by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (October 2014)
Benghazi Special Missions Compound, 9/11/12, Source: Getty Images
The House Select Benghazi Committee Hearings chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) opened on Wednesday, September 17th. The House GOP leadership requested initial funding of $3.3 million in support of investigations and hearings. According to an AP report, the 12 member panel (seven Republicans and five Democrats with a staff of 30) focused on the issue of embassy security. Chairman Gowdy said, “the U.S. must learn from past violence on U.S. facilities from Beirut to East Africa to Benghazi to prevent repeat attacks.” The AP Report further noted the bi-partisan concerns on this issue:
Gowdy credited a Democrat on the 12-member panel, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, with recommending the subject — embassy security — for the gathering. The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, echoed the importance of improving the protection of American facilities and the State Department’s diplomatic security chief was the first witness to testify.
Just prior to the initial hearing of the Select Benghazi Committee FoxNews Special Report had revelations from interviews with the three surviving members of the Security Team at the CIA Annex. They were drawn from the book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team. Additionally, there was former CBS journalist Sheryl Atkisson‘s investigative report, based on an interview with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell about key staff of former Secretary of State Clinton. They allegedly culled out controversial emails and documents preventing review by the Accountability Review Board (ARB). The ARB was led by Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullins.
This follows our earlier interview with Timmerman about his own investigative book, Dark Forces, The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi. Read our July 2014 NER articles based on our prior interviews with Timmerman, Roger Aronoff of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and Larry Ward of Special Operations Speaks: Death in Benghazi, Part I: The Attack and Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth?
Mike Morell, former Acting and Deputy Director of the CIA provided public testimony at a Hearing of the House Select Committee on Intelligence on April 2, 2014. It his handling of the talking points regarding the circumstances surrounding the attack on the evening of 9/11/2012 in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans; Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his Communications Aide, Sean Smith, CIA security contractors, Tyrone Powers and Glen Doherty.
Watch this C-SPAN video of Morell’s testimony before the April 2, 2014, House Select Intelligence Committee.
There are allegations by both the Senate and House Select Committee leaders that Morell’s testimony about the talking points was “misleading” based on alleged reliance on news reports and heavily redacted to exclude possible Al Qaeda involvement. Moreover, Morell made the judgment call to dismiss emails from the CIA Station chief in Tripoli that there were no spontaneous protests that led to the attack on the Special Missions Compound and CIA Annex. Subsequent third party intelligence revealed the attacks may been pre-planned given the use of professional mortar attack that took the lives of Powers and Doherty at the Annex on the morning of 9/12.
Timmerman has briefed Chairman Gowdy and his Chief Investigator on the House Select Committee on the thesis of his book, Dark Forces. He contends that the Benghazi attacks were state-sponsored terrorism. There is evidence that these attacks were planned, executed and coordinated with local Islamist Militias by officers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force with the assistance of a Hezbollah operative.
Against this background, another in the periodic 1330amWEBY Middle East Round Table series was held with Ken Timmerman on September 16th.
Mike Bates: Good afternoon and welcome to Your Turn. This is Mike Bates. This coming Friday evening at the Tiger Bay Club Mike Morell, the former acting director of the CIA is going to be the featured speaker at the annual dinner in Pensacola. His opinion of what happened in Benghazi differs substantially to what Ken Timmerman says happened there. We have invited Ken Timmerman to be with us. Ken Timmerman, welcome to WEBY.
Kenneth Timmerman: Thanks for having me on. It’s a pleasure being with you to discuss this.
Bates: Ken Timmerman has written the book, Dark Forces; the Truth about what Happened in Benghazi and that is what we are going to be talking about. Also joining me is Jerry Gordon, Senior editor of the New English Review and its blog The Iconoclast. Jerry, welcome to Your Turn.
Jerry Gordon: Glad to be back Mike.
Bates: Ken Timmerman we’ll get specific in a moment but what is the big picture? I mean is anything we have been told from the White House about Benghazi true?
Timmerman: Not much. Virtually nothing that Mike Morell has said about Benghazi has been true which is pretty extraordinary given his high position at the Central Intelligence Agency and the fact that he’s never been indicted for lying under oath.
Bates: So he’s testified before Congress under oath?
Timmerman: Yes he has and he has parsed his words very carefully. If you wish, he’s done a Clinton in his testimony saying things finally in April of this year that he has said just the contrary to in earlier public statements earlier.
Bates: In terms of legality, who could hold him accountable for lying to Congress, isn’t that the Attorney General’s job?
