Washington Post, Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator and he just can’t stand it anymore, David A. Fahrenthold, Oct. 26, 2015. After deciding not to run for his Senate seat again, the GOP presidential candidate must now convince voters that leaving is a mark of character — not evidence that he's a quitter.

Huffington Post, 9 Ways Hillary Clinton Could Still Lose The Nomination, Lauren Weber, Howard Fineman and Jason Linkins, Oct. 26, 2015. This week, Hillary Clinton sat through the most recent round of activity from the House Select Committee On #Benghazi, and after watching her persevere in the face of -- well... whatever that was? -- we wouldn’t be at all surprised if a desperate Martin O’Malley demanded equal time in front of Trey Gowdy’s Rowdies for the sake of his own poll numbers.

The Nation, The Secret Donors Behind the Center for American Progress and Other Think Tanks, Ken Silverstein, May 22, 2013. Washington institutions esteemed for their independent scholarship don’t disclose donations from corporations and foreign governments.

Nation Editor's Note: We received a letter from the Center for American Progress on May 24, 2013 objecting to aspects of Ken Silverstein’s article. Core to liberal thought is the idea that evidence should come first and conclusions should follow. Ken Silverstein’s recent article insinuates a lot but the facts tell a different story. The inference at the heart of the author’s story is that corporate donations shape or drive the content of CAP and CAP Action. That assertion is baseless and completely false.

WND, Oops! Clinton hints at murdered ambassador’s secret activities, Aaron Klein, Oct. 22, 2015. Dangerous effort may explain reason for U.S. post in Benghazi. In a revealing statement largely overlooked by the media covering Thursday’s House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton essentially implied that Ambassador Chris Stevens was engaged in securing shoulder-fired missiles in Libya. The dangerous weapons effort may shed light on why the U.S. special mission in Benghazi was attacked Sept. 11, 2012. The largest terrorist looting of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS, took place immediately after the U.S.-NATO military campaign strongly pushed by Clinton that helped to end Moammar Gadhafi’s rule in Libya. Gadhafi had hoarded Africa’s biggest-known reserve of MANPADS, with a stock said to number between 15,000 and 20,000. Many of the missiles were stolen by militias fighting in Libya, including those backed by the U.S. in their anti-Gadhafi efforts. There were reports of a Western effort to secure the MANPADS, including collecting some from rebels in Libya.

In her opening remarks Thursday, Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, surprisingly referenced Stevens and the threat of missiles reaching extremists. Stated Clinton: “Nobody knew the dangers of Libya better. A weak government, extremist groups, rampant instability. But Chris chose to go to Benghazi because he understood America had to be represented there at that pivotal time.” Clinton said Stevens “also knew how urgent it was to ensure that the weapons Gadhafi had left strewn across the country, including shoulder-fired missiles that could knock an airplane out of the sky, did not fall into the wrong hands.” Clinton did not further comment on any role Stevens himself may have had in securing the MANPADS.

Later in her testimony, however, Clinton appeared to have addressed the sensitive nature of Stevens’ work, admitting, “Americans representing different agencies” later came into Libya and carried out “the same work” as Stevens but not overtly. Clinton apparently was referring to the CIA annex located near the U.S. special mission. She seemed to imply Stevens was involved in efforts beyond the normal diplomatic activities of an ambassador without specifying the nature of the “same work” that both he and other agencies carried out. Clinton said the State Department relied heavily on “Chris to guide us and give us the information from the ground.” “We had no other sources. You know, there was no American outpost,” she said.

As WND reported, a Department of Defense document declassified in May as part of a Judicial Watch lawsuit and dated one day after the attack said the group thought by the Pentagon to have been behind the Benghazi attack was in possession of a large cache of “SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS” as well as other missiles “over two meters in length.” The five-page document stated 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.”  Speaking to WND, Middle Eastern security officials previously stated that after Gadhafi’s downfall, Stevens was heavily involved in a State Department effort to collect weapons from the Libyan rebels. The weapons were then transferred in part to the rebels fighting in Syria, the officials stated.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in March 2013 disclosed in an interview with Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to keep weapons caches, particularly MANPADS, from falling into the hands of terrorists. In March 2013, the United Nations released a report revealing that weapons from Libya to extremists were proliferating at an “alarming rate,” fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere.

Fox News host Bret Baier asked Graham why Stevens was in the Benghazi mission amid the many known security threats to the facility.

Graham replied, “Because that’s where the action was regarding the rising Islamic extremists who were trying to get their hands on weapons that are flowing freely in Libya.”

The senator stated, “We were desperately trying to control the anti-aircraft missiles, the MANPADS that were all over Libya, that are now all over the Mideast.”

‘Biggest MANPADS collection effort in U.S. history’

Shapiro’s largely unnoticed remarks Feb. 2, 2012, may shed further light on the activities taking place inside the attacked Benghazi facility.

Of note is that the U.S. facility itself was protected by the February 17 Brigades, which is part of the al-Qaida-allied Ansar Al-Sharia group. The group also was in possession of significant quantities of MANPADs and was reluctant to give them up, Middle Eastern security officials told WND.

