Report: Benghazi consulate determined in August that it might not withstand “coordinated attack”

posted at 8:41 pm on October 31, 2012 by Allahpundit

This is at least the third separate warning that State got from people in the field about security disintegrating in Benghazi in the last month or so before the assault. Fox News already reported that Stevens sent a cable on August 8 about a “security vacuum” in the city that freed jihadists to attack western targets like the Red Cross “with impunity.” On September 11, the day he was killed, he sent a separate message describing “growing problems with security” due to the weakness of Libyan government forces. What I hadn’t read anywhere until now is that there was a third warning, issued on August 16, focused specifically on the consulate’s defenses to a potential “coordinated attack.” The assessment: Grim. That was the state of play three weeks out from the anniversary of 9/11.

But wait. Why was the consulate suddenly so worried about being the target of a coordinated attack? Because:

“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable said.

According to a review of the cable addressed to the Office of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Emergency Action Committee was also briefed “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi … these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as the QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia, to ‘Takfirist thugs.’” Each U.S. mission has a so-called Emergency Action Committee that is responsible for security measures and emergency planning…

In addition to describing the security situation in Benghazi as “trending negatively,” the cable said explicitly that the mission would ask for more help. “In light of the uncertain security environment, US Mission Benghazi will submit specific requests to US Embassy Tripoli for additional physical security upgrades and staffing needs by separate cover.”…

While the administration’s public statements have suggested that the attack came without warning, the Aug. 16 cable seems to undercut those claims.

Eric Nordstrom had already asked for more security, more than once, before that meeting but got nothing. Evidently the knowledge that Al Qaeda was training in the same city as the consulate wasn’t enough to get State to spring into action either. The Department had no comment when Fox asked what they did during the three weeks in the interim between the emergency meeting and the attack to boost security. No comment either from the White House when four GOP senators sent them a letter today formally requesting more information about the attack. Quoth Kelly Ayotte: “We’ve written already half a dozen letters. … They’ve not answered us. They’re stonewalling us and I think they’re trying to run out the clock until this election.” Certainly, but there’s no reason to think they won’t keep stonewalling afterward even if they win the election. The media’s not going to go to red alert on this, even if they continue to cover it in dribs and drabs. It’s not just the amount of coverage, it’s the tone: Under a Republican president, this rolling clusterfark — before, during, and after — would be treated by press with all the contempt and fury it deserves. As it is, it’s more an occasion for chin-pulling over how curious the administration’s behavior seems. It can’t be that the Foreign Policy President was negligent in his most basic security responsibilities and has now gone quiet to cover his own ass before election day, so there must be another explanation. There must be. Any day now.

Here’s former Bush AG Michael Mukasey wondering why Obama needs an investigation before he reveals what he personally knew about the attack and whether he took any action to stop it.



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Inexcusable. While they’re all there crying crocodile tears. Disgusting.

Firefly_76 on October 31, 2012 at 9:27 PM

How cheerfully the Obama Regime seems to grin
How neatly it spreads it’s claws
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!

How doth the Obama crocodile
Spin it’s deceiving tale
And test the nation with mendacious bile
On such a grand scale!

Cheshire Cat on October 31, 2012 at 9:31 PM

The economy is in the tank. People are hurting worse than they have hurt since Carter. Energy/food prices are ridiculously high and getting worse. AND FOUR PEOPLE ARE DEAD BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF LEADERSHIP IN THIS ADMINISTRATION! *pardon my shouting*

How is this race even close?

My hope is that it isn’t really that hope. Remember that Carter v Reagan was supposedly close.

Gimme one of those outcomes.

predator on October 31, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Last week, a young Ranger (see blackfire 1/75 Ranger) was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valorous service. When his fellow Rangers needed help, he was there, he brought the fire, he held the enemy at bay, he carried his wounded and incapacitated squad leader to a helicopter to fly him off the objective….He took CARE of his fellow man, he didn’t turn his back and walk away and fly off to Vegas.

ted c on October 31, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Bad as this is, it’s not even close to the big issue. If it’s true that the “stand down” emails and video exist, the release of either or better yet both will blow this thing into stratosphere. MSM cannot suppress heartwrenching video of American heroes fighting for their lives, begging for back up, and being abandoned and left to die by craven bureacrats and political lizard brains in the White House.

Progressive Heretic on October 31, 2012 at 9:32 PM

blackfire= blackfiVe…

ted c on October 31, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I demand that Congress get a hold of these videos and radio calls, declassify them and put them out for the public to see.

