I noted how the story seemed to be growing "curiouser and curiouser" by the moment, and I stated,
I have the feeling that there is very much more to this story than meets the eye, or the news report, and I'm betting that in the days and weeks to come, we're going to learn a lot that we don't really want to hear.Well, not to say I told you so, but I did tell you so. Last week, in a Congressional hearing, called by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (chair of the House Oversight Committee), it became clear that the conflicting and ever-changing stories of exactly what happened in Benghazi are still, well... conflicting and ever changing.
The upside is, while the Congress and the State Department and the "Intelligence Community" are all fighting out whose fault it was that there was an attack on Americans in Benghazi on September 11, and who did it, and why, the hearing pretty well outed the fact that the facilities attacked on September 11 were actually an entire CIA operation in Benghazi. This outing occurred on live TV (CSPAN video-all 4+ interminable hours worth, is here). It was accompanied by the admission that between 10,000 and 20,000 shoulder to air missiles have "gone missing" in Libya, and could be in the hands of "extremists." This admission appears just after 1:53 in the video, during questioning by Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
It looks like our "war on terror" has spawned an ancillary conflict: there's a war within our government as State points fingers at intelligence and intelligence points fingers at State, Rs point at Ds and Ds point at Rs, and our presidential and vice-presidential candidates use the latest crappola to whack each other with. And it's still feeling like maybe we don't actually know what we think we know, and maybe we're being screwed with, just a bit.
But it is starting to explain a couple of things that I've been wondering about for about a month now. For example, I wondered why it was that in early reports, people didn't seem to know where the 'consulate' in Benghazi was. Here's a screenshot I took September 18 of a September 12 online article in the UK's Daily Mail, with the map and a prominent red dot where the facility in Benghazi had been attacked. (I know the images are small--just click on them to make them bigger.)
But then here's what the Guardian showed for the location of the consulate from a screenshot of the same day. The white box in the lower center of the photo is supposed to be where it is. Not way up by the water, as shown by the Daily Mail, but in a whole different place. Hmmm.
Except...that at the same time, a view of the US State Department website showed no listing at all for any embassy, consulate, or mission in Benghazi, Libya. Here's a screenshot taken that day. Note that under Libya, there's only Tripoli. And for contrast, look over at Iraq. There's a listing of several different cities there. Poor Benghazi.
Ok, well, it could be that some IT guy just didn't get the listing updated. So, I looked for our ill-fated "ambassador." He wasn't some newbie to the State Department. He might have only gone to Libya recently, but according to his "bio" in the news, he'd been in foreign service for the State Department for some time. So let's see what old State had to say about Mr. J. Christopher Stevens.
Hmmm. Sonenshine, Spraden, Stephens, Stern, Stewart, Stock... Huh? No Stevens, J. Christopher?
What about under State's listing for Ambassadors by Country? He's got to be there. Notice at the top of the image that we're under the tab for Libya.
Somehow, the US State Department, in September, 2012, thought that we didn't have an Ambassador to Libya. We had a "Charge d'Affaires" that we've had for quite a long time, since the US' Diplomatic Mission was reopened in 2006. A man named Ali Suleiman Aujali. No Mr. Stevens. No facility in Benghazi.
All right, well, one last stop. Google maps. And a search for "consulate of the United States Benghazi libya" turns up: zip, zilch, nada. Google Maps tells me, "Your search for consulate of the United States near Benghazi libya did not match any locations."
Curiouser and curiouser. Yes indeed.