Pentagon releases Benghazi timeline: took 19 hours to respond

posted at 8:31 am on November 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Ah, the Friday night news dump, a tradition that transcends party in Washington DC.  Is there nothing it can’t underplay?  Yesterday, more than two months after the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi left four Americans dead and the American response a confused mess, the Pentagon finally got around to releasing its version of the timeline of military response to the crisis to the Associated Press — when most newspapers and broadcast networks had closed up shop for the day.  Small wonder, too, because the timeline showed that it took 19 hours for military assistance to arrive (via Twitchy):

New Pentagon details show that the first U.S. military unit arrived in Libya more than 15 hours after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was over, and four Americans, including the ambassador, were dead.

A Defense Department timeline obtained by The Associated Press underscores how far the military response lagged behind the Sept. 11 attack, due largely to the long distances the commando teams had to travel to get to Libya.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his top military adviser were notified of the attack about 50 minutes after it began and were about to head into a previously scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama. The meeting quickly turned into a discussion of potential responses to the unfolding situation in Benghazi, where militants had surrounded the consulate and set it on fire. The first wave of the attack at the consulate lasted less than two hours. …

But there have been persistent questions about whether the Pentagon should have moved more rapidly to get troops into Libya or had units closer to the area as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America approached. In particular, there was at least a 19-hour gap between the time when Panetta first ordered military units to prepare to deploy – between midnight and 2 a.m. local time in Tripoli – and the time a Marine anti-terrorism team landed in Tripoli, which as just before 9 p.m.

Why so long?  The Pentagon claims that the situation was “murky,” that they didn’t understand whether a hostage situation might develop, and also claimed not to have been aware of any specific threats.  That would be news to anyone following the Benghazi story in some depth.  Ambassador Chris Stevens warned repeatedly of threats to the Benghazi mission for months, requesting more security.  On the day of the attack, three hours before it began and roughly five hours before Stevens was killed, the Benghazi consulate alerted State that radical Islamist terrorists had begun “gathering weapons and gathering steam,” plus a note that their security team of Libyan militia had taken pictures inside the compound for no apparent reason earlier that day.

Put this in the context of the date and place.  The attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11, when we expect terrorist activity to take place in celebration of their biggest victory over the US.  It took place in Benghazi, where the US government and everyone else knew these terrorist groups acted openly, having been freed from the oppression of the Qaddafi regime by Barack Obama and NATO a year earlier.  The Benghazi mission was in the middle of a city that had no effective government control.  And the reason that the Pentagon couldn’t anticipate the attack on Benghazi and have its assets positioned for immediate response, with all of the above intel, would be … ?

Panetta said that based on a continuous evaluation of threats, military forces were spread around Europe and the Middle East to deal with a variety of missions. In the months before the attack, he noted, “several hundred reports were received indicating possible threats to U.S. facilities around the world” and noted that there was no advance notice of imminent threats to U.S. personnel or facilities in Benghazi.

If that’s true, then what did the State Department and Hillary Clinton do with all of those warnings from Stevens about Benghazi, including the one from earlier that day?  Did Clinton and State never bother to inform Panetta?  That seems to be what the Pentagon timeline and the AP’s reporting suggests — that the first time that Panetta thought there was a credible threat against the Benghazi consulate was in the meeting with Obama 50 minutes after the attack started.

John McCain, for one, isn’t buying that explanation:

His explanation, however, did not satisfy McCain. In a statement Friday, McCain said Panetta’s letter, “only confirms what we already knew – that there were no forces at a sufficient alert posture in Europe, Africa or the Middle East to provide timely assistance to our fellow citizens in need in Libya. The letter fails to address the most important question – why not?”

Why not, indeed?  Why did the US get caught with its pants down on the anniversary of 9/11 in what had widely been known as Terrorist Central, a situation directly caused by American and NATO intervention in Libya 17 months earlier?  State is pointing fingers at the CIA and Pentagon, intel is pointing theirs back to State, and now so is the Pentagon.  But this all begins at the White House and an apparent lack of curiosity about the wide-open environment provided to terrorist groups by our decapitation of the Qaddafi regime and the security consequences for American interests.

All of the Friday night document dumps in the world won’t cover for that.  And I can’t help but wonder who’s sex scandal will distract from the next Friday night document dump when it occurs.


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doesn’t matter.

rob verdi on November 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

So how long before Panera Bread and Hillary get dragged before Congress to testify? Ultimately that’s gonna have to happen cuz the failure lies with one of them(unless they’re all covering for Barry).

Doughboy on November 10, 2012 at 8:37 AM

R’s will be rolled again. This party disgusts me. I registered as an Independent.

Mr. Arrogant on November 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Nothin to see here…move along…

Tim Zank on November 10, 2012 at 8:40 AM

…it took 19 hours for military assistance to arrive (via Twitchy)

They arrived via Twitchy?!? (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

KS Rex on November 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM

The Patraeus bomb has dirty David Axelrod’s prints all over it.

wepeople on November 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM

19 hours equal 19 years to find out the truth.

docflash on November 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Our beloved President, Barack Hussein Obama (mmm,mmm,mmm) had the situation well in hand. His own hand was ready to descend upon the forces of darkness working against his people in Libya. Unfortunately his people in Libya were weaker than dear leader and succumbed before he was able to save them.

