Revolt of the Spooks
Intelligence officials angered by Obama administration cover up of intelligence on Iranian, al Qaeda surge in Egypt and Libya
BY: Bill Gertz
October 5, 2012
Weeks before the presidential election, President Barack Obama’s administration faces mounting opposition from within the ranks of U.S. intelligence agencies over what careerofficers say is a “cover up” of intelligence information about terrorism in North Africa.
Intelligence held back from senior officials and the public includes numerous classified reports revealing clear Iranian support for jihadists throughout the tumultuous North Africa and Middle East region, as well as notably widespread al Qaeda penetration into Egypt and Libya in the months before the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“The Iranian strategy is two-fold: upping the ante for the Obama administration’s economic sanctions against Iran and perceived cyber operations against Iran’s nuclear weapons program by conducting terror attacks on soft U.S. targets and cyber attacks against U.S. financial interests,” said one official, speaking confidentially.
The Iranian effort also seeks to take the international community’s spotlight off Iran’s support for its Syrian ally.
[*Note by Romanticpoet added HERE: Make sure you read the SECOND part of my blog below about Obama’s SECRET IRAN DEAL*]
Two House Republicans, Reps. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), stated in a letter sent this week to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that officials “with direct knowledge of events in Libya” revealed that the Benghazi attack was part of a string of terror attacks and not a spontaneous uprising against an anti-Muslim video produced in the U.S. The lawmakers have scheduled congressional hearings for Oct. 10.
Susan Phalen, spokeswoman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), said the panel is “reviewing all relevant intelligence and the actions of the [intelligence community], as would be expected of the oversight committee.”
But she noted: “At this point in time it does not appear that there was an intelligence failure.”
Intelligence officials pointed to the statement issued Sept. 28 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that raised additional concern about the administration’s apparent mishandling of intelligence. The ODNI statement said that “in the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo.”
Officials say the ODNI’s false information was either knowingly disseminated or was directed to be put out by senior policy officials for political reasons, since the statement was contradicted by numerous intelligence reports at the time of the attack indicating it was al Qaeda-related terrorism.
Among the obvious signs of terrorism was the arms used by the attackers, who were equipped with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles.
A U.S. intelligence official who disputes the idea of an Obama administration coverup said: “Intelligence professionals follow the information wherever it leads.”
“When there isn’t definitive information, it makes sense to be cautious,” the official said. “There has never been a dogmatic approach to analyzing what happened in Benghazi. Staying open to alternative explanations—and continually refining assessments as new and credible information surfaces—is part of the intelligence business.”
Officials with access to intelligence reports, based on both technical spying and human agents, said specific reporting revealed an alarming surge in clandestine al Qaeda activity months before the attack in Benghazi.
Yet the Obama administration sought to keep the information from becoming public to avoid exposing what the officials say is a Middle East policy failure by Obama.
Officials said that the administration appeared to engage in a disinformation campaign aimed at distancing the president personally during the peak of the presidential election campaign from the disaster in Benghazi, where numerous warning of an attack were ignored, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other officials.
The first part of the apparent campaign, officials said, was the false information provided to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who appeared on Sunday television shows after the attack to say the event was a “spontaneous” response to an anti-Muslim video trailer posted online.
Officials said Rice was given the false information to use in media appearances in order to promote the excuse that the obscure video was the cause of the attack, and not the Islamic concept of jihad.
Rice’s claims provoked concern inside the U.S. intelligence community that intelligence about what was going on in Libya and the region was being suppressed, and led to a series of news disclosures about what would later be confirmed as an al Qaeda attack using the group Ansar al Sharia.
After Rice’s incorrect statements, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeated the false assessment of the Benghazi attack.
The final element of the campaign involved comments by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was the first to give a partial explanation of the intelligence when she said al Qaeda terrorists operating from Mali were possible culprits in the Benghazi attack.
“What she failed to mention was the cooperation of Iran and Egypt in supporting jihadists in Libya,” the official said, who added the events would be investigated in an apparent effort to stave off internal critics in government.
That has led to delays in getting FBI and other U.S. investigators into Benghazi, raising concerns that some in the White House wanted to delay the FBI’s efforts to uncover evidence about the attack.
The FBI did not reach Benghazi until Thursday, ostensibly over concerns about the lack of security to protect them.
“The Obama Administration is afraid to admit al Qaeda is running rampant throughout the region because it would expose the truth instead of what President Obama so pompously spouted during the Democratic Convention” said the official.
The president said during his nomination acceptance speech that “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” an assertion contradicted by the group’s rise in the region.
The administration, in particular, wants to keep hidden solid intelligence showing that the terrorist group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans is now flourishing under the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
OCTOBER SURPRISE? OBAMA SECRET IRAN DEAL CUT
Look for announcement of temporary halt to uranium enrichment
by REZA KAHLILI
October 4, 2012
Iran could announce a temporary halt to uranium enrichment before next month’s U.S. election in a move to save Barack Obama’s presidency, a source affiliated with high Iranian officials said today.
The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, said a three-person delegation of the Obama administration led by a woman engaged in secret negotiations yesterday with a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The delegation urged the Iranian leader to announce a halt to enrichment, even if temporary, before the Nov. 6 election, promising removal of some sanctions.
The source said the delegation warned that a Mitt Romney presidency would change the U.S. relationship with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
The U.S. representatives reminded the Iranians that President Obama has stood in front of Israel, preventing the Jewish state from attacking Iran over its illicit nuclear arms policy.
Yesterday’s meeting, which took place in Doha, Qatar, was coordinated by the Qatar monarchy, whose members attended at the request of the Obama administration.
Ali Akbar Velayati, the former Iranian foreign minister and current close adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, secretly traveled to Qatar for the meeting. Velayati is wanted by Argentina for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.
One Obama representative, the woman, who had met Velayati before, urged Velayati to announce a halt, even if it is only for a week or two, to uranium enrichment prior to the U.S. election, according to the source. The U.S. representatives promised the Obama administration quickly would remove some sanctions on the Iranian central bank and oil industry, with further collaboration after the election, the source said.
Yesterday’s secret meeting took place even as hundreds of merchants in Tehran marched on parliament to protest the collapsing Iranian currency and the Islamic regime’s financial support for the besieged Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
Riot police violently clamped down on black-market money changers while merchants in the sprawling bazaar closed their shops during the protest. With inflation soaring, Iranian merchants can’t sell their goods, for fear they won’t be able to restock their shelves.
Yesterday’s negotiation was an extension of secret negotiations begun in early January when, according to Iranian officials and a report by Fars News Agency, Obama requested collaboration with the Islamic regime through three different channels. The channels were a letter to the supreme leader, a message to the Iranian U.N. delegate and a direct message through Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti in Tehran in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, who quoted a message from Obama.
The Obama message said: “I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank, but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.”
A unanimous U.S. Senate vote had approved strong sanctions against the Iranian central bank and oil industry, but with a veto threat by the president, the effective date of the implementation of the sanctions was delayed to July 1.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday in Kazakhstan that the sanctions can be lifted immediately if the regime meets its nuclear obligations. She blamed its leaders for the financial crisis and spreading protests and said U.S. policy only seeks to convince the regime to seriously negotiate over its uranium enrichment program.