Jerome Corsi, Senior Staff Reporter for WorldNetDaily, is the first journalist to attempt to understand the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attacks through the eyes of the members of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB). These members bring a vast array of knowledge, experience and contacts to the Commission.
Corsi is writing a series of articles about the events surrounding the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and nearby CIA Annex on September 11 and 12, 2012, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
Accuracy in Media established the CCB in 2013. “[Paul] Vallely explained that the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi was formed ‘after we saw all the stumbling and deception that was going on’ with the initial round of Benghazi hearings held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2013,” writes Corsi.
Corsi interviewed 11 of the 17 members of the Commission, and as his articles make clear, the members were speaking for themselves, not for the Commission, during their interviews.
So far, WND has published two such articles, with more to come. “The commission has found evidence that there was a stand-down order given to the security guards at the CIA annex after the attack began at the special mission compound, one mile away, where Ambassador, Christopher Stevens and information officer Sean Smith were killed,” reported Corsi in his introductory piece, which opens with CCB opinions regarding the Congressional Select Committee on Benghazi and its current “glacial” pace. For this first story Corsi spoke with General Paul Vallely (Ret.), Admiral James Ace Lyons (Ret.), AIM Editor Roger Aronoff, former chairman of the House Intellligence Committee Pete Hoekstra, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Jones (Ret.) and former Department of Defense official Jack Shaw.
Currently, the Select Committee on Benghazi has held two public hearings, both discussing the Accountability Review Board and embassy security improvements. “It’s time to move on. There is plenty to investigate,” wrote Aronoff in a column about the latest, December 2014, Select Committee hearing.
“Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee is proceeding at glacial speed,” Lyons, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told Corsi. “It is unclear where Gowdy is going, and the signs are not good.”
In Corsi’s second article for WND, he delves further into the revelations of the CCB’s April 2014 interim report, which, at the time, received coverage from outlets such as the UK Daily Mail and the Drudge Report. Corsi spoke with CCB Members Kevin Shipp and Clare Lopez.
“Many of the individual members of the al-Qaida-related militias, including the LIFG, and the groups that would later become Ansar Al-Sharia, were Muslim Brotherhood members first,” Lopez, a former CIA officer, told Corsi.
The AIM interim report found that the U.S. facilitated the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya. “The way the CIA works is through a ‘cut-out,’ in that you get Qatar to transport the weapons and you facilitate the transport. So now the third party is to blame,” Shipp, also formerly of the CIA, told Corsi.