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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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

There is a squadron of FA-18s at Sigonella.

If the name/designation of that squadron is so almighty important to you – look it up yourself.

The FACT is, that they were available; and could have been on target in an hour or less — if someone had had the balls to release them.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

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

Political risk is inherent with military risk. If you don’t have good intelligence, the odds of you successfully accomplishing your mission decrease drastically and the odds of something bad happening increase. And your analogies are absolutely inane. A 911 situation is nothing like a full scale military operation, esp. in a situation like this. It’s comparing apples to oranges.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Where were the AC-130s and Apaches?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The AC-130Us are based at Sigonella. About two hours flight time at their speed.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM

blink on October 26, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I’m not even sure if Marines did go from Tripoli based on most recent article that claim both former SEALs who died weren’t aided by any military personnel because of Gen. Ham, Gen Dempsey, and Panetta’s decision not to deploy troops. If you could show me something definitive that said it actually happened, it would be appreciated.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 2:18 PM

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,”

Another basic principle: you don’t let an ambassador stay someplace undefended when it is known that there is jihadist activity in that area already known to be dangerous.

What bloody jerks.

Chessplayer on October 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Nope.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM

YEP.

AC-130Us are based at NAS Sigonella. Could have been there in about two hours.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

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

AC-130Us are based at NAS Sigonella. Look it up – if you can pry your lips off of panetta’s ass.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:23 PM

This is definitively not true.

If you really do have such definitive information about asset availability and readiness, why do you never post it?

Seriously. You claim to know everything relevant and insist that nobody else knows anything, but you never actually provide any new information of your own. You just contradict everybody else, no matter what they say.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

No, they aren’t.

Why are you lying about this, too?

Seriously, why are you lying about what’s based in Sig?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

.
You might point out that ALL Specter gunships are C-130′s but not all C-130′s are Specter gunships.

Also, you might ask what an F-18, a carrier based fighter, would be doing at the base in Signorella?

I won’t suggest you try to get them to understand the difference between an aircraft undergoing major, scheduled maintenance not being something you just put back together in 15 minutes – they can’t process that level of thinking.

Although, you might be able to get through to them the difference between being on site versus mission ready.

As you’ve seen from my post and your comment, they just completely ignore the idea you can’t launch multiple assets for a coordinated attack on a 6 acre piece of land, at night no less, without prior planning.

PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

It seems as if they had been repositioned to Sigonella after the attack started. I’m wondering when they arrived in Sigonella, when they were ready to go, when they would have arrived in Libya, and how they would have repositioned from the Benghazi airport to the compound. Rental cars?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM

There was a group from Delta Force (SFOD-D) AT Sigonella…ready to go…and they were never sent in.
And, they would have gotten to the compound any way they could. It’s what they do. (They don’t spend their time with their lips stuck to the administration’s ass, making excuses. They’re men. They actually take action.)

And, there are AC-130Us based at Sigonella.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

.
resignations and impeachments

tm11999 on October 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

How would they have known what assets were available?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Now you’re just being stupid.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:38 PM

And someone needs to tell him that there were no F-18s at Aviano, and what the range of an armed F-18 is.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

But there were FA-18s at NAS SIGONELLA.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM

very simple, you NEVER leave ANYBODY behind!!!!seals disobeyed stand-down order!!guns supplied to syria through benghazi consulate and turk consol, loyalists of gaddafi tribe attack consulate, all WILL come out in due time!!!

tm11999 on October 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Anyone notice how this guy resembles Tony Bennett? I wonder if he can sing bcuz maybe he oughtta be doing something as innocuous as singing–and not like the canary.

stukinIL4now on October 26, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Well pretend that you’re a staff planning officer. How would you get them from the Benghazi airport to the compound?

Make them run? Try to get rental cars? These are both options, but is this what you would have done? What’s your plan?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Heh, oh so true. I doubt they had armored vehicles on hand or helicopters. And since the combatants had RPGs, helicopters weren’t a realistic option either.

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

So how can one expect some CIA guys on the ground in Libya to know exactly what’s available at air bases in Europe on any given night?

Because the people on the other end of the radio they’re calling for help on from have that information?

You have been reduced from claiming that it would take 7+ hours to send help to claiming that it would take the Pentagon 7+ hours to just find out whether or not any help was available to send.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Requests for support hardly equals expectation.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Why would an experienced SEAL and/or CIA officer mark a target with a laser if there was no one there to use the target marker?

