kelly a couple of nights back:
KELLY: Thank you, sir. It’s great to have you here.
I want to ask you — let’s go through it piece by piece so the viewers can follow us. First of all, I want to ask you whether you believe it took 14 months to get witnesses in front of you. You were stone walled in getting access to them.
ROGERS: I don’t. Let me tell you why. We had a good base of interviews from the FBI who interviewed them fairly shortly. Not as close as I would have liked but very close to the event. So we had this base of interviews that we were using to try to determine what leadership discrepancies were in what events happened on the ground. At some point it worked at a logical point where we needed to bring witnesses in — even after they were interviewed by the FBI — so we would have at least some base and some comparisons to see where the discrepancies were and where the investigation should go next.
Rogers view of the FBI’s actions are very much at odds with other members of HPSCI. The facts are very clear–the FBI initially was prevented from interviewing the survivors of the Annex attack. The FBI arrived in Benghazi 30 days after the attack and none of the “victims” remained in Libya.
It is important that you understand what really happened before HPSCI last week.
Last Wednesday two gents from the CIA (guys eager to protect the Obama Administration’s story) came before HPSCI and broke no significant new ground. The real story came the next day–three other CIA contractors who had been on the ground in Benghazi during the attack, told a radically different story from the other two. Someone is lying and some members of HPSCI are genuinely perplexed.
Kelly next drills down on the timeline of the attack. The underlying premise of the question? Why did the Administration, specifically the Department of State and the National Security Council, not alert and activate the Counterterrorism Security Group (aka CSG), which is an interagency committee of terrorism experts with the specific mission of identifying potential policy and operational responses to a terrorist attack. Pay close attention to Rogers’ bullshit:
KELLY: One of the big issues in this attack is whether the fighting that was going on there was constant or whether there was a lull in the fighting. The reason that’s relevant is because the State Department didn’t send the counter terrorism team. There was a counterterrorism team here stateside that could have been dispatched and is normally dispatched in incidents such as these but was not dispatched.
One of the explanations we have been given from the administration for the decision not to send that team is, well, the attack, we thought it was over. It happened. It was done. Some have said that’s not true. The fighting was ongoing. There was no good reason for them not to send the team.
Do you believe that the fighting was ongoing that the night or do you believe as the administration claimed there were two waves, the second attack at the annex came much later and it wasn’t this ongoing thing?
ROGERS: Well, by the testimony we have received over the last few days compared by the testimony that was taken earlier, and it does synch up, it was clear to me that there was intervals of lulls in the fighting including a three-hour block of a lull in the fighting.
Again, not true. The guys from the CIA Annex who fought their way to the so-called Consulate, where Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith died, had to fight their way back to the Annex. They were under fire and the fire on the US installation continued until 530 am Benghazi time.
Why is Rogers misrepresenting what is happened? What is he covering up? Who is he covering for?
Megyn did not relent. She pressed him further on the timeline and interjected an interview between Fox’s Chris Wallace and another Republican Congressman, California’s Devin Nunes:
KELLY: Just a refresher. The original compound where the ambassador was, was attacked sometime after 9:30 and guy at the CIA annex came to save him. They get there. He’s missing. They can’t find him. They get some people back to annex, but the ambassador was missing. So the guys who went are heroes and the first wave of attacks took place at the compound, go.
ROGERS: Second wave at the annex was roughly 45 minutes after they got back. Then you have another lull in the fighting. There was another attack. It appears the mortar attack happened some hours later.
KELLY: Let me ask you — I will give you the floor. Congressman Nunes came on “Special Report” yesterday and suggested there was no lull in the fighting, which would be worse for the administration given the story it’s been telling us. Let’s listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “SPECIAL REPORT”)
CHRIS WALLACE, GUEST HOST: Is that your impression of what happened? There were two separate attacks with an hours-long lull in between?
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: Well, there is conflicting testimony. I will tell you that I believe the survivors.
WALLACE: And the survivors tell you that it was more constant?
NUNES: I don’t think it ever stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Why are you guys disagreeing?
