Green Room

Confirmed: Obama made no calls, took no action during Benghazi attack

posted at 3:07 pm on February 15, 2013 by

Last week, Lindsey Graham’s unrelenting line of questioning compelled Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to confirm under oath that not a single military asset was deployed to help rescue besieged US personnel in the course of a terrorist raid in Benghazi, Libya.  The September 11, 2012 attack lasted nearly eight hours, during which four Americans died, including our sitting ambassador.  Multiple requests for increased security in the weeks and months leading up to the massacre were denied.  Urgent warnings that the Benghazi consulate couldn’t withstand a sustained attack were ignored.  (The compound didn’t even meet minimum security standards for American diplomatic outposts anywhere in the world).  An eleventh-hour cable accurately predicting an imminent attack resulted in…nothing.  Explicit calls for help during the prolonged raid went unheeded amidst a flurry of “stand down” orders.  One of many lingering questions regarding this outrageous episode is what our Commander-in-Chief was doing throughout the ordeal, during which America’s real-time response was evidently paralyzed by chaotic indecision.  Yesterday, the White House finally shed some light on this question by releasing a letter describing what President Obama was not doing as American diplomats’ lives hung in the balance:

President Obama didn’t make any phone calls the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House said in a letter to Congress released Thursday. “During the entire attack, the president of the United States never picked up the phone to put the weight of his office in the mix,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who had held up Mr. Obama’s defense secretary nominee to force the information to be released. Mr. Graham said that if Mr. Obama had picked up the phone, at least two of the Americans killed in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi might still be alive because he might have been able to push U.S. aid to get to the scene faster. The White House has said Mr. Obama was kept up to date on the attack by his staff, though after being alerted to the attack in a pre-scheduled afternoon meeting he never spoke again with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin E. Dempsey or then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And there’s this, which (a) re-confirms what we’ve known for some time, and (b) begs the question of why the administration approved false talking points for public consumption:

Mr. Panetta told Congress last week that he knew immediately the attacks were a terrorist assault, though the White House downplayed that notion in the first five days after the attack.

Who conceived of the false talking points and why were they employed at all, let alone for days?  Why were requests for security upgrades repeatedly turned down, especially since our intelligence knew of at least ten active jihadi groups operating in Benghazi at the time?  If the Commander-in-Chief wasn’t in contact with his top people throughout the raid, and if he wasn’t ordering the full might of the United States military into motion to protect the lives of our diplomats (which he’s claimed is his “number one” priority), what was he doing over those eight hours?  Our only clue is a campaign rally in Las Vegas the next day, which the president attended as scheduled — having blown off another daily intelligence briefing, which was a habitual occurrence.  That these questions have not been sufficiently answered — or even asked, in some cases — is less a product of masterful White House stonewalling as it is a profoundly vexing indictment of our media.

But hey, “what difference does it make?

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And if I do recall correctly a British news report in the first days after the attack said that Bambi hit the sack on 9/11/12 to get his beauty sleep and had no idea of the whereabouts of AMB Stevens or if he was still alive until he got up the next morning.

Now that is leadership!

crazywater on February 15, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Raise your hands if anyone is surprised by any of this…

Static21 on February 15, 2013 at 3:24 PM

While a US Ambassador was being drug thru the streets and little Barry was asleep in his superman jammies getting all rested up for his big fundraiser in Vegas…fundraising…
 
HumpBot Salvation on September 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM

 
it’s terrible, right?
 
nobody cares. staying awake wouldn’t have made any difference.
 
sesquipedalian on September 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM

 
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/12/report-u-s-consulate-in-benghazi-had-no-marine-protection/comment-page-3/#comment-6251940

rogerb on February 15, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Static, with all respect, this isn’t about being surprised. It’s about being mad as hell over the gross negligence that cost four Americans their lives, the dishonest stonewalling and excuse-making that followed, and the utter and ongoing corruption of the media.

