by Tom Fitton –
Judicial Watch has blown open the Benghazi scandal yet again. We forced the release of new smoking-gun documents that show that the Obama administration knew almost from the outset that the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, was coordinated and pre-planned. The news about these documents was broken by Catherine Herridge of Fox News.
Your JW obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.
These just-released documents were not given voluntarily, but forced out of the secretive Obama administration thanks to a court order that followed a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against both DOD and State asking for communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.” The documents provide us with the first official confirmation that the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.
The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria. (Interestingly, it is not clear if the information was ever shared with Congress, even though the documents were responsive to a request about communications with Congress.)
U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were both killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack on September 11, 2012. Several hours after the initial assault, a second terrorist attack took place targeting a different compound located just one mile away. Two CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed in this second attack and 10 others were injured.
Let’s see how Obama and Clinton operatives (such as George Stephanopoulos) explain away a Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, which details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.” This document was sent to Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council. The heavily redacted DOD “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).” The group subscribes to “AQ [al Qaeda] ideologies:”
The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.
“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, and “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.” The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons. Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock. They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”
The Defense Department reported that the group maintained written documents in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”
It should be noted that Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.
The DOD documents provide confirmation that the Obama administration knew weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. This had been the source of much speculation, as many have asked, including Judicial Watch, just exactly what we were up to in Benghazi that would require a rushed facility that was unsecured (the Benghazi Special Mission Compound).
Some darn big clues are in the
October 2012 DIA report:
Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.
During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.
The DIA document further details:
The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]
The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons. The level of detail presented suggests that the Obama administration, in the least, was in a position to stop any transfers.
Why is the weapons transfer issue important? Because the Libya fiasco was allowing weapons to move into a jihadist madhouse in the Syria-Iraq region.Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:
The deterioration of the situation has dire
consequences on the Iraqi situation
and are as follows:
This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISIS could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.
Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked-out, but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” It turns out the DIA warnings were right on the nose. In a recent crushing victory, ISIS terrorists took over Ramadi. The Iraqi military cut and ran. And now the murderous Islamic radicals, with volunteers courtesy of Obama’s Libya creation, have embarrassed America and taken many American military assets that we gave to the Iraqi military!
From a separate lawsuit, the State Department produced a document created by Hillary Clinton’s offices and the Operations Center in the Office of the Executive Secretariat the morning after the Benghazi attack, which was sent widely through the agency, including to Joseph McManus (then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant). At 6:00 am, a few hours after the attack, the top office of the State Department sent a “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” that makes no mention of videos or demonstrations:
Four COM personnel were killed and three were wounded in an attack by dozens of fighters on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi beginning approximately 1550 Eastern Time….
The State Department has yet to turn over any documents to Judicial Watch from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials. However, the State Department released some of these secret emails recently – again thanks in no small measure to our oversight pressure. For corrupt politicians, the long Memorial Day weekend is the best time to release damaging information in the hopes most miss it during the holiday.
These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has been in motion for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them. If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also show connections between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists.
Your JW will keep fighting. Earlier this month, our legal team filed seven new FOIA lawsuits against State to obtain the release of documents about the Clinton email scandal, including the emails of her top aide Huma Abedin, and records about the Benghazi and Clinton Foundation scandals.
We will keep you updated as new information flows in. In the coming weeks and months, you can be sure to expect additional fallout.
Mexican Government Helicopter Crosses Into U.S.
and Attacks Border Agents
When one country crosses over the border into another and launches an assault, it usually grabs headlines because that is typically viewed as an act of war. But apparently this is not the case when the Mexican government moves aggressively against its U.S. counterparts along the southwestern border. The fact that this is probably the first time you’re hearing about this report drives this point home.
After obtaining documents from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), we have uncovered the details of an incident on June 26, 2014, when a Mexican government helicopter crossed into U.S. airspace and opened fire on U.S. Border Patrol personnel. The attack occurred near Arizona’s San Miguel gate. The CBP documents were released in response to a July 9, 2014, Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that asked for:
Any and all records regarding, concerning or related to the June 26, 2014 incident near Sells, AZ on the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation during which one or more Mexican military helicopters reportedly entered U.S. airspace and fired shots in the vicinity of U.S. Border Patrol personnel.