We want the truth.

I demand it.

ted c on October 31, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Where do you live now?

Resist We Much on October 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Galt’s Gulch ;) hunkering down for the 11/7 riots.

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:25 PM

For sure never coming back now that my beautiful Long Beach NY was destroyed.

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:34 PM

The John Boehner House isn’t going to do Crapola!!!!

Obama could order arrest of House members themselves and Boehner would just cry and act all hurt at his press conference that the media would ignore.

And sorry folks NO WAY is the ever polite Mitt Romney going to prosecute anyone in the Obama administration.

PappyD61 on October 31, 2012 at 9:35 PM

But, apparently, someone thought they would be able to indefinitely withstand a “spontaneous protest”. Hence, they didn’t need any outside help when the “spontaneous protest” occurred, no matter how long the “spontaneous protest” lasted.

farsighted on October 31, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Where do you live now?

Resist We Much on October 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Galt’s Gulch ;) hunkering down for the 11/7 riots.

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:25 PM

For sure never coming back now that my beautiful Long Beach NY was destroyed.

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Pensacola is still beautiful… ;)

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Where do the MANPADs show up? In Syria via Turkey.

What does Assad have? An air force and MANPADs. If you take him down, then you replenish the MANPADs.

With that what does AQIM do? Go after the next target regime that they can soften up via terrorism and take down its air force with MANPADs. Choices open up after Syria, and al Qaeda is seen as the Strong Horse.

Libya will be in chaos.

Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso will see an influx of arms and disgruntled ethnicities, ripe for getting a civil war started. Which AQIM can support from places like Algeria.

Where does Hillary Clinton show up?

Algeria.

Why? To encourage it to get involved with the brewing ethnic strife in Mali.

How does everything that has been done from the start of the ‘Arab Spring’ not help al Qaeda?

ajacksonian on October 31, 2012 at 9:27 PM

ajackson:)
==========

Explosive Situation:
Qaddafi’s Abandoned Weapons and the Threat to Libya’s Civilians

MANPADS Man-portable air defense systems

http://harvardhumanrights.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/libyareport.pdf

canopfor on October 31, 2012 at 9:42 PM

My heart hurts..
Even when we rid ourselves of this evil mess-
The damage…
A path of destruction
everywhere we turn.
I find it hard to even comment anymore.

bazil9 on October 31, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Yeah, my blood’s so hot feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
The truth can be twisted, some have no moral regulation.
Trillions of dollars for security and all the rats produce is ruination
And lone voices alone can’t bring sane governation
When America’s security is so disintegratin’
All those derelict and lying bastards are just too frustratin’
And you tell me
Over and over and over again
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve of destruction

VorDaj on October 31, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Actually, in the WaPo poll from yesterday, 75% of those polled said that they had either heard or read a lot about it. 51% disapproved of Obama’s handling. 57% of Independents disapproved.

Resist We Much on October 31, 2012 at 9:03 PM

That’s encouraging news. The 75% number says that the major media outlets are losing their control of what gets out as news. It’s long past due.

predator on October 31, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Thanks, and agreed 125% !

Wow, fast thread. LOL.

pambi on October 31, 2012 at 9:43 PM

But, apparently, someone thought they would be able to indefinitely withstand a “spontaneous protest”. Hence, they didn’t need any outside help when the “spontaneous protest” occurred, no matter how long the “spontaneous protest” lasted.

farsighted on October 31, 2012 at 9:38 PM

One man for the Ma-Deuce.

Another man to get the ammo.

A third man to guard the ammo.

A few hundred thousand rounds of ammo.

Not indefinite, but I can guarantee you that after the bodies are piled up a few high, and you shoot through them to get at the ‘protestors’ the ‘spontaneity’ leaves right quick.

ajacksonian on October 31, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Bad as this is, it’s not even close to the big issue. If it’s true that the “stand down” emails and video exist, the release of either or better yet both will blow this thing into stratosphere. MSM cannot suppress heartwrenching video of American heroes fighting for their lives, begging for back up, and being abandoned and left to die by craven bureacrats and political lizard brains in the White House.

Progressive Heretic on October 31, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Any one of the issues surround this mess would have been enough for a full on Media Assault on the Bush Administration and one we’d have to support.

The security and intelligence failure going into the anniversary of September 11th in volatile Libya of all places is simply inexcusable. Though I agree that the issue of what was and was not done during the attack seems most important.

