CBS News: Why didn’t we send the military to rescue Benghazi personnel?

posted at 9:21 am on October 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

By now we’ve gotten the basic details of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi — no thanks to the White House, which tried to pass it off as a “spontaneous demonstration” that “spun out of control” for more than a week after the attack. Not too many people may have understood that the attack lasted for seven hours, however — and that American military assets were in easy reach.  The last two Americans who died had managed to survive six hours into the attack.

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson asked the obvious question yesterday: If we could fly an unarmed drone over the consulate while it was under attack, why didn’t we send the military in to rescue our people?

Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours. The assault was launched by an armed mob of dozens that torched buildings and used rocket propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.

This question comes at a most opportune time. CBS News’ Bob Schieffer will moderate tonight’s presidential debate on foreign policy between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and the Benghazi terrorist attack will almost certainly arise as a topic. What are the odds that the CBS News host brings up this biting CBS News report on what we might have done to stop the attack in Benghazi?


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and it was going to take TROOPS to effect anything of value. And troops aren’t just on an hour’s standby, worldwide…sorry.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM

They had at least six hours and still did nothing.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

I’m not following this. The U.S. has a naval air station in Sigonella , Italy…which I thought I read was only a one hour flight to Libya. What am I missing?

When Pooky ran the math for me two weeks ago, he said that we could’ve had assets there in four, and that would’ve just been the start under normal procedures.

pookysgirl on October 22, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Pooky’s statement makes more sense to me than Panetta’s.

lynncgb on October 22, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Isn’t Sigonella AFB, less than 450 miles away in Sicily, one of our main Mediterrranean operational hubs? Aren’t there special operations units with detachments there?

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Our men stayed alive, fighting for six hours, as the President watched, as our “security” watched…do you know what can be mobilized within that six hours? You don’t think we could have sent in troops…that alone would have stopped the protests, the arrival of a warthog, the attack of a predator drone, you don’t think the military has options for these sort of attacks?

If not, why not, we should be able to mobilize a defensive force in less than four hours…

Our men fought for their lives for six hours, knowing that we would never let them die without a fight…how wrong they were.

A couple of years ago I was blasted for saying that we should pull out of these type of areas because with Obama we will just leave our men in the streets dead…at that time I stated to the poster, how will it feel when you find out a man like Hawkdriver, is laying in the street dead because our CINC wont’ fight our fight…and she was horrified that I would be so graphic. Others hopped on her bandwagon, I stood my ground, we should have pulled out and waited for a real President, not rely on this president.

Well here’s a graphic for you, and you are still posting…these men fought for their lives for six hours waiting for the CINC to do something…and they ended up in the streets dead.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Sharyl Attkisson is probably the most reviled employee at CBS right now, I can’t imagine Mr. Schieffer building on her work.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Don’t you just love the way the CBS anchor in the video paints this as a political witch hunt?

Note to CBS – we’re asking more questions because the WH isn’t giving answers readily, and when we finally dig up answers, they raise more questions. This story continues because of the Obama administration. If they’d just lay the facts out, the story wouldn’t be fed every day.

Also – if sending military assets in can be delicate, how delicate is having an ambassador killed in your country? I mean, what would the Libyans have done in response? Something worse than killing our ambassador?

hawksruleva on October 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

But Obama’s not indifferent to those deaths, is he Ed.

Extrafishy on October 22, 2012 at 9:31 AM

It’s ridiculous to think Obama or Hillary would put anyone at any US embassy in blatant life-threatening danger so flippantly. All the liberal whining about how “Bush doesn’t care about black people” or “Bush lied about Iraq and let our servicemen and women die for his oil money” is no different. Those idiotic accusations are so far below the belt that there’s shoelaces on ‘em.

What is in question here is Obama’s and Hillary’s (and the whole chain of command under their leadership) judgement calls, which are always 20/20 in hindsight, but need to be examined more closely. No doubt there was major failure here.

Both the president and the secretary of state are ultimately responsible for what happened with the lack of adequate security in Benghazi. And a complete investigation of this incident needs to be completed…if for nothing else than for the families of those who were killed.

Let’s just do this with a level head.

JetBoy on October 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM

you mean like the guy who died on the embassy radio, begging for help? Gee, I wonder if either of the two SEALs there, using that radio, could possibly have acted as a Forward Air Controller.

