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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Iran = problem

Solution = Kick Iran’s ass.

Dear Russia,

Make our day.

U.S.A..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM

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

This

itsacookbook on October 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Democrats only know how to blink.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 11:39 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

Depends where they are? In Norfolk/Little Creek it won’t take LONG, but it will take HOURS to deploy from Virginia CONUS….

In Afghan/Iraq still hours, AND that portion won’t be at all familiar with the situation on the ground.

Sixth Fleet has a SEAL Platoon afloat, BUT they have to be nearby and have at least some idea and transportation (From the LZ to the consulate) of who is who, where they are going, and who to shoot or not shoot.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Our men stayed alive, fighting for six hours, as the President watched,

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Ummm hello, watch the news much?

I believe it is well documented that Obama was packing for a trip 3 time zones away in a radically different weather climate than DC.

/sarc

roy_batty on October 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM

As for blink’s question up above re: “This certainly doesn’t mean that they have a 1-hour, 2-hour, or even 3-hour alert team set up in Sig.”, I made a comment but it seems to have disappeared into the ether. So, I will post it again.

Blink, at this point one of two things is true:

a) You have exact knowledge re: what special-ops assets are at Sig, what their SOP allows, and what their combat readiness status and availability are.

At which point you /damn sure should not be talking about it in a public forum/.

Or…

b) You haven’t any more definite knowledge re: whether or not the MARSOC assets in Sig were on 1-hour, 2-hour, 4-hour, 24-hour, etc. ready status than I do.

At which point both of us are in ‘don’t know’ territory… but since you’re the one making absolute claims (‘The military couldn’t have done it, quit complaining’) while I’m the one voicing suspicion (‘It smells kinda funny that with Navy and Marine special-ops troops and rotary-wing assets less than 3 hours’ flight time away, a situation went 6 hours with no attempt at all to send support’), a “don’t know” situation is enough to entertain the suspicions… but not enough to prove your point.

And before you say something as inane as ‘presumed innocent until proven guilty’, that’s the standard for criminal trials, not for “Something really smells here; an actual investigation is warranted”.

Which is, y’know, what we’re saying. Something really smells here, and Congress should damn well investigate this situation right down to the bedrock.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

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

The mistake was not denying the requests for protection coming from the field. Please don’t gloss over the active calls for greater security and some Senior Executive in Foggy Bottom denying the request because it did not fit the political narrative being spun by the Obama Reelection Campaign. This was a deliberate and nefarious partisan action by people who want to keep their political appointments including the head of the CIA and Defense. It does a disservice to gloss it over the way you do.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Smells like horseshit to us.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Yep
Bet the King will not answer any more questions about this for “national security” reasons.

itsacookbook on October 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

4. However, if there was such a capability that wasn’t utilized because of cowardly decision making, then this certainly needs to come out.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Progress, I think.

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I think it would take at least 18 hours to get assets from SEAL Team Six to a rescue operation in Benghazi.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

One wonders what a Hellfire plopped in the middle of the mob would have done for their motivation though.

roy_batty on October 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I know hawk’s folks had meetings to discuss the viability of the mission where he got the Flying Cross. I still don’t even think Amb. Stevens should have been there. The whole thing doesn’t make sense.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News…The Pentagon said it moved a team of special operators from Central Europe to Sigonella, Italy — about an hour flight from Libya — but gave no other details.

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

This from a former CIA commander, I think he has better than most knowledge on what ours assets were…

No offense blink, but 18 hours is what the administration wants you to believe…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 11:46 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

I think I was one of the ones who snorted at you. I Apologize. I felt that the American people would never let men die fighting and waiting for rescue. “The Calvary comes at last.” is too deep in our minds, our art, our hopes. Even a single aircraft like an A-10 would have scattered them!

If this bastard really had an option to rescue them and passed, he will never live it down.

Bulletchaser on October 22, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Well, Cindy I would certainly welcome you to prioritize the military’s ready-alert capabilities. Keep in mind, that if you expend resources to maintain this exact type of capability 24/7, then be prepared to get criticized when you fail to respond to some other irregular crisis.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Don’t mean to imply I’m on either side of this discussion, I realize you can’t keep people and resources on standby alert 24/7, but since there were multiple attacks in the months beforehand wouldn’t it seem prudent to at least have them standby alert on 9/11?

