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

Zaggs on October 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Bad example. A QRF was actually dispatched to rescue those soldiers…the Ambassador, ex-SEALS, and the Analysis, in Benghazi unfortunately didn’t have even that much of a chance to hope that help would arrive.

I don’t give a damn if it was a Marine FAST team, Delta, or the Boy Scouts with sharp pocketknives…there is no excuse that Americans were given up and left to die, period effin dot.

Careers in DC have been ended for less. I want those that made that call, starting with at least 2 Cabinet Level officials to either be THROWN out in disgrace or (unlikely) on Gdamn trial.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Re Panetta, petefrt @ 8:27 am:

Give yourself a half hour to listen to this Kiwi. Panetta is part of the Obama web. The enemy is within.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jt44D6ZlFKI

onlineanalyst on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods didn’t wait for intel…They responded with honor to risk their lives to save Americans & they expected backup.

This administration is sending a demoralizing message to those Americans who serve their country abroad and to our allies that only emboldens our enemies.

Obama…Clinton…Panetta…are feckless lying cowards.

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Ed was on Morning Joe.

Prepare for influx of Douchebag Troll Progs.

I hope to God the ban hammer is ready.

If this place turns into Townhall, it’s ovah.

Thanks.

Close registration. Please.

budfox on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

I saw Geraldo on F & F this morning, he is so upset that people are getting the wrong idea of what went on due to the Issa hearings. He wants them stopped until after the election. He thinks the public has enough information about the lack of security and inaction to make their foreign policy determination now. BUT the thing that really pizzed me off, was that he said the thought of people watching the attack in real time was ludicrous. I don’t know if it is or not but we dang sure know it was possible since the White House couldn’t plaster the photo of the Administration supposedly watching the take down of bin Laden. Obama’s Mission Accomplished group shot comes back to bite him in the azz.

Cindy Munford on October 26, 2012 at 9:21 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

Vince Foster was not available for comment.

MikeA on October 26, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Panetta: We didn’t defend consulate under attack because of a lack of … so we made up an excuse and jailed a youtuber

This smacks of revisionism.

DANEgerus on October 26, 2012 at 9:21 AM

This story is changing every day.

The Whine is a vile piece of garbage.

rbj on October 26, 2012 at 9:21 AM

budfox on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

He did a great job but it’s not like Mika let him talk. What a windbag!

Cindy Munford on October 26, 2012 at 9:21 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

So… am I to take it what Mr. Obama has done was unconstitutional? Color me surprised….

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

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

Why be sorry for feeling bad about 4 of your fellow citizens being sacrificed for a self-centered teenage king-wannabe? Bark and every one of his lickspittle minions have shown a glassy-eyed willingness to run over anyone and everyone who gets in their way, Stevens and the other 3 are simply the latest additions.

I can’t relocate it but I listened to some audio of some guy talking about how the 2 SEAL’s were on the roof with a machine gun trying to survive for those 7 hours, and no one came. No one came. It reminds me of those stories from Vietnam where SF teams just disappeared out in the jungle, screaming for help and then falling off the face of the Earth.

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:22 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

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

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,

Okay, so is Panetta saying the lack of a response was only due to the lack of intelligence and had nothing to do with not having enough time? If forces were ready to go, then can we conclude that our military could have made it to the site of the attack in a timely manner?

lynncgb on October 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Wasn’t it the “Commander in Chief” who sought to humiliate Romney as he “schooled” him on the modern technological advancements in our military? So what happened here? Obama didn’t know how to use it? How convenient.

Of course, we couldn’t have any live witnesses left to clear up any inconvenient truths here at election time. It’s the Chicago Way.

Bumps in the road indeed.

ziggyville on October 26, 2012 at 9:24 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

There is no excuse for the colossal incompetence this administration has shown over this entire issue. But there is no reason to put our people at unnecessary risk under the circumstances. As socalcon everyone should have been removed to the embassy in Tripoli. The situation in Benghazi was far too tenuous, and not worth putting our people in harm’s way. Keeping personnel there was the first idiotic mistake in this entire mess.

NotCoach on October 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM

There is no excuse for the colossal incompetence this administration has shown over this entire issue. But there is no reason to put our people at unnecessary risk under the circumstances. As socalcon everyone should have been removed to the embassy in Tripoli. The situation in Benghazi was far too tenuous, and not worth putting our people in harm’s way. Keeping personnel there was the first idiotic mistake in this entire mess.