We don’t know who denied the additional security to the Ambassador. We don’t know who made what decisions regarding the safety of the four Americans that died. We don’t know who came up with the idea of a “spontaneous protest spurred by a youtube video that got out of hand” line or who made the decision to go with it (although we know that President Obama used it personally on the 12th and for weeks after).

The White House has screwed up so monumentally on almost every level possible with this situation. I’m actually starting to believe the rumors that Hillary Clinton was the big hero in all this that requested additional security for the Ambassador and used all the resources she had on the night of the attack to save as many lives as she could…that’s how desperate I am for hard facts at this point. Which…may say more about me than about the situation at hand I admit.

DeathtotheSwiss on October 31, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Seems pretty obvious the Obama admin was completely unprepared for and completely surprised by the coordinated attack on the consulate and the annex.

farsighted on October 31, 2012 at 9:46 PM

canopfor on October 31, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Only a few thousand of the 20,000 MANPADs have been found from Libya. Now they start to show up in Syria.

Libya is going into the pot, but that is al Qaeda doctrine at work.

Anyone who wants to DISARM the civilians is a murderer by exposing them to the threats of al Qaeda and malignant militias and ethnic payback without the ability to fight back. Yet that is what the UN and US State Dept. want…

ajacksonian on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Um, if there was gun running to Syrian rebels involved, without congressional authorization or knowledge (and I don’t profess to know anything about what is going on on that area), wouldn’t this be Iran-Contra on steriods, seeing as 4 Americans were murdered. Libs still — 30 years later — crow about Iran-Contra. You’d think SOME, SOME aspiring journalist would be interested in getting to the bottom of this!!!!!!!!!!!

Firefly_76 on October 31, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Combine Iran-Contra with Fast and Furious on a massive scale and you’d get the idea behind the coverup.

There are multiple scandals in this case.

1. The arms moving through Libya (US has lost track of the weapons)
2. Hiring Al-Queda affiliated militants and arming them
3. Refusing US security contractors for embassy and using British Security Contractors…who used locals ( some were Al Queda affiliated)

Next:
4. State withdraws security in Benghazi despite repeated requests by the security team to remain
5. Multiple attacks on US embassy & consulate as well as Western interests including an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador
6. Ambassador Stevens informs State, WH,DOD,CIA et,al. of increasingly unstable situation and is denied increased security
7. Local libyan security was not trained to respond adequately to attack, had variable experience and poorly screened

Then:

Benghazi attack on Sept. 11th & 4 Americans die and many others are wounded.
Major CIA operation is compromised & valuable intelligence lost or in the hands of Al Queda

Finally:

The lies and the coverup & Media Blackout to protect Obama and ensure his re-election.

A US citizen who made a stupid movie sits in jail so Hillary Clinton and Obama can trash our constitution at the UN and abroad to appease the feckless cowards who cave to our enemies.

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Thanks, and agreed 125% !

Wow, fast thread. LOL.

pambi on October 31, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Evening pambi. Yep, all we need is a means to get our message out. Even with the brainwashing that goes on in the school system, we can win them over. Common sense and decency can prevail.

*took me a while to respond, I’m listening to evil right wing tunes at joedanmedia.com*

predator on October 31, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The White House has screwed up so monumentally on almost every level possible with this situation. I’m actually starting to believe the rumors that Hillary Clinton was the big hero in all this that requested additional security for the Ambassador and used all the resources she had on the night of the attack to save as many lives as she could…that’s how desperate I am for hard facts at this point. Which…may say more about me than about the situation at hand I admit.

DeathtotheSwiss on October 31, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Whatever you think she did remember…she lied & trashed our constitution

They are all culpable because they continue the coverup

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Okay, haven’t read the comments yet, just what AP wrote, does anyone besides me want to know what the firetruck Amb. Stevens was doing there? If extra security has been requested three times and ignored, why did he go there on the anniversary of 9/11 with seemingly minimal security.

Cindy Munford on October 31, 2012 at 9:52 PM

A US citizen who made a stupid movie sits in jail so Hillary Clinton and Obama can trash our constitution at the UN and abroad to appease the feckless cowards who cave to our enemies.

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

This also galls me. Apart from the poor guy sitting in proson on trumped up charges… For the last several years, apparently, we’ve been slackening our resolve on the First Amendment at the UN, hinting to totalitarian theocratic regimes that we’ll go along with watered down UN resolutions calling on countries to disapprove (or outright criminalize) speech that is offensive to (certain) religious beliefs.