There’s history here. Going back a decade, your JW has forced both the Bush and Obama administrations to release documents detailing intentional border incursions by Mexican military and other government personnel. DHS records show that Mexican military incursions occur quite often and go unpunished by the U.S. For instance, the DHS documents reveal 226 incursions by Mexican government personnel into the U.S. between 1996 and 2005. In 2007 alone, 25 such incursions occurred along the U.S.-Mexico border. Earlier this year a serious incursion occurred in Arizona. Two heavily armed and camouflaged soldiers from Mexico crossed 50 yards over the border into Arizona and held American Border Patrol agents at gunpoint in a tense confrontation.
These new CBP records provide detail on the 2014 incident:
[US Border Patrol] Agents from the Tucson Sector Foreign Operations Branch were parked approximately 100 yards north of the Border on the U.S. Side when they observed a Mexican LEA helicopter cross north into the U.S. for approximately 100 yards.
The agents then heard and observed two rounds being shot from the helicopter which landed approximately 15 yards to the side of one of the unmarked Border Patrol Vehicles (FOB) they were driving. Also, there were two marked vehicles at the scene next to the unmarked as well.
A total of six Mexican law enforcement helicopters flying near the Represito Ranch were observed by the four agents. Two agents were driving two marked Border Patrol vehicles and two additional agents were in a third, unmarked vehicle when one of the helicopters flew directly north and crossed into the US approximately 100 yards. The helicopter immediately turned back south into Mexico and landed at the Represito Ranch where Government of Mexico (GOM) officers exited the aircraft. Five GOM officers walked north and approached the International Border Fence where the incident had occurred, and subsequently made contact with the agents. The GOM officers apologized for the incident and stated that the incident had been reported to their main office in Mexico City, D.F.
Here we should also credit the heavy lifting of California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has obtained information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that provides some disturbing details. On June 17, 2014, he reported that according to DHS:
• There have been a total of 300 documented incursions since January 1, 2004;
• Of the 300 documented incidents, there were 152 incidents involving armed subjects (totaling approximately 525 subjects);
• Of the 152 incidents involving armed subjects, verbal or physical contact was made with the armed subjects in 81 incidents (approximately 322 armed subjects in total). An encounter with one of these Mexican Government Law Enforcement or Military entities does not always equal a standoff or confrontation. It depends on a case-by-case basis where one would have to read the narrative completed on the Significant Incident Report for the specific incursion;
• Of the 81 armed encounters, a total of 131 subjects were detained. While the number of unauthorized incursions by Mexican authorities is relatively few, it is imperative for our officer safety to handle each situation assertively but with sensitivity and professionalism.
It’s not just the Mexican government we need to be concerned about, but also foreign powers that could be out to exploit the many points of vulnerabilities along our southwestern border. Tens of thousands of “Other than Mexican” illegal aliens (OTMs) have been apprehended by our U.S. Border Patrol agents. There are also illegal aliens from Special Interest Countries (SIC) with ties to terrorism that have been caught crossing the border. It’s time to worry.
The Mexican government initially denied, but later admitted to, the armed incursion. The Mexican government has little regard for the sovereignty of the United States. Mexican military and law enforcement personnel intentionally and without consequence cross our border and place U.S. law enforcement and other innocent Americans at risk. These new documents show how our Border Patrol agents were almost killed by a Mexican ‘law enforcement’ helicopter that crossed our border and fired on the Border Patrol’s clearly marked position. America is placed at risk by the Obama administration’s lawless open-borders policy that purposefully fails to protect American citizens and front-line law enforcement from a corrupt Mexican government, the drug cartels, the illegal alien crisis, ISIS and the Islamic terrorist threat.
Obamacare Lawlessness to the Supreme Court?