/s

Just practicing for the coming four years. Yeah, it’s not working for me.

AZfederalist on November 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM

There was a time when we could deliver almost an entire airborne division almost anywhere in the world in about 24 hours.

Now apparently we can’t deliver a platoon of highly trained special forces or commando types to a Muslim coastal city on the one of the most heavily traveled seas in the world in less than 19 hours, in a world where the US is at war with Islamist terrorists who wish to murder as many Americans as they can wherever in the world they can find them and get at them. Smart Power, Arab Spring, Muslim outreach, etc.

But Benghaizi is not important, yawn. Those cool super smart TV “journalists” don’t think its important. So who cares really anyway? Let’s go shopping or talk about something important, like the latest episode of Dancing With the Stars, or the next scheduled appearance of Our Glorious Dear Leader on a pop TV talk show, or what other free stuff we can get from the government.

farsighted on November 10, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I wouldn’t be too quick to lay this one on the Axe. Petraeus was not an honorable man and the 0ministration has no problems with dishonorable types.

clnurnberg on November 10, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Look, Corruption is the order of the day, Republicans cannot waste political capital on reforming government and preventing the rising tide of disaster. All energy needs to be focused on protecting core interests for GOP voters. That was the lesson of 2012, why do you think Obama won, because he was looking out for the nation, or his loyalists?

rob verdi on November 10, 2012 at 8:52 AM

The defense department and its generals are as corrupt as the rest of the administration . . . why should be believe anything they say?

rplat on November 10, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Well, at least 0bama didn’t have to blackmail Panetta.
He has always voluntarily been a lying hack and toady for whatever Democrat is in power

LegendHasIt on November 10, 2012 at 8:55 AM

It’s always been a matter of timing.

kingsjester on November 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

If General’s affair was supposed to distract us from Benghazi, it has failed. I gave it a brief glance and moved on.

jakev on November 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Sadly, the mindless voters of the country just don’t care about this story. Exit polls showed less than 10% of the electorate considered Benghazi an important matter. We now live in a “what’s in it for me” culture where the majority of people only care about issues that affect them directly. That list of issues doesn’t include Benghazi.

Honestly, I believe Obama could be caught on videotape gleefully torturing kittens and his supporters would still vote for him. So why would they care how negligent the Obama administration was in this episode where four patriotic Americans lost their lives?

frank63 on November 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Just another reminder to Americans that when you’re under fire and seconds count, Obama is just hours away from making a gutsy call.

CitizenEgg on November 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Victor Davis Hanson notices a number of newsy events that coincidentally occurred only after the election:

But just days after this Tuesday, we are already beginning to hear of all sorts of “sudden” news: the Iranian attack on a U.S. drone; the plight of the Hurricane Sandy victims (400,000 still without power? gas rationing, tens of thousands homeless, exposure to cold?, etc.) as much more severe than we were led to believe; the sudden publicity of the “fiscal cliff”; and the Benghazi hearings. In that unfortunate politicized landscape comes the Petraeus bombshell.

It’s all just a bunch of boring political stuff, though, and the low-information Obama voters couldn’t care less, even if they found out about it – which they won’t.

Drained Brain on November 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Whatever. Obama could pistol-whip a nun in the middle of Times Square and the press wouldn’t hold him accountable for it.

CrustyB on November 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Obama is hellbent on making America into Greece no matter what the bodycount is.

tom daschle concerned on November 10, 2012 at 9:01 AM

there’s a lot of cynicism about the press here

It’s not as if there’s recent precedence where multiple American deaths connected to the President were completely ignored…wait, nevermind

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Ed, what the AP story actually says is that it took 19 hours after attack ended for Marine anti-terror team to arrive in TRIPOLI.

Tripoli is over 300 miles from Benghazi.

In particular, there was at least a 19-hour gap between the time when Panetta first ordered military units to prepare to deploy – between midnight and 2 a.m. local time in Tripoli – and the time a Marine anti-terrorism team landed in Tripoli, which as just before 9 p.m.

manofaiki on November 10, 2012 at 9:06 AM

On the day of the attack, three hours before it began and roughly five hours before Stevens was killed, the Benghazi consulate alerted State that radical Islamist terrorists had begun “gathering weapons and gathering steam

According to the reports I’ve read, the terrorists were doing a lot more than that. Hours before the attack began, they were setting up roadblocks and weapons checkpoints all around the consulate; they made no effort whatsoever to hide their plan to attack it. All the neighbors knew an attack was coming, but somehow the geniuses in the Obama administration didn’t.

AZCoyote on November 10, 2012 at 9:07 AM

The Patraeus bomb has dirty David Axelrod’s prints all over it.

wepeople on November 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Yup. Read the second entry here. What better place to drop bread crumbs than the New York Times?

Pablo on November 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Whatever. Obama could pistol-whip a nun in the middle of Times Square and the press wouldn’t hold him accountable for it.

CrustyB on November 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM

She had it coming. Also, she’s a racist.

Pablo on November 10, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Why did the SEALS defy Obama’s orders to “stand down”?

Axelstash can’t sheild Urkel from the truth.

Key West Reader on November 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM

19 hours? Come on. What the hell is going on in Washington? When you get notice that your people are under attack, you are supposed to get help there right away. 19 hours is totally unsat.

