Panetta: We didn’t defend consulate under attack because of a lack of intel

posted at 8:41 am on October 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

One of the unanswered questions about the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi is why the US military didn’t intervene.  Rumors had swirled that the US asked the Libyan government in Tripoli for permission to fly into Benghazi to break up the attack but had been refused, although no one has claimed that on the record.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta put that rumor to rest yesterday by telling reporters that the US never planned to intervene at all, thanks to a lack of intel on the ground:

US military leaders ruled out sending in forces during the attack on an American consulate in Libya last month because of a lack of reliable intelligence, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.

Although forces were on alert and ready to launch an operation if needed, the US military commander for Africa, General Carter Ham, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and Panetta all decided against any intervention as they had no clear picture of events unfolding in Benghazi, he said.

“There’s a basic principle here, and the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told a news conference.

“And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who’s …in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

I agree with Panetta that onebasic principle in military operations is not to jump into a situation without having real-time data.  However, we discovered in the House Oversight hearings two weeks ago that we did have that kind of data; the State Department has 50 minutes of video of the attack from surveillance feeds that their command center watched in real time as the attack unfolded.  Surely State could have had the Pentagon watch the same feed for the “real-time information” that we otherwise lacked.

Second, it’s difficult to believe that we weren’t collecting this kind of intel prior to the attack.  There had been a number of attack attempts in the city on our assets.  The New York Times reported that the CIA “got our eyes poked out” by the loss of the consulate.  There may have been a lack of intel on the attack itself, but not on the threat.  Ambassador Chris Stevens had warned State repeatedly of the security dangers before the terrorist attack that took his life — and let’s not forget that the attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11.

Finally, isn’t there a more basic principle at stake?  Consulates and embassies are considered American territory.  When they are under attack, the US is under attack in a very real way.  When we are under attack, do we not defend ourselves and our people from attack, or do we only do that when the intel is solid?


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Uh-huh.

KS Rex on October 26, 2012 at 8:44 AM

We should never have maintained our diplomatic presence once Qadaffi was overthrown. Of course, that would actually require non-interventionism, since our embassy and consulates in Libya were just fronts for our interventionism.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Wow. We’ll protect our people as long as there is no risk involved. ‘Cause our military is only used for offense. Makes people want to rush out and apply for jobs at US Embassies and Consulates, I bet.

Night Owl on October 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

WTF?

Unstinkingbelievable

Was the gorelick wall in place between state and Pentagon?

No real time access my foot

cmsinaz on October 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

That doesn’t make any sense. Weren’t they watching the attack in real time using a drone? Didn’t they get e-mails saying the consulate was under attack? Didn’t two of the Americans who died rush over to the consulate in order to try to rescue the people inside? How in the world did they not have enough intel to know that assistance was needed given all of that? What the hell were they waiting for? The terrorists themselves placing a phone call to the Pentagon?

Doughboy on October 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

It was the video…stupid.

What more intel do you need..

Electrongod on October 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

This is as infuriating as the other lies this administration has foisted on us.

Stuff like this makes me want to sharpen my pitchfork and light my torch.

WashingtonsWake on October 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM

There was plenty of intel from those guys on the ground. All those emails to the situation room and to state prove that. Why is Panetta lying? Or is it that they just didn’t believe the intel they were receiving? And if that’s true why not say that?

Capitalist Infidel on October 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Bullshiz! Going by Panetta’s standards then the US military would never launch a rescue operation for a downed flier. They didn’t want to upset the Libyan government, pure and simple.

Zaggs on October 26, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Man caused disasters..
Kinetic military action..

These two should meet..

Electrongod on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

The hell? It wasn’t enough to know there was an attack in progress?

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Yeah whatever. Rant on and have free reign.

I don’t particularly care about pointing out how stupid you are anymore.

cozmo on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

That is the most bogus brimming over with balderdash excuse I have ever heard from a public figure!

Leon, all you had to do was either turn on the TV set or pick up the phone to see what was happening out there!

This “lack of intelligence” thing is more BS from an administration that has now made BS its official language!

pilamaye on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

We send cops and firefighters into situations without intel all the time. Hell, we send soldiers into firefights in Afghanistan with less than they had.

DeathtotheSwiss on October 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Their latest lie trying to cover up total ineptness.

btw. I have always wondered about Panetta’s qualifications for the position he is in.   Good doner to Oby?

