I’ve reported on how many Benghazi survivors have been signing non-disclosure. On Friday, James Rosen of Fox News reported that five Central Intelligence Agency personnel in Benghazi were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, requiring them not to discuss the attack with reporters. However, there is word that CIA Director John Brennan sent a letter to CIA employees who were on the ground in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, inviting them to share information with Congress, according to at least three sources. However, the letter, which was sent in May at the behest of congressional intelligence committees, still remains classified.
The Weekly Standard reports:
The disclosure of the existence of Brennan’s letter comes amidst renewed interest in the Benghazi attacks and their aftermath triggered in part by a CNN report last week that “dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night” and “the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.” According to that report, “some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations,” part of “an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.”
A statement from CIA spokesman Dean Boyd provided to THE WEEKLY STANDARD and other media outlets strongly disputes any suggestion of a cover-up. “The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on US facilities in Benghazi. Furthermore, CIA leadership has informed officers who may want to speak with the oversight committees on this matter that it will support and facilitate such contact. CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want to and there is an established process to facilitate such communication on a confidential basis. The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident.”
Members of the House Intelligence Committee received a copy of the letter on Tuesday, two days before the CNN report aired.
The congressional inquiries into the Benghazi attacks have been conducted almost entirely without input from those who participated in the fighting or witnessed it firsthand. Congressional intelligence committees have heard directly from just one CIA official who was in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. This official, who has spoken twice with members and staff of the House Intelligence Committee, provided an account that included some new details about the night but largely tracked with the official storyline on the attacks.
So it took nearly a year to get a copy of that particular letter to Congress. I wonder why that is and furthermore why is it still classified?
Many, including Rosen and Rep. Trey Gowdy have said that the CIA is engaging in silencing CIA officials from testifying before Congress. The recent CNN report by Jake Tapper has opened the CIA up to further scrutiny.
Many have pointed to the exchange between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) that took place in January when Clinton appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In part of that exchange Paul asked Clinton if she was aware of possible gun running of weapons into Syria.
“What I’d like to know is – the annex that was close by – were they involved with procuring, buying or selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries – Turkey included,” Paul said, referring to the “annex” operated by the CIA in Benghazi.
Clinton told Paul that his question would be better directed to “the agency that ran the annex.”
“You are saying you don’t know,” Paul said.
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Said Clinton: “I don’t know.”
Obviously something was going on involving the CIA and it wasn’t that they were all hanging out smoking cigars and enjoying adult beverages. Something was going on that they don’t want to get out and we know it. The question is, how long will it take for Congress to get the truth out? My guess is that that was weapons exchanges and there is a very real possibility of prisoner exchange to make Barack Obama look good for the 2012 elections, as Dean Garrison so articulately put forward last week.
Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.