CIA Veteran Scheuer: Benghazi ‘Worse Than Watergate’


Kathleen Walter and Patrick Hobin | Newsmax

The Obama administration’s reluctance to talk about what happened in Benghazi, Libya is worse than Watergate, counterterrorism expert Michael Scheuer told Newsmax TV, and Americans will not learn what happened because President Barack Obama wants to protect his chances at being re-elected.

Scheuer, a 20-plus year CIA veteran who headed the Osama bin Laden tracking unit in the late 1990s and as special adviser to the unit’s chief from 2001 to 2004, said the handling of the Benghazi attack was not a matter of incompetence.

Watch the exclusive interview here.

“It’s hard to claim incompetence when you have the information in a real-time manner as the White House did,” he said. “They were watching or listening to the attack on our people there in Benghazi for about seven hours. This, clearly, is a case of deciding not to help those people and now trying, in the waning days of the election campaign, to prevent Americans from learning what a cowardly and arrogant policy Obama picked in order to protect his election chances.”

Scheuer, who is also the bestselling author of “Imperial Hubris” and “Osama bin Laden,” said the Obama administration did nothing, according to what’s been aired publicly, to help those being attacked at the U.S. consulate.

“Had we sent people to try to help the people who were being attacked, we may have been too late, it may have taken too long to get there, we may have run into a bigger battle and lost more people but the key element here is there is no evidence, from day one until today, that the Obama administration did anything at all to help those people,” he said. “Nothing was put in train. Nothing was tried. At the end of the day, we abandoned those four people on the orders of the president.

The communiques from the DOD and from the agency make it very clear, especially the CIA said, that at no level within the agency did we refuse to help those people who needed help. That was as close as General [David] Petraeus could come to saying that we were ready to help and the president and his staff said no use of force to rescue those people.”

Scheuer said Benghazi is “worse than Watergate.”

“Watergate seems pretty piddling to me compared to this, at least in the sense that no one was killed and once the problem was discovered it was addressed by Sen. Ervin and both Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “This didn’t take any effort at all to discover what was going on. They were watching it on TV and listening to it in their earphones. This was just a callous, political decision to let Americans die and now they’re in the effort to cover that up in order to allow Mr. Obama to try to get his re-election.”

Despite a Tunisian man who has been arrested in connection to the attack, the U.S. has not been able to question him due to Obama’s stopping of the rendition program. Scheuer said the program helped keep America safe.

“The president very early in his administration stopped the CIA’s rendition program,” he said. “And the people we have in GITMO at the moment are pretty much superfluous in terms of getting any information that could help protect America. They’ve been in our custody too long, they don’t know what’s going on in al-Qaida or other organizations.

“But, what the president did in 2009 and 2010, when he stopped the rendition program, was to stop the infusion of new blood into that system; people who could, if they were debriefed properly, give us information that would help not only defend America, but to help defend our allies.

“So the president, again, based on his own warped sense of morality, decided that it was better not to have people captured and questioned and let Americans die than to keep pursuing a policy that has been tremendously effective for American defense,” he said.

When asked if the Benghazi issue could hurt Obama at the polls, Scheuer said, “Not as long as The New York Times and The Washington Post and The Huffington Post and all of the rest of them, and CNN, stay in the tank for Obama. They’re really prostituting themselves in terms of any sense of being a media organization. They’re just a collection of flacks for Obama’s election.”

He continued, “I disagree with Fox on many positions but Fox at least has shown a dedication to journalism in the sense that they’re trying to be the guardians of American interests. And unless someone else picks it up, the whole story won’t come out until after the election and that’s clearly the intent of the Obama administration and all of its major media supporters.”

On the issue of Obama taking credit on the campaign trail for the death of bin Laden, he said, “We have to give the administration credit for killing him. We also have to reflect on what Obama thinks of the world. Obama’s view of the world is that it’s run by celebrities like himself and his Hollywood people. And he never understands leadership as compared to celebrity. And when he killed Osama bin Laden, he thought he killed a celebrity, somebody who is as fatuous and irrelevant in the long term as Brad Pitt or his wife.”

He went on, “And what he did was kill a leader and a leader who left behind an enormous reputation, legacy and inspirational capability that we’re seeing as al-Qaida and its allies spread around the world and attack us in places like Benghazi. The president is just, unfortunately, of my generation and I’ve always thought our country would be very lucky if they survived my own generation of people.”

Scheuer said America can’t win a war on terror if it continues to fail to see why the enemy is fighting.

“We’ve had Mr. Romney and all of the Republican candidates, Mr. Obama, and, in 2008, all of the Democratic candidates at that time still continuing to insist to the American people that we’re being attacked because we have elections, because we have women in the workplace, because we drink beer after work, because we have freedom,” he said.

“We’re being attacked because of what we do in the Muslim world. And that’s not to say that we should change that. If those policies are essential to American security, then we’ll have to pursue them but we have to acknowledge what motivates the enemy.”

He concluded, “Until we do that, we’re on the short end of the stick.
Al-Qaida has expanded amazingly in terms of numbers and geographical reach since 2001. And their motivation clearly comes from what we do, whether it’s our presence on the Arab Peninsula, our presence in Iraq, our activities in Yemen and Somalia, our support for Israel. It’s kind of elementary and, yet, 16 years on since bin Laden declared war on us both parties still lie to the American people about the motivation of our enemy.”

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