Blazing trails – Daughter of Foreign Service Officer served in WAC in WWII, and later in CIA

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H/T War History OnLine.

The story of Doris Van Wickel is an amazing story.

War History online proudly presents this Guest Piece from Jeremy P. Ämick, who is a military historian and writes on behalf of the Silver Star Families of America.

Bruce Berger, of Jefferson City, Missouri, has a number of reasons to take pride in the memory of his mother. Not only did she demonstrate her patriotism while supporting her country in the Women’s Army Corps in World War II, years later, after her husband passed away, she was able to raise three sons while at the same time completing a career in an American intelligence agency.

Born November 19, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York, Doris Van Wickel was the daughter of  Jesse Van Wickel, who was at the time serving as a Foreign Service Officer for the United States. Due to his chosen career field, his daughter was exposed to many cultures while growing up in several different countries.

“My mother lived in several places in her youth to include Shanghai, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; The Hague; Netherlands East Indies; and England,” said Berger. “Until 1939, most of her time was spent outside of the United States,” he added.

Records maintained by Van Wickel indicate that in the early 1930s, she attended the Malvern Girls’ College in Great Malvern England and later completed coursework at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Columbia University in New York.

During her early years abroad, she acquired proficiency in seven languages to include German, French, Dutch and Chinese. She also worked for companies in Holland before returning to the United States, where she was hired in 1941 by the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department in New York.

WACs operate teletype machines during World War II.

“The work she did with the War Department was confidential,” said Berger. “In 1942, she became an assistant economic analyst with the Board of Economic Warfare in Washington, D.C. There she acted as an assistant chief for the Southwest Pacific Unit and researched conditions of the occupied Netherlands, East Indies and M alaya.”

In October 1943, she made the decision to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC)—an organization created during World War II to allow women to support the war effort by serving in non-combat positions. As Berger explained, his mother completed her WAC boot camp at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa.

Military records indicate Van Wickel was discharged at the rank of technical sergeant on February 16, 1945 and the following day was appointed a second lieutenant. She remained on active duty as an intelligence research analyst until February 18, 1946, spending her entire period of military service at the Pentagon and achieving the rank of first lieutenant.

“While my mother was with the WACs, she met my father in Washington, D.C. after he whistled at her as she walked into a hotel,” said Berger. “Apparently, they dated for awhile and then married.” He added, “My father had served in the Army and after the war worked for the Census Bureau. My mother was eventually discharged from the WACs after she became pregnant with my oldest brother.”

The family remained living in the Washington, D.C. area where Van Wickel Berger’s first son, Ken, was born in 1946; a second son, Darrell, born in 1948; and Bruce, the youngest, was born in 1949. Sadly, Berger explained, his father passed away from Hodgkin’s disease in Janauary 1953, leaving behind their mother to raise three young boys.

Doris Van Wickel Berger retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in 1970. She remained a contractor for the CIA for a couple of years before retiring to Florida, where she passed away in 1989.

“After my dad passed, my mother worked a couple of months for the Census Bureau and was then hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the spring of 1953,” Berger said. “She went on temporary duty assignments to places like Iran, Hong Kong and Thailand while us boys went to boarding school at Girard College in Philadelphia.”

The intrigue of their mother’s new chosen career field soon drew the boys into an exciting adventure when she brought them to live in Saigon in early 1962. While her sons were attending school during the day, Van Wickel Berger was involved in operations that remain shrouded in relative secrecy.

“She never talked too much about what she did and always joked that if she told us, she would have to kill us,” Berger chuckled.

Berger and his brothers have pieced together many facets of her service in Vietnam, which included her invovement in coordinating flights for “Air America”—a covert passenger and cargo operation operated by the CIA during the Vietnam War. The pilots, Berger noted, would deliver goods needed by various hamlets and bring their produce back into towns, collecting military intelligence during the process.

When the situation in Saigon grew more dangerous in early 1965 following bombings of locations such as a movie theater, Van Wickel Berger sent her children back to California to live with her brother. In 1967, she was sent to Udorn, Thailand, where she worked closely with the 7th Radio Reseach Field Station and was involved with radio intercepts.

Doris Van Wickel enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II and served as an intelligence research analyst. After her husband passed away in 1953, she went to work for the CIA. Courtesy of Bruce Berger



“My mother returned to the United States in 1970 and worked at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, retiring later the same year,” said Berger. “She then went on to work for them as a contractor for a couple of years before retiring to Florida.”

The former member of the WACs and CIA agent passed away in 1989 from emphysema and was laid to rest alongside her husband in Arlington National Cemetery. As Berger went on to explain, although his mother may have at one time embraced the possibility of a “traditional” lifestyle of raising a family, the adventure that became her life demonstrates she was a woman before her time.

