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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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

None of these battles have any similarities to this situation.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Well pal, you little excuse maker, go and read the new posts and see if you can find it in your pea brain to see the obvious…

Politician’s allowed our men to die, we had the assets, resources to affect and maybe even deter this attack…but they were told to “stand down”, we even had laser targeted the resistors…a gunship was just a couple of hours away, our men lasted (fighting) for six hours.

I hate sniveling excuse makers…when American’s are killed, you guys have all the excuses, and later the apology’s.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

At the time of the attack, the US didn’t know how many attackers there were or what their weapons capabilities were.

No….reports now tell us they were in contact with Washington, and what they were taking fire from, including a mortar that we had targeted with a laser.

The annex was not attacked until several hours later.

Please, PLEASE try to keep up with this “evolving” storyline.

Tenwheeler on October 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM

And, more sources willing to mention that spec-ops assets were in fact available at Sig. Also that assets already in Benghazi were specifically denied permission to go and reinforce.

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

There’s a Hot Air thread going on about this right now.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM

As I Recall …
President Gerald Ford was able to rescue the crew of the Mayaguez.
Of course, he was a man.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Because they’re not stationed there. So, if someone is claiming that A-10s, AC-130s, or Ospreys were in Signonella, then they should provide evidence of such claim – since it’s out of the ordinary.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Read the new posts…and you have the answer…the men fighting had them in the laser sights and were calling (they know what assets are available) for assistance…and our men were told to “stand down”…

You whining, weasely, wimpy, excuse makers make me sick…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM

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

Sometimes, you just have to proceed with less than optimum intel on a situation. There was at least one drone over the site which could have provided more as a rescue force moved in.

This was NOT, most assuredly, the “correct” decision. It was a decision made by cowards led by a coward.

All of your pontificating on the subject leads me to believe that a)you have no experience in these matters; and b)you’re just spewing bull shit.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

This is what you get when you have political hacks making military decisions…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM

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

Based on what…what the administration is telling you…meanwhile, intel reports say differently…

You have made your choice, you have decided that the administration is telling the truth…that’s our problem…you can’t conceive that this administration would not tell the truth, not want to protect themselves?

You embrace the administration’s propaganda…the rest of us don’t trust it…

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Flight time to Bengazi = 1 hour

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

Do your math again. Look at the distance from Aviano to Benghazi and the speed of an Apache.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Ok

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Rental cars?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM

As you look more and more foolish, your posts are reflecting the same…you embrace the administrations excuses and propaganda, we get it.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM

There are two different versions of when they arrived at Sig. Version 1 that all the news sources support: they arrived in time to still do something. Version 2 that the administration is pushing: they didn’t arrive until it was far too late.

Given a choice of who to believe, I’m going to believe the people who aren’t already proven to have been lying for weeks and keep jumping from one version of the story to another.

tldr; After all the bullshit they’ve already been caught out on, we have no reason to believe anything the administration says.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

blink: Again, your version of events requires believing the word of people we already know lied at least once.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Blink, y’all have been pushing “argument from ignorance” for what, three? Four? threads.

It’s starting to get a little annoying. I am willing to compromise with you on ‘we cannot know for certain how it was’, but you keep wanting to jump from there to ‘therefore, my version of events must be assumed to be the true one and we shouldn’t even be taking the other possibility seriously’. And that far, I am not willing to go.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I’m saying not putting boots on the ground was the right call. However, any sort of drone or air strike or even a missile strike from a strike from a ship should have been taken.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM

“He’s not the only one raising good questions about the lack of a response. Bing West, a distinguished combat correspondent and former assistant secretary of defense, has produced a timeline of the Benghazi attacks, which went on for most of the night, suggesting there was plenty of time for substantial U.S. forces to scramble from the U.S. base at Sigonella, Sicily, located almost exactly as far away from Benghazi as the Libyan capital of Tripoli, from whence a small, ill-armed quick-reaction force of 22 men was finally sent. “Stationed at Sigonella,” he notes, “were Special Operations Forces, transport aircraft, and attack aircraft — a much more formidable force than 22 men from the embassy.”

He continues: “Fighter jets could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours…. 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.”

West concludes: “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.”

In any case, Special Operations Forces and other military forces are used to acting on incomplete information, especially in a situation where Americans are under fire and in danger of being overrun. At that point, caution is normally thrown to the wind, and Quick Reaction Forces are launched….”

