Saturday, March 2, 2013

Obama gives planes and tanks to Egypt

U.S. gift of F-16 fighters headed to Egypt, despite Morsi's harsh rhetoric

Four F-16 fighter jets left the U.S. this morning, bound for Egypt as part of a foreign aid package critics say should have been scrapped when the nation elected a president who has called President Obama a liar and urged that hatred of Jews be instilled in children.
A source who works on the naval air base in Fort Worth, Texas, confirmed the departure of the state-of-the-art fighter planes to Sixteen F-16s and 200 Abrams tanks are to be given to the Egyptian government before the end of the year under a foreign aid deal signed in 2010 with then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally.
Critics, including several in Congress, say it doesn't make sense to follow through with the package, given that new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, elected last summer, has given decidedly mixed signals about relations with the U.S. While he has toned down his rhetoric since his election, in 2010 - the same year the aid package was struck - Morsi attacked Obama for supporting Israel.
“One American president after another — and most recently, that Obama — talks about American guarantees for the safety of the Zionists in Palestine," Morsi, then a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said on Egyptian television in reaction to Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo. "[Obama] was very clear when he uttered his empty words on the land of Egypt. He uttered many lies, of which he couldn’t have fulfilled a single word, even if he were sincere — which he is not.”
In the comments translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Morsi went on to urge that children be taught to hate Jews.
“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them," he said. "They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.”
Lawmakers told that even if Morsi has softened his stance, it makes no sense to arm his Islamist government with weapons that could one day be used against Israel or even Egyptians.
“It is appalling that the Obama administration would send F-16s and 200 military tanks to Egypt in the wake of the instability, [and the] anti-American and anti-Israel atmosphere," Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas), told
The U.S. government ordered the planes for Egypt from Lockheed Martin in 2010, as part of an annual aid package that regularly topped $1 billion. But the very next year, a popular revolution began which ultimately resulted in Mubarak's ouster and imprisonment, and the election of Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In November, Morsi tried to claim dictatorial powers, but was forced to back down from his claim after massive protests against the move.
Many worry that arming such a volatile Egypt will endanger Israel.
"My hope and prayer is that someone in this administration will wake up and smell the burning of [Israel's] future and rescind the supply of planes and tanks," Gohmert said. "If they do not, then perhaps there will arise leaders within our Congress with newfound courage to stop the lunacy."
 “It is appalling that the Obama Administration would send F-16s and 200 military tanks to Egypt in the wake of the instability, [and the] anti-American and anti-Israel atmosphere."
- Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas)

Rep. Vern Buchanan, (R-Fla.), who recently called for ending foreign aid to Egypt altogether, told the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi government has been sending increasingly troubling signals to Washington, and giving it state-of-the-art fighter jets is a dangerous idea.
“American tax dollars must not be used to aid and abet any dictatorial regime that stands with terrorists,” Buchanan said.
Others note that Egypt's leaders could use the weapons on their own people.
"Tens of billions in U.S. aid has enhanced Cairo’s capacity for internal repression," Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, told
"U.S. aid accounts for as much as 80% of the Egyptian Defense Ministry’s weapons procurement costs... In essence, American taxpayers have been Egypt’s major arms supplier, subsidizing the supply of F-16 jet fighters, M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, Apache helicopters, and hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus military equipment."
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment about the pending delivery. But earlier this month, a spokesperson said the Obama administration seeks to “maintain a strategic partnership with Egypt that enhances the security and peace of the region.”

But Anthony H. Cordesman, who has served as a consultant for the State and Defense departments and who holds the Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the administration is right to send the planes.

"If you were to suddenly end this partnership with Egypt -- if you were to make Egypt feel that somehow it were not trusted or second-best, what would the security implications be? It certainly would justify or encourage all of the extremist elements that are trying to push Egypt away from both the peace process and the security partnership with the U.S.," he told

He said that the cost of providing the weapons is worth it.

"We need to remember that Egypt isn't just important to Israel. It is critical to us, because it controls the Suez Canal. It has been a vital staging point for U.S. operations in the gulf."

Cordesman argued that the F-16 fighter jets are unlikely to be turned against us or our allies, as they are too complex to be used effectively without U.S. maintenance.