Guy Benson on February 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Remember when fast and furious was “worse than Watergate” and then pretty much fizzled out? I predict the same for Bengazie.

red_herring on February 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Guy-All good reporting, and not a slam-I appreciate all the reportage on this site (Why I am on it more than I should). I wish there would be more extensive research done to find out what the President knew and when did he know it. I am just saying that this is just another example of the LSM just being “present” w/ no substance. I am just wondering what they get paid to do.

Static21 on February 15, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Dereliction of duty.

rbj on February 15, 2013 at 3:34 PM

This is so 2012….get over it
-lsm

cmsinaz on February 15, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Raise your hands if anyone is surprised by any of this…

Static21 on February 15, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Well that depends. We’re being told he made no calls. Did he also not receive any calls? Seriously, Panetta or anyone else never picked up the phone once during the attack in order to update Obama? If so, that’s an indictment of the entire administration, including Obama.

Personally I still think Obama did speak to Panetta and the rest of his national security team and told them to not send in any assistance to Benghazi. My initial suspicion was that he simply didn’t want another Black Hawk Down incident so close to the election, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had more nefarious reasons(like what Rand Paul has been insinuating).

Doughboy on February 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Despicable. Loathsome.

Makes me angry and sad at the same time.

ButterflyDragon on February 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Guy, 

I think you forgot to mention that Obama told Panetta and Dempsey to “do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people there”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/7/panetta-no-time-military-response-benghazi-attack/

red_herring on February 15, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Irrelevant. Rubio drank water.

Red Cloud on February 15, 2013 at 3:58 PM

…I hold the MSM responsible…every news reporter and every talking head head on televension and radio!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2013 at 3:58 PM

..television

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2013 at 3:59 PM

That 3am phone came and what did Obama do? He rolled over and went to sleep…literally… while people were dying – people he was sworn to protect and could possibly have protected if he had acted.

There was intel and signs that something was brewing in Bengazie, requests were made for more security but those requests and that intel was ignored because the boys with the “smart power” decided that they were going to pretend that things were getting better when in fact they were getting worse. Because if things were getting worse that would cast a bad light on Obama’s foreign policy.

Sending troops in and attempting to save those people would have brought attention to his failure – whether the rescue attempt succeeded or not.

Those people were sacrificed on the alter of Obama’s re-election pure and simple. Then he stood next to their caskets and hugged the mother whose son he condemned to death with his inaction.

Despicable. Loathsome.

Makes me angry and sad at the same time.

ButterflyDragon on February 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Couldn’t have said it better.

johnnybgood on February 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Rmember the big deal Dems made over the 7 minutes of ‘The Pet Goat?’ Well here we have Obama sleeping overnight and not a peep from those idiots. I’m calling on fatty Moore to do a new movie. Might not sell though since it would be about 8 hours long. But hey, ‘What Difference does it make?’ Lies, coverup, and a guy in jail because of Youtube video and the Preezy sleeps like a baby.

Schwalbe Me-262 on February 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

obama made no calls, took no action during Benghazi attack …

… except for that “STAND DOWN” order, which directly led to the deaths of four Americans.

Pork-Chop on February 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I am flabergasted at the stupidity of the American electorate, the media and the fact that this man still has a job.

hopeful on February 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM

The innermost thoughts of the Nobel winner on that evening:

“Can I vote present?”

“This crisis is above my paygrade”

“Crap….if I go down there, I’ll miss waffle hour”

BobMbx on February 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

That these questions have not been sufficiently answered — or even asked, in some cases — is less a product of masterful White House stonewalling as it is a profoundly vexing indictment of our media

The White House isn’t stonewalling at all. They’re totally transparent and have the sealed document to prove it.

The Rogue Tomato on February 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

A masterful breakdown by Guy Benson.

DeathtotheSwiss on February 15, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Obama has no interest in leading anything and is the most uninvolved President ever. Even on the back 9 they do not keep score as that would involve work.