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/26/more-evidence-of-the-administrations-failure-in-benghazi/

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 12:29 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

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

You folks taking the “Let’s jump in a plane and go!” approach need to STOP and think about what is being pointed out regarding an OBJECTIVE analysis of the situation. More on this in a moment.

Side note: Drop the nonsense about our allies. They do not have 1/10 the resources we do and are 1/100 as likely to do anything quickly.

Bravesbill and others pushing what you see as an OBJECTIVE assessment process – you are leaving out about 2/3 of the process. Intelligence is critical. The more data you have the better.

The next most important part of the process is logistics. What resources do we have to go in, fight and get back out. this is more than just people in fighter jets – it is the SAR guys in helicopters to rescue the pilots that may get shot down. It it the air refueling tanker(s) to keep the fighters over target. ITis the maximum flight distance of the nearest Blackhawk helicopters for delivering Special Forces personnel to the site.

The most important part of the process is a PLAN. You do NOT deploy multiple air assets over a 6 ACRE piece of land without the plan for WHO is doing WHAT and WHEN they are going to do it. If you don’t have everything coordinated you can end up killing the cavalry you are sending in as well as the people on the ground taking fire.

Back to you folks taking the “Let’s jump in a plane and go!”

Get your heads out of whatever Michael Bay film you are watching. Real life military operations are far more dangerous than you can apparently imagine. When they work well; it is because the intelligence, logistics and planning done beforehand worked out nearly perfectly – which means othertimes even though we believed we had all three bases covered – something went wrong due to some unforeseen circumstance.

One of the current military people on here commented a few days ago that he had talked to his colleagues and we did not have the right resources to hand. He flys helicopters for a living and stated the Benghazi flight distance from Italy was at the outside envelope of the Blackhawk.

Final thought: The issue is NOT what we could have, should have or would have done for the people at the consulate AFTER it was attacked.

The issue IS what we could have, should have or would have done for the people at the consulate BEFORE it was attacked.

Go to this link: THIS should pi$$ you off.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ed-klein-bill-clinton-urging-hillary-to-release-benghazi-documents-that-would-exonerate-her-destroy-obamas-re-election-hopes/

PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Yes, embassies and diplomatic missions represent a sovereign nation and are treated as sovereign. That doesn’t make them sovereign. They aren’t sovereign.

Dante on October 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

But they ARE extraterritorial – and, as such, inviolable.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Nothing in that article claims that A-10s, AC-130s, or Ospreys were in Signonella.

-blink

Here’s a relevant quote from the article:

In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.

Why would a member of the CIA team in Benghazi be requesting air support from a Specter gunship unless there actually was one available? I’m pretty sure the guys actually stationed there would have more accurate and timely information on what assets were in range than either of us would.

So unless you want to float the hypothesis that the CIA security officer in Benghazi was so mentally out of it that he was trying to call in support from assets that didn’t exist, your skepticism needs to be toned down a notch.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM

dirtengineer on October 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM

May we all find it and wash this POS off the face of the earth.

jistincase on October 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I notice you’re completely ignoring the part where your theory requires us to believe that the CIA security officer in Benghazi was hallucinating the existence of an AC-130 that didn’t actually exist.

Or is it common for officers like that to try and call in air support from assets that they know are nowhere near being in range?

Or is it just that you are claiming to have more accurate and timely information on support assets available in the area than the CIA station in Benghazi?

This is what’s really making your argument look full of holes; the people actually dying on the ground there seemed to have every expectation of support being available. You can argue that you supposedly have more knowledge than another guy in an Internet comment thread, but to sustain the claim that you have more knowledge than the operators actually involved in the operation will require extraordinary proof you have not yet even remotely begun to supply.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM

“And our options weren’t limited to the AC-130s out of Sigonella or the F-16s from Aviano. It would be interesting to know the location of our nearest carrier battle group on September 11, 2012, for a couple of reasons. First, carriers maintain F/A-18s on alert around the clock, and it’s easier to convert them to an attack role (and get them off the deck) instead of rounding up F-16 crews at Aviano. A carrier group over the central Med would also have the ability to maintain a continuous air presence over Benghazi, facilitating rescue, recovery and reinforcement operations.

But no one will say if a carrier group was in the area that night. And even if it wasn’t, there were other naval assets available. We refer to surface vessels armed with cruise missiles, capable of reaching Libya from a range of over 1,000 miles. Like air-dropped precision weapons, TLAMs need precise intel for maximum effectiveness. But the U.S. already had an extensive TLAM targeting base for Libya, the product of our air campaign against Qadhafi a year before. With that information–and the system’s rapid re-targeting capabilities–a cruise missile laydown could have been launched against the terrorists in the latter stages of the consulate attack.