Was he just hallucinating or imagining that there was air support available?

You’re becoming absurd.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Seriously, this is what you’re claiming happened, blink:

CIA guy on radio: ‘I need air support! Send anything you got, now!’

Washington DC: ‘We regret to inform you that no assets are available anywhere nearby. ETA on soonest availability is 7+ hours.’

CIA Guy — ‘Oh, OK! I’ll go outside with the laser designator and get shot at shining it on the target starting right now! I’m sure the battery will last 7+ hours! I’m sure there’s nothing else useful I could be doing with my time in the interim!’

Doesn’t seem quite credible to me.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Requests for support hardly equals expectation.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Why would an experienced SEAL and/or CIA officer mark a target with a laser if there was no one there to use the target marker?

Was he just hallucinating or imagining that there was air support available?

You’re becoming absurd.

Don’t know what did the strike-through above.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Overall, I think it’s worth the time to prevent Hot Air commenters from descending into a false narrative. There’s plenty of blame for the Obama administration about this without having to fabricate things.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:50 PM

.
My suggestion is we stop trying to get people who are only here to raise a hue and cry to think and respond intelligently.

We’ve raised the salient points and I think those who are going to hear what we are saying have already taken it in.

Besides, it’s not like the “leaks” on Benghazi are going to stop anytime soon … my guess is January 20, 2013 presuming the SCOAMF loses the election as I expect.

;->

PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

A military operation that occurs within 24 hours only happens because hundreds of people stayed awake for 24 hours coordinating the essential elements of the operation.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I should add that launching an irregular operation with 5 hours in the middle of the night is incredibly difficult to do.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

All I can say is that I’m so damned glad that you weren’t my FAC back in 1960s VietNam. I’d STILL be waiting for air cover.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

None of them have yet answered why the CIA officer allegedly broke doctrine by actively designating a target before confirming that air assets were available, in range, and prepared to fire on the marker.

As pointed out in the other thread, the jihadis in Afghanistan are able to use goddamn iPhones with IR camera attachments to spot our designator crews as soon as they go active, and direct counterfire against them. Which is exactly why the guy with the designator doesn’t start shining the beam until the last minute.

Chuckg on October 26, 2012 at 3:06 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

But at least they die TRYING,

That’s what MEN do.

Not sit around “waiting for more intel” and making excuses…or going to bed to be fresh for a fund raiser.

Stop trying to make excuses for a pack of cowards. Sometimes, operations are run with ‘less than optimal’ intel available.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

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

Bravesbill on October 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I didn’t say they were from Tripoli, now, did I?

Though, they did have to go to the safe house FROM THE AIRPORT. What were they doing at the airport? Why were they there?

You just keep trying to provide cover and excuses for a pack of cowards.

F***ing REMF

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:18 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

^^^THIS^^^

[See. Even Uncle Sam's Misguided Children are right about things sometimes. :-)]

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM

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’.

This would be true on an established CAS net. Surely you’re not claiming that there was an established CAS net, are you?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM

During the Granada invasion, one enterprising young soldier had to use his personal credit card and a PUBLIC TELEPHONE to call back to the States and request naval gunfire. When he finally got through, his calls were relayed and he co-ordinated the gunfire.

Would that constitute an established CAS net?

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Blink and Coward, Fox just blew up your position:

Bulletchaser on October 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

That article is long on reporter talk and short on details.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

BWAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:37 PM

No, there’s not.

It’s strange that you would directly lie like that.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM

So, after VFA-103 and VFA-32 rotated, they weren’t replaced.

It’s strange that you would directly lie like that.

I think the fumes from panetta’s ass are starting to effect you. Try unpuckering for a while. Get some air.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM

blink on October 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Either you are lying…trying to provide cover for other cowards…or every other military writer on the web is lying.

There were -18s and -130s available at Sigonella. You insistence of the contrary is either willful ignorance, stupidity, or blatant lying.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM

PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Stop trying to be so condescending. It’s not cute.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I’ve already answered this numerous times.

blink on October 26, 2012 at 3:56 PM

No. You haven’t. You’ve just made more excuses.

Solaratov on October 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Typical Risk-Adverse politician.

