Gingrich: A “reliable Senator” tells me two networks have stand-down e-mails from Donilon’s office

posted at 12:01 pm on October 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via the Daily Caller, Newt Gingrich thinks that the Benghazi scandal might blow wide open over the next two days, thanks to e-mails that he claims two networks now possess from the office of the National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon.  According to a “reliable Senator” who tipped him to the information, Gingrich says that the e-mails came in response to the request to aid the consulate in Benghazi after the attack began, and asserted that the attack wasn’t a terrorist action and therefore didn’t need a response:

“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich said. “But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action. If that is true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that is true and comes out, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, and Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And that is, I think, very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”

That may not be the only scandal that Gingrich thinks will go prime time this week, either:

After noting that the rumor, if true, would have a substantial impact on the presidential election, Gingrich pointed to another possible “October surprise” in the coming days.

“The other big story, I think, that is going to break is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the president, in the solar panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week,” Gingrich added.

Well, why won’t the “reliable Senator” speak up about the e-mails directly?  I’d guess that the e-mails have been kept close to the vest at the White House end, but that someone on the other end in the intel community gave them to the “reliable Senator” either simultaneously as they were sent to the two networks, or the “reliable Senator” passed them along himself.  It’s all about plausible deniability on the leak, especially since we won’t see any action in the Senate on Benghazi until after the election — not because it’s Democratic-controlled, but because they’re all back home with Congress out of session for the election.

Gingrich could be fishing, but specifying that two networks have the e-mails makes it sound like Gingrich got some inside dope.  If these e-mails surface, it will create a huge headache for Barack Obama and the White House, which insisted that it didn’t deny assistance to Benghazi during the attack.  Donilon works in the White House, directly answering to Obama himself.  While Donilon would probably fall on his sword (or have an underling do so) if these e-mails say what Gingrich claims, there’s little chance that anyone will buy that Donilon or his staff took that decision on their own shoulders.

CNS News has another piece of the puzzle.  At the time that the consulate in Benghazi came under attack, Obama and Leon Panetta were in a meeting together.  What did they discuss?  The White House refuses to say:

President Barack Obama met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House on Sept. 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM—just 55 minutes after the State Department notified the White House and the Pentagon that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi was under attack.

The meeting between Obama, Panetta and Biden had been scheduled before the attack took place, and the Department of Defense is not commenting now on whether the three men were aware when they met that day of the ongoing attack or whether Obama used that meeting to discuss with his defense secretary what should be done to defend the U.S. personnel who at that very moment were fighting for their lives in Benghazi.

“Secretary Panetta met with President Obama, as the White House-provided scheduled indicates,” Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman, told CNSNews.com on Tuesday. “However, neither the content nor the subject of discussions between the President and his advisors are appropriate for disclosure.”

It’s impossible to imagine that the subject of the attack on the consulate didn’t come up in this discussion.  It’s also impossible to imagine that Donilon would have made the decision to “stand down” on his own while both the President and the Secretary of Defense were meeting in the White House after being notified of the attack.  It’s equally impossible to imagine that Panetta would have made that decision without checking with Obama during the meeting that we know they had an hour into the attack.

This leak, if it occurs, would show that the intel community has no intention of taking the fall for this debacle.  That leaves a very small number of people who could have made that decision — and who need to start explaining themselves ASAP.

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Are you 100% sure? Why not go directly from AVB and communicate thru the drone or other air asset? Just asking the question?

luckybogey on October 31, 2012 at 5:24 PM

luckybogey — you raise a good point, with the Predator on station. It would have been possible to move GPS coords around in the network and get the data to the F-16 HUD.

It’s conceivable the CIA security ops had hand-held devices on-hand with which to transmit digitized data as well. We don’t know for sure that GLD was their only target-designation option. That’s just the one that has been mentioned in media reporting.

I have had sympathy all along for the point that you can’t always mount unexpected ops on a dime, but the argument that we didn’t have the right capabilities within a rapid-deployment radius of the crisis location doesn’t wash.

J.E. Dyer on October 31, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Here’s an account that talks of a second Predator on station.

This is an interesting account, and it emphasizes that not just 4 Americans (the fatalities) but the total number including the CIA team could be as high as 24 US citizens ignored and left in harm’s way…

http://pjmedia.com/blog/it-wasnt-just-four-americans-abandoned-in-benghazi/?singlepage=true

OnlyOrange on October 31, 2012 at 5:41 PM

J.E. Dyer on October 31, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Thanks. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

The individual weapon system nodes are regionally focused and paired with their corresponding Air Force component numbered air force to provide critical processing, analysis and dissemination of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, data collected within the numbered air force’s area of responsibility.

However, globally networked capabilities enable the weapon system to execute missions beyond their area of responsibility. Each weapon system is able to accept data from any U-2, RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-9 Reaper or MQ-1 Predator operating anywhere in the world and analyze and disseminate accurate and timely intelligence globally.