NotCoach on October 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM

I agree.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Close registration. Please.

budfox on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Is registration open?

NotCoach on October 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM

So… am I to take it what Mr. Obama has done was unconstitutional? Color me surprised….

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Yes. Congress did not declare war, nor pass any legislation allowing the use of military force.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM

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?

Well Ed you finally got around to the real problem here. If this excuse flies then we can never intervene because we never have all the information we could have on the enemy to move in real time.

Sorry, Ed the military is there to repel attacks to American soil not make excuses that it is dangerous and too unknown and you should acknowledge that more strongly than you have.

Conan on October 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM

What a bunch of dishonorable tripe.

They had options and chose to do nothing.

At a minimum they could have put birds in the air with ATFLIR pods or other equipment. They could have done something to buy our guys on the ground. They did nothing.

You mean to tell me we inserted SF into the Libyan civil was but were unable to do the same at our embassy?

Bullsh*t.

Mr. Gutsy Call apparently needed to catch up on his sleep and get to Vegas.

Marcus Traianus on October 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

As far as military strategy goes, this was absolutely the right call. Yes the embassy was under attack. However, the number of enemy combatants and their weapon capabilities were not known at the time even with a drone overhead (the drone can’t obviously be both at the consulate and safehouse or even down the street from the buildings). The Americans on the ground were fighting and/or taking cover so it was impossible for them to know the extent of the attack. You can’t just send a bunch of troops into an unknown and volatile situation. If you do, bad things happen (remember Mogadishu?) and the potential for an uncessary slaughter increases (if you send in too few troops or don’t give them enough weaponry). With that said, there should have been a contingency strategy that could have been implemented if the embassy or consulate was overrun.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Panetta suggests that on one hand they lacked the intelligence to commit U.S. forces. Yet, doesn’t jive with the narrative of this being a bunch of demonstrators that spun out of control. It makes no sense to argue it was both too dangerous to U.S. commit forces and that the adversarial forces were an unorganized, spontaneous mob.

Black Hawk down was a trap. Are they arguing a spontaneous mob was now organizing a trap?

They can’t have it both ways.

STL_Vet on October 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

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.

Maybe they were told by Jarrett not to attack because the US was at fault for the video? As near as I can tell, she is the one to make these decisions in the Whie House.

Freddy on October 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM

All of these aholes will say anything to keep their jobs:

We need to hire the guy who will cancel their contracts in November.

Sherman1864 on October 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

If the intelligence community so bad that it did not anticipate an attack , nor could figure out what the cause of the attack was for 7 days as Barry and Co claimed, and the administration will not act on anything unless there are enough hard intel information, Barry and Co will never take any action on anything.

bayview on October 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

So therefore Ambassador Stevens wasn’t privy to any protection from the U.S. military whatsoever, is that your argument?

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Yes. Congress did not declare war, nor pass any legislation allowing the use of military force.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM

No argument there.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

There was much hand wringing and gasping as they watched the drone video.The attack was a threat to their schedules.They spent the next 7 hours on the plan to cover their azzes.After they got that cooked up it was off to Vegas.

docflash on October 26, 2012 at 9:31 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

i.e. the fish rots from the head down, as they say, which in this case is President “Present”, President “I Lead From Behind, and Only From Behind!”

With that absolutely incompetent dolt in charge, none of this cowardly behavior by 0-bow-mao’s fellow betas, like Panetta, is surprising.

Anti-Control on October 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM

General Ham, General Dempsey and Panetta did exactly what Barry expected of them. NOTHING!

Panetta’s answer is bull crap!

GarandFan on October 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM

kam582,

I have 27 years of military experience. 4 years in the USMC and 23 years in the Army National Guard with 16 of those years on Active Duty with the Guard. Six of those years in the Guard were in a Long Range Surveillance unit.

I can assure you that the actual war-fighters (the Navy and Air Force pilots and crews and any “Special Operators” in the area) were chomping at the bit to go in there and kick a@@. They are probably pi@@ed that they weren’t given the opportunity to ply their trade and attempt to help those under attack.

It is nothing but criminal that the Obama administration can justify launching air strikes against Libya (without Congressional approval) to topple their government, but can’t justify launching aircraft to protect those at the Consulate.

Sec Panetta is just following orders to help cover up the incompetence of the Obama administration. Even though he has served his country as the Director of the CIA and SecDef, remember that he previous served as a Democrat Congresscritter from CA for 16 years and was Clinton’s Chief of Staff. He is political to the core.