ROGERS: Well, you, you’re a former attorney, sometimes someone can see the same event and see three different things. The good news is we have the transcripts. We’ll sit down next week, go over all the transcripts and we filled in all the gaps. That’s why this part of it was so important. You’re a recovering attorney yourself. You have to establish the record so you have things to compare with.
So that’s really why this was a very, very important part of a very long investigation at least on the intelligence side of it. And by the way, we have done more hearings than anything else in intelligence since the Benghazi attack. This has been a serious effort.
KELLY: Strange to hear two guys from the same party –
ROGERS: I understand that.
When you compare Rogers account with that of Nunes, it becomes very clear that this is a very significant division. I know people who were monitoring the crisis in Benghazi as it unfolded. Their account backs up what Nunes is saying. As the attack started, no one knew how long it was going to last.
The most damning of all is that the US Ambassador was missing and no one knew where he was. That fact alone should have put the entire U.S. Government into full crisis mode. But nothing of note was done and the CSG was cut out of the process.
Megyn Kelly then shifts the focus to the pressure being placed on the survivors of the attack. Specifically, demands that survivors sign new Non Disclosure Agreements:
KELLY: Let me ask you this. There is a lot I want to cover with you and we don’t have a lot of time. There is an allegation that the CIA operatives were forced, asked, whatever, to sign nondisclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements. The accusation is that would be highly unusual for them to be asked because the CIA guys have to sign it at the beginning of their employment. There is no reason to turn around and ask them to sign that again. The suggestion is they were asked to do it at the memorial service for the guys who died in the Benghazi terror attacks. At the memorial they say, hey, can you sign another one, and they did it. Is that true?
ROGERS: It appears they did sign a nondisclosure agreement and they returned to the agency. There are three people interviewed, four that had to sign nondisclosure agreements. There is an explanation for all but one. That’s certainly something that came out in the hearings here. We’re have to go back and ask further questions on. You have to remember these folks are dispersed all over the world. Administrative things they have to do when there is a change in their agreement. There are rule requirements that they have to sign another one.
KELLY: Mr. Chairman, come on.
ROGERS: I’m just saying –
KELLY: They come back the day of the Benghazi memorial service with nondisclosures already in place. They are asked to sign one? It doesn’t pass the smell test.
ROGERS: No, it doesn’t. Unfortunately there are reasons to sign it but also it doesn’t pass the smell test on the day they came back. That’s the one discrepancy out of the testimony that will require further probing by the committee. As a matter of fact, we had meetings subsequent to that on that issue.
I know for a fact that personnel inside the CIA who were involved with the operation in Benghazi (and I am selecting my words carefully) have been subjected to repeated, frequent polygraphs. Why? Obama and his henchman, John Brennan, do not want the truth to come out about what the CIA was doing in Libya. It is very simple–instead of taking weapons from jihadists in Libya and destroying those weapons, the CIA was involved in a scheme to help move those weapons to jihadist rebels in Syria. Such activity would require a finding but no finding was provided.
Now we have the spectacle of Congressman Mike Rogers pushing the lie that the CIA was doing no such thing. Megyn hints at this with her last bombshell:
KELLY: Can I ask you very quickly — is it a fact that Ambassador Stevens spoke to your committee prior to his murder?
ROGERS: Ambassador Stevens did spend some time with our committee prior to his passing.
KELLY: That’s significant. You don’t normally have ambassadors to Libya speaking to the House Intel Committee. That lays the foundation so the viewers understand for yet another question we should be asking about why he wasn’t better protected and why he was even at the consulate on the 9/11 anniversary.
It is rare and unusual for an Ambassador to testify before a Congressional Intelligence Committee. They normally are not considered to be members of the “intelligence community.” However, when you run an activity that is outside of normal intelligence channels in a foreign country, it is not uncommon to have a trusted U.S. Ambassador take on the mission of coordinating the activity. That’s what U.S. Ambassador Corr did for Ronald Reagan as part of Iran Contra.
What was Ambassador Chris Stevens doing for Barack Obama? More importantly, why is Mike Rogers working so feverishly to avoid getting those answers? Who is he covering for? Stay tuned–answers coming on that front.