Dozens of CIA agents were in Benghazi during the attack last September 11, according to new information from CNN, and the spy organization may be attempting to cover up details of their operations.
CNN’s source — someone with “deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings” — reports that CIA agents are undergoing monthly polygraph tests, answering questions about their interactions with Congress and the media. Anyone caught leaking information could lose their jobs.
In normal circumstances, agents may be polygraphed every few years, according to former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer. Baer claims that more frequent polygraphs, called “issue polygraphs,” are only administered when agents are suspected of something or when the CIA is searching for information.
CIA spokesman Dean Boyd issued a statement declaring that no measures have been taken to prevent CIA agents from speaking with Congress about the Benghazi incident or any other matters. He stated, "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… We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures.”
Although it remains unclear what, if anything, the agency may be trying to cover up, one mystery is how many Americans were in Benghazi during the attack. According to CNN’s source, about 35 Americans were in the area, although it is unknown how many of them were CIA agents. As many as seven of Americans may have been wounded, some of them severely.
Some in Washington also speculate that U.S. agents in Benghazi were secretly helping deliver weapons from Libya to Syrian rebels, transporting them through Turkey. The State Department e-mailed CNN, stating that it was only helping destroy old, damaged weapons, not transferring them anywhere else.
The new information from CNN’s source could help confirm the fears of Republicans like U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district contains the CIA’s Langley, Virginia headquarters. Said Wolf, "I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it's an attempt to push it under the rug.”