But for sure he plots the drone strikes down to every detail or just give that to the auto pen and TOTUS as well and let them deal with it.

tjexcite on February 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Guy,
 
I think you forgot to mention that Obama told Panetta and Dempsey to “do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people there”
 
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/7/panetta-no-time-military-response-benghazi-attack/
 
red_herring on February 15, 2013 at 3:50 PM

 
Are Panetta and Dempsey both authorized to send armed troops onto sovereign soil to kill foreign citizens at their discretion, or is that a decision only the president can make?

rogerb on February 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM

In the famous words of Hillary Clinton….What difference does it make?

Until the families of the slain raise a stink that can’t be ignored, it is over. If their loved ones are satisfied, then so is the press and in turn so should we be. This president is untouchable.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Sadly, it is true.

KCB on February 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

I heard on NPR this morning that Obama is scandal-free. The Republicans have tried to make a scandal out of Fast and Furious, Solyndra and Benghazi and it just hasn’t stuck. There have been no scandals.

Seriously. I almost drove off the road.

The lack of curiosity and interest in Obama’s White House by the media guard dogs is astounding. By Monday morning, like Etch-A-Sketches, they have been shaken and cleared. Nothing to see here, move along.

This pundit also said that it is silly for the Republicans to “run against” Obama as he isn’t running for reelection again. To cut them some slack, they haven’t figured out that that is all Obama does. He runs for office and never takes responsibility for anything. And, the press goes along with it. Nothing is ever his fault.

Fallon on February 15, 2013 at 5:49 PM

The state run media is the greatest danger to America…

d1carter on February 15, 2013 at 5:55 PM

This is like the head coach of an NFL team going home after the visitors returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, turning on the NFL Network and following the game through the bottom-of-the-screen call, and then not showing up the following morning to dissect what happened.

Steve Eggleston on February 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Wait, wait!!! This is now breaking news on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC…
Oh, no it’s not. All I hear is crickets

OccamsRazor on February 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Confirmed: Obama made no calls, took no action during Benghazi attack

So you mean to tell me he was just about effective as I was that night?

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM

As the president has said, this is just a “campaign issue” brought up by the GOP. Add that to Hillary’s “what difference does it make now” comment and it paints a pretty ugly picture.

And what is the president doing now? While there are budgets to be made and a sequester to deal with, not to mention unapproved nominees to his cabinet? Why, he’s on vacation, of course. So is Congress. So is the vice president. Pathetic.

scalleywag on February 15, 2013 at 6:21 PM

RE: Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM
As was the case with Teddy and Mary Jo Kopechne, the Kopechne family, was paid under the table to STFU and keep quiet about ‘the tragic incident’.
I suspect that all of the families of, including (but not limited to): Amb. Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods have been told (threatened) similarly.
You know, we’re from the Government and we’re here to help you.
“Keep quiet and make no waves and we’ll take care of you. If you don’t we will ruin you.”

Missilengr on February 15, 2013 at 6:22 PM

“Explicit calls for help during the prolonged raid went unheeded amidst a flurry of “stand down” orders.”

Who gave those orders…?

… Who relieved General Carter Ham and U.S. Navy Admiral Charles Gaouette?

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Total chickensh!t.

Christien on February 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Missilengr on February 15, 2013 at 6:22 PM

That in itself would be a story. If we have a media. Or a Republican president.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

move along, nothing to see here.

Sachiko on February 15, 2013 at 6:53 PM

I heard on NPR this morning that Obama is scandal-free. The Republicans have tried to make a scandal out of Fast and Furious, Solyndra and Benghazi and it just hasn’t stuck. There have been no scandals.

Fallon on February 15, 2013 at 5:49 PM

oh the irony. it’s NPR and all the other loyal lapdog media’s fault that it “hasn’t stuck.” and then those same idiots go “wow, amazing! none of these scandals stuck to obama. fascinating!!” as if obama’s just magical and they had nothing to do with it! disgusting!