Timmerman: Well of course and obviously that’s not going to happen. This Attorney General is not going to prosecute anybody when it comes to Benghazi. I think that’s a given. However, Congress can hold him in contempt; they can bring him back to testify. I am sure that Trey Gowdy is going to bring him back to testify as Mike Morell was at the core of the government’s cover-up of what happened in Benghazi. He was right at the heart of the talking points that the CIA helped to draft for Susan Rice that he lied about what happened. He lied about the protest gone bad and he has defended that position and said that he was trying to delete information about Al Qaeda’s involvement because there was an ongoing judicial investigation; in fact that wasn’t the case. They were not protecting any sources or methods and they had no witnesses so there was nothing to protect.
Bates: So in your opinion Ken Timmerman, was the problem with Benghazi the fact that the Special Missions Compound was attacked and the Ambassador and three others were killed? Is that the big problem or is the problem the cover up and the lies?
Timmerman: Well, it’s all of the above. The Special Missions Compound was left undefended. It should have been defended. It could have been defended. It was supposed to be defended. The existing protocol throughout the United States government and specifically for the CIA Chief of Base in Benghazi that evening required him to come immediately to the defense of the Special Missions Compound the minute that they received the call for help, the cry for help from the Ambassador. They didn’t have to go out. The CIA didn’t have to go out and authenticate or verify that this place was really under attack. Number one they could hear it. It was less than a mile away. However, number two they were being called on the telephone by the Ambassador, the Chief of Operations in all of Libya, their boss. So the existing U.S. government protocol called on them to immediately go to his aid and the CIA Chief of Base told his people and others three times to stand down.
Bates: And do you believe that was his decision or was he told that from higher up?
Timmerman: Well we don’t know that. That’s one of the things that the Special Committee under Trey Gowdy have got to determine. We know from the testimony of three of the Former Special Operations men who were in the CIA Annex and who were told to stand down, we know that the Chief of Base was talking on his cell phone to somebody. Now his story so far and I have reported this in Dark Forces is that he was trying to muster support from the February 17th Militia Force that supposedly was under contract to the Americans. He was trying to get 50 caliber gun trucks to provide some heavier support. However, as we learned, just a little bit later that evening, the 17th February Militia was actually blocking reinforcements from coming to the Special Missions Compound. They weren’t helping us, they were blocking us.
Gordon: Ken, Friday night, September 19th, I will be at the Pensacola Tiger Bay Club annual dinner. What, question should we pose to Morell?
Timmerman: I think Morell really has to own up to why he believed and he testified that he believed that there was a protest that had gone bad over a video when in fact there was no evidence of that whatsoever. He essentially pleaded incompetence in his public testimony in April of this year when he said that “well, I wasn’t listening to my Station Chief in Tripoli or the Chief of Base in Benghazi. I wasn’t reading their emails or anything, I was responding to press reports.” This is what he’s been sticking to, he insisted that everything that happened in Benghazi was because of a You Tube video that nobody had seen. Well there weren’t even any press reports at that point so where did he get the story?
Bates: Probably the same press reports that Barack Obama first hears about everything.
Timmerman: That’s right and of course it’s absurd because when Hillary Clinton put out her statement at 10:00PM that night in Washington there still were no press reports or any You Tube video or any protests. Where did he get this information and why did he give that source of information for weeks when he had several days to think about this? Remember the talking points were that the attack was on Tuesday and Susan Rice didn’t appear until Sunday on the talk shows so they had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Saturday to develop these talking points. They had plenty of time to go back over the original reporting. Why do they continue to say there was a You Tube video?
Bates: Another huge outrage about this You Tube video is not just the story of the video I mean the lie is bad enough. What bothers me most though is that a man was arrested for that video in the United States. Now he wasn’t arrested for producing the video, he was arrested because he wasn’t supposed to be using a computer and he obviously did and it was a violation of his parole or probation. It was a minor offense that got international attention because the President of the United States said this person was single-handedly responsible for the Ambassador and three other people being killed in Benghazi.
Timmerman: I believe that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who goes by a number of other names was arrested essentially to take him off the street to keep him from talking to the press. He still won’t talk to the press without the presence of a lawyer. He’s very worried that the real story of his video will come out. Remember he posted the trailer. It was not a video, it was a nine to twelve minute trailer originally called the Mohammed Movie. He posted this in July of 2012. Nobody paid any attention to it whatsoever, however, a couple of days before the September 11th attack it became a cause célèbre. It is unclear at this point who sent it to contacts in Egypt who then showed it to a prominent Muslim TV personality who goes on TV two days before the attack and starts to talk about it in Egypt but not in Libya. In Libya nobody was saying a word.