Mitoch55 on October 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I think it would take at least 18 hours to get assets from SEAL Team Six to a rescue operation in Benghazi.

Are you joking? Allowing for 3 hours to get the team loaded on the plane and off the ground, you could get a troop detachment from Los Angeles to Benghazi in 18 hours, let alone from Sicily.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

-The consulate in Benghazi was a sitting duck.
-9/11 was an obvious date to be on high alert and have assets in place to prevent and/or respond to an attack.
-Obama was MIA throughout the entire ordeal.
-Obama and his administration continue to lie/obfuscate regarding this event for purely political reasons.

justltl on October 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

ONE MORE THING…Why didn’t we get some assets in even after the attack to secure the consulate and the CIA station…or was it too late for that?

d1carter on October 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

From what I do know from being on the ground and out guuned.

You call in fire on your own location and hunker down.

Any fire will do, from any where, any how.

But with commie coward Democrats appointed by unamerican unpresident know nothing b obama my opinion is that the standing orders given ,,,were,, your on your on.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

It does a disservice to gloss it over the way you do.

I don’t gloss over it, I say it’s the FUNDAMENTAL REASON Stevens and three others were rendered “Not Optimal, Bumps in the Road.”

I just am trying to be fair in pointing out that Dubya or Romney, having made the same error, would have been just as powerless…

Though I freely admit Idoubt either would have stayed in bed or gone to Sin City the next day.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Obviously, you read the sections of those articles that state that they are there to support Marines detached in Africa. So, they are in support roles. This likely means admin, logistical, training, etc. support.

And blink is trying to snow you again, folks. He’s pretending that the Marines in question are logistics troops.

Relevant quotes from those articles:

Marines began moving into their barracks this week at a U.S. base in Sigonella, Italy, which will serve as the new home to a special task force of reconnaissance troopers tasked with training African militaries fighting Africa-based terror groups.

The Marines are expected to deploy in small groups, sending platoon-sized elements on missions that could range from five days to five weeks.

“We can slice it and dice it any way we need,” said Winnacker, adding that reconnaissance Marines also give added flexibility. “They’re the jack of all trades. We can plug them into anything.”

So, yes. They’re totally just logistics and training troops. They couldn’t possibly be of any use in a rescue mission. /sarc

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:51 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?

As Candy A$$ proved you couldn’t give me enough odds to bet Schieffer would bring up this CBS report. As Damon Runyon explained “If a guy wants to bet that he can get a one-eyed Jack to jump out of the deck and spit in your eye them don’t bet or else prepare to get a wet eye”.

Herb on October 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Which is, y’know, what we’re saying. Something really smells here, and Congress should damn well investigate this situation right down to the bedrock.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Even if “late” it was imperative that we re-take our territory, that we secure the compound and let the people know that our territory is ours and we don’t surrender it to a bunch of thugs…no telling what documents, what information had been stolen in the hours after.

The fact is, we never put any boots on the ground, or made any effort to secure what is ours…and the last time we did that was the U.S. Cole, and look what that led to…it was the direct link to the Twin Towers…AQ knew we didn’t have the huevos to defend what was ours…

It’s not just the loss of life, that is bad enough, it’s the loss of respect, important information, and the embolding of our enemy.

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

txmomof6 on October 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM

I listened to that audio only interview and it was an eye opener!!

The interview is about 30 minutes, but well worth listening to.

http://audio.wrko.com/a/64657882/col-hunt-on-the-newest-libyan-revelations.htm

bluefox on October 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

-Obama was MIA throughout the entire ordeal.

justltl on October 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

…I believe he was in the Admiral’s Lounge at the airport awaiting his Vegas flight for part of it.

roy_batty on October 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I’m not rational about these things, I still can’t get over having the best of the best all flying in a Chinook over Afghanistan. Yes, I know they have to move somehow but it still seemed stupid.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

them=then

Herb on October 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

ps

And you do not have to ask the OK from a bunch of ass-hole Lybians who have no idea what to do or want Americans killed also.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

.

1. You don’t know if the UAV was capable of carrying any ordnance at all. Not all UAV’s have such capability.

.
From the report, you know that a Predator, and not some generic UAV, was on-site … which brings up the questions:

1. Why was a Predator there?
2. Did someone have advance knowledge? Who?
3. If the Predator was sent AFTER the attack began, why did it not fire a Hellfire?

.

