Via Breitbart and the Daily Mail, seven minutes from Joe DiGenova’s chat with WMAL yesterday. The key bit comes at 3:25, after he points out that Obama’s arguably guilty of contempt of court for publicly acknowledging a sealed indictment against the Benghazi attackers at his presser on Friday.
This isn’t the first time that someone with inside info has floated the theory that SAMs were key to what the CIA was doing in Benghazi. CNN mentioned that too in its big scoop about agents allegedly being intimidated into silence, although the SAM connection was mentioned as speculation going around on Capitol Hill, not something that CNN itself was substantiating. Anyway, two points to bear in mind while you listen. One: DiGenova never specifically says that the SAMs were stolen during the attack or that they were removed from the CIA annex. He does say that it’s “clear” that the annex was “somehow involved” in distributing the missiles, but that’s as specific as he gets. It occurs to me that if the missiles were being kept at the annex and that the Benghazi attack was really an operation by jihadis to steal them, it’s … odd that they would have attacked the consulate first. Maybe they thought the missiles were being kept at the consulate, under cover of diplomacy? Or maybe they just didn’t know that the annex was a CIA hub. That seems hard to believe, but there you go.
Two: Powerline’s written more than one post attempting to debunk the “CIA was shipping SAMs to Syria from Libya” theory of what happened, which caught fire after CNN’s report. A congressional source, presumably on the GOP side, told them that even he’s skeptical of that. Michael Ledeen speculated in an e-mail to Powerline that Syria had nothing to do with it; what probably happened, he thinks, is that the CIA was trying to collect some of the heavier weapons Libyan rebels had acquired during the war with Qaddafi. That makes more sense. It does seem odd that the CIA would choose a fragile, dangerous place like Benghazi as a base for running missiles to Syria when they could do it from Qatar or Jordan, say, instead. If Ledeen’s theory is right, that the CIA was actually trying to recoup weapons rather than hand them out, then the scandal is — as it really always has been — about the light security in place at the annex and consulate to defend an arsenal as dangerous as 400 SAMs. You can understand, then, why both Obama and the agency would be so tight-lipped about the truth. Stockpiling a nightmare weapon in the heart of a city crawling with jihadis and then failing to protect the cache from a terrorist assault is a titanic security blunder. If true, it’s a giant embarrassment for the CIA and would have been a damaging blow to Obama’s counterterror credentials before the election last year if known.
Note what DiGenova says about firing SAMs into buildings, not just at planes. He thinks that’s a contributing factor to the decision to close down U.S. embassies last week after Al Qaeda’s new terror threat. Exit question: If the SAM theory is true, did the Libyan rebels get those missiles from … us? I’m thinking no, since handing out a plane-killing weapon to a dubious “ally” while we were operating a no-fly zone seems too goofy even for O.