I’m just gobsmacked that today’s progressives have strayed so far from the formerly staunch liberal defense of free speech.

Firefly_76 on October 31, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Where do the MANPADs show up? In Syria via Turkey.

ajacksonian on October 31, 2012 at 9:27 PM

ajacksonian:

{ajackson} Oops,I apologize for screwing up your name,ahem!:)

canopfor on October 31, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Benghazi is indicative of a chaotic administration.

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

We don’t know who came up with the idea of a “spontaneous protest spurred by a youtube video that got out of hand” line or who made the decision to go with it (although we know that President Obama used it personally on the 12th and for weeks after).

Has to have been Valerie Jarrett. Who else?

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Has to have been Valerie Jarrett. Who else?

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Maybe the BS Csar…oh, that’s Valerie Jarrett…or Axlegrease.

Who is John Galt on October 31, 2012 at 9:55 PM

*prison

Firefly_76 on October 31, 2012 at 9:55 PM

{ajackson} Oops,I apologize for screwing up your name,ahem!:)

canopfor on October 31, 2012 at 9:53 PM

No problem… AJ works just as well.

Just don’t call me late for dinner…

ajacksonian on October 31, 2012 at 9:58 PM

A US citizen who made a stupid movie sits in jail so Hillary Clinton and Obama can trash our constitution at the UN and abroad to appease the feckless cowards who cave to our enemies.

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

This also galls me. Apart from the poor guy sitting in proson on trumped up charges… For the last several years, apparently, we’ve been slackening our resolve on the First Amendment at the UN, hinting to totalitarian theocratic regimes that we’ll go along with watered down UN resolutions calling on countries to disapprove (or outright criminalize) speech that is offensive to (certain) religious beliefs.

I’m just gobsmacked that today’s progressives have strayed so far from the formerly staunch liberal defense of free speech.

Firefly_76 on October 31, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Liberals think our Constitution is a living document open to interpretation as it suits them & they all want to be part of the cozy UN appeaser club..every one of them began political life during the 60′s – 70′s at the height of anti-american/anti-government counter culture…

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Predator asks:

“How is this race even close?”

Your question contains the answer. Block voting.

Mason on October 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Time to appoint a Special Prosecutor

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM

That’s what Bob Woodward says. He sure knows DC scandals and cover-ups. Let the MSM try calling him a right-wing partisan. He took down Nixon.

Resist We Much on October 31, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Yes Woodie said that, but was the fact that he said that covered anywhere outside of Fox News?

slickwillie2001 on October 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Time to crash… remember, everything that has gone on is to suit al Qaeda doctrine. All by the book that they wrote.

Too bad our lovely Leftists don’t bother to read it.

ajacksonian on October 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Dammit all, not quite sure my liver is gonna survive this election !!
Skin on my lips is/are already gone !
Dang !!

pambi on October 31, 2012 at 10:02 PM

pambi on October 31, 2012 at 10:02 PM

pambi, its going to be fine. You have your plan b right?

Bmore on October 31, 2012 at 10:09 PM

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Yep. That sounds about right.

bofh on October 31, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Be Very Afraid America!!! We now have a government in power that has NO press to answer to. WHAT THE HELL has happened to the press in this country? If Obama is re-elected next week, we all need to be very afraid as there is no one, short of people marching that will bring hold them accountable.

PleaseFlyOver on October 31, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffin have “confidential sources” that are showing them cables of a classified nature.

Keep doing that ladies and, sources…..tip them ladies well.

ted c on October 31, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Not Treason, but Dereliction of Duty. He failed mightily when tested and should be shunned by honorable men.

” Dereliction of duty is a specific offense under United States Code Title 10,892. Article 92 and applies to all branches of the US military. A service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties (or follow a given order) or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties.”

The Commander-In-Chier either ordered a “Stand Down” or did nothing and went to bed. Either way, a discrace.

Uniblogger on October 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Haven’t seen this posted here , but I may have missed it. Gateway Pundit has a story up that the

A treasure trove of secret documents has been obtained by a Libyan source…

It shows that in supporting the removal of Gadhafi, the Obama administration seemed to sign on to an arrangement that left forces loyal to Al-Qaeda in charge of security at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli from 2011 through at least the spring of 2012.