This is where we are in Obama’s America. Even when you play by the rules as they are set by the current regime, you still lose out financially and legally. Just ask Kawa Orthodontics, which invested time and resources to comply with the employer mandate as it was written into President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). That’s the federal law commonly known as Obamacare. The key provision here declares that businesses with 50 or more employees are considered “large employers,” and once an employer reaches or surpasses the 50-employee mark they must provide “affordable, minimum essential” health insurance coverage to their employees and their employees’ dependents. In addition, “large employers” have annual reporting obligations under the ACA. So, in 2013, in anticipation of the employer mandate going into effect, Kawa Orthodontics put up its own money to comply with the mandate, causing it, and who know how many other businesses, to lose some, if not all, of the value of its time money that could have been used for other, productive purposes. That was before the administration decided to ignore the law and delay implementation of the mandate.
Your JW is having none of it. That’s why on May 14, 2015, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Kawa Orthodontics, a Florida business that alleges that the Obama administration’s 2013 unilateral delay of the ACA’s employer mandate, without approval from Congress, caused Kawa to lose “the value of the time and money it spent in 2013 preparing for the mandate to take effect in 2014,” and thereby suffer significant economic harm (Kawa Orthodontics, LLP v. Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury, et al. (No. 14-10296). Kawa Orthodontics is owned by Dr. Larry Kawa.
In December 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that it would not address the central question of Kawa Ortho’s legal challenge – whether the executive branch could “ignore the clear, congressionally-imposed deadline” of the ACA because it concluded that Kawa Orthodontics did not demonstrate injury sufficient to establish legal standing. The Eleventh Circuit is wrong because it’s clear that Kawa Orthodontics incurred an injury traceable to the defendants. That’s what we argue in our petition:
Delay diminishes the time value of money…Kawa Ortho plainly alleged that because of the delay, it lost some, if not all, of the value of the substantial time and resources it expended at least two years early. It lost the time value of the money it spent on anticipatory compliance costs…Contrary to the panel’s ruling, Kawa Ortho has standing. It was injured by Defendants’ delay of the enforcement of the ’employer mandate’ provisions of the ACA. Had Defendants not delayed enforcement, Kawa Ortho’s spending would not have been premature.
Also, the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling conflicts with previous Supreme Court precedent:
In National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the Court resolved whether the individual mandate was constitutional. Although it did not address standing, by reaching a decision, it implicitly affirmed the court of appeals’ analysis. In that case, the court of appeals held that private parties challenging the constitutionality of the ACA’s “individual mandate” had standing to pursue their claims based on their need to incur anticipatory compliance costs.
Additionally, the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the jurisprudence of other circuit courts:
Like this Court, other courts of appeals have concluded that incurring anticipatory compliance costs is a sufficient injury to confer Article III standing. In Liberty University v. Sebelius, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the plaintiff-employer in that case, Liberty University, had standing to challenge the “employer mandate” because of the anticipatory compliance costs it had to incur in order to comply with the mandate…In Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities. v. Duncan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the plaintiffs were sufficiently injured to confer standing because they faced increased compliance costs…Similarly, the Second and Sixth Circuits have held that plaintiffs incurring compliance costs have standing.
Those who think Obama’s lawlessness and his refusal to follow his own Obamacare law have no consequences are oblivious to costs of this lawlessness for American businesses, such as our client Kawa Orthodontics. This case is yet another instance in which a responsible and rational business has been injured by a politically motivated, unilateral power grab by the executive branch. In attempting to comply with the law, our client instead suffered significant economic harm, so that President Obama and influential special interests could avoid accountability for the law passed despite the clear objections of the American people. The idea that the courts would ignore precedent and, for non-legal reasons, shut down challenges to this lawlessness is fundamentally unjust.
Dr. Kawa is pleased for our help and wants justice:
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to stand up for the Constitution. Our founders created a system of checks and balances designed so that no one branch of government would become too powerful. When the executive branch decided to rewrite the laws as they saw fit without the consent of Congress, they overstepped their authority, causing injury and harm to myself as a business owner. With the great help of Judicial Watch, I look forward to the opportunity to have our day in court and have justice served.
It is no surprise that the Obama administration doesn’t want Kawa Orthodontics to have its day in court, but the Supreme Court should uphold the rule of law.
Tom Fitton – President