SoulGlo on November 10, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Why did the US get caught with its pants down

You referring to GEN Patreus?

Dingbat63 on November 10, 2012 at 9:12 AM

islamophobic

the nun was islamophobic

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:12 AM

The meeting quickly turned into a discussion of potential responses to the unfolding situation in Benghazi

Are you kidding me? There is only one response, send in the military to assist, and then hunt them down and kill them! There are no other responses to this. The military and DOS have done Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) in the past, and this time would have been no different. NEO’s can be conducted in hostile environments. I have trained to do these in hostile evironments when I was in the military. Most importantly, they are also conducted in Uncertain Evironments.

c. Uncertain Environment. An operational environment in which host government forces, whether opposed or receptive to the NEO, do not have total effective control of the HN territory and population. Because of the uncertainty, the JFC may elect to reinforce the evacuation force with additional security units or a reaction force. Approved ROE are disseminated early to ensure that the joint force has knowledge of and is sufficiently trained and proficient in application of the ROE. Planning for NEOs conducted in an uncertain environment must always include the possibility for escalation to a hostile environment.

d. Hostile Environment. Noncombatants may be evacuated under conditions ranging from civil disorder, to terrorist action, to full-scale combat. Under such conditions, the JTF must be prepared for a wide range of contingencies. The JFC may elect to deploy a sizable security element with the evacuation force or position a large reaction force, either with the evacuation force or at an intermediate staging base (ISB). In addition to normal functions associated with noncombatant evacuations (embarkation, transportation, medical, and services), the JTF may be required to conduct a forcible entry operation, establish defensive perimeters, escort convoys, participate in personnel recovery (PR) operations, and perform the screening of evacuees normally accomplished by DOS officials.

The consulate was uncertain, and in a full scale terrorist attack. NEO operations should have been instituted immediately when they president and his leadership heard about the attack, which turns out 50 minutes after it happened. Forces could have been there in a matter of hours, if they had wanted them to be. They let them die. Period.

Patriot Vet on November 10, 2012 at 9:15 AM

When minutes count for diplomats, the Barky administration is only hours away.

Thomas More on November 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Maybe we need to ask for Panetta’s resignation as well.

scalleywag on November 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

due largely to the long distances the commando teams had to travel to get to Libya.

Back to this BS.

The only US asset that could possibly be of assistance was apparently a SEAL team based in Norfolk, VA. Uh, please.

We had transport and combat infantrymen in Italy.

Oh we couldn’t deploy them because we didn’t have a clear picture of what was going on?

As a Marine buddy of mine said, BULLSH*T.

CorporatePiggy on November 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM

nothing’s gonna happen!

ferblankssake, the press make a bigger deal out of the “47% video” and Rick Perry’s Racist Rock than Benghazi

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Whatever. Obama could pistol-whip a nun in the middle of Times Square and the press Democrat Propaganda Machine wouldn’t hold him accountable for it.

CrustyB

FTFY

sandbagger on November 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM

the first U.S. military unit arrived in Libya more than 15 hours after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was over

Absolutely pathetic! The entire Joint Chiefs should step down over this. If we can’t send troops into one of our own consulates, which is american soil, in time to rescue our personnel there, then we might as well close up shop at State. We have troops and planes stationed all over the world, there is no reason why troops couldn’t have been sent in in the first few hours.

Patriot Vet on November 10, 2012 at 9:21 AM

And I can’t help but wonder who’s sex scandal will distract from the next Friday night document dump when it occurs.

“whose”

disa on November 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

19 hours?
You wait 19 hours because of a murky situation on the ground?

Who cares? Why don’t you get your assets in the air and on the way while you’re waiting for more information?

How much to bring if you don’t know?

EVERYTHING!

Does a civilian have to figure this out?

itsspideyman on November 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

May as well start now.

For the next four years, I’ll be responding, “I didn’t vote for these clowns.”

I really hope Obama voters get torched in the next four years.

BuckeyeSam on November 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Is anyone as fed up with the corrupt media and craven Democrats as much as I am?

Good God, I don’t even want to read about this crap anymore.

disa on November 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Quick question because I know I’m a dumbass, and I don’t understand all this sophisticated stuff!

IF the Pentagon, DOD, the Military, the CIA, the State Department, & the White House are all saying they had no idea of the threat situation in Benghazi for apparantley months leading up to the attack on the consulate, then WHY did they have a “secret” CIA Annex (obviously only “secret” to the American people, as the Jihadis appear to have known about it!); who’s job we’ve been told was to gather intel ON ALL THE JIHADIS IN THE FEAKING AREA, as well as probably coordinate the ASININE POLICY OF SELLING THE JIHADIS ARMS TO THE JIHADIS IN SYRIA!!

Why hasn’t anyone brought up this OBVIOUS LIE!

Thank you!

Dale in Atlanta on November 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Is anyone as fed up with the corrupt media and craven Democrats as much as I am?

Good God, I don’t even want to read about this crap anymore.

disa on November 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

I agree.

MSM slogan: “Others investigate and document; we ignore.”

BuckeyeSam on November 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Is anyone as fed up with the corrupt media and craven Democrats as much as I am?