Assuming that the systems frequencies match….

They had at least six hours and still did nothing.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Because without a clear LZ landing “at the Benghazi airport” isn’t really a plan, is it?

Look you want to pile on for sleeping thru it, fine…going to Las Vegas fine…Lying about it …fine.

But, a “military response” on the fly…not so likely.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I would bet anything that we also had a carrier sitting out in the Mediterranean sea during the Benghazi attack.

We had not problem putting ships there when we bombed the crap out of Libya. :)

MityMaxx on October 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Honestly this is makes me so SAD. No one is in charge. No one was ABLE to make this decision because the leaders here, Obama and Hillary are inept. They are show ponies with no talent, no leadership and no POWER…because they are both in their jobs as window dressing, with no real experience. And they’ve lived four years in these jobs, juggling their image.
And now these people are dead because neither of them, nor the people they put in charge beneath them had the ability to say, “GO!”

It’s awful and sad and a true travesty.

MAC1000 on October 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Well here’s a graphic for you, and you are still posting…these men fought for their lives for six hours waiting for the CINC to do something…and they ended up in the streets dead.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

What gets me is that nobody below the WH level ordered a strike. At some point, if you’re a CIA, Air Force, or Navy Officer watching our compound be attacked for hours, with assets at your disposal, you need to send a strike, even if it costs you your job. I mean, even if the drone taking video had fired a Hellfire missile, it could have given some of those men the space they needed to escape.

hawksruleva on October 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

and it was going to take TROOPS to effect anything of value. And troops aren’t just on an hour’s standby, worldwide…sorry.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM

B.S…Israel is just under 800 miles, Benghazi in right on the coast, we have carriers within 500 miles, probably a couple of hundred miles. Maximum time, 2 hours to get troops on the ground…30 minutes our fighter jets…we didn’t even create a show of strength, we just let our men die.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

JetBoy on October 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I’m not a big conspiracy theory person but it is obviously to all that the president and his SOS grossly underestimated the the security situation in Libya. What I will never understand is why Amb. Stevens, after requesting extra security and writing that he was a target, felt compelled to leave the relative safety of Tripoli to go to the unsecured Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11/2001?

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

And troops aren’t just on an hour’s standby, worldwide…sorry.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM

This isn’t Switzerland we’re talking about here but rather the world’s preeminent ongoing hotspot of terrorist activity. Come on.

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 10:41 AM

What gets me is that nobody below the WH level ordered a strike. At some point, if you’re a CIA, Air Force, or Navy Officer watching our compound be attacked for hours, with assets at your disposal, you need to send a strike, even if it costs you your job. I mean, even if the drone taking video had fired a Hellfire missile, it could have given some of those men the space they needed to escape.

hawksruleva on October 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

One missile would have created panic…exactly, and given some “space” perhaps, anything…but six hours, knowing our men are fighting for their lives?

This is the same group that thinks waterboarding is so horrific…try fighting for you life for six hours…it breaks my heart.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM

What I will never understand is why Amb. Stevens, after requesting extra security and writing that he was a target, felt compelled to leave the relative safety of Tripoli to go to the unsecured Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11/2001?

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Because he was ordered to as part of a larger White House plan?

Did I just say that? I must have eaten some tinfoil with my baked potato last night.

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Because without a clear LZ landing “at the Benghazi airport” isn’t really a plan, is it?

Look you want to pile on for sleeping thru it, fine…going to Las Vegas fine…Lying about it …fine.

But, a “military response” on the fly…not so likely.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Representative Issa really needs to put you under oath because you’re spouting stuff about the situation that clearly has not been forthcoming by the administration. And, BTW, sending a few rounds into the animals attacking the consulate would be a military response that does not require an LZ. The fact of the matter is that military response was possible but politically awkward what with all those loving rebels who supposedly were inhabiting Benghazi at the time they were actually sodomizing our Ambassador.
Put another way Christopher Stevens had to die to prop up the myth oof an Arab Spring and that is about the worst reason for doing nothing in this situation.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

But, a “military response” on the fly…not so likely.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Why not? We can order drone strikes on short notice, and there was a drone over the compound. There’s a base 450 miles away with armed aircraft. Hell, we could’ve asked Israel to send a team.