TerryW on October 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on…”

No plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

What you KNEW – in real time – is that Americans were being engaged by a hostile force in a hostile nation. You KNEW they were cut off and surrounded.

What more do you need to know to send a rescue?

Washington Nearsider on October 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

This is a disturbing explanation by Panetta. Their overcautious reaction leaves them impotent and frozen to react.

portlandon on October 26, 2012 at 8:51 AM

What about the guy reduced to sending messages through his XBox? Just what is the procedure for getting the correct information to the people who could have saved these guys? Sad to imagine our people sending messages for help and getting put on terminal hold.

Night Owl on October 26, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Keep digging Leon, the hole you’re in is getting very very deep…

Tim Zank on October 26, 2012 at 8:52 AM

The hell? It wasn’t enough to know there was an attack in progress?

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

If you can’t trust live video..
Your eyes..
Sound..
Emails from the living..
The enemy saying so…

What intel is left?

Electrongod on October 26, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Isn’t it interesting? We had all kinds of “intel” when Obama decided to bomb Qadhaffi into oblivion, and we had no problem at all violating Libyan sovereignity at all, during that UNdecleared “war”; nor did we have a problem with putting people in “harm’s way” (mainly pilots, but some SOF types as well!!)

But, for some reason, even though we had advance warnings about the security situation in Benghazi, and a drone in the air during the attack on the consulate…SUDDENLY, mysteriously, we’ve got NO “intel”, we’re worried about Libyan “sovereignity”, and we don’t want to put anyone (pilots, mainly) in “harm’s way”, when our Consulate was under attack in an area that we had known for almost a year was nothing but a Jihadi Hotbed!

Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

Dale in Atlanta on October 26, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta put that rumor to rest yesterday by telling reporters that the US never planned to intervene at all, thanks to a lack of intel on the ground:

Umm well, far be it for me to tell someone how to do their job, but isn’t one of the first tenets of collecting Intel is to, you know actually HAVE “boots on the ground”?

Not to mention, EVEN if you want to say you were “afraid” to send in US Human assets into the area, what about the actual messages transmitted by the Ambassador via the X-Box messaging system that “they were under attack”?

Finial thought: If the USG didn’t know what was going on during the attack (riggght) then who the heck was flying the drone, John Travolta?

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I hope to God our forces never find themselves is a surprise fire fight – needing immediate help.

Panetta will first require a detailed report before sending help?

WTF?

jake-the-goose on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Intelligence and the Stupid are foreign policy..

Electrongod on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Now 0′s got Panetta #bulls**iting for him.

wdkeller on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Another clown exits the car…

claudius on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

P O S !
.
.
.
………….Y O U…L I E…!!!

KOOLAID2 on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

BS. Panetta knew exactly what was going on and all the weapons that could be used against our forces that tried to intervene. Benghazi was the site of gun running to the ME, weapons all lost to follow up after Gaddafi fell. Panetta and BO and HC didn’t want to shine a light on it so they sacrifices just a few of us to keep cover…looks like it worked. They are still not talking about the truth. They started to and then switched to the video, blamed America and threw a Christian in jail.
Throw every one of these bast*rds in the bo administration out on Nov 6!

gracie on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Their overcautious reaction leaves them impotent and frozen to react.

Terrorists to US: Thanks for the tip! We’ll remember that for next time.

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Blackhawk down anybody? How much intel did they have before that rescue operation was launched?

Zaggs on October 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Of course Panera Bread can’t tell us the real reason they didn’t try to rescue Stevens and the others. The Obama Administration(or Obama Campaign to be more precise) didn’t want another potential Black Hawk Down scenario playing out less than 2 months before the election. Better to sacrifice 4 Americans and try to cover it up for 8 weeks than to up the body count in a military operation that would get far more coverage in the press.

Doughboy on October 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

So, piñata is claiming responsibility here, for the ineptness of his department?

Norky on October 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Man caused disasters..
Kinetic military action..

These two should meet..

Electrongod on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

They have. It was called the 2008 Presidential Election.

Heaven help us all, if we double down on stupid.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 8:55 AM

“I never was any good in skool”–Loen Paneta

vityas on October 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM

We should never have maintained our diplomatic presence once Qadaffi was overthrown. Of course, that would actually require non-interventionism, since our embassy and consulates in Libya were just fronts for our interventionism.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Yes. Let’s abandon every country whose regime is overthrown by our forces.

