Death in Benghazi, Part 3: the Web of Deception; an Interview with Ken Timmerman

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:

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?     

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.


Jerry Gordon:  Glad to be back Mike.

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?

Bates:  And do you believe that was his decision or was he told that from higher up?

Gordon:  Ken, Friday night, September 19th, I will be at the Pensacola Tiger Bay Club annual dinner. What, question should we pose to Morell?

Bates:  Probably the same press reports that Barack Obama first hears about everything.

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

Bates:  Do you think that American air strikes alone can significantly degrade the operational capabilities of ISIS?

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?

Bates:  I read just last week that the Saudi royal family is considering moving the remains of the prophet Mohammed. Have you read that?

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:  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?

Bates:  Ken, what are your expectations about the impact of the House Select Benghazi hearings? 

Listen to the 1330am WEBY broadcast with Ken Timmerman on September 16, 2014: here.




Also see Jerry Gordon’s collection of interviews, The West Speaks.


To comment on this interview, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish timely and interesting interviews like this one, please click here.

If you have enjoyed this article and want to read more by Jerry Gordon, please click here.

Jerry Gordon is a also regular contributor to our community blog. To read his entries, please click here.