"These weapons systems are certainly extremely effective, but no one can sustain them unless that partnership with the United States continues," he said. "The modern software, the computer systems, the munitions that make this weapons system so lethal -- other than us, there are no alternative suppliers. There are European states who can provide parts of the aircraft, but F-16s and most modern systems are basically dependent on U.S. manufacturers."

"In some ways, the more sophisticated the system, the safer it is to transfer," Cordesman said, while noting that there are still risks.

"There's no such thing as an arms transfer that is totally risk-free," he said.
According to a U.S. Air Force description, the planes' "maneuverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft."

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Sign in Cairo’s Tahrir Square: ‘Obama you jerk, Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians’
 Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 by rightwingintelligentsia
Thousands of Egyptians are gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today to mark the second anniversary of the uprising. One protester slammed President Obama, calling him an “idiot” and “jerk” for cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood while the MB is “killing the Egyptians.”
posted on Friday, January 25, 2013 by rightwingintelligentsia

Unanswered Questions on Benghazi

A Green Beret’s In-Depth Analysis of ‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report’

Below are some key points, personal analysis, and further questions I gathered from reading The Benghazi Report. I hope this will generate some more detailed analysis, conjecture, deductions, and questions. Kudos to Brandon and Jack for putting this together. It was definitely a learning experience. [Quotes from the book are in bold.]
“The contract with February 17 was allowed to lapse prior to the 9/ 11/ 12 attack because the militia no longer wished to be seen protecting Americans in Benghazi.
-This should have been a major indicator. When did the contract lapse? How high on the priority list was correcting this situation?
“All told, the handful of Americans would kill just under a hundred enemy attackers.
-Didn’t hear much about these numbers in the news. Important note: the assaulters gave up the rough equivalent of a bunch of pawns to take out a rook, bishop, and two knights. Painful loss, simply put.
“Did Ansar Al-Sharia get inspired after seeing the Egyptians storming the US embassy in Cairo the day before? Did they get offended by an internet video? Did they choose 9/ 11 as the date for the attack because of the obvious symbolism? Maybe. But another contributing factor was JSOC operations in Libya, which kicked the hornets’ nest and pissed off the militia.
-Logical deduction. Makes sense to me.
“With the left hand not talking to the right, it was impossible for Stevens to see or predict the JSOC expedition into Libya in late summer of 2012, which ultimately led to the attack on the consulate.”
-Main explanation within this report as to the “why” behind the attacks. This seems logical, though the weapon transfers variable would have to play a role to some degree. Whether it played a major role or minor is a very serious question which I doubt we will have answers to in the near future.
“In total, seven Americans with four local militia guards were left to promote diplomacy in one of the most hostile and unstable places on earth.”
-”We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi on the night of 9/11,”-State Department official Charlene Lamb. Her testimony made my blood boil.
“It’s worth noting that the local guards hired by the State Department were armed only with bats, not with firearms of any sort; it’s no surprise they fled.Hillary Clinton
-Assets also apply not only to personnel, but equipment as well; yet another Dept. of State failure. I suppose it ‘doesn’t make a difference‘ in the eyes of some.
“With tacit support from Michael Vickers and James Clapper, Brennan works to exploit a number of loopholes and utilize the Obama administration’s creative interpretations of Title 10 and Title 50 powers to launch operations across North Africa and the Middle East, with Admiral McRaven no doubt happy to be along for the ride.”
-Here begins the accountability portion of the report. John Brennan receives a healthy amount, and it seems well deserved.
“Because John Brennan is running his own private war, he is not going through the normal chain of command, and operations are not deconflicted. Ambassador Stevens, for instance, was not read on to the JSOC operations in Libya. He was kept in the dark and ultimately killed in a retaliation that he never could have seen coming. “
-If the CIA is not gathering intelligence on potential attacks via HUMINT or SIGINT, who the hell is? Was there any of that going on? There had to have been a catalyst, even if the bulk of the assault didn’t take place until hours after the initial breach. There is always a thread running somewhere. Our intelligence assets were either kept completely in the dark by the coordinators of this assault, or someone dropped the ball.
“In a Senate hearing after the attack, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, stated that there was no evidence of “significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack.” This is a viewpoint shared by Matthew VanDyke, who told Business Insider, “This was not a commando style raid, that’s ridiculous…” The problem with this thesis is that further investigation has clearly shown that there was no protest outside the consulate prior to or during the attack.
-Again, if they were gathering any HUMINT or SIGINT of any measurable value, or there should have been SOME sort of a blip on the radar that something was in the works. My estimation: this was pure spin from the administration.
“As the Global War on Terror enters the next phase in North Africa and elsewhere, we can only hold our breath and wonder which of our friends will be killed in the next debacle.
-The next chapter looks to be a disturbing one. I do not look forward to it growing.
“The last thing the White House wanted was journalists digging into what was really going on in Libya, namely, secret weapons transfers from Libya to Syria, a program that remains a peripheral issue in the story of the Benghazi attack. More importantly, they did not want the press investigating the true motivations behind the assault.”
-This stood out as the most valuable piece of the puzzle I gathered from this report. This picture cleared up the majority of questions I had about this entire debacle.
“His willingness to stand up to his CIA boss and do what was right is an example of true American heroism. Glen Doherty ran toward the sound of gunfire, and his CIA and JSOC comrades could have waited it out in Tripoli. Instead, they practically commandeered a local plane and forced their way into the fight. Their presence and the JSOC element’s access to the Predator drone ultimately drove the decision to evacuate the Americans.”
-One of the more sobering elements of the report, but definitely a bright light amid a backdrop of blackness.
Standing Questions:
  • Is the CIA or JSOC capable/willing to run operations without knowledge or consent of the Dept. of State?
  • What quantifiable actions has the Department of State done to fix their operations abroad?
  • What was the original intelligence source that referenced the YouTube video? How did that become the assumed reason for the attack in the State Department?
  • Did the absence of executive authority hamper the speed at which assets could have provided support?
My bottom line: The continued lie about the video was intended to be discovered as a blatant lie in order to distract anyone with the power to hold the administration accountable from the darker activities being conducted. The real important question is how far up the chain these ‘darker activities’ go. Fortunately for the White House, the majority of the media is too prostrated to actually go through the process of ‘journalism’ and discover questions like these. I have little to no confidence that anyone will be held accountable for what occurred on this dark day.