The National Transitional Council, which represented the political apparatus that opposed Gadhafi in 2011 and served as the interim government after his removal, made an extremely curious appointment in August of 2011. That appointment was none other than Abdel Hakim Belhaj, an Al-Qaeda ally and ‘brother.’http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/

Deanna on October 31, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Not Treason, but Dereliction of Duty. He failed mightily when tested and should be shunned by honorable men.

” Dereliction of duty is a specific offense under United States Code Title 10,892. Article 92 and applies to all branches of the US military. A service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties (or follow a given order) or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties.”

The Commander-In-Chier either ordered a “Stand Down” or did nothing and went to bed. Either way, a discrace.

Uniblogger on October 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

If Obama is selling weapons to Al Queda I’d call that treason

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 11:04 PM

ajacksonian: Your theory is not farfetched at all. Obysmal crows about “having AlQaeda on the run.” Indeed, it is on the run; it is running amok, and Obysmal has set the dominoes in motion.

onlineanalyst on October 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM

While the administration’s public statements have suggested that the attack came without warning, the Aug. 16 cable seems to undercut those claims.

Ten militia and AQ training camps in Benghazi should have been enough of a warning by itself to beef up security at Benghazi…BIG TIME…..and it’s just one more in the long list of warnings the Obama administration had prior to the attack. Weren’t we told by Hillary and Carney again and again how there was “no actionable intelligence” beforehand that could have helped in preventing this? Well…add that to the BS that’s piling up…if this cable doesn’t qualify as actionable…then I don’t know what would. Were they all waiting for a a bunch of murdering thugs to call to say they were planning on stopping by?

lynncgb on October 31, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Well this is disturbing..according to Paul Wolfowitz in an article for AFI General Ham didn’t have any assets to send to Benghazi…(Smith cites the article)

” According to this claim, the Africa command (based in Europe) had no assets to which it could turn. None. Contrary to reports (that I have cited), there were no Delta operators at Sigonella. There was no AC-130, there wasn’t even Marine Force Recon, again, contrary to published reports that I have cited.

They were apparently all in the field, deployed across Africa. No one was available. There were no air assets available to assist the poor souls at Benghazi. Not even an MP or cook could have responded from Sigonella. The base (the American side of it, anyway) was a ghost town. The closest asset was … the Eastern coast of the United States.

I don’t believe it. I’m not saying that I don’t believe Wolfowitz, but I don’t believe his sources. How the hell does one run Africa command with no assets at your disposal? Besides, this answer is too easy to produce and then move on after the furor dies down…”

http://www.captainsjournal.com/2012/10/31/so-what-were-the-assets-available-for-benghazi/

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 11:56 PM

SEALs assumed that there was going to be a gunship overhead…..

Why did they assume that? Do you know why? It’s SOP! Troops in contact NEED air support, that’s it! it was denied.

No air assets mobilized to support, maybe observe, but not provide FIRE SUPPORT!

ted c on October 31, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Ty Woods was painting a mortar target with and LGD (Laser Guided Designator) at the time he was killed. An LGD can only paint a target AFTER it is synced with a firing-capable asset, like an AC 130 or drone. Thus, he didn’t “assume” anything, he’d locked on to it, all the confirmation he needed. Hence, help was there, but someone apparently stood the assets down.

When you paint a target, there are only a few seconds before the enemy you’re painting can detect your position if they have some basic tech, which these guys did. Woods knew this, but did it anyway, again thinking that he had a confirm from the strikes.

Bottom line, whoever ordered the stand down, has his and the three others on their hands.

TXUS on November 1, 2012 at 12:12 AM

A President is responsible for this horrific debacle.
The MSM is actively squelching the story.

Who would have imagined this not so long ago?

When is someone going to do some serious investigation of the media in this country?
When is the country going to realize that they truly are the enemy within and rise up to defeat them?

justltl on November 1, 2012 at 12:30 AM

workingclass artist on October 31, 2012 at 11:56 PM

You didn’t accurately convey Wolfowitz’s article. He says that the European based assets arrived in Sig too late to help, and he implied that it was believed that F-16s out of Aviano would have had “difficulty” putting ordnance on target in the middle of a confused firefights in an urban environment.

I don’t believe it.

I’m sure you don’t. Obviously, many people don’t. Wolfwoitz’s sources could be wrong, but it sounds believable to me.

blink on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 AM

I quoted the blogger and cited the link so anybody could read it…that’s why I used quotation marks.