Gordon: The other suspicious activity was the big news in June of this year about the abduction of the Libyan Ansar al-Sharia Militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattala by the U.S. Delta Force and the FBI. Now the Justice Department is making noises that they are going to have difficulty with the prosecution. Firstly is that realistic and why is this occurring? Will Khattala ever come to trial?
Timmerman: I don’t know whether he will come to trial. Apparently the Justice Department is having problems gathering evidence that they can use in a court of law. They might have thought about that before they brought Abu Khattala here for a criminal prosecution. A better place for him would have been GITMO.
Gordon: Circling back to Mike Morell after he retired from the CIA he still has entre at the White House to speak to people inside the National Security Council about current strategies including ISIS. What is the story there about the connections between the National Security Council on the one hand and CBS News that employs Morrell as a national security consultant on the other?
Timmerman: Mike Morell does appear very well connected and very well protected I would say. He is clearly being rewarded for his lies. He took a job as soon as he left the CIA with an outfit called Beacon Global Strategies which is a consulting company co-founded by a couple of Hillary Clinton confidants, Andrew Shapiro who was an Assistant Secretary of State and Hillary’s gatekeeper there Philip Raines. So he’s working for Hillary Clinton’s confidant earning a ton of money as a consultant and then he’s also working for CBS News whose news department is run by the brother of Ben Rhodes White House Deputy National Security Adviser to the President.
Bates: Now that throws a whole new interesting twist in this with Beacon Global Strategies. This is sounding to me like Morell is just being bought off with one of Hillary Clinton’s associates and being paid to keep up the lie so that she is not tarnished with what occurred on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi.
Timmerman: That’s right. There were very dark things going on in Benghazi. Don’t forget that David Petreaus was the CIA Director when all of this happened. He was exposed and removed from office the day after the Presidential election in 2012 and that is why Mike Morell was the acting director. That’s why he was hauled up in front of Congress. Petreaus has never really spoken openly about what happened and I believe that Petreaus knows an awful lot. I tell the story in my book about Petreaus learning from a former very Senior CIA Officer who I interviewed for the book about an arms trafficking network going from Libya through Niger just South of Libya supplying shoulder fired air defense missiles, so-called MANPADS, to Al Qaeda networks around the world. My source said he told Petreaus that he personally knew of four hundred of these missiles which had gone from Libya, taken by somebody who was a known Jihadi confidant of Ambassador Stevens, and brought to Niger. They were refitted with CIA supplied batteries and grip stocks from the Egyptian Military when Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt. You can see this in the photograph of these missiles in the hands of the Syrians. I have posted a number of these photographs on website kentimmerman.com. You’ll find a readers guide for my book Dark Forces online at kentimmerman.com. You can tell these missiles because they have these green Libyan Army and sand colored brown Egyptian grip stocks equipped with CIA batteries. It’s very unusual. You don’t see it anywhere else and that’s how you can tell where these missiles came from. My source went to Petreaus in the summer of 2012 to ask why this smuggling operation was going on. My source said, we should sit down and talk so I can give you all of the details. Petreaus said absolutely! Let’s do that. Call me in two weeks when we are both in Washington. Call my Executive Assistant and set up an appointment. Two weeks later he arrives in Washington, calls up the Executive Assistant and she simply tells him Petreaus no longer can talk to you. I call this section of the book John Brennan’s “Iron Claw.” John Brennan was President Obama’s Counter-Terrorism Advisor. He is now CIA Director and my source believes that John Brennan was in fact trying to cover up an authorized arms smuggling network to bring weapons to the Syrian rebels under the authority of the President of the United States and even the CIA Director was not aware.
Bates: Ken Timmerman you said that one of the theories here is that Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi as part of an arms smuggling operation to the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria? Did I hear you right?