“When my father died, I think that my mother felt the American dream wasn’t really holding true for her—being married, having a nice house and raising children. But,” he paused, “I’m not really sure that ideal would have lasted for her.”

He continued, “My mother would joke during the 1960s and 1970s, at the time when women were burning their bras for equality as part of the women’s liberation movement, that she was working as a field operative for the CIA in several war zones.

“She was a trailblazer as a woman, not only because she served her country in uniform in the WACs, but she went on to demonstrate the value women could offer by working for the CIA at a time when women really had to fight to get a job that wasn’t just clerical in nature.”


Moe Berg, Major League Baseball Catcher and Spy

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This is from Mental Floss.

I first heard the story of Morris (Moe) Berg on The Travel Channels Mysteries At The Museum. 

Moe had a very amazing life.


Wikipedia // Public Domain



When Major League Baseball players retire, they pursue all kinds of careers: manager, analyst, Congressman, actor, even photographer. Moe Berg decided to become an international spy.

Berg was a Princeton grad who appeared on quiz shows and was fluent in multiple languages—up to 12, some sources say. A New York Times columnist once called Berg “the most scholarly athlete I ever knew.” Berg’s baseball skills were never quite as strong as his academic prowess, however. After 15 rather mediocre seasons in the major leagues, Berg accepted a position with the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA.

The job offer may have resulted from Berg’s first foray into international intelligence in the 1930s, when he, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and other baseball luminaries traveled to Japan for exhibition games. Fluent in Japanese, Berg managed to finagle his way onto the top floors of a Tokyo skyscraper, where he used a video camera to film the city’s shipyards. According to the CIA, the U.S. “reportedly” (wouldn’t the CIA know?) used Berg’s footage to plan raids during WWII.

His successful mission led to others. In 1945, he was given the tall task of figuring out if Germany was close to having a nuclear weapon. Again, using his linguistic skills, Berg posed as a Swiss visitor and got into a lecture in Zurich by Third Reich physicist Werner Heisenberg. Though he determined that Heisenberg had “sinister” eyes, Berg didn’t believe the physicist was close to developing nukes. He confirmed this several days later, when he accompaniedHeisenberg back to his hotel after a dinner party and chatted him up. Had the Germans been further along in nuclear weapon development, Berg’s mission would have changed—he was under orders to assassinate Heisenberg to prevent the Nazis from using his brain for their cause.

Though he was able to use yet another foreign language skill to gather intelligence in the Soviet Union, the OSS chose not to renew Berg’s contract in 1954. Part of their reluctance may have due to the fact that he was a bit of a real-life Maxwell Smart, repeatedly droppinghis gun at the most inopportune times and forgetting to take his OSS-issue watch off before embarking on top secret missions.

There was a biography about Berg’s fascinating life in the works, but he ended up nixing it when he discovered that the writer believed he was Moe Howard from The Three Stooges. Angry about the confusion, Berg backed out of the project.


CIA Spy Who Nearly Caused World War III Freed By Obama

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This is from The European Union Times.

This story scares the Hell out of me and it should you also.

Why would the Obama regime do something like this?

Is he trying to provoke a war?


A shocking report prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) circulating in the Kremlin today says that the mainstream propaganda media organs in the United States are continuing to keep covered up the Obama regimes freeing of what Russian intelligence agencies claim is, perhaps, the most dangerous CIA spy-operative ever to have lived and who nearly caused World War III.

According to this report, former US Army veteran and current CIA operative Eric Harroun [photo top right] was ordered released this past week by US District Judge Claude Hilton after Harroun’s guilty plea to a felony count of conspiring to violate American arms-control laws and who further ruled that this sentence was appropriate and that “certain documents” would remain under seal for three months during this highly secret proceeding, a feat which would not have been possible without Obama’s blessing.

Harroun was first arrested on 28 March after a ten-page criminal complaint was filed against him by the FBI charging him with using a weapon of mass destruction outside of the United States. This charge carries the penalty of either death or life imprisonment if convicted.

He then appeared in court with his public defender in a hearing on 8 April in Alexandria, Virginia and was denied bail. At the hearing, US Federal Prosecutor Carter Burwell said it would be illegal for an American to travel to Syria and take up arms against Assad’s regime with any opposition group. This echoes what he was previously told by the FBI officer at the US consulate – leading Harroun to previously remark that it was “bullshit” that an American couldn’t fight in Syria.

He was indicted by a US Federal grand jury on the additional charge of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group (which carries the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison) on 20 June. He appeared in court again on 8 July, and was ordered by the Judge to remain in detention, pending trial.

From Harroun’s arrest, which was widely trumpeted by the Obama regimes mainstream media lapdogs, to his “silent release” this past Thursday, thisreport continues, clearly shows that Americas military establishment and intelligence agencies are at war with each another with no clear winner, as of yet, being able to be determined.