Good God, I don’t even want to read about this crap anymore.

disa on November 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

yeah, but no matter how frustrated we get, we don’t walk into a FRC in Washington and shoot someone

cause we’re reasonable, sane human beings :) hold onto that

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

19 hours? Aircraft could have made it from Italy in 2 hours.

The Democrats were all over Bush after 9/11 for not connecting the dots. They couldn’t even read the writing on the wall of the consulate.

GarandFan on November 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Say you’re the commander in chief and you accept the resignation of your CIA director for having an affair with a married woman. Then the Pentagon drops documents (after two long months and a presidential election) saying that it took almost an ENTIRE DAY to get help to our embassy once you knew they were under attack. Who really needs to resign here? ALL OF THEM. For the love of God, can this administration get any worse? No wonder the big Oaf is running off to Asia. We should lock the doors and never let him back.

scalleywag on November 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Can anyone tell me how to get rid of the annoying Vote Now pop up that keeps coming up and I can’t close. It is driving me crazy. I am in the Middle East right now and don’t have anyone to help me out on this. thanks folks.

hip shot on November 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Why hasn’t anyone brought up this OBVIOUS LIE!

Thank you!

Dale in Atlanta on November 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

It is dubious that we were selling arms to the jihadis in Syria, or the Libyans before them. They probably didn’t have the cash so we probably gifted it to them, much as we gifted weapons to the Afghans in the 80s.

CorporatePiggy on November 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Thank you!

Dale in Atlanta on November 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

No, thank you. That’s it in a nutshell. Incompetence beyond the pale and they should all be thrown out. ALL of them from top down. I apologize to every member of the military for the failure of our leaders. It breaks my heart for them.

scalleywag on November 10, 2012 at 9:35 AM

this just in: Mitt Romney almost won Pennsylvania, but 150% of the Philly vote turned the tide for Barack Obama

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Quick question because I know I’m a dumbass, and I don’t understand all this sophisticated stuff!

IF the Pentagon, DOD, the Military, the CIA, the State Department, & the White House are all saying they had no idea of the threat situation in Benghazi for apparantley months leading up to the attack on the consulate, then WHY did they have a “secret” CIA Annex (obviously only “secret” to the American people, as the Jihadis appear to have known about it!); who’s job we’ve been told was to gather intel ON ALL THE JIHADIS IN THE FEAKING AREA, as well as probably coordinate the ASININE POLICY OF SELLING THE JIHADIS ARMS TO THE JIHADIS IN SYRIA!!

Why hasn’t anyone brought up this OBVIOUS LIE!

Thank you!

Dale in Atlanta on November 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Though they had even been warned about jihad militants .

The fact that secrecy only effects the American people and not the (supposed) enemy says a lot…

the_nile on November 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Impeach . Forget Senate trial non sense. Do what is right in the eyes of God And let the
cards fall where they fall.

hillsoftx on November 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Great news for our servicepeople: when you get in a pinch, help is only 24hrs. away. Also, you get free birth control from the American taxpayer. What a great country.

hoosiermama on November 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

I’ve seen the FLIR footage from a C130 Spectre gunship taking out terrorists that were setting roadside bombs. They can nail those guys with 50-cal from 5000 feet up, and they have a 103mm cannon that can drop a round into a laundry basket. Youtube videos of the C130 in action abound.

They could have had a C130 over the site in less than an hour and used it to take out the mortars and anyone firing on the consulate or the safe house. Someone chose not to.

iurockhead on November 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

The GOP only impeaches for extra marital BJs

this is just dead Americans

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I don’t know why Boehner doesn’t go to Obama with a deal …

1. You give the GOP everything we want on the “fiscal cliff” and …

2. WE drop all inquiry into Benghazi.

Then again – I know why he won’t do it – because Obama won’t take the deal.

He knows the GOP will drop Benghazi anyway.

HondaV65 on November 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

GOP pols are suckers and saps.
They will get rolled by the Chicago mafia.
McCain and others are just house servants on the Obama Plantation.

SayNo2-O on November 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

And obama was joking about horses and bayonets.

No point in having ships going under water if their not on site.

the_nile on November 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The GOP only impeaches for extra marital BJs

this is just dead Americans

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

LOL! Correct!

What’s amazing to me is – they don’t want to impeach anymore because they’re afraid they’ll lose votes.

Last time they impeached – they won back the White House the next election! LMFAO!!

AND THEY KEPT BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS!!

HondaV65 on November 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

McCain and others are just house servants on the Obama Plantation.

SayNo2-O on November 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Yup , nothing to fear.

the_nile on November 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Since we don’t and probably won’t ever know the truth of what occurred, we are only left with more questions than answers. How long has the FBI been sitting on the affair, why was she/author given, had to be by the bosses in the Pentagon who get their marching orders from the cinc, permission to travel to a war zone for interviews of a very busy soldier/general for a book she was going to write and then seduce him if possible for an affair which could be used later to discredit said general. Remember when he was being touted as a possible gop contender? Get the dirt early to be used when he could have been our nominee might have been the plan. Panetta didn’t want this crack Marine team actually shooting anyone in Libya, that might have made the rest of the world mad at us again. Seems there are a lot of Oct surprises coming out in mid Nov. What else is around the corner?