Timmerman: Well, not quite. He was there actually to try to shut it down and he was called by David Petreaus as well as Secretary Clinton because he was the most knowledgeable person. The person who on the ground had the best contact with the Libyan Jihadis we had been arming the year before when he was a special envoy to Benghazi during the Libyan Revolution. He knew all these guys. He knew them personally. He had broken bread with them. He was on a first name basis with them and they were engaged in the smuggling of weapons to Jihadis around the world and in particular to Syria. I believe he was actually sent there to try to get it under control because there had been weapon shipments just two weeks earlier that made it to Iskenderun in Turkey. The media got a hold of it, reporters started poking around. David Petreaus, then CIA Director, actually flew to Turkey on September 2nd, 2012 to try to tamp out the fire. They were very worried that all of this was going to go public. I believe they sent Stevens to Benghazi to get it under control so it wouldn’t happen again so the cat wouldn’t get out of the bag.
Bates: Was this original smuggling operation somehow sanctioned by the United States government?
Timmerman: I believe it was. I think certainly there was a Presidential Finding to arm the Libyan Rebels in early 2011. As I tell that story in Dark Forces that included orders to the CIA to deliver U.S. stinger missiles to the Qatari Special Forces. Qatar is an enormously wealthy small Persian Gulf Country. They were actually intercepted as they were bringing them through Northern Chad into Libya by the French who had a military presence in there for other reasons. The French essentially inquired over open phone lines whether this was sanctioned by the United States and they were told by Paris that oh, yes it is. Let those missiles go.
Bates: What foreign policy benefit was there for the United States? I know that Barack Obama has supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. But what are the U.S. interests in doing this?
Timmerman: That is a very good question. I don’t think there are any U.S. interests that are served by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. However, as you said the facts are very clear. The Obama Administration overturned a decade of U.S. policy in the Middle East to support secular leaders some of them not necessarily the gentlest that you might imagine. However, I don’t think you could say then Ben Ali in Tunisia was a dictator. He was an autocrat. I don’t think that you could say that Mubarak in Egypt was a dictator. He was corrupt. However, we helped to overthrow these leaders and replace them with Muslim Brotherhood regimes which had been a threat to the region and a source of terror.
Bates: Muammar Gaddafi in Libya was obviously was a dictator. He actually stopped his support of international terrorism when he saw what we did to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The official policy of the Administration remained to take Gaddafi out anyway. How does that make sense?
Timmerman: Libya is now a failed state and it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. You’re so right to mention Gaddafi’s turn around. I was in Libya at the time when he actually put his nuclear weapons program, his centrifuges and his ballistic missiles on a U.S. ship and sent them to the United States. He gave up his weapons program. He really did. He verified it. It was a great success story and he was helping us in the war against Al Qaeda worldwide.
Gordon: Ken, your description of our government scrambling to take back or divert these weapons that went to the Syrian opposition brings up the whole question of the President’s recent ISIS strategy speech in which he talked about training or equipping Syrian opposition. I mean it’s such a muddle there. What group is he talking about Ken?
Timmerman: I don’t think the President was that clear. His people were grilled on that today in Congress. We’ve been down this road already. The Administration has acknowledged they already have been arming and equipping so-called moderate factions in the former Syrian Army. We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars already giving weapons to these people and the result of it is that those weapons are now in the hands of ISIS because ISIS rolled them over and took the weapons out of the warehouse. We can’t control the groups to whom we give these weapons. We haven’t been able to train them so they will defend weapons that we have given them. Frankly I’m not sure what value we might even have in common to make it all worthwhile.
Gordon: One of the groups in that area are the Kurds, particularly the Peshmerga in Kurdistan and also the Kurdish groups in the extreme Northeast of Syria who seem to have control up there. Do you think we should support them?
Timmerman: Now that’s another story. The Kurds do share many of our values, most of our values I would say, and they are pro-American. The Kurds in Northern Iraq many of the Kurds in Iran, the Iranian Pro Freedom fighters who are battling against the Iranian regime, I think that we should support them. I don’t understand why the Obama Administration dropped them over the past six years. The Kurds are a great ally and they need the training. They need more heavy weapons. They are a guerilla force. They are not a conventional force and ISIS is actually behaving as a conventional military, not as a terrorist army or as a terrorist force. We need to help the Kurds and others to build a conventional force capable of defeating ISIS.
Bates: Do you think that American air strikes alone can significantly degrade the operational capabilities of ISIS?
Timmerman: Yes it probably can do some significant damage. Will they do the trick? No. I don’t know of any military advisor starting with General Dempsey on down who would be insane enough to argue that we could win a war with just air power alone. The Obama Administration might try to make that argument; however, anybody with military experience is saying no to that. I was very heartened to see on the Sunday talk shows on ABC that Martha Raddatz had on two former U.S. Military Officers. They both said precisely that ISIS is not a terrorist threat, they are a conventional military threat and they need to be opposed on the ground with a conventional military army. You can’t do that with a standoff force or U.S. air power alone or some kind of military advisors who are not going to dip the tip of their spears into the blood of the battle.