This was injury on top of injury. Stevens was put in a nation with a large hostile element, with too little security, attacked several times, and we had no plan to help him when the next attack happened.

There were a dozen ways to prevent this situation. Pull your consulate out, as other nations and the Red Cross had. Beef up security. Respond to previous attacks on our consulate in Benghazi with.. something. Have an emergency plan in place. Be aware that 9/11 is a day with special meaning.

If you’re not capable of solving this problem, how are you going to handle news of, say, an impending Iranian missile launch? If you can’t lead on this, then you’re not a leader.

hawksruleva on October 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

BUSH LIED PEOPLE DIED!!! BUSH LIED PEOPLE DIED!!!

O wrong party Pres is in office? You mean a liberal? O , my bad Ill will shut up now and pretend this is not a big issue.

/libitard

watertown on October 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Would any of you Fighting Keyboardists care to take a stab at the Five Paragraph Field Order for this operation….

I’d pay dollars for the “Situation” portions and then the “Coordination and Communications Sections”…”Scheme of Maneuver” would be fun, too.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Stevens, after requesting extra security and writing that he was a target, felt compelled to leave the relative safety of Tripoli to go to the unsecured Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11/2001?

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Because, by all accounts, he was the consummate professional. He thought his people were there and he felt his position was with his people and not in hiding…many would do the same, some would stay (and that’s alright), but others want to be where their post is, and not abandon his “ship”.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

So, you can’t get from Italy, Germany, or Iraq to Libya in 6 hours? There’s no warships with helicopters in the Mediterranean? On September 11, there were no rapid response teams at the ready?

hawksruleva on October 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM

U.S. Sixth fleet is in the Med, including Enterprise, according to article I read Friday.

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM

According to one of our long time commenters, at Hillbuzz, the theory is that Amb. Stevens was suppose to be kidnapped and used as a political trade for the Blind Sheik. As conspiracy theories go, it’s not bad. Except that it all went wrong.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

And still the $64,000 question remains unasked by anyone to the adminstration.

What the Sam Hell was our Embassador doing in Bengahzi on 9/11?

I’m going to assume (I know) that he wasn’t selling girl scout cookies, so what was he doing?

Oh, and JFKY have you ever served in the military? Cause I’m just gonna go and say it, you don’t know Jack Sh1t about contingency operations.

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Sharyl Attkisson is a reporter at CBS that really investigates. Laura Logan gave a great speech in Chicago a week or two ago about Al Queda. I believe she is also from CBS. CBS has two women that are investigating and reporting. Attkisson also covered Fast & Furious for CBS.

One of the local radio shows I listen to has been relentless on the Libya fiasco. Col. David Hunt had been on almost daily for two weeks, O could have flown a plane to Benghazi in less than an hour, but he went to bed and didn’t care.

To all the libs out there, remember this- Obama went to bed while our ambassador and three others were killed and probably tortured!

carolt2 on October 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Apparently we have the ability to drop bombs on terrorists in Tora Bora on short notice when the situation arises but doing so in Libya requires a full convening of Congress.

Whatever. The decision not to send anything whatsoever to help our people in Benghazi was a political decision, plain and simple. Our people were left to be hunted down and killed like animals.

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I’m trying very hard not to be conspiratorial about this but how can I not when there is so much obfuscation from the administration. Ever since F&F became a priority one stonewall I just can’t trust these people.

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Would love to see Mitt just lay out how the video was described versus how the attack was described. Feel free to add to it:

Video:
Hateful, Insulting, Despicable, Provoking violence

“Terror” Attack on anniversary of 9/11:
Spontaneous, some folks, bumps in the road, senseless violence, crime, not optimal

And on the View, Obama wouldn’t call it a terror attack, but did call himself eye candy.

monalisa on October 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

It was just too risky to send any more military assets…politically speaking…for Dear Leader. It was just too close to his last election.

d1carter on October 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Great, so you can Google…QRF…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Assuming that the systems frequencies match…

Strange that such a military expert like yourself doesn’t know that the White House Signals Office would find it trivially easy to patch that State Department radio feed straight into any other military radio net on the planet… if they’d been asked to.