GAlpha10 on October 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM

In the first Gulf War Gen. Schwarzkopf would show video of bombs being sent down a chimney. Fast forward to today and Obama, Panetta, Hillery and Gen. Betrayus All saying “Woe is me. Wish there was something we could do. We got a busy day tomorrow let’s get some sleep.” The blood on their hands should never be allowed to be washed off.

RickinNH on October 26, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Even IF i was stoned enough to grant you that bit of widsom…arent the Ambsador of the USG and those that worked with and for him as part of his securiyt & staff entitled to protection BY the US Government?

Dante, if you’re trying to be a wonk, you’ve missed the goalposts by light years.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Isn’t that the cover of cowards – we didn’t act because we didn’t have intel?

Is that the standard our Marines, Seals, Rangers, Airborne and the others bravely serving in the military? We don’t a act if we don’t have intel?
What level of intel is needed before we act?
Isn’t “American personnel and interests are being attacked” enough intel?

gonnjos on October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

So therefore Ambassador Stevens wasn’t privy to any protection from the U.S. military whatsoever, is that your argument?

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

No, it’s not. I have no idea where or how in the world you came up with that. My argument, which you took issue with, is that we shouldn’t have had ANY diplomatic presence in Libya after Qaddafi was overthrown.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Ed, you are falling for Panetta’s BS. Here’s the tell. The drone that was providing the real time intel to the DoS was a DoD asset. The DoD was probably getting the feed that they were shooting over to DoS. DoD knew at the same time as DoS what was going on (or should have.)

What Panetta is pedalling is like me turning on the big screen TV for my wife, hand her the remote then leaving the room and not being the least bit curious as to what she is watching. Doesn’t happen in my world and most assuredly doesn’t happen in theirs.

Dr. Dog on October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

At least they have now admitted that they knew help was needed and that they had help to send. I’m reminded of all the fire fighters and police officers who sacrificed their lives on that other 9/11. They helped because that was their job.

cheetah2 on October 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Sorry, I broke the Spell-Checky widget…won’t happen again.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Liar!

Amjean on October 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM

We didn’t dispatch a squad car into that ruff neighborhood to look for the guy chasing a woman with a knife. Why? You dolt we didn’t have good enough intelligence!

chicken thief on October 26, 2012 at 9:36 AM

No, it’s not. I have no idea where or how in the world you came up with that. My argument, which you took issue with, is that we shouldn’t have had ANY diplomatic presence in Libya after Qaddafi was overthrown.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Thank you for your clarification. I don’t agree with it, but I will accept that as your position.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:36 AM

It’s all just excuses.

My take, for what it’s worth:

When it came down to it, and they were informed our people were under attack, they had two choices: Let it ‘run its course’ or go in and do our damndest to get those people out of there. Obviously, they felt that letting it run its course was the best choice. This would give them the option of celebrating with the heroes if it all worked out, OR it would give them the option of controlling the narrative (cover-up), because dead men tell no tales (so they thought). All the while avoiding a Carter-esque disaster if the rescue were to fail. It was, for them, all about politics and optics and good PR. It was a completely calculated response.

Of course they didn’t count on the XBox messages, the diary, or the media actually somewhat doing their job and asking questions. That meant more lies to cover the original lies, and now it’s just snowballing to where they are all scrambling to get on the same page and stay out from under the bus. I’m curious as to what they all have on each other to keep everyone in the game.

So disgusting, and then they say it’s Republicans who are playing politics.

Boudica on October 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

He probably also thinks its unconstitutional for the US to maintain a standing military during times of peace.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Thanks blink.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense alone should send a shiver down the spines of every red blooded American.

Foxes in the hen house.

Cleombrotus on October 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Interesting, but beside the point. This particular thread is about the human decency denied to four Americans left to die. Retconning our Libya presence won’t help now; exposing the truth about their deaths just might.

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM

If our intelligence didn’t know what was going on after 4 or 5 hours, what does that say about the intel and security for our country? It sounds like incompetence goes from the top of this administration on down to most of our senior leaders.

I find it telling when Israel can respond to a terrorit attack within hours; maybe not in time to prevent it but it doesn’t take them a month or two to figure out who to retaliate against.