The only opinion I offered was that it was damned disturbing…

This whole Benghazi Scandal grows more damned disturbing by the day

workingclass artist on November 1, 2012 at 1:24 AM

From the Wolfowitz AEI article…

“The military’s most capable rescue force, based on the East Coast, was deployed immediately (something that is very rarely done), but – given the distances involved – arrived at Sigonella only after the crisis was over.

Also, the European command (EUCOM) deployed its number one counter terrorism force, which was training in central Europe, as quickly as possible, but it arrived in Sigonella after the evacuation of the Annex was complete.

Other special forces deployed to Sigonella but arrived on the 12th after it was too late to make a difference in Benghazi.

There was no AC-130 gunship in the region.

The only drone available in Libya was an unarmed surveillance drone which was quickly moved from Darna to Benghazi, but the field of view of these drones is limited and, in any case, this one was not armed.

The only other assets immediately available were F-16 fighter jets based at Aviano, Italy. These aircraft might have reached Benghazi while the fight at the Annex was still going on, but they would have had difficulty pinpointing hostile mortar positions or distinguishing between friendly and hostile militias in the midst of a confused firefight in a densely populated residential area where there would have been a high likelihood of civilian casualties. While two more Americans were tragically killed by a mortar strike on the Annex, it’s not clear that deploying F-16’s would have prevented that. In any case, the decision not to do so was made by the tactical commander, General Ham, as it should have been.

If all of this is true, then it would appear that the US national security team was doing everything they thought possible to protect the Americans in Benghazi. There is room to debate the decision not to deploy F-16’s – they might have intimidated the attackers, even without dropping bombs – but there is no indication that anyone was following Panetta’s strange “principle.” To the contrary, armed personnel (mainly CIA) did go into harm’s way from the Annex to the Consulate and from Tripoli to Benghazi even without a clear picture of the situation…

In any case, there are many other things about administration policy, behavior, and conduct that deserve to be challenged, including:

The persistent misleading comments about the motives of the attackers.

- The failure to do more in advance to respond to the evidence – including pleas by Ambassador Stevens himself – to provide better security for US facilities in Benghazi or for the Embassy in Tripoli.

- The low priority given to AFRICOM – which had hardly any forces assigned to it – despite growing evidence since the start of the Arab uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya almost two years ago that the governments in those countries (particularly in Libya) were incapable of providing adequate security…”

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/10/distrust-but-verify/

workingclass artist on November 1, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Obama is going to join O.J. to find who’s really responsible for the Benghazi disaster.

profitsbeard on November 1, 2012 at 2:32 AM

I read that Hannity made reference to audio tapes recorded during the attack and he said they were “Damning.”

Has there been any more news on them?

With the small security force the embassy had, it could not have withstood ANY sort of attack.

dogsoldier on November 1, 2012 at 5:49 AM

Four people are dead. The White House does not provide adequate answers and explanations. How can any American voter come to the conclusion that this Commander in Chief deserves another term? How can they trust a man like that to protect the US?

Antivenin on November 1, 2012 at 6:40 AM

..according to Paul Wolfowitz in an article for AFI General Ham didn’t have any assets to send to Benghazi…

The administration hasn’t already proven themselves to be undeserving of any benefit of the doubt. They have been untrustworthy and unhelpful. The article by Paul Wolfowitz flies in the face of what we have been told by Jason Chaffetz…who spoke directly with Gen. Ham. According to the Congressman, Gen. Ham had the resources and had proximity. I have no reason to suspect that he has been misinformed by the General.

And what the heck is with Wolfowitz using the awkward wording “leaning forward” in his attempt to describe the actions of the administration the night of the attack? Who uses that distinct phraseology except for Obama cheerleaders?

lynncgb on November 1, 2012 at 9:54 AM

The administration hasn’t = the administration HAS

lynncgb on November 1, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Hi blink…Well, Chaffetz believes in his own truth too.

I’m at the point of being more than disgusted with the all the conflicting information that has been surrounding this entire debacle. I’ve passed the point of giving any credibility to anything that suggests the administration attempted to do the right thing during the attack. There is too much factual evidence that shows without a doubt, that they did nothing to prevent this all from happening and we all know the administration has lied, and delayed and continues to conceal the truth about Benghazi after the fact. What possible reason do I have to believe they really gave it their best shot when it came to helping our people that got stuck in the middle of this horrific attack…because I don’t have one?

Forgive my lack of knowledge when it comes to military terminology. I have heard the phrase “forward leaning” many times…but this new term I had never heard before the O campaign.

lynncgb on November 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Comment pages: 1 2