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Was Obama Gun Running Again?
In-Extremis | Katechon
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2012 8:00:54 PM by Katechon
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Obama régime has been running guns and armaments and munitions to the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliate jihadist groups, including heat-seeking shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down jetliners. The American Mission in Libya was apparently trying to buy back man-portable anti-aircraft missiles that the Obama Régime sold or gave to the Muslim Brotherhood and then went "missing." The Administration was also trying to buy back weapons previously owned by the Gaddafi Régime that spread everywhere after the "revolution."

Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch emergencies director, told CNN he has seen the same pattern in armories looted elsewhere in Libya, noting that "in every city we arrive, the first thing to disappear are the surface-to-air missiles." He said such missiles can fetch many thousands of dollars on the black market. "We are talking about some 20,000 surface-to-air missiles in all of Libya, and I've seen cars packed with them." he said. [...] The United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy them back [...]
“The rebels came from all over the western mountains, and they just took what they wanted,” said Riyad, a supervisor of the ruined arsenal’s small contingent of rebel guards.
A report by the UN Support Mission in Libya (PDF) said that Gaddafi had accumulated a large stockpile of MANPADs, and that although thousands were "destroyed" during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, there were "increasing concerns over the looting and likely proliferation of these portable defence systems, as well as munitions and mines, highlighting the potential risk to local and regional stability."
As soon as islamic organizations outside Libya realized that there were Manpads available, they tried to get them. When the Obama Régime discovered that thousands of MANPADs had "disappeared" and were "on the loose in Libya" it turned around and stuck a LOT of cash in the CIA "annex", or "safehouse" in order to BUY those weapons back. (I wrote about the CIA annex here.) Fox News Bureau Chief of Intelligence Catherine Herridge said that the role being played by the U.S. Mission in Libya is to control the movement of weapons out of Libya to Syrian rebels fighting to bring down the Bashar Al-Assad régime. The Benghazi mission played a key role in “engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East,” said the president of the Center for Security Policy. From there, we can infer that Ghadaffi was overthrown in order to use Libya as the doorway to get the arms in for distribution to Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and eventually Saudi Arabia. Especially Syria, for now. That's the big picture. The State Department and the CIA were somehow, some way running or heavily involved in this armament pipeline. But what was Stevens' function inside this apparatus? What do we know about it? I suggest that we use this thread to aggregate facts, data and sources in order to help answering that question. Only when we will get to see more clearly what role Stevens played in the running of this armament pipeline (to the incipient Caliphate) will we begin to learn "Why the Obama régime wanted him dead?," or at least: a) Why was the security protection for the Benghazi Mission prior to the 9/11 anniversary attack stripped?, and b) Why did the Obama régime refuse to send (or even permit) local help on the night of the attack. How did Ambassador Stevens help in the gun and armament running? We know that Benghazi was staffed by CIA operatives, working for the State Department, whose job was a) to secure and destroy dangerous weapons (like RPGs and SAMs) looted from Gaddafi’s stockpiles during and after the 2011 revolution, and b) to facilitate the onward shipment of those weapons to Syria. Was Ambassador Stevens' job to cover for all of this? We know that Obama signed an intelligence finding in early 2012 authorizing U.S. support for the Syrian rebels, and that this summer CIA operatives were on the Turkish-Syrian border helping to steer weapons deliveries to selected Syrian rebel groups, most of them “hard-line Islamic jihadists.” One of those jihadis was Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, "met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey," said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. "Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there. -- Ruth Sherlock in Tripoli, 27 Nov 2011, for the Telegraph