I’m sure Europe would have appreciated it sooo much after WWII.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM

“There’s a basic principle here, and the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told a news conference.

This is a credible explanation. However, there are two problems with it. First, why did it take so long for this to come out? Second, what about the drones that were monitoring the attack? Couldn’t they have been used to blunt the attack, and at least even things up for the folks on the ground?

ghostwriter on October 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM

I used to think Panetta was an honest man, one in a small hand-full in the Obama regime. No longer.

petefrt on October 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM

I agree with Panetta that onebasic principle in military operations is not to jump into a situation without having real-time data.

I’m glad you never had my back…dude!

dmann on October 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM

First honest thing said by this administration. Every single one of them lacks intelligence.

Flange on October 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM

However, we discovered in the House Oversight hearings two weeks ago that we did have that kind of data; the State Department has 50 minutes of video of the attack from surveillance feeds that their command center watched in real time as the attack unfolded

And immediate emails, reports from Lybian security, etc.

Guess that’s not enough.

//

BacaDog on October 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

As your boss would say, “BS” Panatta . . . you knew the Ambassador’s life and the lives of other Americans were in grave danger and that’s enough “Intel” to warrant action. This is jus another cop out.

rplat on October 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Of course Panera Bread can’t tell us the real reason they didn’t try to rescue Stevens and the others. The Obama Administration(or Obama Campaign to be more precise) didn’t want another potential Black Hawk Down scenario playing out less than 2 months before the election. Better to sacrifice 4 Americans and try to cover it up for 8 weeks than to up the body count in a military operation that would get far more coverage in the press.

Doughboy on October 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

This really does seem to be the best explanation that fits all of the facts that we’ve learned over the last several weeks. This is really infuriating.

ghostwriter on October 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

HE IS LYING.

There isn’t a shred of truth to anything this Administration says.

They are the lowest of the low.

PappyD61 on October 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I don’t believe one stinkin word that spews from this administration.

As Barack says: “It’s all about trust”.

#BUULLSHHHITER

stenwin77 on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

I agree with Panetta that onebasic principle in military operations is not to jump into a situation without having real-time data.

Soo — safe to assume you are not a decedent of say – Patton?

jake-the-goose on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Yes. Let’s abandon every country whose regime is overthrown by our forces.

I’m sure Europe would have appreciated it sooo much after WWII.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM

You’re struggling. What point are you trying to make?

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Stevens and his aide both smelled something in the wind and Stevens had to have been smart enough to communicate with the state department that things were not looking good.

We couldn’t send a few Super Hornets over the embassy at supersonic to at least put the fear into the savages? I hate these pathetic wimps.

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Every new story I read on Benghazi makes me sick. The interview with Tyrone Woods’ father about his meeting with Biden, Hillary and Obama was truly mind boggling in its description of their shameful behavior.

ktrich on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

If Obama is re-elected prepare for the breakup of the United States.

Starting with Texas.

And if they seal the southern border. That’s where we’re moving.

PappyD61 on October 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Just rolling out excuse #87 and seeing what happens first, either one of the excuses sticks and leaves Americans banging their head against the wall at the sheer stupidity and incompetence -or- they run out the clock to the point where something else captures the attention of the Nation and they can just wave people off and close it out with “There’s more important issues to deal with, like a massive storm engulfing the entire Northeast. Don’t you care about those people? Leave us alone and let us help all those poor souls who’ve had their lives uprooted because of this superstorm likely caused by global warming.”

smfic on October 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

General Ham, really? War on Bacon, here I come…

Archivarix on October 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

First honest thing said by this administration. Every single one of them lacks intelligence.

BAM!

We can shut the thread down now.

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Panetta: obama doesn’t like us to use HIS military to protect “not optimal” “bumps in the road”.

Pork-Chop on October 26, 2012 at 9:02 AM

However, we discovered in the House Oversight hearings two weeks ago that we did have that kind of data; the State Department has 50 minutes of video of the attack from surveillance feeds that their command center watched in real time as the attack unfolded.

They had communication from the people there. They were hardly silent while the attack was going on. Moreover Ambassador Stevens asked for additional security EARLIER THE SAME DAY. Panetta is a lying sack, just trying to cover for Hillary and Zero.

