“THEY’RE GOING TO LIE”
(Aug. 1, 2013) —[Editor’s Note: The following interview was Walter Fitzpatrick’s response to The Post & Email after the release of a readout of a classified briefing of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations by Col. George Bristol on Wednesday. Bristol was reportedly “in a key position” to know the assets and response time which might have been involved in a response to the attack by Islamic militants on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed last September 11.
Originally, the Pentagon told members of Congress who wanted to speak with Bristol that he was “retired” when he was in fact still on active duty.
On July 25, Bristol testified to the House Intelligence Committee.
Wednesday’s subcommittee report said that Bristol had been in transit “in Africa” on the evening of September 11, although it did not specify where on the continent. Libya is located in North Africa. Bristol reportedly communicated once that evening with then-SOCAFRICA Commander Rear Adm. Brian Losey and Lt. Col. Steve Gibson, respectively. Gibson was identified as the leader of an emergency response team who wanted to travel quickly to Benghazi to assist the wounded following word of the attack. On May 8, State Department career employee Gregory Hicks testified that Gibson had been “furious” when he was told to “stand down” and remain in Tripoli. Gibson’s June 26 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee contradicted that of Hicks, who testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in May.
Losey was Bristol’s upward chain of command, while Gibson reported to Bristol.
Of Bristol’s testimony, the committee wrote, in part:
Col Bristol confirmed to the committee that, in his role as Joint Special Operations Task Force – Trans Sahara Commander, he gave LTC Gibson initial freedom of action to make decisions in response to the unfolding situation in Benghazi. Bristol elaborated that Gibson’s orders changed over time, as conditions on the ground evolved. LTC Gibson previously testified to the committee that, contrary to some reports, he was at no point ordered to “stand down” but rather to remain in Tripoli to defend American embassy there in anticipation of possible additional attacks and to assist the survivors as they returned from Benghazi. Colonel Bristol confirmed this account of events.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had testified that there had not been “adequate intelligence information” to dispatch military assistance to Benghazi to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. Panetta said that “(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place.”
Panetta also contended that there “was not enough time” to mount a military response.
The committee report does not explain how it was known that “conditions on the ground” were determined to have “evolved” over the 7-8-hour time frame of the attack launched against the U.S. compound by Islamic terrorists.
Obama has not explained his lack of response and his apparent absence after reportedly being told by Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey of the attack at 5:00 p.m. EDT that evening. However, various retired military officers, including Fitzpatrick, have stated that Obama would have received a military “instant message” within seconds of the launching of the assault on the compound.
Fitzpatrick’s interview was conducted prior to the breaking news of Thursday wherein CNN divulged that CIA operatives in the vicinity of the Benghazi attack on September 11 have been threatened against speaking with members of Congress and the press.]
This was an American ambassador. He is the direct representative for president of the United States overseas; that’s what ambassadors do. You had an ambassador and his staff under attack. A situation where an ambassador as an individual and an embassy as a physical location or any other place where an ambassador may be residing or geographically located is foreseeable that would come under attack by individuals who reside in the host country. This is not hard to foresee.
We have contingency plans in place to go in and respond to this kind of in extremis situation where an ambassador and his staff are to be protected. We have Embassy Marines who are posted as a matter of assignment. There are contingency plans in place for when this kind of attack occurs. It’s happened in the past; it will happen in the future, and it happened on the evening of September 11-12, 2012, and there were military officers who were in the process of carrying out those contingency plans which were already in place; they’re pre-approved. Somehow those orders were interrupted; they were changed. They were countermanded, and the results is that we have four Americans dead in Benghazi, and we have not yet arrived at the truth of what happened that night.
We have the government of the United States forcing survivors of that event to sign non-disclosure statements. The reason is that there are individuals in the U.S. government who do not want the American people to know what happened that night. Anybody who is coming forward at this point as a government employee cannot be trusted to be telling the truth about what happened on the evening of the 11th of September going into the morning of the 12th of September 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.
So that, all by itself, is evident on the surface – prima facia – what the American government is trying to do. The American government is lying to the American people about what happened that night, and you have military officers who are more than willing to come in and be the water carriers for whatever motivation or threat by which they may be burdened. So you have that all by itself, and without saying more about the political aspects of the attack, there are the companion issues, which are that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left that position under a cloud and is, in fact, running for president. She is the nominative lead right now for the Democrat Party. She is directly responsible, as is her boss, Obama, for what happened that night, so the cover-up now has another layer to it. They want to keep this quiet because Hillary Clinton is running for president.
Then there is another aspect to this because it’s been reported, credibly, by individuals such as four-star retired Adm. Ace Lyons that Amb. Stevens was involved in a gun-running deal and may have been the object of a kidnapping plot to be used in the lead-up to Obama’s re-election bid.
There are so many reasons why government officials will come to the microphones and sit in front of the TV cameras now and lie about what happened behind closed doors. They’re going to lie, and any government official is to be viewed askance.