Belhadj’s contact with the Syrian Free Army was part of a Lybian delegation to Turkey offering arms and fighters to the Turkish-backed Syrian jihadis.
The Daily Telegraph on Saturday [November 26 2011] revealed that the new Libyan authorities had offered money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad. Mr Belhaj also discussed sending Libyan fighters to train troops, the source said. Having ousted one dictator, triumphant young men, still filled with revolutionary fervour, are keen to topple the next. The commanders of armed gangs still roaming Tripoli's streets said yesterday that "hundreds" of fighters wanted to wage war against the Assad regime.
So we have the United-States, Libya and Turkey working together with and through Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists like Belhadj to get weapons into the hands of Syrian rebels, known to be dominated by Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. We know also that a Libyan-flagged vessel, Al-Entisar, docked at the Turkish port of Iskanderun on September 6, 2012.
A mysterious Libyan ship [the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means "The Victory,"] -- reportedly carrying weapons and bound for Syrian rebels -- [...] was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun -- 35 miles from the Syrian border -- on Sept. 6 [...] On the night of Sept. 11, [Ambassador] Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and escorted him out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began at approximately 9:35 p.m. local time. [A] source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer, an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists. [...] According to an initial Sept. 14 report by the Times of London, Al Entisar was carrying 400 tons of cargo. Some of it was humanitarian, but also reportedly weapons, described by the report as the largest consignment of weapons headed for Syria's rebels on the frontlines. "This is the Libyan ship ... which is basically carrying weapons that are found in Libya," said Walid Phares, a Fox News Middle East and terrorism analyst. [...] The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG's and Russian-designed shoulder-launched missiles known as MANPADS. The ship's Libyan captain told the Times of London that "I can only talk about the medicine and humanitarian aid" for the Syrian rebels. It was reported there was a fight about the weapons and who got what "between the free Syrian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood." "The point is that both of these weapons systems are extremely accurate and very simple to use," Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt explained. He said the passage of weapons from Libya to Syria would escalate the conflict. "With a short amount of instruction, you've got somebody capable of taking down any, any aircraft. Anywhere in the world." [...] In March 2011, the Reuters news service first reported that President Obama had authorized a "secret order ... (allowing) covert U.S. government support for rebel forces" to push the Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi from office. At a hearing on March 31, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, several lawmakers raised concerns about the finding reported by the Reuters news service and whether the Obama administration knew who constituted the rebel forces and whether Islamists were among their ranks. "What assurances do we have that they will not pose a threat to the United States if they succeed in toppling Qaddafi?" Republican Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., asked. "There are reports that some opposition figures have links to Al Qaeda and extremist groups that have fought against our forces in Iraq." [...] A month after the October 2011 death of Qaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Tripoli that the U.S. was committing $40 million to help Libya "secure and recover its weapons stockpiles." [...]
The group accused of moving the weapons is the Foundation for Human Rights, and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH). U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ last meeting in Benghazi the night he was killed was with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, who is reported to have been there to discuss a weapons transfer or a warning about the possible compromise of the Libyan weapons pipeline to Syria. Whatever the topic of Ambassador Stevens’ discussion with Akin, he clearly and knowingly put himself in harm’s way to be there, in Benghazi, on the night of September 11.