You know that scene in ‘Heartbreak Ridge’ where the dude calls in an air strike by phoning Camp LeJeune on a pay phone and having them forward his call back to the Marine aviation unit on station in Grenada? Guess what; that actually happened IRL. The SEAL detachment extracting the Grenadian governor-general from his mansion got cut off from their satellite comms, were pinned down long enough to have their headsets run out of battery power, and so they improvised by using a phone extension in the house to call Special Operations Command in Tampa by long-distance, and having them forward their call back to an amphibious-assault ship off the shore of Grenada.

Basically — if you can get any radio signal out on /any/ frequency, and high-level attention like this is already focused on the case, then the comm center of wherever you are talking to can patch your signal across. Hell, the Air Force has aircraft and hardware dedicated to nothing but the job of cross-patching disparate radio nets into each other so different NATO units can all talk.

Where do you get your military knowledge from; Vietnam movies?

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Yep, they have only themselves to blame. Both Benghazi and F & F could have been handled more honestly and timely and the public would have accepted it better.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Hell, we could’ve asked Israel to send a team.

Great plan…involve yet MORE units, combat and transport, and more coordination problems…AND involve a group HATED by pretty much every group in Libya.

This was injury on top of injury. Stevens was put in a nation with a large hostile element, with too little security, attacked several times, and we had no plan to help him when the next attack happened.

There were a dozen ways to prevent this situation.

No argument on THAT, but these issues/solutions ahve nothing to do with the situation, as it unfolded…IF there was No consulate…IF there had been a Marine Battalion in place…IF there had been a SpecOps unit, or a Platoon of the 173rd on call for IMMEDIATE dispatch, with a plan…

All those are “IF” money and really don’t address the issue that NONE of them were in place, and to extemporize them is very difficult.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

6 hours in the middle of the night isn’t much time to allow the US military to execute an irregular mission.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Yet they had a drone their in minutes, and it stayed and filmed the whole fight…to the death.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Anyone who thinks that Bob Schieffer will do anything other then try and help Obama at this debate will be sadly mistaken.

This will be Mitt Romney debating two people again tonight.

Rockshine on October 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Oh, and JFKY have you ever served in the military? Cause I’m just gonna go and say it, you don’t know Jack Sh1t about contingency operations.

School me..please start with the first paragraph, “Situation” tell me the enemy forces and the Friendly forces and their locations

Work from there…

And someone suggested Heart Break Ridge and Grenada…a movie and an apocryphal story…as “evidence.”11!11

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Imagine waiting 6 hours for the cavalry to arrive as savages tried (and succeeded) to get in to tear you apart.
I hope that the wretched piece of filth got a good night’s sleep while all of this was going down- before he left the same morning to go to his fundraiser in Vegas.

justltl on October 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The real political decisions were made long before the attack on 9/11/12. Our government did not want to have a show of force in and around our consulate in Benghazi even after several probing attacks.

d1carter on October 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Voting Present.

rightside on October 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The necessary assets aren’t normally based in Sigonella.

Look, it’s quite possible that poor or slow decision making was part of the problem, but everyone on here needs to realize that the US doesn’t normally keep strike assets on a 1-hour ready.

6 hours in the middle of the night isn’t much time to allow the US military to execute an irregular mission.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Maybe, and I mean Maybe not a Sig, but are you going to tell me that we don’t have a Quick Strike reaction team on the CVN-65 Enterprise, hint look-up what an Class A Order of Engagement is.

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Yet they had a drone their in minutes, and it stayed and filmed the whole fight…to the death.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

My guess is that the drone was CIA. Which makes the lies Patraeus is spouting to protect the rat-eared wonder all the more treasonous.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The necessary assets aren’t normally based in Sigonella.
Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron 4 is based at Sigonella. They’re a special operations detachment tasked to applying aviation and airmobile assets for Naval Special Warfare, and their specific brief is combat search and rescue missions.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

This is almost six weeks and now they ask the question? I’m sure CBS blocked Sharyl Attkisson’s story when she first tried to bring it up.

carolt2 on October 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I’m not a big conspiracy theory person but it is obviously to all that the president and his SOS grossly underestimated the the security situation in Libya. What I will never understand is why Amb. Stevens, after requesting extra security and writing that he was a target, felt compelled to leave the relative safety of Tripoli to go to the unsecured Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11/2001?