2. Even if it was capable, you don’t know if it was carrying any ordnance on that mission.

.
Do you know, for a fact, that Predators are sent out unarmed? How about to locations where US personnel are under attack?
.

3. There are several valid reasons for not utilizing such capability even if it was available.

.
Given that US personnel were under attack at the location in question, can you give a couple of valid reasons?
.

4. However, if there was such a capability that wasn’t utilized because of cowardly decision making, then this certainly needs to come out.

.
.
… which is why I asked the questions that I asked …
.

Arbalest on October 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

’ve been asking this for weeks, ever since a poster here (I’m sorry I can’t recall who) posted a link to an interview by Howie Carr of Col. Hunt. He said in that interview that it wouldn’t have just been the State dept. that had the real time viewing of the attack, but the Situation Room, the Pentagon and multiple others in Europe, Africa and the ME. They could have done something, they were paralyzed by fear/incompetence and by the CiC going to bed/voting present.

txmomof6 on October 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Two items I read that go along with your comments:

1. Col. David Hunt stated “When an embassy requests more security the request automatically gos to the National Security Adviser and Council and appears on the president’s daily national security briefing”.

2. When an embassy is under attack a report is sent simultaneously to the situation room in the White House, CIA headquarters and the Bureau of Intelligeence and Research in the State Department. This report is called “Critic”. This is standard operating procedure.

Amjean on October 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Good grief. You don’t even know what the status of that C-130 was. It could have had 2 of its engines completely disassembled for routine maintenance.

So, we have only one AC-130, total, among three fully-loaded NATO air bases?

Call it 90 minutes flight time at cruising speed from Sicily, that AC-130 could have taken three hours to be fueled and loaded and still been overhead while people were still alive in the consulate. And it could at least have found and targeted the mortar crews without a Forward Air Controller.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Good grief. You don’t even know what the status of that C-130 was. It could have had 2 of its engines completely disassembled for routine maintenance.

Again, having assets and assets on the ready are two completely different things. Have crews and crews on the ready are two completely different things.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Uhhhh, yeah, all of our c-130′s, Warthogs, have their engines completely disassembled for routine maintenance…we always ground all of our planes at the same time…good grief,you have no knowledge what we have ready, we have the most capable, ready armed forces in the world…sorry but I have to rely on the voice of a CIA commander, I think I may have the edge on expertise there…blink or a CIA commander, gee, that’s a tough one…can you come up with someone with more knowledge that supports your “they may have had their engines dismantled”, can you?

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

I doubt AC-130′s were that nearby…we only have about 30 of them, and “nearby” would NOT be where they were needed, Afghanistan…

SURE, there were hundreds of fighter a/c nearby, in the USAF(Europe) but that doesn’t mean that much…

Are you joking? Allowing for 3 hours to get the team loaded on the plane and off the ground, you could get a troop detachment from Los Angeles to Benghazi in 18 hours, let alone from Sicily.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

But SEAL Team 6 isn’t IN Sicily…and that was the question, they are most likely in Little Creek and Afghanistan…

ONE MORE THING…Why didn’t we get some assets in even after the attack to secure the consulate and the CIA station…or was it too late for that?

You’d need to ask The Smartest Womin in the World and her boss “The Light Bringer/Wonderworker” for answers to THAT question.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I just am trying to be fair in pointing out that Dubya or Romney, having made the same error, would have been just as powerless…

Though I freely admit Idoubt either would have stayed in bed or gone to Sin City the next day.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Powerless to change the outcome in terms of the “bumps” but let’s not forget that the upshot was an unsecured consulate with material that was at least sensitive. Two weeks later and there still hadn’t been any official action taken to secure the facility. In the meantime CNN got in there and found Stevens’ journal.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Platoon sized elements do training missions in Africa.

And they’re based at Sig, and more importantly, rotate back to Sig between missions.

You keep claiming that only the tail is there, when the article explicitly states that no, that’s where the troops are based too.

Seriously. At this point you’re splitting hairs down to the atomic level.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM

JFKY:

I doubt AC-130′s were that nearby…we only have about 30 of them, and “nearby” would NOT be where they were needed, Afghanistan…

Africa Command’s AC-130′s, such as the ones alleged to be used to support the Libyan rebels last year, are based out of three guesses where, and the first two don’t count.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Cindy,

The reason this poster is still alive is that the S. Koreans who were attached to our unit to keep us alive would have refused to allow us to get in that thing, to slow, to well known a target, the locals would have sent the intel out real time and the lz and route would have been known too the others.
This bussiness of haveing the locals in the deal is the real and present danger as the shootings of our guys by the onew who are supposed to be on our side show weekly now

I do not understand why the team leads allowed that, seems likley they got direct orders to mount up and followed bad orders.