A Three Letter Agency Prepares to Attack Benghazi: A Definitive Report

A Three Letter Agency Prepares to Attack Benghazi
Just a quick but important update about the new ebook that Brandon and I released this week. Benghazi: The Definitive report has made quite a splash and I’ve been doing media for it all week, with both myself and my co-author scheduled to do some television appearances starting on Monday.
We both believe in this book and stand by it. We are also humbled by the tremendous support we’ve received from readers. We have been covered by both the left and right wing media, we have received both praise and scorn from the left and right wing media. I take this as a sign that we are doing something right. The reality about what happened in Benghazi does not fit into some pre-packaged corporate political ideology. The truth is not politically satisfying in anyway.
That said, I do want to comment on some of the grumbling going on behind the scenes. A spokesmen for the National Security Council has said the claim made in the book that the US Government has been facilitating the trafficking of weapons from Libya to Syria is false, a complete fabrication. The statement the NSC gave is technically correct but intrinsically wrong, that is the nature of plausible deniability. They can issue a statement like this because technically they are not the ones trafficking the weapons, but they know all about it and have approved the process. In regards to the JSOC operations that happened inside Libya, it has pretty much been radio silence aside from SOCOM making a statement that they don’t confirm or deny operations.
Meanwhile, in a certain Three Letter Agency, people are sharpening their knives. We’ve seen the crackdown on whistleblowers during this administration but in this case there really isn’t anything they can do to me and my co-author. We are out of the service now and are not writing about anything we did while we served. Like any good intelligence operation, we gathered open source reports, talked to our sources and put the puzzle together. We were never read in on any of these programs. Hell, I’ve never even held a Top Secret clearance. I got out of the Army before the paperwork could finished to be processed. Legally speaking, the spooks are out of luck. Benghazi: The Definitive Report falls under the category of journalism.
However, there is another avenue open to them: character assassination. How do you go about doing this? You could dig into our backgrounds using government databases, check out our military records, talk to some former team mates, that sort of thing. I can’t really imagine what they could find on me…alcohol and women? Big deal, welcome to the US Army folks! But they can fabricate or exaggerate certain claims and then have a few retired analysts or case officers strut their stuff in the media and try to discredit what we wrote. I’m not afraid of it, I just say, go ahead and mentally prepare for it now.
The sad thing is that this clique within the intelligence community could care less about any of the actual operations we discuss in the ebook, it is only the information about David Petraeus that concerns them. You see, that information hits a little close to home and could make some very senior people look very bad. Careers could be on the line and that is what really ruffles some feathers, national security be damned.
I am not trying to use scare tactics as some cheap gimmick to get people to go and buy the book, I don’t believe in that sort of thing. What I will ask is for you to rally around this book if you support this type of reporting and this style of journalism. Spread the word.
It is a brave new world out there in publishing and in journalism, a libertarian wild west type of model, but maybe a better one then simply having four or five corporations who have consolidated the entire news media under their umbrella. If you think it is important to hear from ordinary Americans, former Special Operations soldiers in this case, who do investigative work and then pass that information on to the public is a responsible manner, then please make your voice heard.
I’m writing this now to try to get ahead of the opposition’s decision-making process and stay a few steps ahead of them. If you support this book or this type of reporting then now is the time to say something. Speak out against digital censorship and let people know that you want the unvarnished truth, not some PR spin from the corporate media.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!