According to media accounts, “various” military actions were considered and rejected, leaving the Americans in Benghazi on their own. In retrospect, there were no “optimum” actions for the situation in Benghazi, but the U.S. was not without options. Of course, it became more difficult to reach a consensus after the Commander-in-Chief went to bed, before the battle was over…”

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2012/10/options-in-benghazi.html

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM

The CIA station in Benghazi was convinced already; that should be good enough for us.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM

PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

What this guy said. That was the main point I was trying to get across if you read my posts from further back.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM

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

Isn’t that his job to get the intel? However, I don’t believe he did not have the intel. Either way, fail.

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

Ah yes, kinda like Columbine where we “secure the perimeter” and do nothing because we don’t really know what’s going on. Wrong!

So, to answer the question…

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?

That is what all that super cool gear is for and that is what we pay you for! You are supposed to go in harm’s way.

yubley on October 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Just because he was requesting one doesn’t mean that he knew that it was available.

So, you’re actually going to go with the claim ‘the CIA station in Benghazi is so butt stupid that it will request support from assets that don’t actually exist’.

You’re seriously going to go there.

Remind me to never again take seriously anything that leaves your mouth. And I hope other posters join me in that.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM

But I still need to be convinced about what specific assets were available to help in a timely manner.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

The obvious escapes you…there is no reasoning with just plain ignorance…go ahead and pretend that we have no “exit” strategy for embassy’s, that special ops are not trained for these events, that we do not have assets available within hours of this embassy, that our brave men had laser sighted and called in co-ordinates, that we were within hours, and had no idea how long a fight would take (it took over 6 hours to kill our men), ignore the new reports on the other new posts…all of this doesn’t exist in your world…weird, but it’s your world.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM

This poster gal/guy has no choice, to accept the obvious would mean he would have to admit he/she was wrong…and that ain’t going to happen.

No body is that stupid…but some are that stubborn never to admit they are wrong.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

“The team, known as the Commander’s In-extremis Force, was designed specifically for quick reaction to unforeseen emergencies. But U.S. officials say it did not arrive in Sicily until after the attack was over.

Even if the team had been ready in time, confusion about what was happening on the ground in Benghazi — and State Department concerns about violating Libyan sovereignty — made a military rescue mission impractical, the officials say…”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57539738/u.s-military-poised-for-rescue-in-benghazi/

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

workingclassartist — yeah, that’s the part I meant about ‘if we believe the same people who we know have already lied to us repeatedly, i.e., the Administration’.

Their being so eager for me to believe that the assets being moved to Sig arrived hours too late is one of the strongest reasons why I believe the exact opposite.

After all, its not like betting on serial, ass-covering liars to be trying to sell you another ass-covering lie is irrational or anything.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

That is what all that super cool gear is for and that is what we pay you for! You are supposed to go in harm’s way.

yubley on October 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Ignorance. Soldiers still die a lot wearing this “super cool gear” and using all those “super cool weapons.”

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Soldiers were dying already. As were State Department employees. And our ambassador.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

They were convinced enough to request support. That doesn’t speak to the availability of any support assets.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Your tired nonsensical narrative wore out hours ago….

..you try to pick Flysh*t from Pepper with this narrative.

If you are that bereft of Military actions in theatres
around the globe, then visit sites such as DKOS.

ToddPA on October 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

It wasn’t. Neither was the ARG/MARG.

This was discussed extensively the other night.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The Obama administration has lied about Bengazi…It is an election year and they have their optimal priorities….

workingclass artist on October 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Getting desperate, are we, blink?

I say again; your theory requires us to believe that the CIA station in Benghazi is so stupid that it will request AC-130 support when there is no AC-130 within range.

That’s laughably implausible.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Been there. Done that.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Remember, they didn’t just get on the radio and ask ‘is an AC-130 up?’ The officer in question actually went outside and designated the target with a laser. He exposed himself to enemy fire to try and mark targets for air support.

Why on Earth would he do this unless he had good reason to believe air support was actually available? Is it normal practice to start using the designator while the aircraft is still hundreds of miles away?

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM

In any military operation, esp. when your pinned down, you are going to request pretty much anything you can think of including air support, artillery, etc. Just because you request this doesn’t mean you will get it though.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Read it again; the guy was out on the roof using the laser designator. Why on Earth would be designating unless he knew air assets were already in range?

