Key U.S. Military Official Never Even Heard Of Benghazi Facilities
Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command in Africa, conceded in congressional testimony that prior to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, he was not aware of the existence of the U.S. special mission in Benghazi or the nearby CIA annex.
Losey was commander of SOCAFRICA during the attack. His position put him in charge of helping U.S. diplomatic facilities in Africa build an operational security plan and strengthen regional security. His unit is supposed to work closely with U.S. Embassy country teams.
His testimony was included in a recently unclassified version of his March 14 statements to several security subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives.
His ignorance of the U.S. facilities in Benghazi raises questions regarding the nature of the activities transpiring in the fated annex and nearby U.S. special mission.
Losey was asked whether or not he was aware of the CIA annex in Benghazi before the attack.
“No,” he responded.
“When did you become aware of that facility?” Losey was asked.
“The night of the attacks,” he replied.
In further testimony, Losey said he was not even aware of the State Department’s Benghazi mission, or who was in charge of U.S. activities in Benghazi.
The questioner, whose name was redacted from the unclassified version, then asked for clarification that Losey was indeed not aware of the existence of the two separate facilities – the Benghazi mission and the secretive CIA annex.
Stated the questioner: “So two separate – so your testimony, just to be clear, is you were not aware of either of those facilities prior to the night of the attack?”
“No,” Losey replied.
When The Left Hand Doesn’t Coordinate With The Right Hand
A director of operations for the military’s U.S. Africa Command testified he first received notice U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens may have been dead from a picture posted on Twitter.
The timeline described in declassified testimony by Rear Admiral Richard B. Landolt contrasts with details released until now by the U.S. government.
According to the declassified transcript, Landolt told House investigators his first indication Stevens was dead came from social media.
Stated Landolt: “In fact, the first indication that we received that we might have a dead ambassador on our hands was a Twitter, and our J2 had picked it up, and it was just a picture with somebody having a body thrown over their shoulder, but there was clearly blond hair that it was feasible that it could have been the ambassador.”
He continued: “And I remember this being between, I want to say, 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. This was the first indicator:
While Landolt says he learned about the fate of Stevens at 3 or 4 a.m. local time in Africa from a photo on Twitter, other government agencies have said they learned Stevens was likely in a hospital at approximately 2 a.m. local time.
The State Department-sanctioned Accountability Review Board, or ARB, investigating the Benghazi attacks stated, “At approximately 0200 local, Embassy Tripoli received a phone call from ARSO 1’s cell phone, which he had given to the ambassador while they were sheltered in the safe area.” “A male, Arabic-speaking caller said an unresponsive male who matched the physical description of the ambassador was at a hospital,” reads the ARB report.
The ARB’s claim of an “unresponsive male” at a hospital is further contrasted with text in a U.S. government e-mail from a top Obama administration official released this past May.
At about 9 p.m. Eastern, Eric Pelofsky, senior adviser to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, wrote: “Post received a call from a person using a RSO phone that Chris was given saying that the caller was with a person matching Chris’s description at a hospital and that he was alive and well.”