Kissmygrits on November 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I’ve seen the FLIR footage from a C130 Spectre gunship taking out terrorists that were setting roadside bombs.

We used them in Iraq all the time. Whenever we went out, we had a Spectre with us, sometimes two. With their 40mm grenade launchers on board, they can hit a pretty small area precisely. Why none were sent into support the guys on the ground is the million dollar question. If they had just one of these, in my opinion, at least Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods would be alive today. One could have been overhead in a matter of hours from either Europe, Djibouti, or Qatar.

Patriot Vet on November 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

LOL! Correct!

What’s amazing to me is – they don’t want to impeach anymore because they’re afraid they’ll lose votes.

Last time they impeached – they won back the White House the next election! LMFAO!!

AND THEY KEPT BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS!!

HondaV65 on November 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The Stupid Party.

the_nile on November 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

It would not be surprised to soon see a high level military person come forward on live tv and blow this can of worms wide a$$ open. I am at least hoping so. Maybe it could happen when the POTUS is away.

Whiterock on November 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Infidelity scandal. Check. CIA Director resignation. Check. Details of FBI investigation. Check. Blame Petreus for starting the story about the video being responsible for the Benghazi attacks. Check. Quietly dump Pentagon documents once the sharks are circling the infidelity scandal. Check. Send the President to Asia. Check.

Yup, stinks like Axelrod & Co. to me too.

scalleywag on November 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

HondaV65 on November 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

not many more votes to lose, but if anyone can it’s the GOP

Slade73 on November 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

If that had been Trumka and not Stevens stuck out there, Bark would have sent 2 carrier battle groups with orders to level the entire city.

Your federal government is rogue. Welcome to the New Order.

Bishop on November 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

 If they had just one of these, in my opinion, at least Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods would be alive today.

You assume the administration wanted living witnesses.

SPIN

Spinstra on November 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Whatever. Obama could pistol-whip a nun ON LIVE TELEVISION in the middle of Times Square and the press wouldn’t hold him accountable for it.

CrustyB on November 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM

FIFY…

Khun Joe on November 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Victoria Nuland
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
November 9, 2012
****************

Index for Today’s Briefing

LIBYA
Benghazi / Hill Briefings / Participants / Congressional Requests for Documents
**********************

TRANSCRIPT:

12:56 p.m. EST

MS. NULAND: All right, everybody. Happy Friday. Apologies for the delay. I think you know that the President is coming out with a statement very shortly, so we will do as much as we can until we hear that he’s going out. And then if we have things to clean up later, we can do it by phone or by email.

I want to just start by coming back to something that we mentioned either yesterday or the day before, which was that we would be participating in some Hill engagements next week on Benghazi. Just to give you the list there, on Tuesday, Under Secretary Kennedy and Assistant Secretary Boswell will brief members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Let me, sorry, go back and say that all of these are going to be closed sessions at the Hill’s request. Okay?

So first, on Tuesday, Under Secretary Kennedy and Assistant Secretary Boswell will brief members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On Wednesday, Under Secretary Kennedy and Assistant Secretary Boswell will brief members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. On Thursday morning, Under Secretary Kennedy will testify in a closed hearing before the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, and in the afternoon, he’ll testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. And on Friday morning, Under Secretary Kennedy will brief Chairmen and ranking members from the House. And again, all of those are in closed, classified session and at the Hill’s request. Let’s go to what’s on your minds.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, because I came in late. This is on Benghazi, right?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: All of these are in closed session at the Hill’s request?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: Do you have – did they say why these needed to be closed sessions, since they seem to be the source of all the documents that are leaking out in dribs and drabs?

MS. NULAND: Well, my understanding is that they wanted to have a conversation that incorporated classified information, including intelligence reporting.

QUESTION: Was there not classified information – did members of Congress not complain that classified information was released at the House Oversight Committee hearing that already had been held?

MS. NULAND: Matt, they’ve asked for closed hearings, closed briefings; that’s what we’re complying with.

QUESTION: The Secretary won’t appear before any of these committees?

MS. NULAND: The Secretary has not been asked to appear. They’ve asked for the individuals that are coming.

QUESTION: Would she be willing to fly back from Australia to appear?

MS. NULAND: Again, she has not been asked to appear. She was asked to appear at House Foreign Affairs next week, and we have written back to the Chairman to say that she’ll be on travel next week.

QUESTION: Are you aware that any Libyans will be called to the hearings to be talked to?

MS. NULAND: That sounds like a question for the Hill. I’m not aware of any panels other than the government panels.

QUESTION: But you have not been asked to facilitate any visas or anything like this for –

MS. NULAND: To my knowledge, no.

QUESTION: — maybe some Libyan officials?

MS. NULAND: No.

QUESTION: Toria, I’m sorry. I was running down here to get here. You may have said this: Is there any effort by the State Department to brief us on anything that might not be classified or any information, any progress that we could talk about next week that could come out of that?

MS. NULAND: I don’t anticipate that we’re going to have new information for the press before we have the ARB report, but let’s just see where we go there.

QUESTION: Do you know – do you anticipate that you’ll have new information for members of Congress?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, they’ve asked for classified hearings.

QUESTION: I understood that.