Sachiko on February 15, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Remember when fast and furious was “worse than Watergate” and then pretty much fizzled out? I predict the same for Bengazie.

red_herring on February 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Fast & Furious IS worse than Watergate, and “Bengazie” (sic) is worse than everything. Just because the media refuses to do its job, doesn’t mean these outrages don’t matter; it just means the American MSM is complicit in the various Obama cover-ups.

Let’s look at your post. Can you honestly say that Fast and Furious and the Benghazi attacks were less serious than Watergate? Of course you can’t! But you can say the stories “fizzled out”, and that’s true. Yet Watergate, in which no one got so much as a scratch, didn’t fizzle out. Why? You know the answer. The press wanted to bring Nixon down almost as much as they want to prop Obama up.

It’s amazing that you can point out the obvious double standard without seeing it. In fact, you celebrate the malfeasance.

Try to understand…the very fact that these extremely serious scandals are fizzling out is a travesty. It’s journalistic malpractice!

But you don’t really want to know the real story, do you? Keeping it undercover to shield Obama from his crimes is the only goal, truth be damned. Pathetic.

Kenz on February 15, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Obama should live to suffer what the families of those four brave men are suffering.

teacherman on February 15, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Remember how during the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama and Hillary argued over who was ready to take that 3:00am phone call?

Turns out neither of them were.

rbk2000 on February 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Why Obama and Hillary are not behind bars baffles me. There were people in line to fall on their swords to protect him but they soon ran out of people. The very sad part about all of this is we will never know the truth until he’s out of office and the books and reports will be written. i’ll be surprised if we have a Country in 2016.

mixplix on February 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

And yet the US mainstream media could not be bothered for one second to find this out before the election.

WisCon on February 15, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Dereliction of duty.

rbj on February 15, 2013 at 3:34 PM

That’s the charge. The specifications are myriad.

FOWG1 on February 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM

When do we get to hear from the survivors?

FadeToBolivia on February 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Well that depends. We’re being told he made no calls. Did he also not receive any calls? Seriously, Panetta or anyone else never picked up the phone once during the attack in order to update Obama? If so, that’s an indictment of the entire administration, including Obama.

Personally I still think Obama did speak to Panetta and the rest of his national security team and told them to not send in any assistance to Benghazi. My initial suspicion was that he simply didn’t want another Black Hawk Down incident so close to the election, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had more nefarious reasons(like what Rand Paul has been insinuating).

Doughboy on February 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

I agree. This non-communication is almost as bad a story as the youtube video foolishness. The truth is worse than this absurdity.

Of course they talked and of course the nature of the conversation goes in “the wrong direction”.

GOP, chumps that they are, are fuming over the apparently undramatic “no-drama” Obama. There was plenty of drama. The election was at stake. Is it possible they are lying – to Congress – is this really so shocking?

virgo on February 16, 2013 at 12:27 AM

I honestly don’t know what to say anymore. That these people haven’t been dragged kicking and screaming out of their offices/residences, and thrown into jail (or worse) is beyond me. A week doesn’t go by at this point where we aren’t reminded or introduced to some new anti-Constitutional, illegal, unethical, fraudulent, treasury-robbing, citizen-killing, liberty-destroying shenanigan that these guys are pulling in broad daylight, with zero recriminations, zero consequences, and smiling smugly as they move on to the next travesty.

May they all rot in hell.

Midas on February 16, 2013 at 1:03 AM

And what is the president doing now? While there are budgets to be made and a sequester to deal with, not to mention unapproved nominees to his cabinet? Why, he’s on vacation, of course. So is Congress. So is the vice president. Pathetic.

scalleywag on February 15, 2013 at 6:21 PM

That f*ck was on extended vacation six f*cking weeks ago.

Words fail to describe the hatred I have for that piece of sh1t.

Midas on February 16, 2013 at 1:06 AM

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