Sometimes it is best to take a Captins Mast in order to live and fight another day.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

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

Interesting question. And I have another relating to yours.

Why did our government not have contingency plans in place
for any of our facilities in the middle east and other hot spots
around the world for the anniversary of 9.11, in particular,
in areas that we either had intelligence about attacks or
previous attacks or threats?

Amjean on October 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM

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

And not only that, but B.O. didn’t have any “sensitivity” going into Libya against Qaddafi. Congress was not involved at all. Sounds like a means to an end, but only if it’s your end.

This is sickening that those Americans were not given any support at all.

bluefox on October 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Gross negligence on the part of Failure in Chief Obama and his administration of incompetent socialist fools.

jqc1970 on October 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Man, there sure are a lot of military experts on here on the apologist side.
They must be some of the thousands of SEALs/Spec Ops/Intelligence people that one encounters here on the Internet.

justltl on October 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Remember when a bunch of Texans fought to the death in a hopeless battle in 1836. They knew they could not win without reinforcements and they knew none was coming but they fought on to give Texas time to organize an army. Flash forward to Sept 11 2012 and Benghazi. They also faced overwhelming odds and certain death. They also knew their government was not going to do anything and that it had already left them out to die. After an hours long battle, their position was over run and 4 died. The difference, our diplomats died to protect the idiotic foreign policy idea that real security was not needed as it was time to ‘normalize’ our position in the country and that Al Qaeda terror was on the decline.

The folk on the ground knew it was not true. The Libyans knew it was a fantasy. The terrorists also knew the truth and acted on it. Heck, aside from some idiot bureaucrats at Foggy Bottom, it appears everyone knew the situation was dire BUT NO ONE RESPONDED…Diplomats died simply to protect a president in an election from having to admit that HIS policy was a failure.

Then the Administration tried to cover it up…disgusting!

JIMV on October 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM

This doesn’t pass the smell test. We REALLY asked Libya for permission to enter their air space. In 2011 we didn’t ask Libya for their permission to out Gadaffi. When our Diplomatic sites were under attack on 9/11 we asked for permission to enter their air space – SERIOUSLY???

stuartm80127 on October 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM

JFKY:

But SEAL Team 6 isn’t IN Sicily…and that was the question, they are most likely in Little Creek and Afghanistan…

Actually, the question was ‘How fast can a military special-operations unit be ready to deploy a team to an unscheduled crisis?’

Its blatantly obvious why DEVGRU itself couldn’t be the responding unit — they’re not based at Sig.

OTOH, while nobody is seriously expecting a 1-hour response from units like the Africa Command troops at Sig, even a 3-hour response + travel time would still have gotten some kind of backup to Benghazi while people were still alive on the ground.

Isn’t pretty much /any/ special-operations unit not actually on operational stand-down expected to be able to supply a reaction force, armed and ready to be loaded, in 3 hours? Check me if I’m wrong here, I’m not sure.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Fact is as awful as Obama has been with the domestic economic issues his record is even worse from a foreign policy standpoint. I really don’ think he even understands how the economy and foreign policy go together.

Ellis on October 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Well done preceding summary, but don’t forget that Van Jones claims that in regard to foreign policy Obama is a tower of power.
(Tower of cower is more like it.)

Obysmal has made the expansion of the caliphate a reality. His philosophy and policies are examples of the enemy within.

onlineanalyst on October 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Oh and I forgot to add. We asked for permission to enter Libyan airspace on 9/11/12 when the embassy was under attack and then waited and did nothing. This is not how America acts when it’s own are under attack.

stuartm80127 on October 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Everything you’ve written supports the notion that crisis response is NOT their primary mission.

“Important word emphasized”.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Africa Command’s AC-130′s, such as the ones alleged to be used to support the Libyan rebels last year, are based out of three guesses where, and the first two don’t count.

They are a limited resource, 30-plus…so once Libya was over, I believe they moved BACK to Af/Pak or Hurlburt Field, not simply sat in a quiet theatre.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

They are a limited resource, 30-plus…so once Libya was over, I believe they moved BACK to Af/Pak or Hurlburt Field, not simply sat in a quiet theatre.