MS. NULAND: Some of them have been – there are a lot of folks who have been out of town during this – the period that the Congress was out of session. These hearings and briefings were requested by them now that they’re coming back into session, so I can’t speak to what different members know and how much different members have followed.

QUESTION: Yeah. But, I mean, do you expect Pat Kennedy to get up there and say anything substantially different than what he’s already said in public?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to what might be spoken about in a classified session. I would guess, Matt, that it’s also going to go to issues of intelligence, which we haven’t been briefing.

QUESTION: And Pat is the person that’s discussed issues of intelligence with them?

MS. NULAND: Again, Pat is the Under Secretary for Management. He can speak to the entire threat environment that we were working under, which included both unclassified and classified information.

Jill.

QUESTION: Toria, the Congress has asked for a lot of documents, obviously. Can you give us an update on even percentage-wise how much the State Department has collected, how you’re giving them these documents, or whether you’re waiting to get everything together, compiled, and then you will give it to them?

MS. NULAND: Well, thanks for that question, Jill. As you know, we’ve had requests for documents from a number of committees and from a number of staff and members. We have now made documents available to members of and staff on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We have told all of these requesting committees and their staff that they can see these documents as many times as they’d like to see them, for as long as they’d like to see them.

Our understanding, in fact, is that today Senator Corker of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is reviewing documents at his request. So there have been some reports out there that we’ve been withholding information or that we’ve been limiting time. None of that is accurate. We’ve really done our utmost under the Secretary’s instructions to be fully compliant, transparent, and open with the Congress.

QUESTION: And do they come over here to view them?

MS. NULAND: No, we take them up there to their classified rooms.

QUESTION: And same question really, and then you – and they review them, and then you take them back and await the next request to see them?

MS. NULAND: Exactly. We arrange whatever requests are needed after they’ve had a chance to take a first look. And sometimes you have staff looking and then they want their members to see, subset, et cetera. So we’ve been facilitating all of that.

QUESTION: Just on these hearings, I’m wondering, given the fact that the refrain from the Hill or at least some members of the Hill, has been since this all began that the American people have the right to know, they deserve to know, was there any pushback from you guys when they said that we want to have these closed, we want to have these closed hearings rather than having open so that the American people could hear?

MS. NULAND: Well, as you know, relatively soon after the events, there was a set of open hearings. It’s obviously up to the Congress to ask for what it wants to have. In this case, they’ve asked for a set of closed briefings and hearings, so we’re going to comply with that.

QUESTION: Fair enough. I understand, but did – was there any suggestion from this building that, hey, if you really want the American people to know, maybe these shouldn’t be held behind closed doors?

MS. NULAND: I think we are in the posture of complying with what the Congress is asking for to help them in their review and to be supportive of their understanding of the situation as we go forward. As we’ve said, we have the ARB running. We also have whatever the FBI will come forward with. So there will be a time to be as open as we can be about the findings of the ARB with the public understanding the need to protect classified.

Please.

QUESTION: More clarification on the documents. Many – there have been many different requests and sometimes defined with different parameters. How did you collect those documents? Is it the full collection of documents that has been asked for? Is it this committee gets exactly what they ask for? Or if you can get into a little more depth in terms of which documents go where and how many, and whether this is it or whether there will be more.

MS. NULAND: Whether this is it, whether this – there’ll be more, I mean, that depends on whether the scope is broadened by committees. But in fact, whenever we have – particularly when we have classified documents requested, we have to do a full search. It involves both telegrams, intelligence reports, classified email, all of that kind of thing. And then we meet the requests that the different committees have, that the different staff members have. It’s not unusual for a first set of documents to be reviewed and then additional things to be requested. All of that has to be gone through. So it’s really specific to the requests as they come in.

QUESTION: Toria, there are currently Pentagon teams that are studying the situation in Libya to see how best an army, or a Libyan army, can be built. Is the State Department involved in any way in these processes, or are you involved in any way in sort of restructuring Libyan security?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, as you know, there is a UN-sponsored effort underway to be supportive to the Libyans. We also have made bilateral proposals. We’ve had teams, mil-mil teams and other teams, out there offering support in all of the various categories where we often help transitioning countries, whether it’s destruction of excess equipment, whether it’s nationalizing a military, whether it is training, all those kinds of things.

I think one of the issues, as the Libyans have been clear about, is that in this – in the context of there being an interim government first and then having a relatively protracted period of establishing the current transitional government, they have been loath to make some of the larger structural decisions that would enable us to provide more help. But we are hopeful that, now that they have a fully agreed upon transitional government, that we will be able to do more together to help them meet the security needs of the country and to provide stronger population security. And we’re open to doing all of that.

Please, Margaret.

QUESTION: Toria, when you’re talking about this process, going up to the Hill, delivering these documents, is there a chief Benghazi point person at State? Who’s doing this? It sounds extremely time consuming. So who is focused on this specifically?

MS. NULAND: Well, there are a whole bunch of folks who, obviously, have to look at things to ensure that we’ve been complete. But as has been clear by our public presentations, Under Secretary Kennedy has the line authority for ensuring that we’re fully compliant, and obviously, our Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Dave Adams.

Andy.

QUESTION: You mentioned that Senator Corker is looking at some of this stuff today. Is he the only person up there who’s so far gotten hold of any of these documents, or have they gone to other offices as well? Can you tell how many?