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Emphasis mine.

I agree…they totally underestimated the security situation. No argument there. But there’s a difference between “underestimated” and “intentional gross negligence”. Somewhere along the chain, a very real threat of inadequate security got underestimated. Maybe even ignored as unimportant.

But again, there’s a big difference there. I despise these liberal politicos as much as anyone here…maybe even more considering my circumstances…but claiming security was intentionally ignored…prior to even a basic investigation which dang well should be done…is beside the whole point here.

JetBoy on October 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Yet they had a drone their in minutes, and it stayed and filmed the whole fight…to the death.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

A drone with several PGM’s wasn’t the needed thing…and the fact it saw “fighting” doesn’t mean it knew where the friendlies were and who the “enemies” were and only two pieces of ordnance aren’t going to do much…

USS Enterprise doesn’t carry a Marine Guard, any more so even if it’s “In the Mediterranean” all that means is that it can level a block of Benghazi, which may or may not help the small group of Americans trying to exfiltrate.

And as to any MAU or MEU(SOC) in the area, you could call it a TRAP if you want, and move from there, but it STILL doesn’t give you a good LZ and a Scheme of Maneuver for a mission.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

The necessary assets aren’t normally based in Sigonella.

Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron 4 is based at Sigonella. They’re a special operations detachment tasked to applying aviation and airmobile assets for Naval Special Warfare, and their specific brief is combat search and rescue missions.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Checkmate! Nice work Chuckg Stand up!

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 11:03 AM

And as to any MAU or MEU(SOC) in the area, you could call it a TRAP if you want, and move from there, but it STILL doesn’t give you a good LZ and a Scheme of Maneuver for a mission.

Are you seriously trying to get us to believe that contingency plans for extraction of consulate personnel don’t already exist? That they would have to hipshoot and coordinate everything from scratch?

Won’t that be news to the FAST team that was sent into Tripoli to extract the main embassy staff.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Ok, so we couldn’t put together a precise Alpha Strike or have a company of Marines dropped into the compound within an hour, does that mean that something, anything couldn’t have been attempted?

Hell, send a few Super Hornets supersonic at tree level over the area to break a few hundred windows and maybe send the savages scurrying. Try SOMETHING instead of sitting on your paws and chewing your lip.

Bishop on October 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

You might be right, but I’d like to ask hawkdriver how quickly a unit might be put into action on an emergency basis. It would seem to be something that they drill on all the time. It’s hard for me to believe that we have no contingency plans to cover a situation like this.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

School me..please start with the first paragraph, “Situation” tell me the enemy forces and the Friendly forces and their locations

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Let’s assume you are right, being the armchair general that you claim to be…. Where were the calls from this administration to the Libyan authorities getting the local authorities engaged in mounting rescue? I’m not sure they could have done anything but it seems as if the rat-eared wonder’s administration didn’t even ask.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Hell, the Air Force has aircraft and hardware dedicated to nothing but the job of cross-patching disparate radio nets into each other so different NATO units can all talk.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Yup, we have some of those birds here on base, and guess what? They need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice, and at least one of them is required to be in the air at all times. You don’t want to know how much fuel they go through in a month, but it’s worth it.

pookysgirl on October 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

The worm is turning. In this case the worm is the lamestrem media. I listen to CBS radio since it is tied to conservative talk radio in my area (talk about cognitive dissonance). CBS Radio has been spinning relentlessly for Obama for months with propaganda worthy of the old USSR. This morning there was a piece about Libya which listed the many failures of the Obama administration and outlined talking points for Romney in the debate which might have been written by National Review.

They must be smelling a whiff of regime change.

Viator on October 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM

It’s hard for me to believe that we have no contingency plans to cover a situation like this.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Especially on 9/11 with attacks already occuring at other American outposts in the region including Cairo.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Dude. You are completely nuts if you honestly believe that. I’m just gonna pretend you didn’t write that out loud… For your sake.
happytobehere on October 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Oh don’t do anything for my sake, watch, wait, and remember I said that, for your own. It’s the way it works. The press acted the same way towards Bush.

