« #EndThisDragnet - TTG | Main | Can the Iraqi Army defeat IS at Ramadi? »

21 May 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Harper for this informative post!


"Gen. Martin Dempsey and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to push back against plans for the bombing of Syrian government and military targets in August 2013"

and thank god they were able to do it. If Syrian government fell, what would have happened to the his arsenal? Thousands of tanks, artillery systems, AT missile, AA missiles would have gone to the Jihadists and US probably would have to go back in there to save the Saudis.

Adam L Silverman


The issue here isn't that the DIA got their analysis right. Despite the Judicial Watch FOIA, that information was in the official Congressional report on Benghazi released several months ago. Released I might add by a Republican majority oversight committee and signed by its Rublican chairman. What that report found, was that the Interagency process is what led to the development of a vetted and approved statement by Ambassador Rice, the President, and other officials about the drivers and causes of the attack that were incorrect. Specifically, when Ambassador Rice's statement went through the Interagency vetting the CIA wanted the ambiguity in the statement. If I'm recalling correctly from reading the report this was because they didn't want to tip off the actual perpetrators that we actually knew who was responsible. Nor did they want anyone asking if having one of their listening posts colocated with the consulate in a largely indefensible area was a good idea. Regardless of all the above, we've now spent millions of dollars investigating an incorrect statement made on a Sunday morning talk show - a show that is only relevant to certain people that live in DC? What exactly is the crime - lying to David Gregory? Everyone lies to David Gregory! David Gregory lies to David Gregory - how else does anyone think he's convinced he's actually good at being a journalist rather than as a suck up? There's two different dynamics at play here. The first is that no news reports or official statements on any event should be taken as authoritative for at least three days if not a week as it is almost always the case that what is being reported is going to change. The second is the political: I don't remember anyone holding half a dozen Congressional investigations or obsessing over the ten attacks on U.S. embassies during the previous administration. Ten attacks that had sixty American casualties. The real focus of any investigation into this stuff is why don't we resource the State Department properly? Why did Congress think it was a good idea to refuse the State Department budget request to increase security in the budget cycle prior to the Benghazi attack? Is the way we do State Department security adequate? Is it a good idea to colocated CIA listening stations at consulates in high risk areas?

The answers to those are: 1) the State Department has no actual constituency to support it in the U.S., so it gets poorly resourced, 2) the deficit was going to kill us all in our sleep, 3) clearly not, especially in this case, which the Stafe Department seemed to be aware of, which explains the previous budget request, and 4) in this case definitely no, in general: probably not a good idea.


The facility in Benghazi was never an official consulate of the United States. The facility was called a 'diplomatic compound' and was essentially a cover for another agency. A consulate would have a contingent of State Department personnel and a designated consul. This facility had neither.



"Nor did they want anyone asking if having one of their listening posts colocated with the consulate in a largely indefensible area was a good idea"

In today's CIA isn't this the paramount consideration for the Agency - to which this President is very sensitive? From the first, it should have been apparent that the big issue wasn't the particulars of the set-up or the response, but rather the demonstration of the CIA's (and contractors)incompetence for the umpteenth time? For Obama, the convergent concern was the undermining of the "success' story about Libya which included a rejection of the idea that the Western intervention had opened the way to the rise ofviolent jihadist groups


I wish I understood you, but then I understand some of your allusions a lot better now.

Just as I love your anger. ;)

full discovery: I have a slightly choleric vein. Or should I say temperament.

The Twisted Genius

One has to keep in mind that that the DIA report of 12 September 2012 is a raw intelligence information report (IIR), not a DIA analysis. The collector writes these from information he receives directly from his sources. DIA collectors almost always try to report reliable information, and gauge the reliability of their sources. This does not guarantee the veracity of any one IIR.


I never understood all the hubbub about "Benghazi." So our government lied to us about the nature of the intelligence it had. Isn't this expected by now? In retrospect, our personnel should have been better defended, or better located, which is where the discussion should be, I think. But the outrage is simply misplaced, in my opinion.



Look closely, the IIR was not transmitted until 16 Sep.

The Twisted Genius


Ah yes. Those date time groups always did kick my ass. So the account of those documents circulating at the highest levels of our government the day after the attacks in Benghazi are all the more bogus.


The DIA assessments on Syria are a bit more juicy than on Benghazi.

It says in 2012 that the creation of a "Salafist principality" in eastern Syria is what the opposition supporters, including the U.S., want.
It estimates that such a creation would lead probably to an Islamic State and to the return of AQI to Mosul and Ramadi.

Those guys are good. It is exactly what happened. By supporting the creation of a "Salafist principality" in east Syria the Obama administration knowingly risked the return of AQI and the fall of Ramadi.

That certainly should make some waves.