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Benghazi: The Definitive Report

Benghazi: The Definitive Report
This Tuesday, White House Counter-Terrorism adviser John Brennan will sit down for the closed door classified portion of his confirmation hearing. Brennan brings a lot of baggage to the table and has taken some fire from both the Left and the Right for his support of para-military activities and so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. This last week we’ve seen puff piece after puff piece as our 4th Estate absolutely gushes over John Brennan to pump him up for the confirmation hearings that will determine whether or not he will be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, filling the void left by General Petraeus’ resignation.
Perhaps it is then a happy coincidence that the ebook I wrote with Brandon Webb about Benghazi is coming out on the same day as Brennan’s classified hearing. The ebook will begin to peel back a few of the layers of secrecy that have thus far protected John Brennan and some very shady activities undertaken by the National Security Council.
The book includes many never before revealed details about the Libyan Civil War and the post-war reconsolidation efforts undertaken by Private Military Companies, the CIA, and Ambassador Chris Stevens. This sets the stage for the situation that led to the attack on the US Consulate (technically a Temporary Mission Facility) in Benghazi. We then tell it like it actually happened that night and detail the heroic actions of Ty Woods and his fellow OGA operators. We will also shatter some myths and misconceptions about denied air support and the resignation of General Petraeus.
Perhaps most damning is the question of why. Why did the attack happen? What got AQIM elements operating under the Ansar Al-Sharia banner so angry that they decided to over run the Consulate? Perhaps events in Egypt and a silly Youtube video helped some of the Sheiks mobilize a large group of extremists but there is more to this situation. Much more. Ambassador Stevens and David Petraeus never could have seen what was coming. They were left in the lurch due to covert operations initiated by the White House, a secret war in North Africa being orchestrated by John Brennan.

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The unanswered questions of Benghazi

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News is among the few mainstream media reporters to pursue the Benghazi story seriously. On Wednesday evening, she used her Twitter account to run through the questions posed by CBS, but still unanswered by the Administration. She also reviewed the few questions that have been answered. The whole stream of messages has helpfully been collected here by Jimmie Bise, Jr.

Here are Attkisson’s unanswered questions of Benghazi:

1. What time was Ambassador’s Stevens’ body recovered, what are the known details surrounding his disappearance and death, including where he/his body was taken/found/transported and by whom?

2. Who made the decision not to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) the night of the Benghazi attacks? We understand that convening the CSG a protocol under Presidential directive (“NSPD-46”). Is that true? If not, please explain. If so, why was the protocol not followed?

3. Is the Administration revising the applicable Presidential directive? If so, please explain.
- See more at:

Terrorists receive the QW-1M from China to take down civilan and military aircraft

Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns on Iran

Published: March 2, 2013   
Yemeni Defense Ministry, via Reuters
Some of the weapons that officials said were seized off the coast of Yemen in January, from a dhow seen leaving an Iranian port.
Among the items aboard the dhow, according to a review of factory markings on weapons and their packing crates, were 10 Chinese heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles, most of them manufactured in 2005.
The missiles were labeled QW-1M and bore stencils suggesting that they had been assembled at a factory represented by the state-owned China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation, sanctioned by the United States for transfers of missile technology to Pakistan and Iran.
The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January, which American and Yemeni officials say was intended for the Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen. But the presence of the missiles in the seized contraband complicates an already politically delicate case.
The shipment, which officials portray as an attempt to introduce sophisticated new antiaircraft systems into the Arabian Peninsula, has raised concerns in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, as the weapons would have posed escalated risks to civilian and military aircraft alike.
And it has presented the Obama administration with a fresh example of Iran’s apparent transfer of modern missiles from China to insurgents in the larger regional contest between Sunni-led and Shiite-led states, in which the American military has often been entwined.
The United States has previously accused Iran, a Shiite-led theocracy, of sending weapons to the Houthis, who follow an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Saudi Arabia, an American ally, is considered the leading Sunni power in the region. Both sides have aided and equipped groups or governments they deem aligned with their interests, helping to fuel violence in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Sudan and elsewhere.
Iran has rejected the allegations as “baseless and absurd.” Neither the Iranian government nor the Chinese firm that markets QW missiles answered written requests for comment.
The government of Yemen has asked the United Nations to investigate the shipment and report the findings to the Security Council. Yemeni news media reported that United Nations experts were in Yemen last week.
The analysis of the weapons’ markings and origins was based on photographs taken when Yemeni officials briefly displayed the weapons to journalists.
Concerns over sophisticated Chinese missiles reaching Iran’s proxies have considerable regional history. They are part of both the larger worries over antiaircraft weapons set loose by conflicts across the Middle East in the past decade and the lingering frustration in Washington over China’s military aid to Iran.
In 2008, late in the Bush administration, the United States complained to China about two similar antiaircraft missiles that were recovered from Shiite militants in Iraq, according a diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks.
“We have demarched China repeatedly on its conventional arms transfers to Iran, urging Beijing to stop,” the cable noted.
The cable said the QW-1 missiles recovered in Iraq had been manufactured in China in 2003.
Like the American-made Stinger, China’s QW series is part of a class of weapons known as man-portable air-defense systems, or manpads. The cable instructed American diplomats to warn China of the “unacceptably high risk that any military equipment sold to Iran, especially weapons like manpads, that are highly sought-after by terrorists, will be diverted to nonstate actors who threaten U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as civilians across the region.”
The latest discovery of Chinese manpads came after the United States Navy detected the dhow, the Jeehan 1, as it took on cargo in an Iranian military-controlled port. The vessel then embarked on a high-seas smuggling run, according to accounts by Yemeni and American officials.
The vessel tied off on a pier in the harbor on Lesser Tunb Island, a tiny spit of land just west of the Strait of Hormuz that is claimed by both Iran and the United Arab Emirates, officials familiar with its voyage said. The island is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
After passing eastward through the strait and heading south along the Arabian Peninsula, the dhow was stopped on Jan. 23 by the American destroyer Farragut and a Yemeni boarding team off the coast of Al Ghaydah.
The dhow’s Iranian crew initially insisted the vessel was Panamanian-flagged and carried only fuel, an American official said. The military cargo, which included many ammunition crates that had been painted over with white or black paint, was found in hidden compartments, American officials said.
That cargo also included 316,000 cartridges for Kalashnikov rifles, nearly 63,000 cartridges for PK machine guns or the Dragunov series of sniper rifles, more than 12,000 cartridges for 12.7-millimeter DShK machine guns and 95 RPG-7 launchers.
The rifle cartridges were packaged in crates strongly resembling packaging used by Iran’s Defense Industries Organization, another firm under American sanction, according to James Bevan, director of Conflict Armament Research, a private arms-tracking firm that has documented the spread of Iranian ammunition in East and West Africa.
The vessel also carried 10 SA-7 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles with two gripstocks for firing them, nearly 17,000 blocks of Iranian-made C-4 plastic explosives, 48 Russian PN-14K night vision goggles, and 10 LH80A laser range finders made, according to their placards, by the state-run Iran Electronics Industries, also under American sanction.
The original provenance of the SA-7s was not clear, though the crates they were in had stenciling in Bulgarian.
The captain and crew of the Jeehan 1 remain in Yemeni detention, and the dhow has been impounded under Yemeni custody, a Yememi official said.
An American official called the shipment “deeply disturbing” and said it “clearly appeared to violate” Security Council resolutions prohibiting Iran from exporting arms.
Two independent arms-trafficking researchers who have reviewed photographs and written a summary of the markings on the missiles and crates said the weapons appeared to be of Chinese origin.
Matthew Schroeder, an analyst for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington and the Small Arms Survey in Geneva, said that this was the first time to his knowledge that the QW-1M had left state control.
“If so, and these missiles were indeed bound for insurgents, this shipment is extremely worrisome, both from a regional security and a global counterterrorism perspective,” he said.
Unlike many older shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles seen in insurgent hands around the world, the QW-1M is believed by analysts to have a seeker head more resistant to countermeasures intended to deceive it.