Source: AF DCGS

luckybogey on October 31, 2012 at 5:47 PM

“The other big story, I think, that is going to break is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the president, in the solar panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week,” Gingrich added.

Looks like Gingrich was right about the DOE loans:

Emails show Obama admin used DOE loan money to help Harry Reid’s 2010 campaign

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released DOE emails today that compromise Obama’s position on two counts: one, the emails show that Obama himself was involved in approving loans; two, DOE officials were keenly aware of the political interests at stake, as they regarded the loans as a way for the White House to help Reid by giving him a way to brag about bringing federal money into Nevada.

steebo77 on October 31, 2012 at 5:52 PM

What????

How on earth can you make this claim? That’s exactly what it was – paraphrasing. He certainly didn’t seem to be providing a direct quote.

Accusing me of bias for saying that Chaffetz is incredibly strange.

I think the bias is with the AEI in putting forth a possible account they think will relieve Obama of responsibility, but that’s just my opinion.

But what bias would cause Wolfowitz to write this? The left labeled Wolfowitz an imperialist neocon.

blink on October 31, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Back in the early 90′s, people considered me a computer whiz. Now I am ashamed to say I have to get help from my daughter sometimes because the technology has passed me by. I think, from what J.E. says, the same thing happened with Wolfowitz.

It just seems to me that you are very willing to give the benefit of the doubt to people who have been lying to us for over six weeks. They do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. I think we can all agree that these questions can all be answered right now if anyone who knew was willing to talk. They aren’t. They lied and now they are trying to muddy the water so no one even knows what questions to ask. This is not how our government is supposed to act, and no one would put up with it if it were GW Bush.

Night Owl on October 31, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Takes some mud, some mud stir types and something that needs a mud cover.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 31, 2012 at 5:59 PM

If, according to Newt, a US Senator has the emails, why aren’t they made public yet? What’s illegal about that?

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Night Owl on October 31, 2012 at 5:54 PM

STOP. FEEDING. THE. TROLL. PLEASE.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 6:10 PM

steebo77 on October 31, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Overall, roughly $100 BILLION that we’ll never see again.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Let’s not forget that Tom Donilon is a political hack, a carryover from Carter, when he was a delegate counter and helped run the Carter machine as a young guy.

Donilon has no business being anywhere near nat security.

matthew8787 on October 31, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Donilon has no business being anywhere near nat security.

matthew8787 on October 31, 2012 at 6:15 PM

You can say that about everyone in current admin. Without exception.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Didn’t Gingrich also tell his first two wives “Til death do us part”? So who you gonna believe

plewis

I think he blamed his divorces on a Youtube video.

xblade on October 31, 2012 at 6:22 PM

luckybogey on October 31, 2012 at 5:47 PM

You’re welcome. DCGS would come into this from the air operations center to the F-16, but it’s more complicated on the drone side. From what I’ve seen, the first Predator on station was a CIA Predator launched from within Libya. Its feed doesn’t automatically go into DCGS. The data from the feeds of USAF Predators do. Air Force Predators are controlled out of Nellis AFB.

Getting a data feed from a CIA Predator to the F-16 would require coordination between the AFRICOM/EUCOM HQ in Vaihingen, Germany and the air ops center controlling the F-16s, which would be the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center in Ramstein.

I haven’t seen information on whose Predator the second one on-station was, only that it launched from Sigonella. If it was an Air Force Predator, the 603rd ASOC could get data updates directly via DCGS from Nellis and transmit them to the F-16.

J.E. Dyer on October 31, 2012 at 6:23 PM

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the worst of failures.”
George E. Woodberry

Or to paraphrase The worst failure is the failure to try.

Words to live by.

Spiff sends regards

SPIFF1669 on October 31, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I’ve been offline for most of the day. Has anyone discussed this?

Via Drudge>Politico:

The Tea Party gets a news site

The Tea Party News Network, self-described as “the only trusted news source and the antidote to mainstream media bias,” is already live but will announce its launch tomorrow morning, with plans to start live video on election day. TPNN claims to have a “war room of 40-plus volunteers” who will operate out of the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, and has established partnerships with the Talk Radio Network and radio host Rusty Humphries, who will be co-anchoring the election night coverage.

Link: http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/10/the-tea-party-gets-a-news-site-147862.html

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Didn’t Gingrich also tell his first two wives “Til death do us part”? So who you gonna believe

plewis

Didn’t Bubba Clinton shake his finger at the camera and tell the American People “I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN!!!!1111!!!!” (and he wasn’t talking about ‘Pantsuit”…or maybe he was…LOL)

Proof that THE MOST POPULAR democrat in the country lies to the American people…So, who you gonna believe?