Boomer_Sooner on October 22, 2012 at 11:08 AM

The most you could do in /one/ hour would be to have the nearest fast-mover buzz overhead as a sort of RESCAP to try and intimidate the hostile crowd into dispersing or pressing the attack less vigorously. Maybe drop an AGM or two if White House Signals could patch anyone still surviving on the embassy radio into the pilot’s freq.

In /three to four hours/, however, rotary-wing assets could have been there from Sigonella — and to recap, a Naval Special Warfare rotary-wing support unit is based at Sigonella, one specifically set up for combat search & rescue missions.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM

JetBoy on October 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

If conspiracy theories are flourishing, I suggest to you that they have only themselves to blame. Between outright lying and referring to the incident as “bumps in the road” and “not optimal” and now stonewalling the investigation, they are their own worst enemy. Lucky for them they have the press, or at least the majority of it.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM

and it was going to take TROOPS to effect anything of value. And troops aren’t just on an hour’s standby, worldwide…sorry.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Really, General?

unclesmrgol on October 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Let me be clear, Stevens is dead and GM is alive.

/Biden

CorporatePiggy on October 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM

The only thing that makes me think that it is even plausible that we had no options is that Obama is CIC. What he thinks is important and what others think is important in the realm of preparedness are probably light years apart. I still need some professional input.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Everyone is arguing about how long it would have taken to get troops and/or planes there, but nobody knew how long this attack was going to last for in the first place, so how was a decision made that there was no point in trying to do anything? That makes no sense to me.

eyedoc on October 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I hope Mitt Romney will rebut Obama when he makes the statement for the zillionth time “I say we would end the war in Iraq, we did”. No other CIC in history tells the enemy when he intends to end the war by a certain date because that is such an idiotic strategy. Obama’s feeble brain believes a war ends when he says it does. Well, think again because the enemy does not buy into such bullshit, unlike the MSM and millions of Americans, I’ afraid. I guess we should expect such absurdity from this empty suit who btw believes the oceans will heal because he has come to power.

Birdseye on October 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Yeah, but they are right there in the middle of Hell and we don’t have any water? And it was 9/11 for craps sake! I’m not saying you are wrong but if so, it is no way to run an Army.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

ABC is reporting on its Political Punch blog that Intelligence says there was no evidence of planning for this attack.

MayBee on October 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Other than it would be virtually impossible to launch and execute such an attack without prior planning and reconnaissance.

The WH (and I assume the NYT) are taking the position it was spontaneous attack until proven otherwise. And much of the MSM is letting them get away with it. This is the same MSM that is ordinarily highly skeptical and suspicious.

They are defying reason. If it is virtually impossible to spontaneously launch and execute such an attack without prior planning and reconnaissance it is reasonable to assume it was a planned attack until proven otherwise. It is not reasonable to assume the opposite until proven otherwise.

farsighted on October 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM

This is how a veteran Foreign Service Officer put it.

1) What the hell was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi on 9/11? Opening an “American corner”? Really?

I very reluctantly mention this: It will appear insensitive, but one must, must question Ambassador Steven’s judgement. His patriotism, dedication to duty, and personal bravery are not in doubt, but his judgement and bureaucratic courage and skills come into question. As we have seen, there was a chorus of requests by his staff, his predecessor, and him for additional security resources in Libya, and in particular in Benghazi. Unlike the White House, the Embassy had no illusions about the growth of Al Qaeda affiliates and the deteriorating security situation in the eastern part of Libya, most notably once the Muslim Brotherhood obtained a secure operating platform in Egypt. After Embassy requests for more security were denied or only partly honored, why did Stevens leave the facility in Benghazi open? What was so important about that facility that its operation under miserable security conditions made it a risk worth taking? Or is this just a horrid example of cognitive dissonance? If he knew, as apparently he did, that security in Benghazi was deplorable, why did he go there on 9/11, and announce the opening of an American Corner? Why bring additional attention to the place especially after the British and even the International Red Cross (IRC) had abandoned Benghazi, and after our facility there suffered two prior attacks? Could the President’s personal representative not say no to the American Corner, no to traveling there on 9/11, no to the facility itself? As noted, I am sorry to raise these matters of judgement and common sense, but four Americans lost their lives, not just one.

spiritof61 on October 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM

What he thinks is important and what others think is important in the realm of preparedness are probably light years apart. I still need some professional input.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Along those lines, I want to know what kind of communication was going on between State, DoD, CIA, and the White House. State officials said under oath they were watching in near-real time. What did they do with information? The answer to that question is critical.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Please, HC-4′s mission is logistics (“passengers”, “mail”, and “cargo”) in support of Sixth Fleet assets.