HE WENT TO BED.

dogsoldier on October 26, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I’ll tell you what intel those aholes did have, that at least 2 Americans were on the roof of the consulate, fighting off the savages for 7 hours while TFGRP was busy choosing which ties he needed for Vegas. 7 effin’ hours, Barky took twice as long as that to decide to hit Bin Laden.

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

If our military had that attitude two centuries ago, we’d be celebrating Guy Fawkes day shortly. If they had that attitude in 1944, . . . well, you know the rest.

That, if nothing else, epitomizes why the Administration’s approach to foreign policy is a disaster.

FiveG on October 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

When covering your a$$ is all that matters, truth is the first casualty.

Extrafishy on October 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I didn’t think the military used the columbine strategy, where you sit outside while people are getting killed, because you don’t know exactly what’s going on inside. Disgusting.

If they needed intelligence, you would think they would have put some planes in the air, so maybe, they might get a better picture of what was going on, or even started movement of Marines, or Airborne, or whatever was available, in case they were able to get a better picture.

This is either incompetence, political interference, or just a lame attempt at CYA.

clevbrian19d on October 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Some people sacrifice more than others to protect America and some people are coldly sacrificed for political gain.

RIP Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and security men and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Fallon on October 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM

General Carter Ham, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and Panetta all decided against any intervention

It’s not their decision to make unless you are saying the President authorized a military action, but the generals said sorry we don’t think we can do anything here.

Wigglesworth on October 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Okay, let’s say he is telling the truth…now answer this?

What exit strategy was there for the embassy…this is an embassy in a “hot spot”, there had to be an exit strategy for what was an obvious target…if not an exit strategy, why not?

It’s inconceivable to me that our military/intelligence felt no need for planning in the event of an attack in Syria…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

You’re struggling. What point are you trying to make?

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Not at all. It has been the policy of the United States to maintain a diplomatic presence in regions where the United States has successfully intervened with its military. No, sir, you are the isolationist here. Let’s bomb Libya and just leave – I’m sure they would love Mr. Obama and the U.S. of A. for it. He is, afterall, the messiah of peace is he not?

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

I guess they should have called 911 instead of the US military.

meci on October 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Barry was sleeping when all these were going down.

bayview on October 26, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Is there anyone in this administration who can tell the truth?

JimK on October 26, 2012 at 9:06 AM

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/father-slain-seal-who-made-decision-not-save-my-son_657782.html

“Woods says he was told by military officials that the military could have “come above [the area] and completely carpeted area,” and therefore saved the officials in Benghazi, Libya. But that someone gave the command for the American military not to save the lives of the Americans under attack.”

THIS is unacceptable. Sometimes, you just have to go in with what you know. As far as I’m concerned Panneta is lying with the truth.

WashingtonsWake on October 26, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Im sorry but bullsh*t.

What part of “there is a mob shooting at our people” wasnt clear to them?

mitchellvii on October 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I agree with Panetta that one basic principle in military operations is not to jump into a situation without having real-time data.

They knew the consulate was under attack. They also knew (or should’ve known) that there wasn’t any security presence there at all. What other “real-time” data does one need before you send SOMEBODY in there to help?

changer1701 on October 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Pure crap.

BKeyser on October 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Ed, can you also add this in somewhere, it’s a place where people can donate to funds for the families of the 4 Americans killed. Tyrone Woods left behind a wife and infant son. I put in a grand, anyone want to best me on that amount?

http://www.afsa.org/libyasupport.aspx

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Also…what’s interesting, sad, is that at least 4 men had enough information to fight…

This was the decision, the possibility of killing civilians was more important than letting our men die…I do not accept that.

We had the ability to attack outside the walls, and if our men were collateral that is horrible, but then again, begin dragged through the streets ain’t so great either.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Didn’t have enough intel to defend the consulate? Is he kidding? They had a live feed video of the attack for 8 hours. What vital piece of intel was missing? The favorite colors of the attackers? The names of their pets?

These people watched this attack go on for hours and made a calculated decision to do nothing for one reason: they were fearful of the political consequences if there was a higher American body count.

AZCoyote on October 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Stevens and his aide both smelled something in the wind and Stevens had to have been smart enough to communicate with the state department that things were not looking good.

This is indescribably sad. I wonder if one of his last thoughts was, “Those bastards sold us out.”