While designating Libya a ‘quiet theatre’ after 2011 is precisely the strategic mistake the Obama administration is being castigated for, I would still wonder why they’d bother to move them back to Hurlburt. Sicily is a lot closer to Af/Pak than Florida is.

IOW, you might be right, but we still have another unanswered question to add to the long list of unanswered questions that the Obama administration is stonewalling on, which is why we need a “crawl up their ass with a microscope” level investigation here.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:11 PM

And you’re going to deploy them into Benghazi from the same aircraft that transported them from LA?

*rolleyes*

Either you’re an idiot or you think you’re lecturing an audience of them — neither option is palatable.

If you want to avoid being put firmly in ‘troll’ territory, start taking this seriously instead of continually finding refuge in overly literal hair splitting.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Of course! Predators are often sent out unarmed.

…. ahhh, the wonders of intarwebz discussions …

Given that US personnel were under attack at the location in question, can you give a couple of valid reasons?

I’ll give you a chance to answer this first.

so … you have nothing.

Arbalest on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

With Obama what you see is what you get.

Keep it simple.

Just another blink.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Isn’t pretty much /any/ special-operations unit not actually on operational stand-down expected to be able to supply a reaction force, armed and ready to be loaded, in 3 hours? Check me if I’m wrong here, I’m not sure.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Standing To on the Green Line is NOT the same as having a decent plan of operation for the unit. That a SEAL or Airborne unit could draw their war loads, gear up and be at the Point of Embarkation is doable…but getting them from THERE, in one piece, with an idea of where to go, and what to do once there, and who to shoot and where to find the Ambassador is an ENTIRELY different one.

And yes, we did and OUGHT to have asked Libya’s “permission” to enter their air space…they are a friendly, sovereign state, and unless you want a diplomatic incident on top of the attack, we’d ask…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

ONE MORE THING…how was the security review done just before the attack deemed adequate with all that was going on in Benghazi..? I don’t get this.

d1carter on October 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM

We have US assets in Europe that would have been appropriate for this crisis. Moving Air Force assets to stage from Sigonella was the obvious first step, which some of us noted at the time. In terms of how long it would physically take to get military forces into Libya, 18 hours is a wild overstatement. A pair of F-15s from Aviano could have been overhead Benghazi in three.

The real failure, however, was in the Obama administration’s cavalier treatment of the threat in Libya, which started long before the Benghazi debacle. That posture left our people in-country high and dry.

We probably won’t know for some time what kind of communications there were, if any, from the US mission personnel in Benghazi to a higher HQ that could have assessed what was going on and prepared a relatively quick military response. It’s quite possible the military knew little about the situation other than that the compound had come under attack.

A long-established embassy or consulate can be well supplied with comms gear and a list of whom in theater to call about what problems. The military doesn’t have a “NEO” plan for every contingency — a plan to evacuate non-combatants, like embassy personnel and other US citizens, from foreign countries — but the NEO is nevertheless a very common contingency to plan for. The Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force are typically the services involved. When the potential need for a NEO is foreseen — e.g., in some African nations within the last 20 years — there’s plenty of interagency planning, and often a military security detachment sent in to handle all the command and control from in-country if the need arises.

The Benghazi attack wasn’t the start of a NEO, of course. But that was in large part because there had obviously been no prior planning to deal with a catastrophic security situation and get the Americans involved out safely. The Predator that was dispatched to overfly the mission compound was clearly sent to figure out what was going on: gain some intel on the situation. The US military doesn’t, in fact, send forces in blind, with no idea what the situation entails and what they’re getting themselves into.

Looking at the security situation in Libya since Qaddhafi fell, it is blindingly obvious that if we had Americans in-country, we should have had plans in place for dealing with crises like the Benghazi attack. There should have been more security on the ground, the security team(s) should have included military personnel able to communicate directly with US forces coming from southern Europe, and the military should have had the task of being updated on the security team(s)’ and the ambassador’s locations, with the particulars of a location’s security aspects known to the military planners. If you want a rapid response that will do any good, you have to have the prep work.

Having better fortified US mission facilities with a whole lot more security was also an option. The Obama foreign policy team didn’t choose either of the options that would have given our men a fighting chance in Benghazi.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

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

The Col is correct. We had assets nearby that could have been sent. Probably not the perfect solution to the situation, but adequate to the task. In surprise attacks one doesn’t get to choose the “optimal” solution.