Not since the 1961 CIA-backed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba incident that precipitated the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, this MoFA report says, has the world been brought closer to a nuclear apocalypse than it has due to Harroun’s actions in Syria on behalf of his CIA and Saudi Arabian “paymasters.”

What has made Harroun particularly dangerous, Russian intelligence analysts contributing to this report say, was his trafficking to Syrian rebels of US captured Soviet era chemical weapon missiles from the former weapons depots of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

After Gaddafi’s fall from power, this report says, the CIA began a massive arms smuggling operation in Benghazi, Libya to their al-Qaeda rebel factions in Syria.

So dangerous was this operation to the Obama regime, reports London’s Telegraph News Service, the CIA began subjecting its operatives, like Harroun, to monthly polygraph tests in an attempt to suppress details of their arms smuggling operation in Benghazi that was ongoing when its Ambassador, Christopher Stephens, was killed by a terrorist attack in the city last year.

Important to note is that Russia had delivered, this past July, to the United Nations a 100-page report detailing the rebels use of chemical weapons in Syria, a finding confirmed by UN inspectors this past May who confirmed Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime.

Even worse, in May, this year, Turkish police arrested Syrian rebels caught in the act of carrying weaponized Sarin gas to Syria, and which Russian intelligence agents in this reportconfirmed were delivered by Harroun from the CIA’s Benghazi arms depot.

A high-level anonymous official with the Libyan Ministry of Defense who granted an interview to the Voice of Russia this past August further stated that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan controlled the terrorists groups in Syria and that it was actually Bandar who delivered the chemical weapons from Israel to the Syrian insurgents, and which this reportconfirms by stating CIA-operative Harroun was the conduit for this transaction too.

Critical to note is that while the Assad regime in Damascus has denied responsibility for the sarin gas missiles that killed around 1,400 Syrians in the suburb of Ghouta on 21 August, information is now circulating in the city that Russia’s new “evidence” about the attack includes the dates of export of the specific rockets used and – more importantly – the countries to which they were originally sold.

They were apparently manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1967 and sold by Moscow to three Arab countries, Yemen, Egypt and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.

The Voice of Russia further notes that a high-ranking Libyan official stated that all countries in the Middle East were controlled by the United States except Syria, Iran and for the most part Lebanon, with US representatives normally present at all meetings between the leaders and heads of the Middle East states.

The source also stated that it the ambition of Saudi PrinceBandar bin Sultan to become the King of Saudi Arabia that drives him to do whatever the US asks of him as he needs their support to make him the king. His mother is not of royal lineage so he is ineligible to be the king.

The official explained the urgency of the United States and Obama to invade Syria as being due a drive to diminish growing Russian influence in the Middle East and surprisingly as revenge for Russia’s refusal to hand over Edward Snowden.

He stated that Russia’s growing and prospering economy and the US’s ever weakening economic condition is causing countries in the region to look towards Russia and this is unacceptable to the Obama regime.

When asked about the Muslim Brotherhood, he stated that since its creation by MI6 in the 1940s it had been under the control of the West and was in fact in no way a religious organization. Under several dictators over the decades the Muslim Brotherhood has become a radical armed force, and which Egyptian main papers have this month been publishing documents proving that Obama himself is not only a member, but one of its main leaders.

As Iran’s official news agency FARS reported on 1 September that Saudi Arabia had gone on “Full Alert” after Putin threatened to hit the Saudis in reprisal for any US attack on Syria, the US media’s stunning use of psychological programming to influence public opinion on Syria utterly failing, and the US military revolt against Obama’s plan to strike Syria, this report concludes, the release of CIA spy Harroun is not only beyond belief…it is criminal…as this one single man, above all others, and by his actions, has brought the world to brink of total war


Was Ambassador Stevens Funneling Weapons to Terrorists in Syria?

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This is from The Last Resistance.

Was Ambassador Stevens running the international version of Fast and Furious?

Considering they other things done by the administration I could believe it.

This could be the reason Obama did not let help be sent to Benghazi.


Trying to connect the dots on the Benghazi attack is a dizzying endeavor. So many names and places and most of all unanswered questions. The more we find out about the details and connections, the more we see how demented our foreign policy is and why the Obama administration lies about everything.