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

More like due to a lack of balls in the current managers.

/and I can’t believe that sack of excrement blink is still shoveling BS about this. C’mon hot air admins, tell us what govt agency IP addy this on-the-clock dissembler is posting from.

rayra on October 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Requests for support hardly equals expectation.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM
right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Of course it takes time to plan an operation. That is why we occasionally get into dutch for the wide ranging “contingency” plans at the Pentagon.

Without any depth of operational planning experience or the training that security people assigned there had, I would assume that some (air) support might be coming if I had laser guidance equipment.

Moreover, don’t you think that a “safe house” with a room that would last an hour or two kinda gives the troops and staff an idea that help would come? Otherwise, I know that human nature in such circumstances leads to comments on, their expendability.

It really appears that the planning for, and handling of, this whole tragedy had to do with the success of one side in an upcoming event on November 6th in the US.

IlikedAUH2O on October 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

The Marines didn’t go to the compound until the Ambassador was already dead, the attack had petered out, and the Libyan militia came to the consulate’s aid. At that time, the risk wasn’t nearly as high.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Wrong.

The ‘extraction force’ of eight Marines were fully engaged at the safe house (along with the Libyan militia), under accurate mortar fire and at least two were wounded.
CAS might have helped there, too.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

This is becoming more and more just MISS-DIRECTION. The intel was as good as it gets coming from trained professionals. ONE and only ONE person has the power and position to order all these sections to stand-down (surrender and die). The DEMOCRATS in the Senate promise a full investigation, right after the election in November. If this is the best that can run this country then in November if they are still here, there WILL be a ___________.

By the way all posts to Hot Air are also posted on Google and reviewed by a little know derivative of a French program called Raptor. Raptor mines postings for certain key words.

I for one am pulling out for awhile. Free press is over.

jpcpt03 on October 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Panetta, you are a LYING POS!

Three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down…An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”

o In the 1st hour of the attack help was called for TWICE…and DENIED!

Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight. At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied.

o Helped call for AGAIN..and again DENIED – a THIRD TIME!

There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound.

The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. (We KNOW the entire attack, from start to finish, went on for 6 (SIX) HOURS!) The Administration initially said there was no help close enough to get there in time/during the fight – THIS IS A LIE! Also being reported is two separate Tier One Special operations forces – among them were elite Delta Force operators – there at Sigonella were told to wait. (FOR WHAT?!) One of the Special Ops Forces was the CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they too were told to stand down. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella. They could have been there in 2 HOURS – remember, the attack on the Annex/Stevens raged for 6 HOURS!

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon reportedly stated, “The basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.” THIS IS CR@P! You had 2 Ex-Special Ops operatives at the Annex calling in exactly what was going on & 2 Drones overhead providing streaming video going directly to the State Department & White House! THEY KNEW! PANETTA LIES!

This administration ABANDONED Americans under fire, sentencing them to DIE, when help was only 2 hours away (during a 6-Hour attack) & purposely WITHHELD! Obama got his d@mn 1am ‘wake-up’ call & he answered alright and took action — HE ORDERED ASSISTANCE BE WITHHELD!

easyt65 on October 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM

“The ‘extraction force’ of eight Marines were fully engaged at the safe house (along with the Libyan militia), under accurate mortar fire and at least two were wounded.
CAS might have helped there, too.”

WRONG! The Ex-SEALs were the only one’s there. The Libyan militia friendly to the US did not show up – with a 50-vehicle caravan, some of those mhaving mounted 50 cal. machine guns, did not arrive until AFTER Stevens & thesae guys were dead! (Think – you don’t just throw together a 50-vehicle convoy of rag-tag militia quickly. You DO, however, send in Spec Ops quick response teams that are ready to go – ASKING TO GO – who could have been there potentially in time to save them!)

easyt65 on October 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Wrong.

The ‘extraction force’ of eight Marines were fully engaged at the safe house (along with the Libyan militia), under accurate mortar fire and at least two were wounded.
CAS might have helped there, too.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Incorrect, those Marines were from the CIA building a mile away, not from Tripoli.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Your attempts to help the HA community are falling on deef ears- it’s too rewarding to politicize events and pretend that the only actor as events unfolded was the White House.

bayam on October 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

And your attempts to defend and provide lying cover for your coward of a pResident are falling on deaf ears.
YOUR coward of a pResident watched the fight in real time…did nothing…and then got bored and went to bed…so he’d be well-rested for his fund-raiser (evidently, his primary job)…while men whose spit he’s not fit to lick from the ground fought and died for America.
That’s what you are trying to defend, bam. You’re an idiot.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Another great way to look at this – as said by the father of one of the dead SEALS: ‘My son DISOBEYED ORDERS by going to that Compound to help defend Ambassador Stevens.’

