An exclusive new report from CNN revealed for the first time the number of Americans on the ground the night of the terror attack in Benghazi, as well as disturbing information about alleged intimidation efforts within the CIA to keep employees from talking about the events that deadly night in Libya.
CNN has learned 35 Americans were said to have been in Benghazi when the U.S. Consulate was attacked on September 11, with 21 of them working inside the annex reportedly run by the CIA, a source “with deep inside knowledge of the CIA” told CNN’s Drew Griffin. Seven Americans were wounded that night, some seriously, the report said.
In what a source called an “unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out,” CIA operatives attached to the “agency’s mission in Libya” have allegedly been regularly polygraphed ever since January to specifically determine if they are “talking to the media or Congress,” Griffin said.
According to CNN:
It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.
In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”
Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”
“Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,” said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.
In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.
However, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said the agency has been open and fully cooperative with Congress, according to a statement he sent CNN.
“The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi,” the statement read.
The statement continued, Griffin reported:
CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want. The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident.
Speculation from Washington lawmakers has been that the CIA in Libya was helping move arms to Syria, but the CIA would not comment on that to CNN.
Read more: “Rep. Gowdy: Administration hiding Benghazi survivors, changing their names”
Watch the new report from “The Lead with Jake Tapper” via CNN:
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