MS. NULAND: I think I just did that about five minutes ago.

QUESTION: Did you? I’m sorry.

MS. NULAND: Maybe you slept through that piece, Andy. (Laughter.) I can do it again.

Members and staff of House Oversight and Government Reform, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs –

QUESTION: Okay. I got that list. So it’s actually gone up to all of these folks?

MS. NULAND: Correct. Correct. Yeah.

QUESTION: Okay. That was it. Right.

MS. NULAND: And again, with members in and out before they came back into session, we now have some members whose staff have seen documents who want to see them themselves, et cetera.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. It’s the usual –

QUESTION: Victoria, will the Secretary be appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee next week?

MS. NULAND: I spoke to that about 15 minutes ago.

QUESTION: Oh, sorry. It’s just been posted on their website.

MS. NULAND: She is traveling next week, as you know. We just put out a message. So she will not appear, but we – I did give a list, at the top of this, of multiple briefings and hearings where Pat Kennedy will be appearing.

QUESTION: So just to make 100 percent sure, the Secretary is not going to interrupt her trip to come back and testify?

MS. NULAND: She has a commitment with the Secretary of Defense to the AUSMIN Ministerial. So –

QUESTION: And doesn’t she also have a commitment with the President to go to certain other countries in the region?

MS. NULAND: She does. Was that the – okay. Sounds like the President’s going to come out, so we can do the rest of this in gaggle format afterwards. Thanks.

(The briefing paused at 1:08 p.m. and resumed at 1:28 p.m.)

MS. NULAND: Here we go. Friday briefing, round two. All right, where were we, guys?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) fiscal cliff and the President’s plan to avert going over it. Are we done with Libya?

MS. NULAND: I think we are. Let’s keep moving on.

(MORE…)
===========

All right? Thanks everybody.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:56 p.m.)

DPB #192
============

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2012/11/200409.htm

canopfor on November 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I could have flown commercial and arrived sooner.

CycloneCDB on November 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM

If that had been Trumka and not Stevens stuck out there, Bark would have sent 2 carrier battle groups with orders to level the entire city.
Your federal government is rogue. Welcome to the New Order.
Bishop on November 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

LOL on first blush

Crying because it is true once I thought about it.

SayNo2-O on November 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM

“several hundred reports were received indicating possible threats to U.S. facilities around the world” and noted that there was no advance notice of imminent threats to U.S. personnel or facilities in Benghazi.

Like Ed said, the State Department and Hillary either dropped the ball here by not informing Panetta, or the info reached Defense and they did nothing about it, because “there’s no terrorist in Libya”.

Rovin on November 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Drip, Drip, Drip
Had Petraeus not been –

“All In”,
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/petraeus-resigns-cia-affair/2012/11/09/id/463573

Maybe, just maybe things might have transpired differently. Maybe. It’s too bad that he doesn’t even know the meaning of the phrase. The “man” has a “Ranger” tab. It must be just another “ticket-punch” because the motto of The U.S. Army Rangers is:
“Adapt and Overcome”.
I’ll leave the sarcastic/obscene remarks for someone else to fill in, as it were.

It’s NO secret that both Panetta, Petraeus, etc., et alia, were not qualified for their position(s). It’s just more window-dressing for the Muslim-loving P-in-C as he tried to shore up his lack of “chops”.
On this Veterans’ Day weekend, this old “bullet-stopper” is ashamed, both for “this man’s army” and what was more recently called an “Army of One” (my ass) and also of my once proud country.
“Leave No Man Behind” is now officially the mantra of weasels who don’t have a clue as to its meaning and are pre-occupied with their personal lives. Well, how about the lives of their PERSONNEL?
I still cannot fathom what those intrepid warriors were thinking knowing that they would be left behind, their bodies desecrated, their remains maybe never found. God Bless them and may God damn those who ignored the warnings and pleas for help.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on November 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM

So, according to Panetta, all of our military assets in Europe, in North Africa, in the Middle East, were tied down with assignments, locked into place, and there wasn’t any left over to respond quickly to unexpected threats? In the entire area? That’s either the dumbest military strategy I’ve ever heard of or somebody is lying.

And if you have to wait for the Pentagon to come up with a plan for an attack that’s already in progress half a world away, you’ve already lost. The great military geniuses we have there already know that, they spend most of their professional lives thinking ahead of these scenarios and how to pre-position our forces to answer them. There should have been tactical groups within less than an hour of Benghazi that could have taken the intel we had, gotten into the area to add more, then reacted to the situation, and done it as soon as they got the go-ahead order from the White House. It’s a certainty that we have such units in that area. Somebody is lying. If we didn’t have those forces it’s because some politician countermanded their deployment, had them doing something they were’t supposed to be doing, or ordered them to stay put.

Socratease on November 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Slightly OT, but still dealing with DOD. I heard last night from someone who on good authority that MD and Sikorsky are going to be seriously affected by sequestration. It could affect directly on indirectly hundreds of thousands of jobs, including support, etc.

ConservativePartyNow on November 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Speaking of Benghazi,this came over the Breaking News site,two days ago!
======

Twitter Attacked? Strange Photos Appear on Timelines
Published: Thursday, 8 Nov 2012 | 11:36 PM ET
*********************************************

Shortly before 10:00pm ET on Thursday, Twitter users began complaining of unusual photos appearing in their timelines.