In his speech seven months before the Benghazi attack, Shapiro stated that “currently in Libya we are engaged in the most extensive effort to combat the proliferation of MANPADS in U.S. history.”

Shapiro was addressing a forum at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit think tank that describes itself as seeking “pragmatic solutions for some of the most important peace and security challenges around the world.”

Shapiro explained Libya had “accumulated the largest stockpile of MANPADS of any non-MANPADS producing country in the world.”

Shapiro related how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed to providing $40 million to assist Libya’s efforts to secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.

Of that funding, $3 million went to unspecified nongovernmental organizations that specialize in conventional weapons destruction and stockpile security.

Inside Benghazi facility

The NGOs and a U.S. team coordinated all efforts with Libya’s Transitional National Council, or TNC, said Shapiro. The U.S. team was led by Mark Adams, a State Department expert from the MANPADS Task Force.

Tellingly, Shapiro stated Adams was deployed in August 2011, not to Tripoli where the U.S. maintained an embassy, but to Benghazi.

The only U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi consisted of the CIA annex and nearby facility that were the targets of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

Shapiro expounded on the coordination with the TNC.

“A fact often overlooked in our response to events in Libya, is that – unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan – we did not have tens of thousands of U.S. forces on the ground, nor did we control movement and access,” he said. “This meant we did not have complete freedom of movement around the country. Our efforts on the ground therefore had to be carefully coordinated and fully supported by the TNC.”

He said the rebels were reluctant to relinquish their weapons.

“Many of these weapons were taken by militias and anti-Gadhafi forces during the fighting,” he said. “Furthermore, because many militias believe MANPADS have some utility in ground combat, many militia groups remain reluctant to relinquish them.”

Shapiro said the U.S. efforts consisted of three phases.

Phase 1 entailed an effort to rapidly survey, secure and disable loose MANPADS across the country.

“To accomplish this, we immediately deployed our Quick Reaction Force, which are teams made up of civilian technical specialists,” he said.

Phase 2 efforts were to help aid the Libyan government to integrate militias and veterans of the fighting, including consolidating weapons into secure facilities and assisting in the destruction of items that the Libyans deemed in excess of their security requirements.

Such actions were likely not supported by the jihadist rebels.

The third phase would have seen the U.S. helping to ensure the Libyan met modern standards, including updating storage facilities, improving security and implementing safety management practices.

The U.S. efforts clearly failed.



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Related News Coverage

World News Daily (WND) via Information Clearing House, Trump Calls For New 9/11 Investigation, Replacing 'Mess,' Bob Flanagan, Oct. 25, 2015. Editor's Note: This major story occurring in Virginia has been overlooked by the mainstream media. Donald Trump, the GOP’s 2016 front-runner, brought his campaign to Henrico County on Wednesday night, where he made an unexpected statement after answering a series of questions from the crowd. Pressed on the subject of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and what he would do to prevent such a thing from happening again, the presidential candidate known for his brash answers completely took his supporters by surprise.

“First of all, the original 9/11 investigation is a total mess and has to be reopened” he told the crowd of supporters. “How do two planes take out three buildings in the same day? I never got my head around the fact that nothing is mentioned about the destruction of Building 7 in the 585 page document” he explained, talking about World Trade Center 7 which also collapsed during the September 11 attacks." The controversial presidential candidate questioned the validity of the official 9/11 Commission Report, claiming it did not fully answer a number of questions and emphasized that “Americans deserve to know what really happened”

Donald Trump also took a crack at presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s brother and former president, George W. Bush, without fully mentioning his name.

“Why did the administration at the time not take legal means against Saudi Arabia? Weren’t 19 of the high-jackers from Saudi Arabia?” he asked aloud. “Americans deserve answers and I would definitely request a new investigation so that this horrible tragedy never happens again” he told the crowd under a thunder of applause.

New York Daily News, Trump implies Bush deserves some blame for 9/11: 'The World Trade Center came down during his reign,' Cameron Joseph, Corky Siemaszko, Oct. 16, 2015. Donald Trump stuck a shiv into the Republican establishment Friday by suggesting that former President George W. Bush bears some of the blame for the 9/11 attacks. “When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time," Trump said on Bloomberg TV.

Anchor Stephanie Ruhle appeared stunned by Trump’s remark. "Hold on, you can't blame George Bush for that," she said. "He was President, OK?” the GOP front-runner said. “Blame him, or don't blame him, but he was President. The World Trade Center came down during his reign."

Trump’s crack sent shockwaves through the Republican ranks — and drew a swift response from Bush’s brother Jeb, who is also running for President. “How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11,” Jeb Bush tweeted. “We were attacked & my brother kept us safe.”

CBS News, Donald Trump: 9/11 attacks happened on President Bush's watch, Rebecca Shabad, Oct. 16, 2015. onald Trump on Friday suggested that former President George W. Bush deserves some blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In an interview with Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle, Trump was asked how he would make the country feel safe and proud if he were president. The anchor first said Bush did so after the 2001 attacks and President Obama had to comfort the public after the Sandy Hook shooting.

