Did the CIA Cherry-Pick Benghazi Intelligence for Political Reasons?

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In Heritage Work

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Heritage Foundation expert Helle Dale reports on compelling new details about the Obama administration’s manipulation of the facts about the attack on America’s consulate in Benghazi, Libya:

The original CIA talking points on Benghazi were quite comprehensive and included information on al-Qaeda activity in the Benghazi area. In the interagency vetting process, however, this paragraph raised red flags at Hillary Clinton’s State Department, which had failed miserably at providing adequate protection against terrorists for U.S. diplomats stationed in Libya. Morell took it upon himself to edit out any reference to al-Qaeda, and blamed the attack on an anti-American demonstration. The remainder of the talking points was toothless pabulum.

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Video: Peter Brookes Explains the Terror Threat in Sochi

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In Heritage Impact

Terrorists have threatened to attack the Winter Olympics at Sochi, and “we have to take them at their word,” Heritage Foundation national security expert Peter Brookes said yesterday on CNN’s Situation Room.

Russian officials have created a security cordon around Sochi. By limiting vehicle access, officials can keep track of everyone coming in and going out of the “ring.”

Despite Russia’s efforts to flood the area with security, however, Brookes maintains that it’s still a dangerous situation. Terrorists “could have somebody inside this ‘ring of steel’ already,” he warned.

Terrorists don’t even need to strike the games themselves to make themselves felt, he added. Any attack within Russia will be viewed as compromising the security of the games.

Do you think Russia can protect the Olympic Games? Watch the whole video above and tell us in the comments

Why Americans Should Be Concerned About Terrorism in Russia

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In Heritage Work

The terrorist bombings in Russia last month, allegedly perpetrated by Islamist militants from the Caucasus region, raise questions about whether next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will be secure.

While this may seem like a purely regional or local conflict, Americans can become targets, Heritage Foundation expert Peter Brooks reminds us.

Moreover, the attacks should remind us that President Putin’s stepped-up security efforts may not be successful. The targets are many, the country is vast, and the Russian security standards need improvement.

Heritage experts Ariel Cohen and Cassandra Lucaccioni recommend that Moscow look to outsiders for security assistance: Continue Reading »

Why Terrorists Attacked a Shopping Mall in Kenya

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In Heritage Work

Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo: George Mulala/Polaris/Newscom)

The terrorist attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya that killed more than 60 innocent people and injured 150 leaves many questions to be answered.

The Heritage Foundation’s Charlotte Florance explains why al-Shabaab, a Somali terrorist group, attacked Kenya:

Al-Shabaab wants Kenya and all other foreign troops present in Somalia to leave immediately. Kenya moved into southern Somalia in 2011 to expel al-Shabaab from strategic locations, including the port of Kismayo, that they used receive supplies and to launch piracy attacks in the Indian Ocean. There are currently about 4,000 Kenyan troops in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has been threatening reprisal attacks for Kenyan military activities within Somalia for the past two years, but none of the attacks has been as large as the Westgate Mall attack.

Florance gives more background on al-Shabaab and why they targeted the shopping mall on The Foundry.

What do you think about this attack? Tell us in the comments.

We Will Never Forget September 11, 2001

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In Other Work of Note

Twelve years ago today, the men and women getting ready to go to work at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, or boarding planes for the West Coast, didn’t know their lives would change forever.

The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Payne offers a few reflections in today’s Morning Bell:

That day will forever serve as a generation’s reminder of the fragility of life. Today, we give thanks for those who survived. We remember those who were lost in the horrific terrorist attacks. And we salute all the heroes who set aside their own safety in the chaos of that day to help their fellow Americans—whether firefighters, police, emergency responders, or strangers in the crowd.

We will never forget.

Why the Syrian Rebels Are Important to U.S. Interests

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In Heritage Work

President Obama’s recent flailing on Syria policy has exposed a longstanding weakness in his approach to that country’s civil war: how the United States deals with the disparate rebel groups fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Failure could lead to a radical Islamist outpost in the heart of the Middle East.

While much remains unclear about the rebels, we do know that they include both secular groups and al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants, The Heritage Foundation’s Charlotte Florance explains. And worryingly, she points out that “the al-Qaeda-linked groups remain the best financed, best armed, best organized, and most seasoned fighters.”

Yet even as the administration makes plans to intervene in Syria, Washington has failed to engage the opposition. This is a big mistake, Florance explains: Continue Reading »

Scott Erickson — San Jose, CA

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In Member Stories

Scott Erickson

Photo courtesy Scott Erickson

Young President’s Club member Scott Erickson is one of the hundreds of thousands of Heritage Foundation members who have devoted their lives to the principles they espouse. On top of his work as a police officer, where he walks the streets to uphold the rule of law in his community, Erickson collaborates with Heritage experts to strengthen America as a whole.

A second-generation California police officer, Erickson was born to Jerry and Carroll Ann Erickson. Growing up in his grandmother’s conservative household after his parents passed away, Erickson understood from an early age the importance of understanding both current events and history. He idolized Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and George Washington. Today, he worries that our government is retreating ever further from our republic’s founding principles. Continue Reading »

President Obama Doubled Down on Failed Policies with the Susan Rice Appointment

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In Heritage Work

By appointing Susan Rice as his National Security Advisor, President Obama proved his loyalty to his friends but also showed questionable concern for the real security threats facing the United States.

Rice was the President’s first choice to replace former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but her appointment was quickly shut down by the Senate, Heritage Foundation national security expert Steven Bucci writes.

Rice was the frontrunner to replace Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State until her credibility was destroyed over mishandling the truth of the terrorist murders of four Americans in Benghazi. She simply became radioactive and clearly would never pass Senate confirmation.

What was President Obama’s response to the Senate’s rejection? He appointed his friend to a position that didn’t require approval from anyone. Continue Reading »

We Need Answers on Benghazi–and Heritage Experts Have the Questions Congress Should Ask

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In Heritage Work

The Benghazi timeline still doesn't add up. We want answers.

Congress is holding hearings today about the September terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans. Heritage Foundation experts have identified several questions that remain unanswered and how to anticipate and mitigate similar threats in the future.

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Counterterrorism Guidance Lawmakers Should Consider Right Now

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In Heritage Work

Keiko Hiromi/Polaris/Newscom

In the wake of this week’s tragic attacks, including the Boston bombing and the ricin-laced letters sent to , policymakers need to refocus on effective homeland security solutions.

The first purpose of federal government is to protect its citizens. For this reason, The Heritage Foundation has long been focused on developing homeland security policies that keep the U.S. safe and prosperous, as seen in the following reports.

Eight Heritage reports summarized on Heritage.org can serve as a guide to future reforms: Continue Reading »

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