Two former CIA officials who fought in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, were asked to sign additional nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) more than six months after those attacks. The two officials, who will testify Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were presented the nondisclosure agreements during a memorial service in May at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, honoring Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two of the CIA-affiliated personnel who died during those attacks.
CIA officials have rejected persistent accusations that the Agency has sought to keep Benghazi survivors from sharing their stories. In a letter obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD earlier this fall, CIA director John Brennan categorically denied claims that the CIA discouraged its operatives or contractors from speaking out about their experiences.
1. Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been forced to undergo any polygraph because of their presence or their participation in any activity related to Benghazi attacks?
2. Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been required to sign any non-disclosure agreement because of their presence at Benghazi or their participation in any activity related to the Benghazi attacks?
The truth is more complicated. Several members of the team on the ground in Benghazi that night were presented with new non-disclosure agreements at a CIA ceremony on May 21, 2013, honoring CIA officials killed in those attacks. Some of these CIA officials were asked to sign the new NDAs despite the fact that they were leaving government service and despite the fact that they were still bound by previous NDAs. According to testimony that two of these officials are expected to provide at classified hearings before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday, the new NDAs were both unexpected and unnecessary.
Intelligence officials, in both public statements and private assurances dating back months, have insisted that that no one affiliated with the CIA was asked to sign an NDA because of Benghazi. According to sources familiar with the NDAs provided the Benghazi survivors at the memorial service, the documents did not specifically mention the Benghazi attacks and are thus technically consistent with Brennan’s letter.
That’s a generous interpretation.
The new NDAs were presented to Benghazi survivors after they had flown in from around the country (or world) to attend a CIA memorial for the Benghazi fallen at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia—where the attacks in Benghazi were the focus of the day. It’s hardly a leap to imagine that these NDAs, perhaps not even necessary, were intended to remind CIA officials a little more than six months removed from their service in Benghazi that the U.S. government would prefer that they not discuss what happened there.
In a letter dated May 30, nine days after these officials were presented with the new NDAs, Brennan wrote to all CIA-affiliated personnel on the ground in Benghazi on 9/11/12. That letter was first reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD on August 3, two days after CNN aired an investigative report that concluded that the CIA “is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.” According to that report: “CNN has learned that he CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.”
In a May 30, 2013, letter to CIA officers on the ground last fall in Benghazi, Libya, CIA director John Brennan notified survivors of those attacks that congressional oversight committees remain interested in hearing from them.
John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sent a letter to each of the CIA employees who were on the ground during the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, inviting them to share information with Congress, according to three sources familiar with the missive. Brennan sent the letter in late May at the behest congressional intelligence committees, whose members remain interested in hearing from the survivors of those attacks.
Top U.S. intelligence officials revealed new details about the exploitation of Osama bin Laden’s extensive archive during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. The officials revealed that at least several hundred intelligence reports have been generated based on an analysis of bin Laden’s files.
John Brennan was sworn in today at the White House. He was confirmed as the new CIA director yesterday.
"Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington's personal handwriting and annotations on it," according to the White House. He does not appear to have placed his hand on a Bible, a Torah, a Koran, or other sacred religious text as he said the oath.
Senators have been promised "full access to documents outlining the President’s authority to conduct targeted killings of Americans in counter terrorism operations," according to Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine). In exchange, President Obama hopes the senators will vote for John Brennan for CIA director.
During a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center on April 30, 2012, John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, discussed “The Ethics and Efficacy of the U.S. President’s Counterterrorism Strategy.” Brennan explained that President Obama has “pledged to share as much information with the American people ‘so that they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable.’ ” Obama, he continued, “has consistently encouraged those of us on his national security team to be as open and candid as possible.” After all, “our democracy depends” upon “transparency.”
John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency, is getting renewed scrutiny for a highly questionable claim he made during his confirmation hearings last week. On Tuesday, two Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Marco Rubio and James Risch, wrote to Brennan to request additional information concerning Ali Harzi, a suspect in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.
John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to head to the CIA, is scheduled to appear before a closed-door hearing held by the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow. Interested senators should take the opportunity to ask Brennan about an Egyptian who is connected to both al Qaeda and the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Intriguing revelations by the Egyptian press last week raise all new questions about the attack on the U.S. consulate.