Dude, HC-4 was moved to Norfolk in 2005 and decommissioned in 2007.

Try again.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Meanwhile, back at Newsweek, they seem to think Obama was there meeting with Dempsey and Panetta about military options.

itsacookbook on October 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Won’t that be news to the FAST team that was sent into Tripoli to extract the main embassy staff.

You mean the team that went AFTERWARDS, into a secure situation? THAT FAST team, right?

The team with a secure LZ, a working knowledge of the situation, a cooperative local government, and a knowledge of the number and location of the persons to be evacuated? That team?

In short, a team that was in place, finally, with far more information than an ad hoc unit would have had in Benghazi?

I’m taking flak for being an “armchair general” but I have YET to see any Fighting Typists present THEIR “plan” for the night….

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Oh, hey, look at this — there was also at least one Marine special operations unit based at Sigonella. Sure, they were nominally tasked to support something else, but they were still /there/.

http://www.stripes.com/news/marines-in-support-of-africom-establish-task-force-in-sigonella-1.156957

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Can’t you just tell by some of the reaction to this thread that we have hit a nerve with the Rats, they are scurrying to put out the fires that have erupted by this.

Keep spinning JFKY and blink et al. it ain’t gonna make the story die. The LSM is actually just now starting to due their job in reporting on this travesty. With just the right ammount of pressure they will have to give creedance to this story and in will have legs.

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

You mean the team that went AFTERWARDS, into a secure situation? THAT FAST team, right?

You seem to harp overmuch on ‘no secure situation’, just as blink is harping overmuch on ‘no contingency plans exist’.

Explain to me what good it is to have a military capability that can’t extract people from a hostile situation and has no plans to do so in the first place.

Seriously, that’s what you’re claiming. That allegedly, the US military does not have the capability or any preparation for actually going somewhere where people might try to contest their landing. That they can only land in safe places.

Smells like horseshit to us.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I haven’t listened to this yet but it is Col. Hunt in an interview on Benghazi. The Husband says it is maddening! There is also a transcript of it at Free Republic. Now maybe Col. Hunt has been out of the loop so long that his opinions aren’t relevant.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Our men stayed alive, fighting for six hours, as the President watched, as our “security” watched…do you know what can be mobilized within that six hours?

Well, and average round of golf can run to 5 hours…

socalcon on October 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

All I can tell you is it was a video on You Tube. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM

If we could fly an unarmed drone over the consulate while it was under attack, why didn’t we send the military in to rescue our people?

.
.
Let me ask a better question:
.
Why didn’t the drone fire at least one Hellfire?
.
.
The mere mention of a drone in the area makes jihadis incontinent … one hellfire causes them to completely lose bladder control and run away, screaming like little girls.
.
Therefore, there’s good reason to believe that one Hellfire would have ended the attack, immediately.
.
So: Why didn’t the drone fire at least one Hellfire?
.
.
Did someone intervene? Who?
.
Did someone forbid firing, or maybe insist on the drone being unarmed?
.
Enquiring Minds Want To Know …
.

Arbalest on October 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Hrm. And another story… it would appear that MARSOC units supporting Africa Command are more and more liking Sigonella for their base.

http://www.africom.mil/printStory.asp?art=8019

The relevant quote from that story:

The MAGTF provides U.S. Africa Command with training teams for theater security cooperation, as well as a limited crisis response capability.

Tell me again about how Sigonella had no assets available.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

I’m taking flak for being an “armchair general” but I have YET to see any Fighting Typists present THEIR “plan” for the night….

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

This is all Monday Morning Quarterbacking, appropriately enough since it’s Monday morning.

There was no military rescue backup plan in place because we were taken by surprise, caught with our pants down around our ankles. Something can be set up on the fly if the decisions are made quickly, but even in the best case with assets available within a few hours the ambassador still would have been killed. The first and biggest mistake–going to Benghazi with negligible security–doomed him and three others to their fate.