Gordon: Ken, part of the reason why ISIS is looking more and more like a conventional army is the fact that some of the “military planners and leaders” of ISIS’s Armed Force were in fact former officers in Saddam Hussein’s military. They were released from their prisons by ISIS. Is that your understanding?
Timmerman: Absolutely and I’m glad that you brought that up. It’s extremely important to understand this. I do a regular radio show every Saturday morning and I was noticing over the summer with my partner that ISIS was just racking up this chain of military victories. They were doing it with extraordinary skills. I remarked on air you know this does not seem to be an Al Qaeda tactic. They are not operating as Al Qaeda has operated. They are operating with some pretty exceptional military skills. It was a couple of weeks after that we learned that they had former Ba’athist Officers in fact in charge of their military operations. I wrote a book three years ago called St. Peter’s Bones about Iraq. The story was all set in Northern Iraq, in Mosul, in the areas that are now being contested today. The narrator of the fiction was a Christian interpreter working for U.S. Special Forces and the Jihadis who were trying to get him were working together with former Ba’athists. Ironically, it was the same story but told as a fiction three years before we saw it on the ground this summer.
Gordon: Ken, do you think there is a possibility of an ISIS military threat against one of our “coalition partners” Saudi Arabia?
Timmerman: ISIS has been suggesting that there will be a threat to Saudi Arabia. They have thousands of people inside Saudi Arabia, some of them members of the Saudi National Guard, holding up cardboard hand lettered signs in favor of ISIS. They put the cardboard in front of their face but you can still see their uniforms. This is very troubling. I have had recent contact with sources that are close to the Royal family in Saudi Arabia who had been visiting Washington, they are really disturbed. They are worried. ISIS does not have to cross the border into Saudi Arabia, they are already there.
Gordon: Does that mean we could have a repetition of what occurred in 1979 with the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca?
Timmerman: You know, what did Mark Twain say? History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme. You could have something perhaps similar to that. However, I don’t think they would go the same route. In 1979 they did not have a lot of professional military people on their side when they took the Grand Mosque. That operation was led by somebody claiming to be the 12th Imam. So far the ISIS leaders are not facing that kind of religious pretention. They are simply saying we are going to install the caliphate or we are going to restore the caliphate in any part of liberated Arab and Muslim land that we can claim. They clearly have demonstrated and they’ve said publicly that their goal is to reach Mecca. They believe that the caliphate should control the so-called holy cities of Islam and that spells big trouble for the Saudis.
Bates: I read just last week that the Saudi royal family is considering moving the remains of the prophet Mohammed. Have you read that?
Timmerman: I haven’t seen that particular story but you know the Wahhabis have been very careful to avoid something that the Shias do, build memorial mosques. They tend to dump the remains of their leaders, their kings and even Jihadi leaders from the time of Mohammed and thereafter in desert graves where they are hard to find.
Bates: The gist of the story was that because they didn’t want to make it a shrine because they do not revere the burial site to these people they are going to take the remains of Mohammed and place him in an unmarked grave in just a common cemetery with no public fanfare or publicity. However, on the other side of that argument people were saying that that is crazy talk. That is not the first time the Saudis have suggested they are going to do that because they make too much money off the Hajj and that’s part of the reason people make that pilgrimage.
Timmerman: That is true. I wouldn’t focus so much on the money that they make. The Saudis have got plenty of money from oil. They don’t need the Hajj to balance their treasury. However, I would say that yes, they gather much of their legitimacy as being the home of Mohammed and the custodian of the two mosques.
Gordon: Ken, you brought up something that leads to an obvious question based on the principal thesis of Dark Forces. That the Benghazi attack may have been an act of state sponsored terrorism on the part of Iran, its revolutionary guard and its proxy Hezbollah.