May God Save US!

Another Drew on October 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Is there even one person in this administration who isn’t a disgusting liar?

jqc1970 on October 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

“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…”

A far cry from “Ride to the sound of the guns.”

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM

As you’ve seen from my post and your comment, they just completely ignore the idea you can’t launch multiple assets for a coordinated attack on a 6 acre piece of land, at night no less, without prior planning. PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Was this combat or a pot bust?

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:14 PM

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.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:22 PM

As you’ve seen from my post and your comment, they just completely ignore the idea you can’t launch multiple assets for a coordinated attack on a 6 acre piece of land, at night no less, without prior planning. PolAgnostic on October 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

You forgot, we had a drone overhead supplying live video to persons unknown. What better intel would you want in a combat situation?

“Uh, 10,000 Chinese are coming over the hill sir!”

“Hmmm… Call a meeting of the emergency planning committee in twenty minutes.”

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

blink on October 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

NAS Sigonella supports a rotational VP squadron, an HC squadron, C-2, C-9, and C-130 detachments, shore-based fleet aircraft, transient NATO aircraft and U.S. Air Force transient aircraft. The Augusta Bay Port Facility provides fuel, and supplies to SIXTH Fleet combat and logistics support ships.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Fighter jets leaving from Sicily could reach Libya in around half an hour.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Yeah, I’m very familiar with Sig. Nothing at all about F-18s and AC-130s. Thanks. blink on October 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Shore-based fleet aircraft?

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

What fighter jets were in Sicily at the time of the attack? blink on October 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Yeah, I’m very familiar with Sig. Nothing at all about F-18s and AC-130s. Thanks. blink on October 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

As Investors Business Daily editorialized on October 24, “Within an hour’s flight time from Libya, at the large naval air station in Sigonella, Italy, and at bases in nearby Aviano and Souda Bay, were fighters and AC 130 gunships

And yes, I know that AC 130′s are not jets.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Well, I think the article named three bases and indicated what assets were located at the bases. Don’t assume that means that each base had each of these assets. blink on October 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM

But it’s clear that the “nearby bases” were, along with Sig, within an hour of Benghazi. Souda Bay, for instance, is closer than Sig.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

This sentence is terribly worded. Maybe this is the source of much confusion. Are people taking this to mean that Sigonella, Aviano, and Souda Bay each had fighters and AC-130s??? There is no way this is true. blink on October 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

That sentence is an example of perfectly clear English.

It’s up to you to prove otherwise, that fighter and or attack aircraft were not at these bases. Aviano doesn’t apear t be within an hour of Benghazi.

I’m not hostile blink, I’m just saying.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:54 PM

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.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I would think the people on the ground would have known what kinds of aircraft were available to them.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM

… HC-130P and AC-130U military transport planes and gunships crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 13 … The last reported stop for the aircraft was Souda Bay

So at least so far we can say that it wouldn’t be unusual for AC 130′s to have been there. And as you can see above, a request went out for one.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM

blink on October 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Ok.

“Within an hour’s flight time from Libya, at the large naval air station in Sigonella, Italy, and at bases in nearby Aviano and Souda Bay, were fighters and AC 130 gunships that can be extremely effective in dispersing crowds or responding to a terrorist assault.”

“Within an hour’s drive from my house, at a shoe store in Philly, and at grocery stores in Wilmington and Baltimore, were Florsheim shoes, grapes, and peanuts…”

A smart reader would figure out where to go for what.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

on Sept. 13 …

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM

How is this relevant?

blink on October 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

AC 130′s go there. It ain’t unheard of.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Via what means of communication? A series of statements made from one command or operations center to another? blink on October 26, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The CIA was involved in the communications. The answer was not, “We don’t have any fighters close enough,” it was, “No.” Delta Force was apparently staging, and told to stand down. There’s no reason to tell someone to stand down who hasn’t stood up.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Quite regularly, taking off from Souda Bay, in Crete, various types of “Special Hercules”, including MC-130Ps, MC-130Hs, HC-130P, and AC-130U gunships, performed day and night missions in the Libyan airspace whose purpose has yet to be fully unveiled.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

If this spotter site is reliable, game, set, match.