Our experts fretted about getting “permission” from the Libyans to see if we could go in there to assist. The biggest “Keystone Cops” episode was when it took 15 days for our FBI to get to Benghazi to investigate and the news people were there on the ground shortly after the episode.

On the homefront, no need to fear our law enforcement apparatus though. The DOJ can spot a Christian protesting at an abortion clinic within minutes and send a SWAT team to quell the “riot” and remove the protester’s sign. Or the EPA can smell a cow’s flatulence on a remote pasture in the middle of Montana and fine the rancher for emitting too much carbon dioxde and methane into the air.

iamsaved on October 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Even IF i was stoned enough to grant you that bit of widsom…arent the Ambsador of the USG and those that worked with and for him as part of his securiyt & staff entitled to protection BY the US Government?

Dante, if you’re trying to be a wonk, you’ve missed the goalposts by light years.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Sure, they’re entitled to protection. That isn’t the argument. It’s a common misconception that diplomatic missions are sovereign territory of the guest country. They aren’t.

From the state department’s website:

“While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.”

Link

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

The “official” word was that we had assets an hour away but didn’t we have A/C Carriers near the Straits of Hormuz? Seems like there was so much towel chewing when a decision needed to be made.

angrycodgr on October 26, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Sec Panetta is just following orders to help cover up the incompetence of the Obama administration. Even though he has served his country as the Director of the CIA and SecDef, remember that he previous served as a Democrat Congresscritter from CA for 16 years and was Clinton’s Chief of Staff. He is political to the core.

GAlpha10 on October 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I am up here in Jacksonville NC, right near the base…I can assure you, most any marine would have accepted the challenge of being dropped off, without an “intel” and told to quell the riot, and they would have done it…this was a 7 hour long battle, 7 hours they watched as our men were butchered.

There is not an American Marine that would not have given their all to go in and save those men…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I can’t relocate it but I listened to some audio of some guy talking about how the 2 SEAL’s were on the roof with a machine gun trying to survive for those 7 hours, and no one came. No one came. It reminds me of those stories from Vietnam where SF teams just disappeared out in the jungle, screaming for help and then falling off the face of the Earth.

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Or, going back farther, it’s reminiscent of The Alamo.

Fallon on October 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM

It is nothing but criminal that the Obama administration can justify launching air strikes against Libya (without Congressional approval) to topple their government, but can’t justify launching aircraft to protect those at the Consulate.

GAlpha10 on October 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM

BOOM!

Cleombrotus on October 26, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I guess they don’t read their email and diplomatic communiques from Embassies! Every thing I have read was Ambassador Stevens was begging for security and support for months. Shame on Clinton, Panetta, Obama, et al.

It is almost like they wanted this to happen, thinking it would boost Obama in his quest for re-election. Cold hearted comment, yes, true – more than likely.

phoebe1 on October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Isn’t that the cover of cowards – we didn’t act because we didn’t have intel?

Is that the standard our Marines, Seals, Rangers, Airborne and the others bravely serving in the military? We don’t a act if we don’t have intel?
What level of intel is needed before we act?
Isn’t “American personnel and interests are being attacked” enough intel?

gonnjos on October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

That comment is just plain ignorance. When was the last time the military conducted any operation without planning and rehearsing it a hundred times over? Attacking without proper intel is only inviting disaster. Say they did approve an attack. How exactly will the troops get there? Helicopter? What if those combatants had RPGs (which they apparently did)? Armed convoy from the airport? What if the combatants had placed IEDs along the route from the airport to the consulate? Without intelligence, you’re just playing into the enemy’s hands esp. if they set traps (which they most certainly do).

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The “official” word was that we had assets an hour away but didn’t we have A/C Carriers near the Straits of Hormuz? Seems like there was so much towel chewing when a decision needed to be made.

angrycodgr on October 26, 2012 at 9:42 AM

What about all the contractors, or mercenaries, that now work in quasi-military roles around the world? If you’re concerned about losing US servicemen, send in someone willing to accept risk for hazard pay.

bayam on October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

I don’t know about consulates but embassies are sovereign territory of the country the represent. Attacking one is no different than sending troops into the same country. We didn’t need permission from anyone to defend it.

BullShooterAsInElk on October 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

The “official” word was that we had assets an hour away but didn’t we have A/C Carriers near the Straits of Hormuz? Seems like there was so much towel chewing when a decision needed to be made.

angrycodgr on October 26, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Our military assets in the Med most likely would have been used. However, I’m curious what assets WERE in the Med at the time of the attacks. At one point, there was an interesting article here on H/A that was making hay over the LACK of assets in the eastern Med.

I’ll dig around and see what I can find.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Bishop on October 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

I listened to the same audio.

I can’t imagine what it must have felt like when they realize they’d been left to die.

We got in a couple minor scrapes when I was deployed, but we ALWAYS knew help would come, and it ALWAYS did.

I have to believe the military was ordered not to attempt a rescue. There is no way they would have left anyone behind.

Washington Nearsider on October 26, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Much has been said about “getting permission from the Libyan government”. Who cares if we had “permission” to go in an defend those at the Consulate. What was the Libyan government going to do if we went in without permission? Write a “strongly worded letter” to the President of Secretary of State?

GAlpha10 on October 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Sure, they’re entitled to protection. That isn’t the argument. It’s a common misconception that diplomatic missions are sovereign territory of the guest country. They aren’t.

From the state department’s website:

“While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.”

Link

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

You are an idiot…you search the web, you Google to find an article that supports your foolish notions…as I stated, you are an idiot.

By exact, technical definitions, they are not “sovereign”, that’s an international legal term…but in all instances they are treated as sovereign, and all things withing that wall are treated as the ownership of the country…often the building are rented, temporary, not owned, so legally they can’t be “sovereign”, but internationally they are in essence have all the protections, and remedy’s of being sovereign…they can not be “invaded”, the physical items within those walls is U.S. territory, and U.S. ownership, by decree…sheeeeshhh, idiocy from you knows no bounds…

Now go ahead an Google some more you fool…but it won’t educate you, you will still be as stupid as ever. Google is not a replacement for your brain.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

“While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.”
Link

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Knucklehead, stop reading it like a technician and read it for understanding. If they need the embassy’s permission to enter it, by definition, it is sovereign territory.

Stop being obtuse.

Cleombrotus on October 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Sixth fleet is headquartered in Gaeta Italy 750 miles from Benghazi, which is where USS Mount Whitney (the 6th fleet flagship) was on 9/11/12. The nearest carrier (USS Enterprise) was somewhere in the North Arabian Sea (approx 2000 miles from Benghazi). It’s not clear where the 6th fleet amphibs were but unless they were sitting off the coast of Benghazi I doubt they could have done anything.

I pulled this one off AR15.com. Checking on the amphib assets.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Face it, they fearedd making an international fool of themslves–as did Jimmy Carter in Iran.
The inept leftist CIC model persists!

Don L on October 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

That comment is just plain ignorance. When was the last time the military conducted any operation without planning and rehearsing it a hundred times over? Attacking without proper intel is only inviting disaster. Say they did approve an attack. How exactly will the troops get there? Helicopter? What if those combatants had RPGs (which they apparently did)? Armed convoy from the airport? What if the combatants had placed IEDs along the route from the airport to the consulate? Without intelligence, you’re just playing into the enemy’s hands esp. if they set traps (which they most certainly do).

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

You seem to have missed the meme here over the last few weeks- everyone knows there was a massive cover-up because Obama personally decided to let the ambassador die. You forget to blame Obama or effectively politicize the deaths of 4 Americans.

bayam on October 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

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

Absolutely the truth. There is a lack of intelligence in this administration.

Wade on October 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

“or” not “of”

GAlpha10 on October 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

What assets?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

“Full” assets, fighters, special ops trained for this…everything was within an hour of fighter jets, 2 1/2 hours of boots on the ground…the fight was 7 hours in length.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

There is not an American Marine that would not have given their all to go in and save those men…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM

No one is saying any military member would not have gone in to save those men. At the time, it just wasn’t the smart thing to do without any intelligence on the attackers.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

If this gang had been in charge in WWII, we would not have made the D-day invasion.

Researcher1946 on October 26, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Sure, they’re entitled to protection. That isn’t the argument. It’s a common misconception that diplomatic missions are sovereign territory of the guest country. They aren’t.

Stop right there.

Re-read what I said (Snark aside) that even if I agree that the Embassy/Mission/ Hot Dog Stand isn’t US Territory, that the 4 Americans, were in fact Americans.

As such, if a real-time video-feed from a overhead Predator/Global Hawk/Reaper (pick a damn UAV) is showing that they are being attacked…no matter WHERE they are…then explain to me WHY either help WASN’T dispatched OR WHY they were allowed to be killed.

This isn’t trying to go for one-upmanship: we had for all intents and purposes 4 Americans citizens murdered while the current Administration did…nada.

From the state department’s website:

“While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.”

Link

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

All well and good, Dante, but since it would have been the US MILITARY going into the Embassy/Mission to rescue American citizens before they were killed, show me on that State Dept website where that isn’t allowed either, please?

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

No one is saying any military member would not have gone in to save those men. At the time, it just wasn’t the smart thing to do without any intelligence on the attackers.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

We had several attacks on previous months, we knew who the attackers were, we had real time video of what was happening…what “battle” has that?

So the “smart” thing to do was allow 4 men to fight to the death for 6 hours? And watch them die?

Wow, just WOW, how our military has been dismantled…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

If they need the embassy’s permission to enter it, by definition, it is sovereign territory.

Which is precisely the very issue with the mighty UN entering Texas territory to “observe” voting. Tell them and Holder if need be that you’ll meet them at the Alaimo.

There is, we diligentlay need to aggressively remind our enemies, within and without, a higher authority.

Don L on October 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Sooo…

When the police receive a 911 call they need to wait for actionable intelligence before they respond?

When the FBI receives word of a gunman/hostage situation they need to assess the situation for a couple of weeks before sending in the rescue team?

When the Coast Guard receives an SOS call that a passenger cruise ship is going down during a maelstrom they wait for the storm to clear before attempting to save drowning passengers?

God help a fire department that races to put out a four alarm fire in a multi-story apartment block before getting reports back from the insurance company telling them how the fire started.

I thought Bush did the wrong thing by not jumping up screaming in that classroom when told of the WTC bombing. Guess not.

Mr. Arkadin on October 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I don’t know about consulates but embassies are sovereign territory of the country the represent.

BullShooterAsInElk on October 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

They are not, as you can see in the passage I cited and the link I provided.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Panetta is a political hack in charge of the military…how has that worked out in the past?

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Y’all do realize that all Dante is doing is playing Rhetorical Games and garnering attention, don’t you?

kingsjester on October 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Knucklehead, stop reading it like a technician and read it for understanding. If they need the embassy’s permission to enter it, by definition, it is sovereign territory.

Stop being obtuse.

Cleombrotus on October 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

No, it’s courtesy.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

They are not, as you can see in the passage I cited and the link I provided.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Bullsh*t…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

You seem to have missed the meme here over the last few weeks- everyone knows there was a massive cover-up because Obama personally decided…

bayam on October 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

…to get some sleep and then, all refreshed, attend a fundraiser in Las Vegas. Despicable does not begin to describe his actions.

Fallon on October 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

You are an idiot…you search the web, you Google to find an article that supports your foolish notions…as I stated, you are an idiot.

By exact, technical definitions, they are not “sovereign”, that’s an international legal term…but in all instances they are treated as sovereign, and all things withing that wall are treated as the ownership of the country…often the building are rented, temporary, not owned, so legally they can’t be “sovereign”, but internationally they are in essence have all the protections, and remedy’s of being sovereign…they can not be “invaded”, the physical items within those walls is U.S. territory, and U.S. ownership, by decree…sheeeeshhh, idiocy from you knows no bounds…

Now go ahead an Google some more you fool…but it won’t educate you, you will still be as stupid as ever. Google is not a replacement for your brain.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

So you call me an idiot, but then proceed to agree with what I’ve stated.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

It’s all just excuses.

My take, for what it’s worth:

When it came down to it, and they were informed our people were under attack, they had two choices: Let it ‘run its course’ or go in and do our damndest to get those people out of there. Obviously, they felt that letting it run its course was the best choice. This would give them the option of celebrating with the heroes if it all worked out, OR it would give them the option of controlling the narrative (cover-up), because dead men tell no tales (so they thought). All the while avoiding a Carter-esque disaster if the rescue were to fail. It was, for them, all about politics and optics and good PR. It was a completely calculated response.

Of course they didn’t count on the XBox messages, the diary, or the media actually somewhat doing their job and asking questions. That meant more lies to cover the original lies, and now it’s just snowballing to where they are all scrambling to get on the same page and stay out from under the bus. I’m curious as to what they all have on each other to keep everyone in the game.

So disgusting, and then they say it’s Republicans who are playing politics.

Boudica on October 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Kinda like issuing beanbags to border agents to guard our border when they fight Drug Cartels?

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Y’all do realize that all Dante is doing is playing Rhetorical Games and garnering attention, don’t you?

kingsjester on October 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Ever so clearly. Yes.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Y’all do realize that all Dante is doing is playing Rhetorical Games and garnering attention, don’t you?

kingsjester on October 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Of course, but disinformation, regarding embassy’s is important not to be lied about…the embassy was breached, and we had every right to defend it with the military, since withing the walls of the embassy everything belonged to the U.S., it was our “territory”, and it is deemed an invasion.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

We had several attacks on previous months, we knew who the attackers were, we had real time video of what was happening…what “battle” has that?

So the “smart” thing to do was allow 4 men to fight to the death for 6 hours? And watch them die?

Wow, just WOW, how our military has been dismantled…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

We had intelligence on prior attacks yes. Security measures should absolutely have been beefed up at the consulate. No one is disputing that. No two attacks are alike though. Without intelligence on the ground, they had no idea how many attackers there were, what their weapons capabilities were, where the attackers were located etc. They very well could have set a trap for any military support help. Again, even if the troops were ready and prepared to go in, how would they get there? Combatants with RPGs can take them out. Well placed IED on the road from the airport to the consulate could take out an armored convoy. Snipers on rooftops could take out numerous SSoldiers. Sending in troops without intelligence plays right into the combatants’ hands. They could very easily have walked right into a trap and instead of 4 Americans dead, there could have been many many more casualties. It’s an unfortunate situation caused by the incompetence of the administration, but this decision was correct.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM

You seem to have missed the meme here over the last few weeks- everyone knows there was a massive cover-up because Obama personally decided to let the ambassador die. You forget to blame Obama or effectively politicize the deaths of 4 Americans.

bayam on October 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Right. WE are the ones politicizing Stephens’ death. Because going to bed knowing Stephens was dying isn’t political at all.

Clearly we’re the crazy ones here.

mrsknightley on October 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

So I guess Obama et al figures that since we have fewer horses we obviously can’t send in the cavalry. D’uh.

txmomof6 on October 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

“While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.”

Link

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Next sentence from link Dante provided:

Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents.

So, the host country owns the land, but the embassy is treated as a sovereign state.

STL_Vet on October 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Not speaking from experience here, but…

It seems they could have put two F-18′s on a low blow-by pretty quick within an hour, with a weasel overwatch to snuff any radar. I doubt they had AD anyway, and shoulder fired are useless at night.

With a tanker following to keep a refuel close by they could have stayed on target while other air assets were brought in-Blackhawks and Predators were at least two hours out. The military practices constantly. They must have a similar ramp up response protocol.

Then it’s a process of sniffing out and eliminating enemy assets. An escalating response would have sent a strong message that attacks would be responded to immediately and with deadly force. Instead, by merely reading the WH releases, our enemies now know if they blind us before they attack, they can attack with impunity.

Our enemies constantly test our defenses and our reactions. How the current administration handled Benghazi will haunt us for years to come.

MarkT on October 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM

So I guess Obama et al figures that since we have fewer horses we obviously can’t send in the cavalry. D’uh.

txmomof6 on October 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Yes. But we have marines who can fix bayonets – despite Mr. Obama’s lack of education on such matters.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Sooo…

When the police receive a 911 call they need to wait for actionable intelligence before they respond? When the FBI receives word of a gunman/hostage situation they need to assess the situation for a couple of weeks before sending in the rescue team?

When the Coast Guard receives an SOS call that a passenger cruise ship is going down during a maelstrom they wait for the storm to clear before attempting to save drowning passengers?

God help a fire department that races to put out a four alarm fire in a multi-story apartment block before getting reports back from the insurance company telling them how the fire started.

I thought Bush did the wrong thing by not jumping up screaming in that classroom when told of the WTC bombing. Guess not.

Mr. Arkadin on October 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

If you’re trying to compare a 911 situation to an actual military assault, that’s flat out ridiculous.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Of course, but disinformation, regarding embassy’s is important not to be lied about…the embassy was breached, and we had every right to defend it with the military, since withing the walls of the embassy everything belonged to the U.S., it was our “territory”, and it is deemed an invasion.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I’m not arguing otherwise. I was just attempting to clear up the misconception that diplomatic missions are sovereign territory. You agreed with me that they aren’t. So what has your knickers in a twist?

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Really….Then why don’t the Brits storm the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to arrest Julian Assange?

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM

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