Based on the latest information, Ambassador Stevens was being used to broker an arms deal with al-Qaida linked militant groups who comprise the Free Syrian Army. The FSA is being used by our CIA to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Claire Lopez is a 20-year veteran of the CIA. This is her assessment:

“The facility in Benghazi was never officially a consulate. The consular functions were handled at the embassy in Tripoli. So, Benghazi was set up primarily to be the hub for U. S. support for the rebels. Afterwards, it seemed to continue its function to be the point of support for the weapons that were looted from Gadhafi’s stockpile. The particular ones we’re worried about are the bigger ones, the RPGs and shoulder-fired missiles that can bring down aircraft. They’re gathering those up, buying them back, and collecting them. Then, and this is what it seems like, those weapons were going through the pipeline, coordinated by Stevens, most likely through Turkey, to the Free Syrian Army. After all, there’s a presidential finding for its support. Connecting all the dots, it looks like there was an active pipeline of weapons from Libya, through Turkey, and then to the Free Syrian Army.”

The White House claims that they were not arming Syrian rebel forces. That was a lie. Our CIA has been arming the Free Syrian Army, which is comprised of Al-Qaida like militant forces, and the Benghazi building where Stevens died was being used to funnel weapons to these radical Muslims.

We know that on the day Benghazi was attacked, Stevens had met with the Turkish Ambassador, but we don’t know what they talked about. We also know that Stevens worked with Belhadj, who was the leader of the Tripoli Military Council, and Belhadj had been working with the FSA in southern Turkey to provide them with weapons.

The London based Times reported just 3 days after the 9/11 attack in Benghazi that a Libyan ship, whose captain was from Benghazi, docked in Turkey, and the ship was carrying about 400 tons of weapons, mostly surface-to-air missiles (SA-7’s) and rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s). The weapons were being transported to the FSA by CIA operatives.

This is the same kind of policy that created “Fast and Furious.” If we armed certain Mexican drug cartels in undercover sting operations, we could find out more about other drug cartels that we wanted to take down mostly for political reasons. The problem is, good people end up dying, and when that happens, the administration has to lie in order to cover up their bungled operations.

It’s also reminiscent of when our CIA funded and armed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan back in the late 70’s and 80’s for the purpose of fighting off another one of our enemies, the Soviets. Osama bin Laden was our ally then. This led to the creation of Al-Qaida in 1988. Then, bin Laden and Al-Qaida became our enemy and attacked us. Now, we’re arming them again to bring down Assad in Syria. And four Americans are dead, and the Obama administration doesn’t care.

The “anti-Muslim” YouTube video and the fact that numerous calls for security went unanswered, in my opinion, have both served as distractions, and both are missing the point. The Obama administration has been lying to cover up the fact that their foreign policy is to arm and finance terrorists when it’s geo-politically expedient to do so. When people die as a result, they can’t let Americans know the truth about how they support terrorists in order to accomplish their end game, and frankly, it’s been going on for decades. And what is their “end game?” Another unanswered question to which we may never find the answer.



CIA Director Throws Obama Under The Bus

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This is from Freedom Outpost.

There is no doubt in my mind Obama is the one who said No.

The only other possibility is Valerie Jarrett said No to the request for help.

 Jarrett tried to talk Obama into waiting before ordering Bin Laden killed.




Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director David Petraeus has emphatically denied that anyone at the CIA refused to assist and give support to former Navy SEALs who requested it three times, as referenced in emails that have come out, as the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was being attacked on the night of September 11.

Jake Tapper, tweeted on Friday:

CIA spox: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. ”


William Kristol at The Weekly Standard writes,

So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.

It would have been a presidential decision.

Even CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood denied that the CIA turned down support stating,

“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi,” she said. “Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”

A local reporter in Denver, Kyle Clarke of KUSA-TV, asked Barack Obama directly whether the Americans in Benghazi were denied requests for support. Although Obama implied that he had known about the attacks are they were happening, he completely dodged the question, giving a ‘non-answer.’

On Friday The State Department cut off questions from reporters about Libya during a press briefing in Washington. The only one talking now, at least it seems until after the election, is Petraus who has been directly implicated by charges that the CIA would not offer support and so that has left him with one option and that is to point to the one man where the buck stops, whether he likes it or not, Barack Obama.

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EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say

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This is from Fox News Politics.

Why was the requests for helped denied?

Who denied these requests for help?

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

Someone needs to be held accountable for these murders.

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over.

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers.

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex.

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 3 a.m. An American Quick Reaction Force sent from Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport at 2 a.m. (four hours after the initial attack on the consulate) and was delayed for 45 minutes at the airport because they could not at first get transportation, allegedly due to confusion among Libyan militias who were supposed to escort them to the annex, according to Benghazi sources.

The American special operators, Woods, Doherty and at least two others were part of the Global Response Staff, a CIA element, based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi’s fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft. According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces.

Fox News has also learned that Stevens was in Benghazi that day to be present at the opening of an English-language school being started by the Libyan farmer who helped save an American pilot who had been shot down by pro-Qaddafi forces during the initial war to overthrow the regime. That farmer saved the life of the American pilot and the ambassador wanted to be present to launch the Libyan rescuer’s new school.

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