Look at last week’s New York Times or Washington Post or Los Angeles Times or even the Wall Street Journal, and it is hard to find any mention of the Congressional hearings that took place on the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi last September 11. In less than 24 hours and it had already disappeared down the mainstream media’s memory hole. It is a non-story just like they used to do in bad old Russia.
But what did we learn? Secretary of Defense Panetta testified that in a 30 minute teleconference with the President he informed Mr. Obama of the situation in Benghazi.
“By our best estimate, the incident at the Temporary Mission Facility in Benghazi began at 3:42 p.m. eastern daylight time on September 11th”. The conversation took place at approximately 5:00pm, one and a half hours after the attack had begun.
“AFRICOM directed that an unarmed, unmanned, surveillance aircraft that was nearby to reposition overhead the Benghazi facility.” We watched the attack unfold in real time.
“Soon after the initial reports about the attack on Benghazi, General Dempsey and I met with President Obama and he ordered all available DoD assets to respond to the attack in Libya and to protect U.S. personnel and interests in the region.” The President asked to remain informed, and then disappeared from the scene.
Panetta then describes the assets tasked to support the Americans under assault in Benghazi. FAST Teams and Special Operations Forces are mentioned, but then no air assets could be tasked because they were “9 – 12 hours away”. Within hours, a response team from the Embassy in Tripoli was dispatched. And only 12 hours after the attack began, all American personnel were evacuated.
The battle at the Consulate lasted at least 5 hours. In that time the personnel on the ground brought down a world of hurt on the terrorists.
General Carter Ham, the head of Africom, had the same real time drone feeds and radio communications from the Benghazi team that the DoD had, the White House had, the Department of State had, and the NSC had. Apparently, General Ham had a response team ready to lift off almost immediately after the data came streaming in. Apparently, General Ham was ordered not to proceed. Who gave that order?
The Administration knew immediately that this was not a protest of an obscure video on the internet, but an honest to goodness terrorist attack.
Prior to this, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified that the State Department had not interviewed the surviving employees at the consulate afterwards. It took the FBI weeks to get agents on the ground, and the press had a field day photographing secret documents in the days immediately following the attack. Since the attack, no one has been brought to justice.
On November 16, outgoing CIA Director David Petraeus admitted that “the CIA knew within minutes that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist act planned in advance.” Mr. Petraeus also stated that the CIA report was later altered by another Federal agency.
On September 12, the day after the attack, First, the New York Times offered a remarkably accurate report of the attack on September 12. A report that surely came from inside sources.
We had the President and Secretary of State implying on September 12 that it was the video and not a terrorist attack. The State Department could not move fast enough to produce and air advertisements on Pakistani Television apologizing for the video.
On September 14, the Libyan government had four men in custody according to Al Jazeera. On the 19th, the president of Libya laid out the details to that same network.
On September 24, the President appeared on “The View” and said the investigation was continuing, and did the same on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on the 25th, the President stated “If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis”. And yet he knew the deeper causes and did not say a word. He continued with the lie.
The Daily Beast had the president dead to rights on September 26.
In her testimony before Congress on January 24th, Secretary Clinton was unapologetic. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk last night who decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”
In his testimony on the 7th, Secretary Panetta said “The United States military is not and should not be a global 911 service capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world.” And yet with all of the military units scattered around Europe, he claimed that no one was available over a 5 hour firefight and that no one was sent until after the fighting had ended.
In the reportage surrounding the firefight, the calls by the personnel defending the embassy were clear, including one that indicated that the mortar teams bombarding the compound were being “lased” , or targeted for any airborne assistance that could remove the threat. But there was none of that either. With U.S. fighter squadrons based in southern Italy and allies close by, no one was available.
The defenders of the consulate fought to the last bullet and then died and the response by our leaders was “what difference does it make?” and “the United States military is not and should not be a global 911 service.”
All of this of course in the aftermath of Ambassador Stevens repeated warnings and requests for more security support. On December 19, four senior State Department employees resigned after the publication of a report by a committee headed by former JCS Chairman Mullen , who stated
“We did conclude that certain State Department bureau level senior officials in critical levels of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of leadership and management ability appropriate for senior ranks in their responses to security concerns posed by the special mission.”
The President was AWOL. No one can seem to remember who was responsible for what, and the response by two Cabinet level officials was basically “What, me worry?”
In the meantime on Feb 10, the Mail in the UK reported a claim by two authors, both of them former special operations experts that “John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, had been authorizing ‘unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure,”
With Special Operations Command; the CIA, and a plethora of other secret organization all linked together in the black operations world, it seems that the Deputy National Security Advisor may have been directly tasking his own private army. This in itself is a bombshell. It clearly violates the chain of command and also the scrutiny of Congress if true.
What we know to be true is that the Ambassador to the United Nations lied. The President lied. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied. The question is whether it is gross incompetence or something darker.Regardless, it was clearly a dereliction of duty by our highest officials.