In fact, I think the jihadists screwed up–they should have been able to take him alive. There was plenty of time and he had virtually no protection. (I assume that they know the advantage of an American ambassador as hostage.)

spiritof61 on October 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Whoops, formatting error. Only the paragraph starting “the MAGTF provides” is the quote.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Seriously, that’s what you’re claiming. That allegedly, the US military does not have the capability or any preparation for actually going somewhere where people might try to contest their landing. That they can only land in safe places.

Not at all…I’m saying, HOWEVER, that if you want another Mayaguez, where more Marines died than the people to be rescued, by all means, fire away at Benghazi with Marines or Airborne or any other group yu care to… arrange their transport on the fly, coordinate, if possible with the Libyans, for landing rights, and then negotiate from the LZ to Consulate, arrange safe passage to the Consulate, and then find the Ambassador in the confusion….

Please do, go ahead and get a lot of Marines/Airborne troopers killed.

Please give me the Frag Order,and then the Field Order…you don’t have to be PRECISE, just tell me how YOU’D have committed “your” troops in this situation.

I’m not spinning FOR Obama…I’m telling you the mistake was NOT protecting the Consulate in the first place, but once that mistake was made, it was very unlikely that any military response was going to correct that FUNDAMENTAL error.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I hope Mitt Romney will rebut Obama when he makes the statement for the zillionth time “I say we would end the war in Iraq, we did”…

Birdseye on October 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Understand your outrage, but the Bush administration negotiated the Iraq Status of Forces Agreement… and Bush signed it in Dec. 2008. IIRC, Biden was supposed to renegotiate it, but that was a big flop.

In any case, I’d like to know on what basis Obama claims he ended the war in Iraq.

itsacookbook on October 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Blink is being disengenuous; we already have a dedicated military unit whose primary mission is crisis response for security threats to critical facilities.

Of course, if you believe JK, Marine FAST is incapable, totally incapable, of going anywhere that hasn’t already had the LZ made safe for them by somebody else… which damn sure doesn’t sound like the Marine Corps to me.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

How long to you think it takes to set SEAL Team Six in motion? Not a snark question, just a question.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Let’s highlight the appropriate adjective in that quote.

If you’d actually bothered to read the linked article you would have noted that the unit size on that detachment was approximately 125 Marines.

That’s the “limited”.

As for your claim that they had no capacity to respond in time; blink, how the hell would /you/ know? Do you have access to exact readiness data for US military special operations units? If so, why the fuck are you posting it in a public forum?

I will freely admit that with the data available to me, the strongest I can go is ‘It is either very suspicious or very lax that no attempt was made’, precisely because I can’t tell you whether or not a 1-hour ready team was available; I wouldn’t know, and I wouldn’t be allowed to say if I did.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Of course, if you believe JK, Marine FAST is incapable, totally incapable, of going anywhere that hasn’t already had the LZ made safe for them by somebody else… which damn sure doesn’t sound like the Marine Corps to me.

Nice strawman, there….

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I’m taking flak for being an “armchair general” but I have YET to see any Fighting Typists present THEIR “plan” for the night….

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Well general,

Since you clearly are sticking with the administration’s propaganda; here’s a salient point.

You are right, military operations work best when planned in advance. Where was such security planning for a consulate in an area so filled with the threat of terrorism that the Brits and Red Cross pulled out because of the threat. Why was it that the rat-eared wonder’s administration left our consulate in such a vulnerable state. It is almost as if Obama was inviting an attack.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

What are the odds that the CBS News host brings up this biting CBS News report on what we might have done to stop the attack in Benghazi?

Slim to none.

ButterflyDragon on October 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

You mean the team that went AFTERWARDS, into a secure situation? THAT FAST team, right?

The team with a secure LZ, a working knowledge of the situation, a cooperative local government, and a knowledge of the number and location of the persons to be evacuated? That team?

Sure sounded like ‘Marine FAST couldn’t go to Benghazi because they didn’t have a secure LZ’ there to me

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Explain to me what good it is to have a military capability that can’t extract people from a hostile situation and has no plans to do so in the first place.

Seriously, that’s what you’re claiming. That allegedly, the US military does not have the capability or any preparation for actually going somewhere where people might try to contest their landing. That they can only land in safe places.

Smells like horseshit to us.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I can smell it from here too…

pookysgirl on October 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

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