Timmerman: I think that the U.S. government has got quite a bit of information that shows that this is the case. I name three of the leaders in charge of planning for the attack on the Benghazi Special Mission Compound and the CIA Annex in my book. You have a two star Iranian Revolutionary Guard General who came to Benghazi in the summer of 2012. He’s the one that came with the authority to sign off on the final operation details. There was a Revolutionary Guard Officer who had been stationed in Lebanon for many years. He was the Operational Chief. Then you had a Hezbollah leader who because he was an Arab, could interface with the local militia. So the Iranians had been there since the start of the anti-Gaddafi uprising in February/March of 2011. My sources on the ground at the time, were telling me, they were spreading money around Benghazi like butter on bread. They were recruiting Jihadis, setting up their own militias, operating under false flags so the local Jihad’s in Benghazi wouldn’t necessarily know that the money was coming from Iran. Their expertise was coming from Iran. These three individuals worked with a team of approximately fifty professional Iranian Intelligence Officers to coordinate the plan, conduct surveillance for the attacks, penetrate the communications of the CIA Annex and our Special Missions Compound and set the whole thing in motion.
Bates: Ken, if Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, or Hezbollah their proxy, were involved in the attack in Benghazi, I completely understand why the American press wouldn’t report that. Because it would not serve the President well. Why has there not been much international press publicity about that theory?
Timmerman: Well, for one simple reason nobody else has really done the investigation and my book has not been published in other languages. I have not been doing foreign media on this so far. It would be important for people to pick up the story and broadcast it elsewhere in Lebanon in particular and inside Iran. My sources, in addition to people on the ground in Benghazi and at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, include folks in the Special Operations community, active duty officers who confirmed much of the information that is in my book. The information also came from a series of defectors from Iranian intelligence who were able to provide me the actual names of the operatives on the ground. Again, I was able to confirm this from U.S. intelligence sources.
Gordon: Ken, there was another bombshell that dropped this week. It came through the auspices of a former CBS Journalist Sheryl Atkisson in an interview with a Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ray Maxwell. He found aides of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the basement of Foggy Bottom beavering away culling out emails and documents so that they could not be reviewed by the Accountability Review Board. What was that all about?
Timmerman: It was a pretty extraordinary story and it’s good that we have reporters like Sheryl Atkisson around. Unfortunately, she is no longer with CBS and they would not let her run most of her stories because of that. Ray Maxwell was one of the four State Department Officials sanctioned by the Accountability Review Board (ARB). The ARB was instructed not to talk to anyone above the Assistant Secretary level. That meant you could not talk to Hillary Clinton or her immediate aides or the people who really made the decisions. What Ray Maxwell revealed was that they had this operation when the ARB began in October of 2012 to look into the attack and see who might have been responsible, what might have gone wrong. That included culling the documents to make sure that no documents would be turned over that implicated Secretary Clinton or her immediate aides. Frankly I think this goes to the heart of the cover-up. It’s an extremely important revelation. I am certain when Trey Gowdy holds his first hearing of the Benghazi Select Committee he will be asking that question to the witnesses who are present to talk about the Accountability Review Board. Did you select or did you know that documents were being taken away or prevented from being released to the Accountability Review Board and to Congress? I think that’s a question we all need to get answered.
Bates: Ken, what are your expectations about the impact of the House Select Benghazi hearings?
Timmerman: It makes a difference when four Americans are killed in a battlefield far away and the sacred promise that our government makes to our men in uniform and those who serve our country that we have their back. When that sacred promise is not kept, we betrayed them. Our government betrayed Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. It makes a great deal of difference to know why they were betrayed the way that they were. As I was researching Dark Forces I encountered so much anger within the Special Operations community because they understood this. They knew that they had been betrayed and they put their lives on the line every single day. They expect the government to have their back and here they were, out there in Benghazi under attack, and help was not on the way. So that makes an awful lot of difference. It makes a lot of difference for the morale inside our intelligence and the Special Operations communities. I’m hearing almost every day of people who are resigning their commissions, people who are leaving the intelligence community early before their career path is at its peak because they are just fed up and discouraged. So it makes a great deal of difference for them. I expect that Trey Gowdy will get at the truth. That is his mission and I know him to be a pretty determined professional. I personally briefed him about my book, Dark Forces. I have spoken to his Chief Investigators and I am convinced that they will do everything possible to get at the truth.
Bates: Well I hope that is the ultimate outcome. The problem is that most Democrats are not interested in pursuing this because they are only interested in protecting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Many Republicans are only interested in pursuing this in the hopes of hurting Barack Obama and hurting Hillary Clinton. My motto is truth above all. I just want the truth and a government that lies cannot be allowed to get away with a lie not just for present purposes but for the future. When you allow somebody to get away with it once, you allow his successors to get away with it forever. For that reason alone we need to know the truth. I appreciate you joining us today and sharing some of that truth with us. Ken Timmerman, author of the book Dark Forces; the Truth about what Happened in Benghazi.
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