"Okay, I think I have a bigger heart than all of them. I think I'm much more competent than all of them. When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time," Trump said. Ruhle countered that Bush wasn't to blame. "He was President, okay? Don't blame him or don't blame him, but he was President. The World Trade Center came down during his reign," Trump replied. "If you look at Sandy Hook, those people are still begging for help. It's a disaster, and it's a disaster all over the place. Government has proven to be a disaster during the Obama administration." Bush's younger brother, Jeb, who's running for president, later called Trump "pathetic" for making that remark.

Bloomberg, Why Donald Trump and Jeb Bush Are Fighting About 9/11, Sahil Kapur, Oct. 19, 2015. Fourteen years later, both Republicans seem to believe re-litigating the attacks benefits them in the presidential primary. If Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump wanted to bait Jeb Bush into spending the weekend defending his brother over the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former Florida governor was happy to engage. The result was an intense brawl between the establishment favorite and the “outsider” front-runner that played out on the Sunday shows.

“Look, Jeb said we were safe with my brother — we were safe. Well, the World Trade Center just fell down. Now, am I trying to blame him? I’m not blaming anybody,” Trump said on Fox News Sunday. “But the World Trade Center came down. So when he said, we were safe, that’s not safe. We lost 3,000 people, it was one of the greatest—probably the greatest catastrophe ever in this country if you think about it.” Meanwhile on CNN's State of the Union, Bush defended his brother, saying he “united the country” after the attacks. “I don't know why he keeps bringing this up,” Bush said. “It doesn't show that he's a serious person as it relates to being commander in chief and being the architect of a foreign policy. Across the spectrum of foreign policy, Mr. Trump talks about things that—as though he's still on The Apprentice.”


, Staff report, Oct 15, 2015 (video). Donald Trump was heckled at a Virginia rally tonight and some of his supporters ended up getting in a physical altercation with the protesters. The protesters began to speak up when Trump talked about immigration. His supporters cheered to drown them out while Trump said it’s their First Amendment right, while still predicting the ‘dishonest” media would run headlines about the hecklers instead of all the thousands of people who didn’t heckle him (which, no, since when has not heckling someone been news?). But as CNN reported tonight, before the protesters were removed from the room, things got physical between the roughly-dozen protesters and a few of Trump’s supporters.

Right Side Radio,

, Oct. 14, 2015 (57:14 min.)

Richmond Times-Dispatch, Donald Trump Campaigns in Richmond, Jim Nolan, Oct. 14, 2015. Supporters of Donald Trump cheer as he takes the stage at Expo Hall at Richmond International Raceway.  Donald Trump, the GOP’s 2016 front-runner, brought his campaign to Henrico County on Wednesday night, touting his first-place status in a host of presidential polls and dismissing his detractors. “We’re in first place everywhere,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd in the exhibition hall at the Richmond International Raceway complex.

During a stream-of-consciousness stump speech that lasted more than an hour, Trump also took aim at Bernie Sanders, whose surging Democratic campaign also is drawing large crowds. Trump called the Vermont senator a “socialist-slash-communist.” Trump said that during Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had to make extravagant promises to keep up with Sanders. “She’s gotta give everything away because this maniac that was standing on her right is giving everything away — so she’s following,” Trump said. Sanders says he is not a capitalist, but a Democratic Socialist. “I call him a socialist-slash-communist, because that’s what he is,” Trump said.

Trump left the stage after 65 minutes to the strains of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” RIR officials said there were more than 4,000 people in attendance, fewer than the 7,000 Trump told the crowd were present. Early in Trump’s remarks, a handful of college students sought to disrupt the rally after he started discussing the immigration issue, saying: “We’re going to build the wall.”

The students chanted “Dump Trump.” The crowd responded “We want Trump!” “That’s OK,” Trump said. “That’s why we have freedom of speech.”

Moments later, during another small protest, police stepped between people in the crowd who yelled at one another after a young woman began shouting “black power.” Several protesters were escorted out of the hall.  Trump later decried birthright citizenship, saying it does not make sense for the United States to fund benefits for the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.

He derided what he termed the “stupid” people who think he cannot make Mexico pay for a wall on the U.S. border.

“We’re going to build the wall, believe me,” Trump said to thunderous applause.

Trump stressed that he opposes illegal immigration, not legal immigration. The wall will have “a big, beautiful door,” he said.

“I love the people of Mexico — they are great people,” he added, noting he has “thousands and thousands of Hispanics working for me.”


Trump led the 15-candidate GOP field in Virginia with 23 percent of the vote in a poll that Christopher Newport University released Monday, but he also had the highest unfavorability rating in the survey, at 61 percent.

Virginia, with 13 electoral votes, is the third most-valuable swing state in the 2016 general election, behind Florida and Ohio. Virginia Republicans will vote on their presidential preference March 1 during the Super Tuesday primary.


Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues