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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Not any military orders. He does have the authority to repel invasions and attacks without Congressional approval. But in all non-defensive matters, yes, he must have Congressional approval. And yes, he is only the Commander in Chief during wartime, and he is only the Commander in Chief of active-duty military. He is not my Commander in Chief.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM

The Consulate is American soil. It was attacked. The President does not need Congressional approval to order a defencive action to repel an attack.

“Mr. MADISON and Mr. GERRY moved to insert ‘declare,’ striking out ‘make’ war, leaving to the executive the power to repel sudden attacks.”

- Minutes from the Constitutional Convention, 17 August 1789

Resist We Much on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

They made a calculated decision to let those people die.
And the decision was ultimately based on the potential political consequences of any action to save them.

justltl on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

He’s right here you know … it’s possible we’d have shown up and found ourselves to be outnumbered by a larger, better equipped, better trained and all-around more capable force of sand monkeys.

/s

HondaV65 on October 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Too funny … if it weren’t so sad.

Cleombrotus on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I don’t buy Panetta’s excuse. Unless we are saying that since it wasn’t an embassy but just a consulate we don’t worry about them. That is essentially he is saying that and that the risk from lack of intel would have just got more American’s killed.

Of course the most famous lack of intel freezing a military response was Hitler’s refusal to move the panzer reserves to knock the allies off the beach in WWII (they are comnig through Calais I swear!!)- no problem there – it just lost the Germans the war.

How you treat your govt representatives in harms way in the line of their duty, while “lacking intel” freezes your response, is merely the definition of moral decline and a lack of desire to live and lead.

Disgusting.

Zomcon JEM on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

They expect this will all blow over cause Americans don’t care about it…according to our Pravda Media

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Media’s not responsible for impeachment – the GOP house is. They could do it in a single day for all the constitutional violations Obama has committed. They are too cowardly to do so.

HondaV65 on October 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The LSM thinks they control the flow of information…but 65% of Americans get their information on the net because they no longer trust the LSM. Liberals would like to control talk radio and the net, Y’know stuff that genie back in the bottle.

Hopefully FOX and Rush et,al. will keep the issue alive…

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Did Zero play the fiddle while the consulate burned?

justltl on October 26, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Zomcon JEM on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Doing a military operation without any intel is suicidal. Would you rather have had a bunch of Marines and Soldiers massacred in addition to the Ambassador?

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:03 AM

They made a calculated decision to let those people die.
And the decision was ultimately based on the potential political consequences of any action to save them.

justltl on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Somebody made a calculated decision to withdraw even basic security and outsource the left overs to an inexperienced British company that failed in management on the ground.

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Watching the posting here, is very strange.

Useing the actions of cowards regarding Julian Assange as a excuse for Obama being a chicken shit no good commie and that its all OK cause ,,”Other people are not worth a shit either.”

spit

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Two men could hold off the entire enemy force for 7 hours, but a platoon of them would get massacred?

Who are you, Secretary Panetta’s press aide?

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Doing a military operation without any intel is suicidal. Would you rather have had a bunch of Marines and Soldiers massacred in addition to the Ambassador?

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I’m sure the marines who got to the consolute first would be more than happy to respond to your question, Bravesbill.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

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

They admit it. The reasons are a secondary problem.

Again:

Panetta: We didn’t defend consulate under attack

portlandon on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The Consulate is American soil. It was attacked. The President does not need Congressional approval to order a defencive action to repel an attack.

Resist We Much on October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The consulate is not American soil.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Fox reporting the CIA in Benghazi during Consulate Attack Denied Help.
They asked 3 separate times for permission to help and were told to stand down. Finally they went to help anyway. They were in constant radio contact. A Delta force was waiting but did not take off.

Those CIA Annex took 3 attackers and were given over to the Libyan officials.

Jennifer Griffith from the Pentagon reporting. There is more but have taped this. I think Fox will repeat this info.

bluefox on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Against a helo a SSAM is effective. F18 not so much. I haven’t found a recorded instance anywhere of an F18 being brought down by shoulder-fired weapons anywhere at anytime.

Can anyone repute this? I know I’m not perfect and I have been, on occasion, terribly wrong….

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 10:54 AM

In general, you are correct. However, a LOW flying F-18 going straight way from you with AB blazing… Yeah, an IR SSAM is just the ticket.

climbnjump on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 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?

THIS.

Osama bin Laden said people preferred the strong horse. i am tired of this “nation building!” we need some nation defeating. aren’t there a couple of new weapons that can take out an electrical grid. iran would be a good testing ground……

Dr. Demento on October 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Fox News has announced that the CIA made 3 requests during the attack for help. US assets requested to help several times but were told to stand down. Finally ignoring orders the two Seals (I’m assuming with a few others, but don’t know) went in and got the US personnel at the compound to safety.

What I find unimaginable is the two Seals who risked their lives to save others, fighting off the terrorists (yes, Obama, terrorists) for HOURS waiting for US assets to come in and help/rescue them. How absolutely horrible to realize your country is not coming to your assistance when you are willing to give your life for your country.

I’m sure the people saved are glad the Seals didn’t require the same “knowledge” of the situation as Panetta. Of course Panetta had real time video from drones, the Seals didn’t.

katablog.com on October 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Scicly has F-18′s based there.
One hour for deployment.
-
Tripoli to Malta by passenger jet used to take 35 minutes.

Typicalwhitewoman on October 26, 2012 at 11:09 AM

According to Panetta, 3 requests from the CIA on the ground wasn’t
” reliable intelligence”. They were in the Compound Annex for pity sake.
What a bunch of lying evildoers!!

bluefox on October 26, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I can almost guarantee you that Panetta had nothing to do with this decision. It was most likely made by the AFRICOM Commander Gen. Ham and supported by both Ge. Dempsey and Panetta.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM

How many SEALS have died since Bin Laden was claimed to have been killed and buried at sea?

Wasn’t there an accident in Afghan that killed several of them? Another incident which escaped my memory at the moment. And this one where help was denied.

I can’t help but wonder if some secret is being protected.

vnohara on October 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM

You never have perfect information in a battle. If that’s what Panetta thinks he needs before he makes a move then he’s the wrong man for that job. The reason we train our troops and have field commanders is to adapt to the unknown factors in battle, and we pick the best men and spend a lot of money to give them the best training in the world for that very purpose. This is symptomatic of an administration that has no idea how our armed forces work, and in fact has contempt for them.

Socratease on October 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM

What American fighting men can do when cut off out numbered and how others come to rescue them.

http://vet2.tripod.com/kansas.html

On the other hand when Democrats get in the act they put up John F. Kerry for President.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM

“The Pentagon defended its decision not to deploy forces to Benghazi …”

THAT’S not the issue.
There was no immediate need for boots on the ground.
FIRST:
Why weren’t there assets in the in air NORTH Africa, the most recent hotbed of Islamist extremism, on SEPTEMBER 11th of all dates?
1.) FA-18s: AWOL
2.) A-10s: AWOL
3.) AC-130s: AWOL
4.) Predator (armed) Drones: AWOL
5.) Joint Chiefs of Staff: AWOL
6.) Sec’y of State: AWOL
7.) President BHO: AWOL

Sadly, the mental giants on the Left keep embracing that cabal of incompetents.
Coming soon to a mosque near YOU
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Dante, you covered that…badly, btw…ad nausem.

The overall point of the ENTIRE thread (and what I specifically addressed to YOU earlier): WHY weren’t forces dispatched to either rescue, defend or IMHO, AVENGE the murder of 4 US citizens?

PLEASE, impress us and answer THAT much…and not with the tripe about the Embassy not being an real, you know Embassy.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

“As Kerry Picket of The Washington Times reports today, on August 27, just weeks before the murder of our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department issued a travel warning for Americans planning to travel to Libya. The warning noted the risk of “political violence in the form of assassinations and vehicle bombs has increased in both Benghazi and Tripoli.”

Even as the State Department warned other Americans about the risks in Benghazi, it rejected additional security for Ambassador Chris Stevens.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/10/25/State-Dept-warned-travel-Libya

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

In general, you are correct. However, a LOW flying F-18 going straight way from you with AB blazing… Yeah, an IR SSAM is just the ticket.

climbnjump on October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I will paraphrase a quote from a marine pilot on that matter, it went something like this: “If a marine (attack) pilot finds himself embarrassingly being shot down by ground fire, it means he wasn’t flying low enough.”

I will also paraphrase a former (now deceased) Colonel who served in the army rangers in Vietnam on the matter of who he would call on for ground support. Please keep in mind things have changed a bit over the years, as I am an Air Force brat myself:

“On the matter of ground support, first off, I would call the marines, because they drop ordnance right where you want it, secondly, I’d call the navy, because they would get it pretty close. Thirdly, I’d call Pan Am, because they didn’t have anything to hurt anyone, and then I’d call the Air Force….”

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Two men could hold off the entire enemy force for 7 hours, but a platoon of them would get massacred?

Who are you, Secretary Panetta’s press aide?

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Thanks, my exact thought.

bluefox on October 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Jennifer Griffin just reported on Fox that Dougherty and Woods requested support, that they asked for permission to try to save the people in the consulate and were told twice to “stand down”. They went anyway and rescued three people but couldn’t find Amb. Stevens. Her source is in the Pentagon.

jffree1 on October 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Of course Obama did not care. They weren’t “His People”.

Can’t you see that those who are most ardent to the Prophet are protected by Obama and those who are opposed to Sharia and the Caliphate are taken down. Egypt, Lybia, Syria, Yemen…all the same.

Even in domestic affairs, from the non-calling of the Fort Hood shooter as a Terrorist despite overwhelming evidence to the re-tasking of NASA to Muslim outreach to his Cairo speech to the Somali relocation project in Wisconsin and on and on; Obama’s efforts are to bring Whites low, to support the formation of the Caliphate and to weaken the West.

The idea that Obama would go to bed while SEAL’s are fighting on the rooftop and you can see them in real time sickens me. Can you imagine him saying to Hillary “Oh wow, this is really exciting and I am betting on the one to the left, but um, I got to go to Vegas tomorrow so, Uh, tell me how it all turns out, ok?”

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM

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

You’re an idiot.

And not very smart.

Are all anarcho/capitalists as stupid as you?

You’re a waste of flesh and an oxygen thief.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Stuff it up your butt, you egg-sucking weasel.

American lives were on the line and your president went to bed.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 11:25 AM

The overall point of the ENTIRE thread (and what I specifically addressed to YOU earlier): WHY weren’t forces dispatched to either rescue, defend or IMHO, AVENGE the murder of 4 US citizens?

PLEASE, impress us and answer THAT much…and not with the tripe about the Embassy not being an real, you know Embassy.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I don’t know what your source of confusion is. Do you think I’m saying that because embassies are not sovereign we can’t defend them? You realize that side conversations take place within threads, right? I was clearing up a misconception, one that you can’t seem to let go of.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM

“U.S. intelligence agents were in Benghazi looking for 20,000 missiles which had been used by Muammar Gaddafi’s army, in an effort to stop them falling into the hands of Islamist militias.

It is unclear exactly how many CIA operatives were stationed at the base, but officials said that two aircraft were required to lift all agents and diplomats out of Benghazi…
On August 2, six weeks before Stevens was killed, he requested ‘protective detail bodyguard’ positions, calling the security situation in Libya ‘unpredictable, volatile and violent.’

A month earlier, he requested that the State Department extend his tour of duty personnel, which is a 16-man temporary security team trained in combating terrorism. The request was denied and the security team left on August 8.

Stevens had asked for the security team to stay through mid-September…”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221596/Libya-consulate-attack-Second-U-S-building-attacked-
Benghazi-CIA-base.html#ixzz2AQ23rhZW

Panetta is a lyin’ POS!

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

No, it doesn’t. If you disagree, then feel free to tell me which F-18 squadron is based in Sicily.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM

The drone base would have had weapons. It had to come from somewhere, right?

No one fired at the Drone, so it is unlikely a shoulder fired heat seeking missiles were available to the 22 ragged men sent to storm the compound, but the drone could have fired, or an armed one sent, Yes.

Whining and insisting that “nothing was available” or trying to force people to “name that squadron” is stupid Blink, because already the Administration has admitted that military assets WERE available (the whole options thing) but they decided not to do them because of lack of Intel.

DECIDED NOT TO USE THEM….Get it?

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM

So in essense, the powers that be made the decision to let the folks already on ground to be sacrificed. They hoped that if it was just a few people, then they could just explain it away and try to sweep the whole thing under the rug – which is exactly what they have done.

climbnjump on October 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Interesting thought, especially given that Panetta joined the Clinton administration around that time. He was probably advising against it based on past experience.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 10:15 AM

What if they intentionally did this, to gin up support for the president? Kind of a “rally ’round the flag” thing? Yes, it’s a despicable thought. So is a video comparing voting for Teh Won to losing one’s virginity.

rah1420 on October 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Fine. Fire everyone involved from the Obama administration. Only way to be sure those responsible are held accountable.

Christien on October 26, 2012 at 11:32 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

I can see little Bammie as president in 2001, with his CSI people sifting through the rubble of the World Trade Center, -”to find out what really happened”.

slickwillie2001 on October 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Except that they weren’t without “any intel…”

They absolutely had some intel.

Again, I don’t think it was excessively risky.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Intel from one drone and people basically holed up in a compound is not nearly sufficient, esp. considering the scope of the attack.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Obama, Panetta, eatal would ring the bell first day at Little Creek.

Not that they would ever ask to be a member thereof.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

May I also point out that Britain, France and all of our other allies could have sent people in (SAS etc).

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/20/us-libya-forces-idUSTRE72I2CU20110320

See here

Butthe President was Asleep instead of on the phone to other Countries because he had a big day in Vegas coming.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Whoa, that Fox News story is another bombshell if true. They asked for support three time and were denied everytime?

Un-believeable.

WisRich on October 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

“He could have given the order but did not, even after an email, in which the al-Qaida-tied group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility, arrived at 6:07 p.m. ET to a distribution list that included the White House Situation Room.

A Special Operations force went from central Europe to Naval Air Station Sigonella in southern Italy, just 480 miles from Benghazi. F-16s and Apache helicopters remained parked and unused at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy. Two Navy destroyers already in the Mediterranean Sea were moved off the coast of Libya on the day of the attack but were never used.

The question is: Why not?

Some suggest that sending nearby AC-130 gunships or Apaches would have been futile because in the chaos they couldn’t have identified the attackers and might have hit innocents. A few well-timed machine gun bursts at nowhere in particular would have been sufficient to disperse the jihadists. We know there was no protest mob in the way and certainly we could have plucked those two heroic SEALs off the annex roof…

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pushed the video fraud, and whose employee, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, went on five Sunday talk shows to repeat that shameful and colossal lie, defended Obama’s inaction in the face of terror by saying, “Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence” of a terrorist attack.

And the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, was “workplace violence.”

When terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, no Marines were deployed to protect them on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Yet a Marine security detachment was guarding our embassy in Barbados.

“The last two casualties occurred well over six hours after the initial attack,” Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted. “It is disappointing to hear that our national command authorities failed to try to reinforce the consulate with timely air assets, and that a consulate located in one of the most dangerous regions in the world was so unsecured.”

Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102512-630874-no-marines-with-bayonets-at-benghazi.htm#ixzz2AQ5qcFmx

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Intel from one drone and people basically holed up in a compound is not nearly sufficient, esp. considering the scope of the attack.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I respectfully disagree. Again, if two men could hold out for seven hours, one platoon of marines would have had a field day.

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Your name is not Bravesbill, but Cowardsbill.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I hope Obama is now forever known as the “Butcher of Benghazi”.

trl on October 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Whoa, that Fox News story is another bombshell if true. They asked for support three time and were denied everytime?

Un-believeable.

WisRich on October 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

President Pusillanimous

Droopy on October 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

“Scandal: More than six hours after terrorists attacked our consulate, former Navy SEALs manned a blood-soaked machine gun to defend U.S. territory. Meanwhile Apache helicopters sat on the ground in Italy.

At 4 a.m. local time on Sept. 11 — six hours and 20 minutes after the initial attack began — former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at the CIA annex not far from the consulate by a mortar shell. The machine gun they were firing was encrusted with blood, an indication they continued to fight after being wounded.

During that eternity, Woods and Doherty might have wondered between gunfire and explosions where the military, with bases strewn across Europe, was. U.S. forces were indeed being moved like chess pieces as the attack unfolded, but none came to their aid because no one gave the order.

President Obama, perhaps preoccupied with his upcoming Las Vegas fundraiser, met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at 5 p.m. ET, a little more than an hour after the onset of the attack.

He could have given the order but did not, even after an email, in which the al-Qaida-tied group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility, arrived at 6:07 p.m. ET to a distribution list that included the White House Situation Room.

A Special Operations force went from central Europe to Naval Air Station Sigonella in southern Italy, just 480 miles from Benghazi. F-16s and Apache helicopters remained parked and unused at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy. Two Navy destroyers already in the Mediterranean Sea were moved off the coast of Libya on the day of the attack but were never used…”

Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102512-630874-no-marines-with-bayonets-at-benghazi.htm#ixzz2AQ76wWAc

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM

This report on Fox shows that there was plenty of intelligence on the ground, that the SEALS were told to stand down and not go to the Ambassador’s aid.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/26/cia-operators-were-denied-request-for-help-during-benghazi-attack-sources-say/

GrannySunni on October 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM

F-16s and Apache helicopters remained parked and unused at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy.

BOOM!

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Intel from one drone and people basically holed up in a compound is not nearly sufficient, esp. considering the scope of the attack.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Daily Mail reports multiple Drones covered the attack.

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Beck is going nuts on this right now.

He’s saying that an AC-130 and a Delta force team were less than two hours away.

BallisticBob on October 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM

What bothers me is even attempt at rescue was too dangerous why did the news reporters beat our troops there to recover documents? For instance Amb. Stevens diary. Don’t tell me reporters are so brave they could or would go where our troops couldn’t or wouldn’t.

Herb on October 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Are you somehow under the impression that assets that were near Libya in March 2011 were definitely still in the area?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

No Blink, but it is doubtful that these places are empty LOTS, right? SOMEONE has SOMETHING in the AREA, right? If you are on the phone to your allies if your base doesn’t have anything then SOMEONE has SOMETHING in the area, right. Tornadoes from the brits, French fighters, something…right?

But if you are snuggling up to Moochell, you will not find them. Men died ‘cuz da One be going to Vegas in da morning.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I don’t know what your source of confusion is. Do you think I’m saying that because embassies are not sovereign we can’t defend them? You realize that side conversations take place within threads, right? I was clearing up a misconception, one that you can’t seem to let go of.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Ah, but my question IS based on your earlier statement:

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Dante, you want to argue that the the Mission is not a Mission, and the Embassy is not an Embassy. The whole POINT of the thread is WHY we left these men to die. I asked you several times to at least grant that the Embassy or Mission or Pachinko Parlor that these Americans should not have been left to die, and like it or not, there are people at the top that should be at Camp Leavenworth* making big rocks into little ones…and little ones back into Big ones before they’re released.

Your only focus is to try to keep reminding us (badly) that the building where they were in wasn’t really a like sanctioned building and stuff. I just want you to at least admit that we (The Administration) should have rescued or ATTEMPTED to rescue those men.

Can I get an agreement on THAT, or do I need Congressional approval for that bit of common sense too? /s

*= Yes i know its Fort Leavenworth, but sarcasm needs to be injected here.

BlaxPac on October 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I asked a a question early in the thread, not having military experience, I did not know if Panetta’s remarks had any validity or not. After reading the entire thread, and the arguments as to if it is too risky to send in men with little intelligence or if the right call was to attempt to rescue the Americans, I have concluded, for my own purposes, that if a couple of guys could hold off the enemy for several hours, or even if the attack on an unguarded compound with little or no resistance even took that long, the Marines or a Special Forces unit would more than likely had success. I am also embarrassed as an American that this attack could happen without an overwhelming use of force against the attackers. They have gotten away with this, when they should be well on their way to meeting their God.

kam582 on October 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Intel from one drone and people basically holed up in a compound is not nearly sufficient, esp. considering the scope of the attack.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Ex-Navy SEALS screaming for help from a well known US employee manned location because they are in a fire fight and will be killed if they do not get help is insufficient intel? Because of the “scope of the attack”?

IOW, they were deemed expendable. Who made that call? Only a very, very high level individual can make a decision declaring US citizens under attack expendable.

farsighted on October 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

“U.S. intelligence agents were in Benghazi looking for 20,000 missiles which had been used by Muammar Gaddafi’s army, in an effort to stop them falling into the hands of Islamist militias.

It is unclear exactly how many CIA operatives were stationed at the base, but officials said that two aircraft were required to lift all agents and diplomats out of Benghazi…
On August 2, six weeks before Stevens was killed, he requested ‘protective detail bodyguard’ positions, calling the security situation in Libya ‘unpredictable, volatile and violent.’

A month earlier, he requested that the State Department extend his tour of duty personnel, which is a 16-man temporary security team trained in combating terrorism. The request was denied and the security team left on August 8.

Stevens had asked for the security team to stay through mid-September…”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221596/Libya-consulate-attack-Second-U-S-building-attacked-
Benghazi-CIA-base.html#ixzz2AQ23rhZW

Panetta is a lyin’ POS!

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

You are doing an excellent job with these links. Thanks!

Anti-Control on October 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM

May there be a extra toasty room in the basement of hell for this administration, all of them.

dhimwit on October 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM

The “official” word was that we had assets an hour away

What assets?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

In Sigonella, Italy – less than an hour’s flying time away at top speed – we had fighter/attack aircraft, armed and ready to go. A bit longer would have seen a-10s and AC-130s over the site.
It is too far for helicopters, but Ospreys could have gotten Marines on-target soon after.

Those assets.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Where were the AC-130s and Apaches?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Sigonella maybe?

BallisticBob on October 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Panetta…..you miserable POS!
You left our guys, who requested HELP, who were prepared to laser the mortar target that ultimately killed them, you left them to DIE.
You miserable POS.
I was called in 1969…I served.
You were called, you let them DIE.
We left no one behind.
You let them DIE.
May you die a painful death….
I will find your grave and piss on it for my brothers.

dirtengineer on October 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Here, it was ‘Fast and Furious‘; there it is a ‘Clear and Present Danger‘.

This misadministration will go to any lengths to cover their foul ups.

Droopy on October 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM

The Atlantic Wire has an article saying people are starting to like Obama again.

If so, US is really doomed.

vnohara on October 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Seems obvious by now that late Amb. Stevens was used by Hussein to run guns for Al Qaeda. Yep, same Al Qaeda that was declared done and finished by Hussein just weeks and months ago. So, not only is Al Qaeda NOT on the run, but now more powerful (taking over Egypt and Libya and trying to do same in Syria now), and to pour salt on the injury OUR TAX DOLLARS are used to arm it with sophisticated weapons, first in Libya and now in Syria. With Turkey, on their march lately to become just another rabid islamist nest, the middle man.

And we are questioning why the decision at the top level was to let Stevens die so that lose ends are all tied up now?

Not just impeachment, but serious prison terms for all involved.

riddick on October 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM

The idea that Obama would go to bed while SEAL’s are fighting on the rooftop and you can see them in real time sickens me. Can you imagine him saying to Hillary “Oh wow, this is really exciting and I am betting on the one to the left, but um, I got to go to Vegas tomorrow so, Uh, tell me how it all turns out, ok?”

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM

That would be the man-child in mom-jeans.
When the telephone rings at 3:00 a.m., does anyone answer?
What a huge embarrassment.
Obama snoozed while Americans oozed … blood.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

F-16s and Apache helicopters remained parked and unused at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy.

BOOM!

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Flight time to Bengazi = 1 hour

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

On August 2, six weeks before Stevens was killed, he requested ‘protective detail bodyguard’ positions, calling the security situation in Libya ‘unpredictable, volatile and violent.’

A month earlier, he requested that the State Department extend his tour of duty personnel, which is a 16-man temporary security team trained in combating terrorism. The request was denied and the security team left on August 8.

Stevens had asked for the security team to stay through mid-September…”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221596/Libya-consulate-attack-Second-U-S-building-attacked-Benghazi-CIA-base.html#ixzz2AQ23rhZW

Panetta is a lyin’ POS!

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

This cannot be repeated enough.

Whether or not the military could have done something, anything, to try to help after the attack began may be debatable, but that there was insufficient security within Libya before the spontaneous protest well planned terrorist attack began, that security forces had been withdrawn in August over the objections of Stevens and the force leader, and that Stevens wanted and had requested more security are facts.

farsighted on October 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

What evidence do you have that claim we had A-10s, AC-130s, or Osprey’s in Sigonella?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM

What evidence do you have they were not?

BallisticBob on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

What really frosts me is that this Administration, in effort to cover their own incompetence and mendacity, are willing to downplay or outright deny these men the recognition they deserve as true American hero’s.

They recognized the cowardice of this Adminstration and defied orders to help their fellow Americans.

They deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor. What they got was a lousy “it’s the video” excuse.

Excuse me while I step outside and vomit.

WisRich on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Turtle317 on October 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Holing up inside a building inside a compound is vastly different from actually having to infiltrate an area (which in all probability was rigged with booby traps) and clear it of combatants.

Your name is not Bravesbill, but Cowardsbill.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

It’s called realism. What exactly would you have done? Helicoptered Marines in while combatants shoot at them with RPGs, sniper, and small arms fire? That’s a death wish. I think I’ll trust the discretion of a 4 star general over yours.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

What are “Full” assets?

Where were the fighters, and what good do fighters do for people on the ground?

Where were the “special ops” people and what was their alert status?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

You’ve never heard that fighters quite often provide CLOSE AIR SUPPORT? What do you think that means? Why do you suppose that fighter pilots train in CAS?

There were spec-ops people in Sigonella – ready to go.

You’re just quibbling now. Trying to provide cover/excuses.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Allied assets are usually less prepared than ours, and quickly coordinating a strike from France or Britain in time seems quite unlikely.

I’m sorry that the real world doesn’t fit your image of what “should be.”

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Your version of what happened is only conjecture, too.

But what is true is the misadministration didn’t even try. Even Carter tried in Iran (eventually).

Droopy on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

What effect does this “fact” have on the events in Benghazi?

BobMbx on October 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Intel from one drone and people basically holed up in a compound is not nearly sufficient, esp. considering the scope of the attack.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

22 rag heads was the “scope” of the attack. Are you trying to tell us the US doesn’t have sufficient military might in North Africa to take these 22 terrorists in a period of 6 hours? Gosh two dead (MURDERED) former seals would disagree.

katablog.com on October 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM

So this POS sec of defense and the POS president went to bed knowing that they could have done something to maybe save some of our soldiers and did nothing! My contempt for this corrupt admin is at its highest level ever and I cannot wait for them all to be thrown out and after be brought up on charges of dereliction of duty and thrown in prison with the general population.

jistincase on October 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM

WisRich on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

AMEN brother. Preach it!

katablog.com on October 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Some suggest that sending nearby AC-130 gunships or Apaches would have been futile because in the chaos they couldn’t have identified the attackers and might have hit innocents. A few well-timed machine gun bursts at nowhere in particular would have been sufficient to disperse the jihadists. We know there was no protest mob in the way and certainly we could have plucked those two heroic SEALs off the annex roof…

One of our Ops had a laser on the mortar that was firing on them.

The C-130 gunship has both machine guns as well as 105 mm cannons that can be aimed by laser.

Geebus, people. This is not brain surgery.

And these cats were in radio contact with Washington.

Insufficient Intel? Insufficient intestinal fortitude!

Butcher of Bengazi indeed.

Tenwheeler on October 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

“At 5 p.m., President Obama met with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Panetta in the Oval Office. The U.S. military base in Sigonella, Sicily, was 480 miles away from Benghazi. Stationed at Sigonella were Special Operations Forces, transport aircraft, and attack aircraft — a much more formidable force than 22 men from the embassy.

In the past, presidents had taken immediate actions to protect Americans. In 1984, President Reagan had ordered U.S. pilots to force an airliner carrying terrorists to land at Sigonella. Reagan had acted inside a 90-minute window while the aircraft with the terrorists was in the air. The Obama national-security team had several hours in which to move forces from Sigonella to Benghazi.

Fighter jets could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours. If the attackers were a mob, as intelligence reported, then an F18 in afterburner, roaring like a lion, would unnerve them. This procedure was applied often in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Conversely, if the attackers were terrorists, then the U.S. commandos would eliminate them. But no forces were dispatched from Sigonella.

In the meantime, while untrained and poorly led by American standards, the terrorists at Benghazi were proving to be lethal. They forced the Americans to abandon the consulate, with the ambassador still missing, and fall back to an annex a mile away. When the terrorist gang followed the Americans, looters took the opportunity to ransack the empty consulate. But when they found Ambassador Stevens unconscious on the floor, they stopped looting and rushed him to a hospital. Unfortunately, the doctors could not save his life. Not knowing who he was, they took the cell phone from his pocket and called numbers. By about two in the morning, the American embassy received word that the ambassador was dead…

It is bewildering that no U.S. aircraft ever came to the aid of the defenders. If even one F18 had been on station, it would have detected the location of hostiles firing at night and deterred and attacked the mortar sites. For our top leadership, with all the technological and military tools at their disposal, to have done nothing for seven hours was a joint civilian and military failure of initiative and nerve…”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331125/first-aid-living-bing-west#

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

And then the disgraceful, communist in the WH went to Las Vegas in the morning!! I loathe every one of his idiot, free-telephone, free gas, free rent, racist, supporters. They are too stupid to see the truth.

ultracon on October 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM

(which in all probability was rigged with booby traps)

Really? I hear CNN walked right in and found Ambassador Stevens Journal.

katablog.com on October 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

It’s called realism. What exactly would you have done? Helicoptered Marines in while combatants shoot at them with RPGs, sniper, and small arms fire? That’s a death wish. I think I’ll trust the discretion of a 4 star general over yours.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Here’s a short list:

Operation Overlord
Anzio
Market Garden
Ia Drang Valley
Iwo Jima
Tarawa
Okinawa
Grenada
Panama

Its what US soldiers get paid to do, numbskull.

BobMbx on October 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

blink: There do seem to have been a lot of leaks in the news recently re: aviation and special-ops assets that were supposed to have ‘been available’ at Sig. People such as former CIA directors are willing to say things like that while being interviewed.

That plus the tidbit earlier of AFRICOM staging some of its special-ops training teams through Sigonella makes me wonder if Sig wasn’t being used as a staging area for special operations assets for the theater. It would be very suitably placed and equipped for such a role. And of course, we wouldn’t know about that kind of thing.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM

22 rag heads was the “scope” of the attack. Are you trying to tell us the US doesn’t have sufficient military might in North Africa to take these 22 terrorists in a period of 6 hours? Gosh two dead (MURDERED) former seals would disagree.

katablog.com on October 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM

At the time of the attack, the US didn’t know how many attackers there were or what their weapons capabilities were. Further, both the consulate and safehouse were attacked and there were numerous road blocks in the area. There’s no telling what traps (if any) the attackers could have rigged during the attack. Helicoptering Soldiers in isn’t feasible because snipers and RPGs were present. Who knows whether they had armored vehicles for a convoy (and if they did IEDs could have been placed on the road between the airport and consulate). With that said, a drone or air strike in the area would have been much more appropriate and feasible.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I haven’t read all of the comments on this thread, so I apologize if this has been mentioned. I am normally a very cynical person, but this administration has pegged my cynicism meter. I’ll go way, way out on a very thin limb and say that O’Bumbles was setting the ambassador up…not to be killed but to be kidnapped. There’s no other reasonable explanation for the lack of any kind of military assistance during the entirety of the fight. Then he could swap the Blind Sheik for the ambassador, and he would kill two political birds with one stone (giving the Blind Sheik back to “his people” and showing the country what a great negotiator he is, getting the ambassador back alive). However, the plan went awry when the ambassador was killed. At that point, the WH went into Defcon 1 CYA mode. The daily lies coming out of the administration are the biggest part of that.

Moose Drool on October 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I think I’ll trust the discretion of a 4 star general over yours.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

You get that four-star away from Panetta, Clinton, and company, buy him a couple of drinks, and from past experience with this crowd I think you’ll find he is following orders……

He does after all report to the Commander in Chief.

If the CIC tells him he didn’t have sufficient intel and that is the company line, he risks Leavenworth and his retirement if he doesn’t go along.

Tenwheeler on October 26, 2012 at 12:13 PM

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