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Ignoring intelligence… Broken lines of communication… Obama has his own 9-11 FUBAR to deal with now.

Suppose it’s Boooshes fault? I thought the critique brought by the 9-11Commission report was to have corrected those lapses.

socalcon on October 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Never before have I seen this many people throw themselves under the bus for their incompetent boss. New phenomenon I guess. Also I don’t like the new HA format for the front page (article pages are fine).

nobar on October 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

They knew the precise GPS coordinates of where the American were located and they could confirm with experienced former military members inside the compound that there were no Americans running around shooting AK47s outside the perimeter. That should have been enough to launch a few hellfires from a drone or Apache to break up the siege.

Wigglesworth on October 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

But that would have given the Americans an unfair advantage over the Muslim brotherhood.

Jocundus on October 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM

I have no military experience and am no way qualified to judge Panetta’s comments. It just seems strange to me that the U. S. is not in a position to send overwhelming force to rescue American lives on American soil.. I would like to hear a grunts take on what Panetta said.

kam582 on October 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The consulate should have been vacant on 9/11.

NotCoach on October 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

You guys just don’t get it. Sec Panetta is correct. They suffered from a lack of intelligence.

In fact, the entire Obama administration suffers from a lack of intelligence.

They lack the intelligence to figure out that the Islamists would want to strike at us on 9/11.

They lack the intelligence to figure out that previous attacks on the Consulate might mean that there may be more in the future.

They lack the intelligence to figure out that denying additional security might place those in the Consulate at risk.

They lack the intelligence to figure out that by watching real-time video of an attack on soverign, US soil that those inside the Consulate might just want and need assistance since they were fighting for their lives, and four of them lost that battle.

They lack the intelligence to figure out that terrorist groups taking credit for the attack might mean that terrorist groups were responsible for the attack.

They lack the intelligence to figure out that flying a couple of F/A-18′s at Mach 1+ over the Consulate (which would pose minimal risk to the aircraft) might just be enough to scare off the attackers, especially if the F/A-18′s were followed up by a couple of A-10′s (that 30mm Gatling Gun would scare the crap out of anyone).

They lack the intelligence to figure out that foisting a lie about a video that hardly anyone has seen isn’t going to work.

See, they did, and do, have a lack of intelligence.

GAlpha10 on October 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Panetta, because of his defense of the CIA people, had a modicum of my respect. No more.

Turtledove on October 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Didn’t have enough intel to defend the consulate? Is he kidding? They had a live feed video of the attack for 8 hours.

Ha, it took the ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight’ weeks to gain access to the compound to begin the investigation…relying on CNN to extract the Ambassadors diary.

Sad. You or I act this incompetent in our jobs, and we’d be let go summarily.

socalcon on October 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

The problem was not the lack of a military response during the attack. The military was not prepared for this, and that lack of preparation was not the military’s fault.

The problem was inadequate security before the spontaneous protest attack. A Special Forces SST (Site Security Team) was withdrawn in August against the wishes of Stevens and the SST team leader.

The problem was discounted and ignored intelligence indicating increased terrorist activity in Benghazi and in Libya.

The problem lack of preparation for spontaneous protests terrorist attacks and for defending our embassy, consulates, and diplomatic personnel.

The problem is a Commander-in0Chief who wants blame to everyone else, and now it’s the military’s turn in the barrel.

farsighted on October 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I understand the last 2 to be killed were the ex-Navy Seals. The president went to bed prior to that. Disgusting beyond anything in American history. Cowardly can not describe these actions. I cry for these brave men.

HelloLiberty on October 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

If The Won had been a real leader he could have turned this whole Benghazi affair into a real October surprise. All he would have had to do is direct the nearest US forces to react and scare off the bad guys and he would have been a hero.

JimK on October 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

He’s a bullsh*tter.

Buck_Nekkid on October 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I don’t know how you can post without exploding the filters.

I’ve mostly avoided comment on this topic because it makes me so furious.

Americans are dead, and the only reason why – aside from the direct engagement – is that they were denied the protection AND the evacuation they were begging for.

One of the things that makes it ‘easier’ to go into the fight is the knowledge that one way or another your country will protect you to the fullest extent possible, and if you’re killed, that they’ll bring you home. That promise is implicitly made every time someone swears that oath.