It is not that Obama/this administration DID NOTHING. The fact is THEY DID! They gave the ORDER to those who could have come to their rescue to STAND DOWN…to ABANDON them…as they WATCHED the live streaming video of the attack & assassination of these 4 men for almost 4 hours (took 2 hours for the drones to get there & start sending the video)!

easyt65 on October 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM

“Incorrect, those Marines were from the CIA building a mile away, not from Tripoli.”

It is still being reported that they were ordered to stand down – NOT respond – and they DID NOT RESPOND. Radio conversation with the responding Ex-Navy SEALS, as confirmed by the CIA, says only THEY (the SEALS) disobeyed orders & responded.

If there were Marines who disobeyed as well, the SEALs did not mention them, & the news has not officially reported it. Knowing & working with Marines (& Spec Ops Forces) all the time, I would be surprised if there were marines there who failed to respond, though. Even if they were there, 10 guys versus a reported approx 100 heavily armed terrorists & further assistance being DENIED is d@mn-near TREASON on behalf of this administration in my opinion!

easyt65 on October 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

This poster gal/guy has no choice, to accept the obvious would mean he would have to admit he/she was wrong…and that ain’t going to happen.

No body is that stupid…but some are that stubborn never to admit they are wrong.

right2bright on October 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

.
The partcular fool in this instance has zero knowledge beyond what he has seen in Hollywood films.

Best indicator?

‘Someone under attack won’t ask for what is not avaiable.’

People under fire ask for EVERYTHING they can think of including Jesus and their Mommy. There is no shame in those requests – bullets going past you dump adrenaline into your system and kicks your mind into overdrive. It does not mean, however, that the person at the other end of the radio can get you what you are requesting.

PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Not enough Intel to act to save American lives.. but plenty enough to throw an innocent American in jail on trumped up charges!! He languishes there even today!! This is treason by all involved!! The cry “Remember the Alamo” will be replaced by: “Remember Benghazi!” Justice must come to this bunch the Democrat party has foisted upon the United States! REMEMBER BENGHAZI on Nov. 6!!!

Marco on October 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM

First, I don’t know if the story is accurate.

Second, there are many reasons why he may have done that.

IOW, you got nothing but keep on casting doubt on everything else except what you want to hear.

This is entering concern-troll territory.

Third, maybe he was hoping that an air asset had heard about their situation, was airborne, and would be looking for a laser designator.

Fourth, maybe he was hoping that the Predator was armed.

Yes, because his doubts could not possibly be cleared up by ten seconds’ worth of conversation on the radio he was already calling for air support on.

Seriously? This is the best you have? Why would he be “hoping” whether or not the Predator was armed, or if air assets were in range, when he would already know this or not before he chose to step out on the roof?

Fifth, are you claiming that an AC-130 was already directly overhead?

Unless we are going with a theory that has the CIA security officer in Benghazi being completely irrational, something had to be up and nearby… because you don’t start using the designator until after you already know the aircraft are approaching.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

blink on October 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM

I don’t dispute the fact that Marines were sent from Tripoli to Benghazi. However, according to some reports that didn’t happen until the attack was basically over. There have been conflicting reports so who knows exactly when they were sent. This still doesn’t change the fact that the no boots on the ground decision was a good decision in light of intelligence and logistical issues.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

‘Someone under attack won’t ask for what is not avaiable.’

Actually, that’s ‘Someone under attack won’t try to designate fire for something not available’.

Sure, you ask for everything and its mother — but if you’re told ‘Sorry, nothing’s available’, you don’t then go outside and risk getting shot while shining the light anyway, because if you wish really hard enough maybe the bombs will fall anyway!

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 1:24 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

None of these battles have any similarities to this situation.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Sorry Bravesbill; I served 21 years as a Marine infantry officer with three years in combat. Every one of the battles on the list are similar to Benghazi in that all of them lacked specific intelligence, everyone of them was confusing and chaotic, in most the outcome was uncertain, and in everyone of them we sent forces to help those in desparate circumstances.

I’ve been in many battles and not once did I have a clear understanding of the enemy situation. But I found a way to get the job done. We were/are trained to cope with those situations.