ITALY – NAS Sigonella
———————
130606 C-130J CAF noted 27mar
140105 CP-140 CAF noted 06apr
140117 CP-140 CAF noted 27mar/06apr
E-008 F-16AM Esk727
E-011 F-16AM Esk727 noted 6apr
E-016 F-16AM Esk727
E-074 F-16AM Esk727 noted 6apr
E-075 F-16AM Esk727
E-596 F-16AM Esk730
E-601 F-16AM Esk730
E-608 F-16AM Esk730
B-538 C-130J-30 Esk721 support 21mar
B-583 C-130J-30 Esk721 noted 27mar
13 ATL2 21/23F noted 06apr
14 ATL2 21/23F noted 27mar/06apr
MM62107 G222VS 71Gruppo noted 06apr
T.19B-05/4-05 CN.235M Spanish Navy noted 31mar
39227 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
39247 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
39249 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
39255 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
39261 JAS-39C F17 arr 02apr
39262 JAS-39C F17 arr 02apr
39263 JAS-39C F17 arr 02apr
39269 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
39270 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
39282 JAS-39C F17 arr 03apr
84001 Tp84 F7 support 02apr
84002 Tp84 F7 support 06apr
84004 Tp84 F7 support 02apr
84006 Tp84 F7 support 02apr
84007 Tp84 F7 support 06apr
84008 Tp84 F7 support 02apr
100001/001 OS100B TSFE noted 6apr
100008 Tp100C support 02apr
102001/021 Tp102A support 02apr
89-0035 F-16C THK noted 05apr
89-0037 F-16C THK noted 05apr
89-0038 F-16C THK noted 05apr
89-0040 F-16C THK noted 05apr
90-0007 F-16C THK noted 05apr
90-0009 F-16C THK noted 05apr
62-3539 KC-135 THK noted 05apr
93-0602 C-17A 437th AW noted 27mar
04-4133 C-17A 305th AMW noted 27mar
06-6161 C-17A 60th AW noted 27mar
89-1054 AC-130U 1st SOW c/s VICE** arr 25mar (EGUN 19mar-25mar) noted EGUN 02apr/LEFT
90-0163 AC-130U 1st SOW arr 25mar (EGUN 22mar-25mar) noted EGUN 02apr/LEFT
06-3171 C-130J 317th AG noted 27mar
2x RQ-4B 9th Wg/det4
156…/519 EP-3E VQ-2 noted 27mar/06apr
156529/529 EP-3E VQ-2 noted 27mar
157325/325 EP-3E VQ-2 noted 27mar
16…./LA-917 P-3C VP-5 noted 06apr
162777/LK-777 P-3C noted 27mar
163…/691 C-20D VR-1 noted 06apr
165836 C-40A VR-57 noted 06apr
165161/BD-161 C-130T VR-64 noted 06apr
165738/BH-738 KC-130J VMGR-252 noted 27mar/06apr
165810/BH-810 KC-130J VMGR-252 noted 27mar/06apr

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM

So if I said grapes were available at ACME a month ago, and last week, there’s little chance that they were there two weeks ago…?

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM

While I find all this posturing and the “I know more about armed forces stuff than you” exchanges fascinating, I was under the impression that somewhere there existed contingency plans for this type of scenario. And if so, why weren’t they followed?

sgtstogie on October 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM

sgtstogie on October 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Marines and Special Ops are force-in-readiness services. They are always ready to go at the drop of a hat, and we have Marines and Spec Ops literally within minutes of Benghazi.

Mine’s bigger than yours, BTW.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Your analogy is terrible. blink on October 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Uh, no, it’s perfect.

Seen this?

It’s well worth your time.

My cigar is done. Time to go.

Akzed on October 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Blink must be a POG of some variety.

I don’t understand the desperation to rationalise inaction. This was our ambassador for crying out loud.

Steven McGregor on October 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Disgraceful. You can hear Panetta struggling for the right weasel words. “Basic principle”? Yes there is one. The basic principle is to defend Americans. These people decided to ignore that basic principle. How much intel is enough intel? US soil was under attack by a poorly trained force of irregulars. Assets were in range. The heroes on hand had to ignore idiotic orders to kill 60 in a force made of half-wits. Put in a battalion or two and Libya could be the 58th state.

curved space on October 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Panetta reminds me of the response to Columbine.

Don’t send in the SWAT team until they are sure everyone is dead.

Mark was here on October 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

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