“Almost all pics are getting replaced by some weird Benghazi Libya/US flag bloody hand image,” tweeted user @Eledhril.

A quick search for related tweets pulled up more than 20 complaints about the same mysterious image. Users described it as a “bloody hand” and “disturbing picture of American flag” with a message “about Libya on September 11th.”

The photo, as tweeted by users,

Seriously!!? Is no one else seeing this picture? pic.twitter.com/lpR08dfQ

https://twitter.com/DevinnLynn_/status/266725994524729345

shows the names of the four Americans killed on September 11, 2012 in Libya. President Obama’s campaign logo can be seen as part of an American flag, where this hand wipes blood.

Sam Laird, a writer for social media blog Mashable, also noticed a strange photo accompanying a tweeted story; a story that was unrelated to September 11th or Libya. As you can see in the photo, the thumbnail alongside the article’s headline shows, what Laird called, “a demon tattoo photo.”

CNBC.com reached out to Twitter to ask if the social networking site was the victim of an attack. A spokeswoman responded with a question of her own, inquiring if these photos are still showing in users’ timelines. Apparently, this may have been news to the company.

In a subsequent email, Twitter told CNBC.com that this odd display of thumbnails and photos was the result of “a bug.” This wouldn’t be the first bug in recent months, as Twitter experienced an outage in June after the site was affected by the infamous “cascaded bug.”

Earlier on Thursday, Twitter was thought to have been hacked after the site reset some users’ passwords.

Did computer hackers take advantage of this new “bug” to push Libya-related photos onto users? CNBC.com will continue to update this story as we learn more.
============================

canopfor on November 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Why is Panetta in charge of anything? He’s not qualified to be a security guard at Toys R Us.

fogw on November 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Heres the Linky,to above Twitter Image Snafu!

CNBC ‏@CNBC

ALERT: Twitter says “a bug” caused users to see strange photos on their timelines on Thursday: http://cnb.cx/Twwb3a (via @EliFromBrooklyn)

canopfor on November 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Lies and more lies from this administration. But if you want to believe that the security questions and the date didn’t cause the military on their own to ramp up alerts, then we don’t need all those overseas bases. Bring our men and women home, dang it.

amr on November 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Stay on point here. Do not allow these people to misdirect you away from what is important in order to minimize their role.

In 1967 I deployed from Ft Lewis Washington to Cam ran Bay VietNam in less time then this.

There were response units in the area.
The Departments were fore warned.
The CIA, could act unilaterally in defense of it’s people and safe house.
The Defense Department could act unilaterally in defense of our consulate.
The State Department could act unilaterally in defense of our consultant.
They could have been on site in two hours or less.
They were NEVER not 19 hours later but NEVER deployed.

The process works something like this. First they lie to cover there mistakes. Failing that the lie again to make you think that because you hear it again it must be true. Failing that they spin the story to make it look good for themselves. We are now up to Re-Direct. They point the subject away from the question to some other direction that they want you to see because they can control that out come.

If we make them fail at miss-direct, then and only then do we have a chance of seeing the truth.

Stay on point do not ever let them miss-direct you again.

jpcpt03 on November 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

No one cares if there were 500 people killed in Benghazi.

If you’re an American overseas….you’re just Beyonce’d.

And this Administration can lie all day long and the congress will do NOTHING.

We’re headed into Hugo Chavez territory folks. Where the top dog picks the winners and losers.

Conservatives….
…according to Valerie Jarrett it’s going to be “HELL TO PAY”.

PappyD61 on November 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

They could have had a C130 over the site in less than an hour and used it to take out the mortars and anyone firing on the consulate or the safe house. Someone chose not to.

iurockhead on November 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Are you kidding? They suspected the area would be crawling with Libyan women carrying new born babies out gathering firewood in the dark as is custom among the noble savages. So that wasn’t even a consideration.

BL@KBIRD on November 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

unstinkingbelievable

HEADS NEED TO ROLL STAT

cripe….

the lsm will just sweep this under the rug with all the other info about this attack

another if a gop administration did this part 13,239

cmsinaz on November 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM

jpcpt03 on November 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Sadly, “rapid response” now means when King Barack is done with his golf game, special private concert in OUR White House, or a b-ball game with Bro-in-Law Reggie.
Screw the real men, says the man-child in mom-jeans.
Yet another national humiliation thanks to the Muslim-loving P-in-C.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on November 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM

impeachment for this president…he knew about it did nothing and went to vegas….

cmsinaz on November 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM

frank63 on November 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

this is the medias fault…

they gave dear leader 20 minutes with christie and a few folks based their vote on that 20 minutes…just imagine if the lsm actually did their job…..mitt would have won in a landslide…

cmsinaz on November 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM

They could have been on site in two hours or less.

jpcpt03 on November 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Feel free to explain the basis of this claim that you’re making.

blink on November 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

You can’t be serious, blinkers.
LMAO
This was a POLITICAL decision, NOT military. Get a clue.
Oh, and tell us why the Carrier Group CO was relieved.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on November 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Subpoena Petraeus and get to the truth.

Benghazi-gate will make Obama the Democrat Nixon.

profitsbeard on November 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

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