President Obama says that he gave “three very clear directives.” They were: “Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice.” To whom was the first of those directives transmitted and when?
A CIA statement claims that no one in the CIA chain of command denied requests for help. A statement from NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor claims no one at the White House denied requests for assistance. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the military did not have “real-time information” to act on. Did military officials not communicate with top State Department officials such as Charlene Lamb, who testified under oath that she and others were following the attack in real time from their post at the State -Department? Was President Obama aware of requests for assistance from the men under attack in Benghazi? Panetta also said: “You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.” Does this statement imply that there were requests for help from the field that senior defense officials judged it imprudent to act on? In any case, isn’t going into harm’s way without complete information precisely the job of our most highly trained military personnel? Does the president agree with Panetta? Doesn’t announcing that the U.S. military needs perfect intelligence before engaging an enemy encourage similar attacks in the future?