#1 Lingering questions about Benghazi10-31-2012, 01:37 PM
The Washington Post's David Ignatius is now asking questions that the administration doesn't want to answer.
By David Ignatius, Published: October 30
The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi has become a political football in the presidential campaign, with all the grandstanding and misinformation that entails. But Fox News has raised some questions about the attack that deserve a clearer answer from the Obama administration.
Fox’s Jennifer Griffin reported Friday that CIA officers in Benghazi had been told to “stand down” when they wanted to deploy from their base at the annex to repel the attack on the consulate, about a mile away. Fox also reported that the CIA officers requested military support when the annex came under fire later that night but that their request had been denied.
The Benghazi tragedy was amplified by Charles Woods, the father of slain CIA contractor Tyrone Woods. He told Fox’s Sean Hannity that White House officials who didn’t authorize military strikes to save the embattled CIA annex were “cowards” and “are guilty of murdering my son.”
The Fox “stand down” story prompted a strong rebuttal from the CIA: “We can say with confidence that the agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
So what did happen in Benghazi on the night of Sept. 11, when Woods, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two others Americans were killed? The best way to establish the facts would be a detailed, unclassified timeline of events; officials say they are preparing one, and that it may be released later this week. That’s a must, even in the volatile final week of the campaign. In the meantime, here’s a summary of some of the basic issues that need to be clarified.
First, on the question of whether Woods and others were made to wait when they asked permission to move out immediately to try to rescue those at the consulate. The answer seems to be yes, but not for very long. There was a brief, initial delay — two people said it was about 20 minutes — before Woods was allowed to leave. One official said Woods and at least one other CIA colleague were “in the car revving the engine,” waiting for permission to go. Woods died about six hours later, after he returned to the annex.
The main reason for the delay, several sources said, was that CIA officials were making urgent contact with a Libyan militia, known as the February 17 Brigade, which was the closest thing to an organized security force in Benghazi. The United States depends on local security to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities everywhere, and officials wanted to coordinate any response to the consulate attack. After this delay, Woods and his colleague proceeded to the consulate.
Here’s my question: Was it wise to depend on a Libyan militia that clearly wasn’t up to the job? Could it have made a difference for those under attack at the consulate if Woods had moved out as soon as he was, in one official’s words, “saddled and ready”?
Second, why didn’t the United States send armed drones or other air assistance to Benghazi immediately? This one is harder to answer. The CIA did dispatch a quick-reaction force that night from Tripoli, with about eight people, but it had trouble at first reaching the compound. One of its members, Glen Doherty, died along with Woods when a mortar hit the roof of the annex about 4 a.m.
What more could have been done? A Joint Special Operations Command team was moved that night to Sigonella air base in Sicily, for quick deployment to Benghazi or any of the other U.S. facilities in danger that night across North Africa. Armed drones could also have been sent. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta summarized last Thursday the administration’s decision to opt for caution: “You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”
Looking back, it may indeed have been wise not to bomb targets in Libya that night. Given the uproar in the Arab world, this might have been the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a burning fire. But the anguish of Woods’s father is understandable: His son’s life might have been saved by a more aggressive response. The Obama administration needs to level with the country about why it made its decisions.
A final, obvious point: The “fog of battle” that night was dense not just in Benghazi but in Cairo, Tunis and elsewhere. U.S. officials needed better intelligence. That’s the toughest problem to address, but the most important.
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10-31-2012, 02:44 PM
Whether or not you consider Fox biased toward the right, you can't deny that if it weren't for Fox News, a lot of the gory little details Obama's dog washers would whitewash and try to bury would never be brought to light. This is why the left hates Fox so much. They are the one beacon in a sea of liberal white washers and the only major news network with the stones to vet out stuff like this. And even though Fox is handing these things to the MSM on a silver platter, the MSM still refuses to follow up or ask the administration these hard questions. It's a sad state of affairs when the majority of the American media can now be mentioned in the same breath as Soviet style propaganda ministries.The Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
10-31-2012, 03:03 PM
On Tuesday night’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that major news networks might have secret emails proving that the White House canceled plans to assist the besieged U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich said. “But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action. If that is true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that is true and comes out, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, and Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go.
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10-31-2012, 03:53 PM
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10-31-2012, 04:14 PM
Most of the people I know aren't saying that they should have known better than to stick their heads in the mouths of lions. They are asking why someone would send them into the lion's den with no protection and denied them protection when they asked for it.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.C. S. Lewis
10-31-2012, 04:46 PM
Americans were killed. The 0bama administration didn't care as they watched it happen live. Then they didn't care about the American people when they lied to us for weeks about what really happened.
Kudos for acknowledging that no one in this administration cared about American citizens being murdered overseas perfoming their duties on behalf of the US government. Even after Barry went on tv with his soulful "I send them there" act, we knew he didn't really care.Be Not Afraid.
10-31-2012, 06:52 PM
Another key explanation for the Obama administration is why they kept lying for weeks, that it was all about the video. By the way, what will be their explanation of how they took away the civil rights of the guy who did that cheesy little video that no one saw. This smacks of the way the commie countries act. I didn't think that this would be happening in America, especially from that hope and change guy who promised all those ponies and rainbows. He didn't promise jack booted thugs going to someone's house at night and dragging them away in an attempt to blame them for the administrations' screwup.
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