Benghazi survivor: Help was close enough but never sent

posted at 8:01 am on April 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Were they? Kerry Picket snags this clip from a Fox News exclusive last night for Breitbart, but pay close attention to the timing expressed by the Benghazi survivor/witness, and remember the attack didn’t stay constant:

A special operations member who witnessed the attack on the U.S. Mission unfold in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 last year, as well as debriefed those who took part in the response, spoke with Fox News’ Adam Housley on Monday night and revealed information that directly contradicts the administration’s insistence that there was not enough time nor resources to send to Benghazi to help State Department employees, contractors, and intel operatives who were under a terrorist attack. FNC kept their source’s identity hidden, as witnesses to the Benghazi attack have reportedly been intimidated by the administration into silence. The assault left four Americans dead, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.

“I know for a fact that C110 was doing a training exercise not in the region of northern Africa but in Europe and they have the ability to react and respond,” the special ops member told FNC.

The C110 is a 40-man special operations commanders and extremists force. They are capable of rapid response and deployment and are specifically trained for Benghazi attack-like incidents. The night of the attack, according to the special op, they were training 3 & 1/2 hours away in Croatia.

“We have the ability to load out, get on birds, at a minimum stage. C110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in 4 to 6 hours from their European theater to react. They would have been there before the second attack,” he said, adding, “And you hear a whole bunch of advisers say, ‘We wouldn’t have sent them there, because the security was an unknown situation.’ If it’s an unknown situation, at a minimum, you send forces there to facilitate the exfill—medical, injuries. We could have sent a C130 to provide medical evacuation for the injured.”

All true — but consider that what we think of as the attack on the Benghazi consulate was actually two separate attacks. The first on the consulate began at 9:30 pm, when the first shots were fired, and was over by 11 pm. Security reinforcements from Tripoli arrived at the fallback annex at 1:45 am, about 4 hours after the first attack began and slightly under 3 hours after it ended. Shortly after, a second attack hits the annex and lasts for a little over an hour, when Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed.

Now, if the C110 group had been called to Benghazi from Europe right at 9:30 pm, they might have arrived in time to fight the second attack on the annex — but only just barely, based on the estimate of this survivor/witness; 4 hours would have been 1:30 am. The security detail from Tripoli, which was much closer, had only just arrived in time for the second firefight, at 1:45. Bear in mind, though, that the Tripoli detachment came on their own rather than waiting for orders from State, which were not forthcoming anyway:

Instead, seven men who were American reinforcements in Tripoli, along with Agent Glenn Doherty, commandeered a jet and flew to Benghazi. Ultimately, Doherty and Tyrone Woods would be killed on the roof of the CIA annex.

The special op member told Fox News, “If it wasn’t for that decision, I think we would be talking completely different about this situation. I think you would be looking at 20 plus hostages captured by AQ or you would be looking at a lot of dead Americans in Benghazi.”

In other words, they weren’t even calling Tripoli, let alone Europe.

The better question in this case isn’t the status of response forces in Europe. It’s why the State Department ignored multiple security warnings from the late Ambassador, why the Obama administration couldn’t figure out that the anniversary of 9/11 would be a critical day to prepare against attacks, and why the US ignored the warning signs that had led all other Western nations to leave Benghazi before our consulate got sacked. By the time of the actual attack on 9/11, it was too late in more ways than one for the US to respond. The red lights had been flashing for weeks or even months, and everyone ignored them almost to the last moment.


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