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

They would be insulted to hear something like that. Ditto with regards to a “friendly government.”

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Standing To on the Green Line is NOT the same as having a decent plan of operation for the unit.

To the best of my knowledge, a pre-existing contingency plan for the extraction of embassy personnel exists for every US consulate on the planet except for the one in London.

And the failure of one to exist for an area like Libya, assuming one actually did fail to exist, would itself be an act of epic negligence on the part of the Obama administration.

So at this point we’re really just arguing how they fucked up, not whether they fucked up.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

blink,,

Just so’s ya know.

You cut and run commie Democrats get fighting men out in the other peoples woods cleaning up commie Democrat screw up’s and then turn your backs when the shit gets ugly.

Time has passed when guys like me will do your shit work.

From now on your ass’s are going to clean up your own f’n messes.

Best guess nothing will get done via full bore commie Democrats in real bad ass gun fights out in the other peoples woods.

good luck

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I would still wonder why they’d bother to move them back to Hurlburt. Sicily is a lot closer to Af/Pak than Florida is.

Refit, rest, and retraining…just like any other military unit…actually I don’t know if AC-130′s are home-ported at Hurlburt.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

To Blink and others who are commenting on how long a response
team needed to get to the area:

The response time of a military team in this crisis is only
one part of the question.

They (meaning our a$$hats in our government) had no clue how
long the firefight would last. They should have given the order
to send a team(s) immediately.

Then we would be arguing on whether they sent the correct team.

Amjean on October 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

And yes, we did and OUGHT to have asked Libya’s “permission” to enter their air space…they are a friendly, sovereign state, and unless you want a diplomatic incident on top of the attack, we’d ask…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I think when they killed or should I say allowed our embassador to be killed created an Diplomatic Incident, don’t you?

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

So it was too dangerous to send AF jets because what, the spontaneous demonstrators might be armed with surface to air missiles in addition to mortars and heavy weapons?
/

STL_Vet on October 22, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I know when I go to spontaneous demonstrations, I always bring my assault rifle and my Stinger surface to air missile! Unfortunately, there are upwards of 15,000+ shoulder-fired surface to air missiles that have gone missing since Obama assisted in the ouster of Ghadaffi. The skies over Libya and the ME are far more dangerous than ever before. Should a commercial airliner be brought down by one of these – we’ll have “President Lead from Behind” to thank.

Hill60 on October 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Refit, rest, and retraining…just like any other military unit…

Didn’t you just get through telling me that Sigonella was a rear-area logistics support command and nothing but? Or was that blink?

Hmmm. Y’all are not being very consistent with yourself or each other.

actually I don’t know if AC-130′s are home-ported at Hurlburt.

They are.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I think when they killed or should I say allowed our embassador to be killed created an Diplomatic Incident, don’t you?

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

It would have just added more fuel to the fire…it’s secondary, but it’s perfectly necessary to ask…had they said “No” I might have gone on anyway…with this lot in charge I can’t say what they would have done.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM

we did and OUGHT to have asked Libya’s “permission” to enter their air space…they are a friendly, sovereign state, and unless you want a diplomatic incident on top of the attack, we’d ask…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

No. You are quite incorrect in this. Our highest responsibility is to preserve the lives of Americans – FIRST – and foremost and deal with any political fallout when our people are safe.

Of course, in my opinion, Stevens should not have been there. Once he surveyed the situation he should have ordered an evac and left. Hillary should have ordered him out. Hillary should have been monitoring that post and the others in the ME considering the 9/11 anniversary, despite her protestations of the scope of her job. Like all libs she lives in head not in the world.

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The real failure, however, was in the Obama administration’s cavalier treatment of the threat in Libya, which started long before the Benghazi debacle. That posture left our people in-country high and dry.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

This.

In the FOXnews special Bret Baer hosted Lt. Col. Andy Wood made it quite clear his Special Forces SST (Site Security Team) could have, would have, and should have been there. But it was withdrawn from Libya in August against his and Ambassador Stevens’ wishes. That SST had been in Libya up until then.

farsighted on October 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM

sorry -> she lives in her head.

