Benghazi attacks

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The attack began at about 9:40 p.m. local time in Benghazi. Less than 20 minutes later, the U.S. military began moving an unarmed drone to a position over Benghazi, so it could provide real time intelligence to the CIA team on the ground. The CIA team went to aid the Americans at the consulate. The drone arrived shortly after 11 p.m. By 11:30 p.m., a CIA team was able to get all the Americans out of the compound.

As that was happening, Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left the Oval Office and went into a series of meetings in the Pentagon with senior leaders to discuss how to respond to the Benghazi attack and assess the potential for other outbreaks of violence in the region. Between midnight and 2 a.m., Panetta began to issue verbal orders, telling two Marine anti-terrorism teams based in Rota, Spain, to prepare to deploy to Libya, and he ordered a team of special operations forces in Central Europe and another team of special operations forces in the U.S. to prepare to deploy to a staging base in Europe.

As the military units begin moving, just before dawn, the Americans in Benghazi, who were now at the CIA base less than a mile away from the consulate, again came under attack around 5:15 a.m. when five mortars were fired at the building. Two missed, but three hit, killing two CIA security officers who were on the roof.

The Americans fired back and soon afterward fled the CIA base for the airport. By 10 a.m., they had flown out, heading to Tripoli. Shortly after 7 p.m., the Americans, including the bodies of the four dead, were flown out of Tripoli on a military aircraft.[1]

Response could not have got tent there in time to make a difference[edit]

Between midnight and 2 a.m. on the night of the attack, Panetta issued orders, telling two Marine anti-terrorism teams based in Rota, Spain, to prepare to deploy to Libya, and he ordered a team of special operations forces in Central Europe and another team of special operations forces in the U.S. to prepare to deploy to a staging base in Europe.

The first of those U.S. military units did not actually arrive in the region until well after the attack was over and Americans had been flown out of the country. Just before 8 p.m., the special operations team landed at Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily. An hour later, the Marine team landed in Tripoli.

Defense officials have repeatedly said that even if the military had been able to get units there a bit faster, there was no way they could have gotten there in time to make any difference in the deaths of the four Americans.[2]

"There were no forces at a sufficient alert posture in Europe, Africa or the Middle East to provide timely assistance to our fellow citizens in need in Libya." — John McCain[1]

Stevens refused extra security[edit]

In the month before attackers stormed U.S. facilities in Benghazi and killed four Americans, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens twice turned down offers of security assistance made by the senior U.S. military official in the region in response to concerns that Stevens had raised in a still secret memorandum, two government officials told McClatchy.

Army Gen. Carter Ham, then the head of the U.S. Africa Command, did not wait for the separate cable, however. Instead, after reading the Aug. 16 cable, Ham phoned Stevens and asked if the embassy needed a special security team from the U.S. military. Stevens told Ham it did not, the officials said.

Weeks later, Stevens traveled to Germany for an already scheduled meeting with Ham at AFRICOM headquarters. During that meeting, Ham again offered additional military assets, and Stevens again said no, the two officials said.

The offers of aid and Stevens’ rejection of them have not been revealed in either the State Department’s Administrative Review Board investigation of the Benghazi events or during any of the congressional hearings and reports that have been issued into what took place there.

Stevens’ deputy, Gregory Hicks, who might be expected to be aware of the ambassador’s exchange with military leaders, was not asked about the offer of additional assistance during his appearance before a House of Representatives committee last week, and testimony has not been sought from Ham, who is now retired.

Both Hicks and Ham declined to comment on the exchange between Ham and Stevens. Hicks’ lawyer, Victoria Toensing, said Hicks did not know the details of conversations between Stevens and Ham and was not aware of Stevens turning down an offer of additional security. [3]

The reason Darrel Issa does not want Pickering and Mullen to testify publicly is that they will give answers that does not fit their narratives. According to their report: 1) The CO at AFRICOM twice requested they let the military beef the security at the Benghazi. Stevens refused both times. This is likely because extra military presence in Banghazi would hurt what the CIA was trying to accomplish there. 2) Ambassador Stevens was requested not to go to Benghazi by both the CIA personnel in Benghazi and the State Department in Washington due to the security risks involved. Stevens refused to adhere to those warnings and refused to take extra security with them. 3) The military had little support prepared for a situation in Benghazi, There were no Naval Carrier groups in the area, The 4 man Special Ops Team in Tripoli was ill equipped to help as they were simply training troops in tripoli and the closest air wing was in Southern Europe.

In the end the ARB makes it appear as if the Consulate in Benghazi was a front for the CIA arming and training militia men who were sympathetic to the new democratic movement. Ambassador Stevens should have adhered to the warnings he received and that these warnings should have moved up the chain of command so that those folks in Washington could have for lack of a better phrase, put a leash on him and kept him in Tripoli and let the CIA do their job.

When reading the ARB and the emails released to the public this week you can easily see that Benghazi was a CIA operation and they were none to pleased that Ambassador Stevens was there and the State Department was somewhat pissed that the CIA was unable to keep the Ambassador in Tripoli. In short at the end of the day Ambassador Stevens' actions were what killed him and the three other americans. While it was his nature to be a hands on ambassador to Libya and its newly found democratic movement. However it was his risk taking which created such a tragic ending.

Warning about weapons to the revels[edit]

False.

Sen. John McCain says momentum in the fighting between the Muammar Qaddafi regime and rebel fighters can now swing back to anti-Qaddafi forces, but acknowledges they will need more weapons and better training.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500202_162-20045773.html

General Ham was told to stand down his rescue operation[edit]

The "rescue operation" Ham is claiming was told not to board on the previously scheduled C-130 flight took off (according to Ham) sometime around 6:30 AM Benghazi time. The second attack at 5:15 AM had already occurred over an hour previously to the flight and the Americans had already left the compound for Tripoli.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57583014/diplomat-u.s-special-forces-told-you-cant-go-to-benghazi-during-attacks/

CIA told the White House on September 12th that this was a terrorist attack?[edit]

The original CIA talking points were drafted on the September 14th at 11:29 AM EST which lead with the warning of protest linked to the video and the response to it.

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/05/politics/white-house-benghazi-emails/index.html

Summation[edit]

A number of government voices had already implicated terrorist involvement. The intelligence committees in Congress were informed of probable Al Qaeda associated involvement.

From the real emails, it is true that State disagreed with the CIA's initial talking points. The CIA rewrote the talking points until all parties were happy. From the emails, there was no White House involvement in the edits except to request that "consulate" be called something else.

It is also quite clear that the administration was already wary of attacks from Congress. The whole thing looks like politicians accusing other politicians of engaging in politics. For the first time ever!

I don't get the Right's fury over the "you tube" video riots. There were in fact riots and demonstrations in 17 locations due to the video. Three US embassies were damaged. The administration was wrong initially that Benghazi also involved in a demonstration. But it was not an unreasonable assumption, given the intensity of the Muslim world's reaction.

Attacks under Bush[edit]

Resources[edit]

Notes[edit]