Stevens was made that promise too. Instead of keeping it, this Administration actively left him (and the SEALs) swinging in the wind. The WATCHED as they held out for SEVEN HOURS against an overwhelming force.

Then Obama went to a fundraiser.

I simply can’t fathom a Commander in Chief whose soul could be quiet enough to allow him to sleep knowing what was happening to his representative on the other side of the world. Obama decided, independently of ANYONE ELSE to make Libya his baby.

Stevens bought into that mission, he believed in it, and he died for it, for no other reason that Obama couldn’t be bothered. It’s election season, after all.

Sorry. Rant off.

Washington Nearsider on October 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

It’ll be interesting to see what happens after Obama gets his clock cleaned on Election Day since there will no longer be any need to lie for little Bammy anymore.

eyedoc on October 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

John Wayne, according to Leon Panetta:

Yes ma’am the calvary is available to help, but since we don’t know the exact location on the injuns ya’all settler are just gonna have to defend ur’selves.

Deafdog on October 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I have no military experience and am no way qualified to judge Panetta’s comments. It just seems strange to me that the U. S. is not in a position to send overwhelming force to rescue American lives on American soil.. I would like to hear a grunts take on what Panetta said.

kam582 on October 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM

I -am- former military and Panetta is full of shit. The effective radius of an excuse is ZERO METERS.

He’s only trying to cover Hillary and Obama’s asses for their dereliction of duty, their malfeasance, stupidity and INDIFFERENCE.

HE WENT TO BED.

dogsoldier on October 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Finally, isn’t there a more basic principle at stake? Consulates and embassies are considered American territory. When they are under attack, the US is under attack in a very real way. When we are under attack, do we not defend ourselves and our people from attack, or do we only do that when the intel is solid?

Ed, all rhetorical yes?

This patch of US territory was located in a recently overthrown country with virtually no functioning infrastructure or government. That by itself should have meant maximum effort (Marines for starters) to keep it secure. Instead the exact opposite happened. Add in a resurgent al qaeda and the anniversary of 9/11 if the preceding wasn’t enough. The negligence, sheer incompetence, callowness, and bureaucratic apathy that surrounds this sorry episode boggles my mind.

roy_batty on October 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

The consulate should have been vacant on 9/11.

NotCoach on October 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Surely. After multiple bombing during the previous six months and repeatedly denied requests for added security, the consulate staff should have been re-deployed to the Embassy…at a minimum.

socalcon on October 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM

They wanted Stevens kidnapped or dead. Woods, Smith and Doherty were just collateral damage. There, I said it.

Naturally Curly on October 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM

I’ve done some emergency planning, and I can tell you that “pre-planning” around various scenarios is very common in many systems. I’m certain the US military has entire units devoted to developing plans and pack-up plans and fall-back plans. At the very minimum they should have had an evacuation plan for the embassy. If what we are being told now, that this whole thing caught the entire United States government by surprise and that State, DOD and the White House were all unprepared and uninformed about conditions in Libya of all places, we have a much more serious problem than the one being talked about here. That would mean we have no clue what else the terrorists may be planning for today, or tomorrow or next week.

MikeA on October 26, 2012 at 9:18 AM

The consulate should have been vacant on 9/11.

NotCoach on October 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Okay, sure. I can buy that. What about every other embassy in the third world that got attacked on 9/11? Should we declare 9/11 “non-embassy” day? I think the real solution was to have a military on stand-by with the capacity to rain H*ll down on those who would attack U.S. sovereign territory.

Or am I missing something else vital here?

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I understand the last 2 to be killed were the ex-Navy Seals. The president went to bed prior to that.

Good God. If this doesn’t render him unfit for his office, nothing ever will.

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 9:18 AM

cozmo on October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

It’s best to ignore fools, especially when they are jumping up and down and screaming for attention.

farsighted on October 26, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Not at all. It has been the policy of the United States to maintain a diplomatic presence in regions where the United States has successfully intervened with its military. No, sir, you are the isolationist here. Let’s bomb Libya and just leave – I’m sure they would love Mr. Obama and the U.S. of A. for it. He is, afterall, the messiah of peace is he not?

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Successfully intervened with our military? Really? Forget about the unconstitutionality of it all, but successfully intervened????

That you don’t know the difference between isolationism and non-interventionism is but the least of your problems.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

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