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM

blink,

Your over your head, rather its up your a$$.

not worth the time

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM

How do you know that such orders weren’t given and then canceled after it was determined that the Americans were dead and, therefore, no longer worth risking additional American lives?

IIRC, the administration’s official position is that no such forces were sent in the first place, not that they were sent and then aborted; therefore, that’s what we’re going with.

Seriously, does anybody here think President Obama would pass up a chance to say ‘We sent a rescue team, but tragically they were dead while the team was still in transit, therefore we had to abort the mission?’ if he could? It would only make him look better, look like he’d actually tried.

So nah.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM

blink,

REMF

if that.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Hmmm. Y’all are not being very consistent with yourself or each other.

Not my job to be consistent with Blink…we’re not an “item.”

But Signella is a NAVAL base is it not, and AC-130′s are an AIR FORCE asset…If they were in Europe I’d imagine that they’d have been at Ramstein. I’d say, it’s more likely they were in Af/Pak or CONUS.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

When seconds count, Obama is resting up for a killer party in Vegas.

Christien on October 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM

So, I’m a cut and run commie merely because I’m attempting to prevent Hot Air commenters from jumping to conclusions about US military capabilities that I’m familiar with?

blink on October 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Then explain this to us if your so familar with this, Why was the SST pull from Lybia against the wishes of the embassador and his security team?

D-fusit on October 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Last word.

One thing sure, blink nor JFKY are Texans.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Every consulate or every embassy?

To the best of my knowledge? Consulate.

And what are the response times of these plans? The plans that I was intimately familiar with were expected to take much longer than 6 hours.

And was that because those plans concerned consulates more than 2 hours flight time away from major NATO military bases?

The thing to remember about the Benghazi situation is that it was much closer to US bases than, oh, the Tanzanian embassy would be.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

The White House situation room, CIA headquarters and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the state department are all notified
of an attack immediately, simultaneously via a system called
“Critic”.

I do not know if the DOD or other military command centers are also on the “Critic” list to notify.

Perhaps someone knows and can elighten us.

Regardless, this failure falls at the feet of Obama.

Amjean on October 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

blink,

REMF

if that.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Say there Rambo of the Special Operations Posting Brigade, did you ever get paid in service, assuming you have served, ever have maintenance performed, ever get food, water, blankets, any Class of Supply …if so thank a REMF.

Blink is arguing that contrary to Hollywood one does not simply “jump on the bird” and fly off to the rescue…at least not easily.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

If you’re citing the October 20 NYPost story, the main delay — as stated by the administration — was the inability to get ‘permission to fly in Libyan airspace’.

Which would sound more like a ‘We would have been able to get there in time, but we chose to sit with our thumb up’ instead.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Well, I’m sitting in a hospital awaiting word about my Life Partner and their operation, and I’m signing off for lunch…

Good Luck all of you…except APACHE who can just get bent.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 12:18 P

That is a ridiculous insult that you are attaching to blink and totally unfounded.

Cindy Munford on October 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

This thread has the potential to be HA’s equivalent of the infamous LGF “minigun” thread.

Christien on October 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

C-130s would be meaningless. AC-130′s are what matters. How many AC-130s were in theater?

And where was the nearest A-10, and why are you bringing this up?

blink on October 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Pal, you are the one who brought up the C-130′s, nice try to deflect, I was making fun of your stupid post regard the C-130′s…

As far as the A-10′s, the were about 2.5 hours away…along with drones, fighter jets, helicopters…while we were filming the attack from drones…and we never had any boots on the ground to secure our territory, we just relinquished part of our land to some thugs…and left men to die.

But other than that, hey, we couldn’t have done anything but watch…for several weeks.

Reporters were in the compound before our military…maybe they flew over in a 130, with only two engines…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Blink is arguing that contrary to Hollywood one does not simply “jump on the bird” and fly off to the rescue…at least not easily.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

It happens.

If you’re citing the October 20 NYPost story, the main delay — as stated by the administration — was the inability to get ‘permission to fly in Libyan airspace’.

Which would sound more like a ‘We would have been able to get there in time, but we chose to sit with our thumb up’ instead.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

If this is true, then Zero is even stupider than I thought. Wow.

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM

What’s your definition of “sent”, and how does this square with claims that forces had been repositioned in response?

‘Sent’ would mean ‘actually en route to Benghazi from their jump-off point before being ordered to turn around’… something the administration admits never happened.

Darn those pesky Libyan airspace delays!

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM

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