Strike Hornet on October 31, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Link: http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/10/the-tea-party-gets-a-news-site-147862.html

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Just saw myself. I’ll make a stop at Venetian on 6th, should be interesting. I’m betting Adelson is bankrolling this.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 6:40 PM

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Just saw myself. I’ll make a stop at Venetian on 6th, should be interesting. I’m betting Adelson is bankrolling this.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 6:40 PM

I had the same thought about Adelson since it’s at the Venetian. Let us know what you find out!!

Are you going to drop Blink off somewhere? LOL

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 7:03 PM

I had the same thought about Adelson since it’s at the Venetian. Let us know what you find out!!

Are you going to drop Blink off somewhere? LOL

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 7:03 PM

A friend will be passing through Vegas on his way to hunting grounds in AZ, just emailed him to let him know we have another stop to make that night. I’ll try to find out if I can supply wine and cigars to the crew at Venetian to celebrate new network as well as GOP victory in elections. The least I can do for them.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 7:03 PM

A friend will be passing through Vegas on his way to hunting grounds in AZ, just emailed him to let him know we have another stop to make that night. I’ll try to find out if I can supply wine and cigars to the crew at Venetian to celebrate new network as well as GOP victory in elections. The least I can do for them.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM

That sounds awesome! Nice that you can travel. I’m trying to hold the fort down here in Ohio. Getting all my family to vote Romney/Mandel and friends as well. Have one friend that is clueless and seems to want to remain that way, but I’ll try again before the 6th.

Have a safe trip!!

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 7:28 PM

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 7:28 PM

We moved to Vegas from GULAG (aka Kaliphornian Khaliphate) earlier this year :-) Our travel to Venetian is about 20 minutes in traffic. Our big game hunter friend lives in GULAG and is a TEA Partier, so should be a great day on the 6th all around.

I really hope you guys do well in OH, from the numbers I am seeing we will all celebrate with OH going red next week. And Mandel should be a great pick up on so many levels. Thanks for doing us all a favor.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 7:38 PM

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I have read of a lot of people moving out of CA and this was even back in 2007. Yes I think spending a couple of days with Tea Party Patriots, watching the election and visiting the new TPNN will be great.

Ohio will be fine if we get turn out. We need it to overcome the Democratic Union Strongholds(Counties) Also we have a lot of prisons and they are mostly Union. Hopefully we’ll have a better turnout for Romney since many didn’t vote for McCain.

I have a good slogan: Defeat Reid, Vote Mandel; Defeat Reid, Vote Cruz and so on, LOL

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I have read of a lot of people moving out of CA and this was even back in 2007. Yes I think spending a couple of days with Tea Party Patriots, watching the election and visiting the new TPNN will be great.

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 8:27 PM

We’ll go either Sat or Sunday to see what’s going on at Venetian and if we can get more info and the set up. Will ask if they need any help with IT stuff, set up, etc.

OH wise, looks like you guys are doing a great job on all counts. Unless there is a wide fraud via rigged machines I think we’ll all be happy for Romney/Mandel next week.

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Drones are flown from many other places besides Nellis AFB

tank_killer69 on October 31, 2012 at 8:57 PM

riddick on October 31, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I’m sure they would appreciate any IT help you can offer. Startups and sites most always have bugs that need worked out:-)

On Ohio, Gov. Kasich is the best thing that’s happened to us here for years. He has a good House & Senate too working with him.

Not only in Ohio but other States that the races are close, it’s all about turnout. I would like to think that after 4 years of B.O., that shouldn’t be a problem:-)

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Drones are flown from many other places besides Nellis AFB

tank_killer69 on October 31, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Air Force Predator drones are controlled from Nellis for their mission execution. This is a separate function from providing ground support for the airframe. Predators launch from and recover at a lot of places.

Other drone platforms have different arrangements.

J.E. Dyer on October 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

DO NOT BLINK ITS JUST A MOTE IN YOUR EYE

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 31, 2012 at 10:40 PM

do not know any reliable Senators

do know some re li able ones though

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 31, 2012 at 11:21 PM

DO NOT BLINK ITS JUST A MOTE IN YOUR EYE

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 31, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Blink and you will miss it…

riddick on November 1, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Not only in Ohio but other States that the races are close, it’s all about turnout. I would like to think that after 4 years of B.O., that shouldn’t be a problem:-)

bluefox on October 31, 2012 at 9:11 PM

I just hope that Fiat keeps Jeep plant in OH. Would be ridiculous to allow them to move it after we gave them Chrysler for free and then gave them $4.5 BILLIOIN on top of it to “repay” government loan owed by Chrysler.

They can move it anywhere they want right after they return the $4.5 BILLION to us. And not a second before.

riddick on November 1, 2012 at 12:26 AM

The data from the feeds of USAF Predators do. Air Force Predators are controlled out of Nellis AFB.

I thought it was Creech? (Former Indian Springs Nellis – AUX.)

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on November 1, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Some Predators are also flown out of Minot AFB, ND…

OnlyOrange on November 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM

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