Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boykin: Was Stevens Running Guns to Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi? CIA: No
Terence Jeffrey, CNS News, Jan 22 2013
 Lt-Gen (Retd) William Boykin, former commander of the US Special Forces Command, former deputy Under-Sec Def for Intelligence who in the 1990s worked with the CIA, told CNS News in a video interview last week that he believes it is a reasonable supposition that the US was supporting or planning to support the Syrian rebels via Benghazi. The CIA, however, says Boykin’s supposition is erroneous and that the US was not conducting or planning covert action to support Syrian rebels through Benghazi. Boykin stressed that he could not prove that the US was conducting or planning a covert action to support the Syrian rebels that would involve the facilities in Benghazi, only that he had information supporting this supposition. A CIA spokesperson told CNS News on Tuesday: “These assertions are both baseless and flat wrong.” Boykin, who retired from the Army in 2007, believes that such an action, or planned action, would help explain why Stevens was in Benghazi on Sep 11 2012, visiting that city for the first time since he had departed from it in Nov 2011 after having served there as US envoy to the Libyan rebels who overthrew Gaddafi. Boykin asked in the interview:
Then what was Stevens doing there on Sep 11 2012? More supposition was that he was now funneling guns to the rebel forces in Syria, using essentially the Turks to facilitate that. Was that occurring, and if so, was it a legal covert action?
Before terrorists attacked the State Dept’s Special Mission Compound in Benghazi on Sep 11 2012, Stevens had met there with a Turkish diplomat. About two hours after Stevens escorted the diplomat out of the main gate of the compound, dozens of terrorists swarmed through the same gate, beginning the series of attacks that would result in the deaths of Stevens, State Dept Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were working for the CIA. CNS News asked Boykin what the State Dept could possibly have been doing in Benghazi at that point with that sort of skeletal group. Boykin replied:
Well, I think that they were anticipating that they would eventually be given a directive to support the Syrian rebels and that that would be the hub of that activity. So I think they kept the facilities open, they kept them functioning, they had somebody there that had to be there because of the communications equipment, because of the potentially classified material that was still there. And I think that they stayed there in anticipation of supporting the Syrian rebels. They’d probably been given a heads-up on that. Now, with regards to supporting the rebels in Syria, I can’t prove that there was a covert action program. I’ve got a lot of information that says there was. But if there was and it was done legally, I have no issue with it. But if it was done without the proper process being followed, including the Congress being notified, and generally when the Congress is notified they appropriate money for it, I’ve got a big issue with it because we don’t operate that way. That’s outside of the way USAia should be functioning.

No comments: