CNN reports that there were allegedly “dozens” of CIA operatives on the ground during the Benghazi attack and the agency is doing its utmost to conceal its involvement.
CNN’s sources say that, since January, some operatives that were involved in the agency’s mission in Libya are being polygraphed monthly to determine who, if anyone, is talking to Congress or the media. Sources describe the efforts as pure intimidation, and say there are threats to end the careers of unauthorized leakers.
The news network quotes one insider as saying, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”
CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement that the agency “has worked closely with [Congress’s] oversight committees” and that “CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want.” He said the agency was unaware of any retaliation against any employee, or of any employee’s being prevented from “sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident.”
One source tells CNN that there were 35 Americans at the Benghazi mission, and up to seven were wounded in the attack, some seriously. Another says 21 were working in the “annex” building, which is believed to have been run by the CIA and to which Americans fled after the State Department’s diplomatic installation was attacked on September 11, 2012. The CIA would not comment on speculation that U.S. agencies in Benghazi were moving portable surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels; the State Department has denied that any of its employees were involved in such an operation, saying they were only helping the new Libyan government to secure such weapons within the country.