I could add about 250 additional events to that list as well. They would all be similar to Benghazi.

We had CIA on the ground in constant radio contact with a laser designator able to mark targets for precision guided ammunition. That’s more than I ever had going into battle.

The biggest problem Benghazi had was a bunch of pant loads in the Pentagon, State Department, and Langley afraid to risk sending in the world’s best trained units and pilots to help.

I wouldn’t have hesitated to lead a unit into Benghazi. I’m 66 years old now, and had I been there, I would have been with the two SEALs. One additional weapon and set of eyes may have made a difference. If not, then I would have died fighting instead of letting others die because it was dangerous.

What civilians will never understand is that in combat, your unit is your family. The men are your brothers. It’s about duty, honor, and country. You don’t abandon Americans in danger when you have the ability to try to assist and protect.

BMF on October 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Yeah. I mean, a couple days ago the administration cheerleaders were all ‘they couldn’t use close air support; there was no forward air controller! civilian casualties!!11one!!!’

I haven’t seen a single one of them come forward to go ‘well, damn. looks like there actually was a forward observer with a laser designator available, already out there and trying to mark targets. guess we were wrong on that!’

Every time new evidence comes out, they just repeat the same old skepticism while moving new goalposts further out. President Obama could broadcast a live confession from the Oval Office and they’d probably be arguing about pixel artifacts.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Where would this F-18 have come from?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Sigonella.

One hour away.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

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

It is true that Panetta and the Obama administration lack intelligence!!!

That is precisely why they need to be removed from Washington on November 6!!!

…to make room for someone with intelligence, math skills, and business skills!!!

landlines on October 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

I wouldn’t have hesitated to lead a unit into Benghazi. I’m 66 years old now, and had I been there, I would have been with the two SEALs. One additional weapon and set of eyes may have made a difference. If not, then I would have died fighting instead of letting others die because it was dangerous.

What civilians will never understand is that in combat, your unit is your family. The men are your brothers. It’s about duty, honor, and country. You don’t abandon Americans in danger when you have the ability to try to assist and protect.

BMF on October 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Got your back Sir! Ready when you are.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

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

Indeed.

Twice.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM

BMF on October 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I’m not disputing that some sort of air strike should have occurred. I’m merely saying that not sending ground troops in was the correct call in light of the intelligence and logistical issues that existed. Also, bringing up battles from WWII doesn’t help your case at all considering strategy, tactics, weaponry, intelligence gathering, etc. have all evolved. In those battles, they had more intelligence and actually had troops on the ground than what occurred in Benghazi. What was acceptable tactically back then, doesn’t make it correct now. It would be like saying since trench warfare was done in WWI, it’s an acceptable strategy now.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Your delusional perceptions of “perfect information” during a crisis is wonderful.

And your insistence that a man already calling for air support on the radio would have no way to know whether or not air assets were inbound or not is pathetic. Last time I checked, when you requested air support they actually replied to you with a ‘yes, it is available’ or ‘no, it is not’.

I love how you can talk so long and in such detail and never actually answer a simple question — why on Earth would a man be exposing himself to enemy fire to paint a target with a laser designator when there supposedly weren’t any armed aircraft within hundreds of miles?

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Blink and Coward, Fox just blew up your position:

Quote: Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”

Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they too were told to stand down. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Specter gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

No, no. All of those sources are wrong. Blink knows more about asset availability and deployment than anyone else in the world. Save the President.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

“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

Too true.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 1:51 PM

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

Not really. The difference between a military assault an any of the examples that I listed is one of degree, not of kind.

The Marines didn’t go to the compound until the Ambassador was already dead, the attack had petered out, and the Libyan militia came to the consulate’s aid. At that time, the risk wasn’t nearly as high.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM

By your analogy, police shouldn’t respond to 911 calls until the incident is over; the FBI should not respond to a gunman/hostage situation until the hostages are dead and the gunman has either escaped or shot himself; the fire dept. should not respond to a four alarm blaze in an occupied apartment building until it has burned to the ground; and the Coast Guard should wait to the storm is over before checking for survivors from that sinking ship.

Because the risk was lower.

You are confusing military risk with political risk. Panetta et al did not respond to the Benghazi situation because the political risk was too high, not because they were worried about “deploying forces in harm’s way”.

Mr. Arkadin on October 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Sigh…Yes Blink is far more capable and knowledgeable than the people insisting that aircraft, men, weapons, missiles WERE in range and willing.

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

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