When I first heard of this from a friend who had first hand knowledge, I was still skeptical. What did I hear? The CIA is conducting weekly polygraphs of officers who work in paramilitary activities (I knew it as Special Activities Division back in my day) and were involved in supporting the operations at Benghazi, Libya last September. So, I asked another friend to run his traps. He reported the same plus that the Intelligence Officers are being pressured to sign an additional Non-Disclosure form.
This kind of bullying and pressure is unprecedented in my memory. You only do this when you have something to hide. As I have written before, the Obama Administration decided more than a year ago to get in bed with the Saudis and help them arm rebels aspiring to depose Syria’s Bashir Assad. The full details of this operation are shrouded in mystery. We know that there were CIA personnel and CIA contractors operating at the so-called Annex. We know that members of the Global Response Staff, a CIA entity, deployed from Tripoli to Benghazi when the fighting erupted around the ostensble “Consulate.”
We also know that weapons were loaded on cargo ships in Benghazi and sent to Turkey, where they were off-loaded and transferred to groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq. What we do not know with great detail is this:
Who were the people working at the Annex who handled the collection and shipment of the weapons from Libya to Turkey? I had assumed, given the laws in the United States, that these were third country nationals. Under US law, you do not have to inform Congress of a clandestine operation if you are using foreign money and foreign personnel.
But the CIA is in paranoid overdrive. Why is the CIA so intent on using threats and pressure to keep this secret? This is not the simple matter of trying to protect a clandestine operation. Such operations are never supposed to see the light of day and are supposed to give President Obama plausible deniability. What makes this so sensitive is the fact that the operation itself was run out of the White House, where John Brennan, by virtue of his ties with the Saudis, reportedly played the key role of coordinator. His man on the ground in Libya? Ambassador Chris Stevens.
We have not seen an operation like this since the Admiral Poindexter/Ollie North days of Iran Contra.
Initially, I did not think any US laws were broken. I am less sanguine now in light of the CIA’s reaction. The extreme reaction of the CIA in trying to quell the leak of any info about this matter indicates to me that they are covering up what is most likely the illegal use of US citizens and US funds in a clandestine operation. If that is true, then Obama has committed an impeachable offense.