Is there any wonder that Iraqis and Iranians believe that the U.S. planned and supports the Islamic State?

robt willmann

I seem to remember reading that during part of or a lot of the time the attack was going on in Benghazi there was one or more unmanned drones flying overhead with surveillance sensors but, supposedly, no weapons. If so, let us see all of the video / infrared footage of every drone that was in the area shortly before, during, and shortly after the attack was over.

Oh, you say video of the attack is "classified" and "secret"? From whom? Obviously, as is a law of nature, people in the neighborhood saw and knew something different was going on and saw what it was, and they talked about it with many other people afterwards. Those planning and doing the attack knew what was going on. So, who has not known what was going on? Why, the people who pay for all government activity: the long-suffering U.S. taxpayer; unless, of course, it was all being financed by a different country, or paid for by some off-the-books income the CIA might have been earning.

After all, as is allegedly carved into the wall in the lobby at the entrance to a particular federal organization: "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free".


Adam, thanks for your very informative analysis... very educational.

I don't know why people expect their governments to be honest about war related efforts (that's the investigative reporter's job). It has always been the norm for gov'ts to behave this way, though of course on occasion it benefits the gov't to be more truthful. Not unlike a parent not telling their children all their secrets, or only sharing the safe ones.

“All warfare is based on deception.” Sun Tzu

“Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
-- Sun Tzu



The outrage involves the death of a US ambassador, covered up because it torpedoed the "Arab Spring wuvs democracy" narrative that was on going at that point.

Oh yeah, and the USG blaming a youtube video and thowing the guy who made it into prison for a parole violation.

And people wonder why our policy is a mess.



Deceiving the enemy is in the essence of warfare and foreign relations but that is very different from deceiving the American people. we are not our government's "children." pl


I understand that, but the two issues are bound together by the nature of information transmission in our times. How is the gov't going to give a separate message to it's citizens from the rest of the world? I don't like it, but I have to accept the reality of it and assess everything our government says to us accordingly.

Unfortunately our gov't appears to look at it's citizens as children, and the media falls along with narratives fit for children.

One of the reasons I love your blog is that it's for adults.



If you look at the DIA analysis closely you will see that it does not include the US as a party that would desire the creation of a jihadi state in eastern Syria. pl



One thing to remember is that in spite of the detail and obvious quality of the DIA assessment the rest of the government was not obligated to accept their judgments. pl


As b points above and at his Moon of Alabama site, the Judicial Watch post reports that in 2012 the DIA report said that the growing sectarian direction of the war would have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS. The US government knew that pursuing Syrian regime change could result in the rise of the Islamic State and went ahead anyhow. Tie this in together with the disaster in Ukraine; it is clear that what is best for the American people is no longer of any concern of American foreign policy.



These are raw IIRs not assessments. You know the dangers of taking single reports into the Oval.

Sourcing and comments--that could provide context--have been redacted.

These prove nothing about what senior officials knew, or when they knew it.


"Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is the Chairman of House Select Committee on Benghazi, is carefully studying the DIA report, and other documents released to Judicial Watch, that confirm arms shipments from Benghazi were going to jihadist rebel groups in Syria."

I have always wondered if the US was smuggling weapons from Banghazi to Syrian rebels. The statement above doesn't make it clear who was smuggling weapons. To me, if the US was smuggling the weapons, that would be the real Banghazi scandal. Does anyone know if the statement above is referring to US smuggling?



“What exactly is the crime - lying to David Gregory? Everyone lies to David Gregory!”

And therefore every one of the elected Representatives and Senators and appointed officials thereby lies to the citizens of the Republic, but who gives a damn about that since this government, no longer apparently, receives its power from the just consent of the people. I won’t even mention the President in that bunch of liars. Why was the Ambassador in a remote area rather than the Embassy in Tripoli? What were all the discussions on prior threads of the possibility of Libyan weapons being sent to Syrian “rebels”. Better not have our elected representatives spend dollar one investigating that either.


I believe that it is time to hold elected officials accountable for their actions, particularly when they near a threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors." I understand the cynicism about "all public officials lie for personal and political gain," but when does this toleration reach the point that our Republic is lost? Accountability is at the heart of any viable representative government.

I do happen to believe that the White House, with collusion from parts of the USIC, developed a damage control narrative to protect the President's re-election efforts at a point when the outcome of the November elections was still in doubt. That is unacceptable. It was unacceptable when Bush and Cheney pressured the CIA to lie about WMD in Iraq, and it is unacceptable that Obama did likewise on Benghazi.



These is not a raw IIR. http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

The boilerplate in the msg that says that is not "finished intelligence" is just a standard formatting that indicates that the analysis was performed below a level of final publication.



Adam -

This is just a political stick to beat the Obama administration with. Anyone who read Susan Rice's statements in question could hardly get any information out of them, as they were loaded with caveats and warnings that the information was incomplete. I expect the latest findings of the latest committee to be released at some future, politically opportune time.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad