No More "Gutsy Call"; Updated

I’m astonished that Obama and his cabinet are getting away with simply shutting the media down when questions are asked about the attack and what really happened in Libya. J. Christopher Stevens actually arrived in Benghazi back in April, while the Libyan civil war was still going, and his arrival was supposed to be classified. When they entered by cargo ship, though, it became widely known that Americans were in town and there was little warmth from the locals. Internet messages stated that jihadists were “preparing a message” for America – several incidents, including an IED being lobbed over the compound wall, a gate being blown open and Stevens’ car being fired at with an RPG. Three separate requests were made to bolster security with more than just Libyan militiamen, but every single request was denied.  (Click here for the letter from Rep. Darrell Issa detailing the leadup to the attack.)

Here’s the timeline of what’s gone on so far:

September 11 – very late at night, the US embassy in Cairo releases a statement about an attack on our embassy in Benghazi – rather than condemning the attack, embassy officials in Cairo attack US citizens who reportedly made a video offensive to Muslims.  Similar remarks are posted on Twitter.  Later, Mitt Romney blasts the Obama administration for failing to stand up to terrorists.  Administration officials flay Romney, claiming that he was using the situation inappropriately.  Cairo embassy staff suddenly start deleting their statements and Tweets.

September 12 – News of the attack is in full swing early in the morning. The very first reports say that Amb. Stevens was killed in the attack along with State Dept. IM officer Sean Smith and former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  President Obama makes a few short remarks from the WH Rose Garden – he then leaves for a fundraiser in Las Vegas.

September 13 – President Obama says little, but Jay Carney specifically says that the attack was in response to a video called “Innocence of Muslims”. A hearing is held before the Senate Armed Services Committee and John McCain tells reporters that he isn’t satisfied with what he’s heard and believes the attack was well-planned.

September 14Jay Carney claims that the administration had no “actionable” intelligence that an attack may be carried out.

September 16 – while the Libyan president openly says that the attack was premeditated and they had even arrested some of those involved in the attack and discovered they were linked with Al Qaeda, UN ambassador Susan Rice contradicts the statements by saying that there was no planning, the attack was part of a protest and it was all about the video.

September 18 – President Obama couldn’t miss his appearance on the David Letterman Show. He repeats the now-familiar narrative that the attack was the work of an angry mob bent out of shape over the video (if you DO watch the Letterman interview, keep a barf bag handy).

September 20 – While CBS cites witness reports that there was no protest in the area of the embassy when the attack began, President Obama continues to parrot the ongoing story about the video causing anger in the Mideast and sparking violent protests.

September 21 – Hillary Clinton is the first government official to say publicly that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Mass protests begin in Benghazi in support of dismantling the militias.

September 25 – President Obama speaks before the UN General Assembly and continues to refuse to label Benghazi a terrorist attack. He says they’re still investigating and dodges questions.

September 27 – Leon Panetta also finally admits that terrorists planned the attack.

September 28 – with little fanfare, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence admits to blaming the attack on protests over the video. They excuse themselves by saying that they warned both Congress and the press that their investigation was ongoing and information was “preliminary”.

October 3 – nearly one full month after the attack, the FBI is finally allowed to enter the compound in Benghazi to investigate. For those who don’t study forensics, a month is an eternity – and the destroyed compound had been completely unsecured the entire time.  FBI agents left in under 24 hours.

October 9 – officials from the State Department admit that there was no protest in the area when the attack was launched and they lay the blame on the intelligence community, claiming that they never believed the video was the source of any protests or the attack itself.  Incredibly, they also claim that they never concluded that the attack was the product of a protest over the infamous video.

October 10 – Lt. Col. Andy Wood confirms at a Congressional hearing that his repeated requests to bolster security in Benghazi were denied by his superiors.

October 11 – during the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden claims that they never received any requests for additional security at the embassy.

October 15 – Hillary Clinton accepts responsibility for the attack and the security failures but makes no motion to resign. President Obama makes no move to ask her to resign. Questions about whether she will are deflected.

October 16 – during the debate, President Obama snidely claims that he stated the attack was terrorism, the moderator defends him and the next day the press slinks away from apologizing for challenging Romney’s correct assertion that it took a full two weeks for anyone in the administration to call the attack an actual act of terror.

October 19 – the Associated Press (astoundingly) reports that the CIA chief in Libya reported in the first 24 hours after the attack that there was no protest and Muslim militants were invovled.

October 24 – Reuters releases emails that prove Obama administration officials knew immediately after the attack began that it was an act of terror. Later that day, Governor Palin releases her post titled “Obama’s Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies”. The press takes advantage of the wording to take the focus off of the President.  Jay Carney was not available for comment.

October 25 – the 60 Minutes special with the Obama interview is finally aired. In it, President Obama admits that the terrorists were planning the attack for some time. Leon Panetta claims that they didn’t have enough information at first to send help. Ed Klein reports that Hillary Clinton asked for more security for Benghazi – but Obama himself said no.  News reported that administration officials were able to see the attack via a drone as it happened.

October 26 – news reports reveal that SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty disobeyed orders to stand down and their final act allowed 30 people to be evacuated. Both called repeatedly for military help and every call was denied. Leon Panetta again claims that they didn’t know what was really going on and that it happened too fast for them to react (seven hours of fighting and multiple requests from SEALs on the ground, and you didn’t have enough time and information?). It is also reported that Joe Biden, during the ceremony when the remains of the four Americans were returned to their homeland, approached Tyrone Woods’ father and very loudly asked, “did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?”

Little by little, we’re getting a clearer picture of what was really going on and the more we find out the less we’re going to like the truth. I guess this wasn’t one of those “gutsy calls” that Obama was willing to make.

We have Hillary Clinton outrageously claiming that they were confused by the "fog of war" (the same one that she has never experienced in her entire life, nor has any member of Obama’s cabinet).  We have repeated lies about what happened, who knew what was going on, and when they knew it.  Most recently, I’ve been chilled to see that Hillary Clinton promised Tyrone Woods’ father during the memorial that they would "arrest and prosecute" whoever made that video we’ve all heard about.  And we have the press trying to tell us that the incredible turn of events is "uninteresting" (Rachel Maddow gave us that humdinger).  How angry do we need to be before something is done to hold their feet to the fire?

UPDATE: h/t to reader John_Frank, who pointed out something that I missed.  While I was trying to find a cached copy of the Cairo embassy’s internet statement the day of the attack, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said publicly that during testimony before one of the Homeland Security Subcommittees that General Carter Ham, commander of AFRICOM, admitted there were US forces capable of responding within an hour once the attack began – but that no order to deploy those troops was ever given.  This is in direct contradiction to Leon Panetta’s claim that he had decided – along with General Martin Dempsey and General Ham – not to deploy troops to Benghazi.  Shortly after his testimony, General Ham was abruptly replaced.

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  • John_Frank

    Mel, you may want to update your report with the following:

    Benghazigate: General Ham: “No Order to Protect Consulate” (VIDEO)

    • wodiej

      Yep.  Few people of authority between a 4 star General and the president.  No orders to send back up were given.  

    • Laddie_Blah_Blah

      Contrary to what Greenfield alleges, we do know that Ham was removed from his command at AFRICOM. We also know that he apparently told the Congressman that no order came down to deploy assets that were available to him. We now know, according to the Congressman, himself, that Ham is not supporting the administration’s narrative in discussing the issue with a US Representative.

      There is no speculation about any of that, only about the reason for Ham’s reassignment. There is plenty in Greenfield’s own report to provide a possible explanation for the administration’s motivation in reassigning Ham to another post. The linked interview with the Congressman seems to add fuel to the fire of such speculation. 

      Until and unless the administration is more transparent, such speculation is going to continue. I have read, elsewhere, that Ham was due for rotation out of AFRICOM to another command. By every public account, Ham had done an excellent job at AFRICOM, and there was no reason why he could not have been extended for another few months until the situation stabilized before bringing in a newbie.

      I’d say the speculation is justified, given what we know, and given how much else is being deliberately withheld from us.

      The idea that the US military shies from combat because it cannot be certain of the outcome of a military engagement flies in the face of its long history of fighting against long odds, and winning. In this case, one Spectre gunship could have turned the tide of that battle. There were reportedly no more than 150-170 bad guys – no contest. The ex-Navy seals knew that, called for one, and, apparently, expected one to show up.

      I like the site you linked, and have great respect for David Horowitz, the site’s founder, but criticizing the critics of the Benghazi fiasco has got it exactly backasswards, IMO. The administration’s stonewalling is what invites the speculation. It is the critics who are prying the truth from some of the principals, exposing the documentary record, and connecting the dots that are emerging to wed a coherent narrative that might help explain each new revelation. 

      If certain members of the media want to end such speculation, then they should task the administration with revealing the facts, instead of chastising those who are trying to make sense of what facts are now known.

      Keep digging, keep criticizing, and don’t ever let those bast*rds get you down. That’s the only way the whole truth will ever emerge.

  • chuckjr

    This is just so sad, Mel. It’s something that easily could have been prevented. Can you imagine how upset the families of these fallen Americans must feel right now? It’s one thing to lose a soldier in a legitimate firefight, but to lose someone in a pre-planned ambush that your own government could have prevented is just too much. 

    • SusanWo4p

      I also think about the folks who have loved ones CURRENTLY serving overseas.

      When my brother was serving in Iraq, I did take some comfort in knowing that he had a tremendous military behind him…and a Commander in Chief (Bush) who was going to do everything he could to assist them. 

      I feel very uncomfortable with Obama as Commander in Chief.  I don’t even know what the man’s motives are anymore and if he is willing to throw an Ambassador under the bus (for reasons we still don’t know)…I have very little confidence that Obama will do the right thing when it involves ordinary foot soldiers out in the field.

  • wodiej

    Great rundown of what happened.  Someone needs to be held accountable.  There was help 2 hours away.  Either obama denied requests for help to keep from damaging his re-election chances.  Or he’s just plain incompetent.  Maybe both. 

  • Laddie_Blah_Blah

    Excellent work, Mel. We will not allow them to bury this. The men who risked and lost everything deserve that we hold them to account. Any future POTUS must understand that we will not tolerate such misfeasance as was displayed here.

    I might add that there are 15-20 thousand ground-to-air shoulder-fired missiles which are at the crux of the matter. Many more lives could be at stake than those of the Americans who were in Benghazi on the night of 9/11 – 9/12. We will not hear much about that. The media apparently does not find that "interesting." A critical aspect of the Benghazi fiasco is that it blew up an important CIA covert op that was designed to address the threat that those missiles represent. That threat remains, and the CIA will have to reboot their program.

    Petraeus will do everything he can to fix it, but you wonder what he must be thinking about his feckless CINC.

  • cnswpassion

    Obama told the governors and majors yesterday that he would make sure the federal government would not get bogged down with rules and red tape to get aid to the states that need help after Hurricane Sandy.  Is that what happened in Benghazi?  He couldn’t make a decision because of rules and red tape, after all, he is the one that gives the orders and has determined what the rules of engagement are.  Our soldiers all over the world have to live and fight under Obama’s rules of engagement.  A lot of our military members have been killed needlessly because of Obama’s rules of engagement.

  • pipam12
    did you all see the new SpecialOpsSpeaks video

    • The Ranger

      Oh, yes.  I knew it was coming before it appeared.  I was so excited when it did!

  • ZH100

    Great read.  Thanks Mel.

  • momofsons

    Who is in the picture posted with this Post?

    • socon

       I wondered about the pic, too.

  • conservativemama

    What if what happened that evening is what was meant to happen?  What if this isn’t incompetence?  What if the actions of that evening were the beginning of a cover-up of actions we’ve yet to learn about………………….another Fast and Furious perhaps…………….moving weapons in that world to engineer certain outcomes.

    My mind will actually go there because I am in shock at what I’m learning about this situation.  I am as angry as Pat Caddell if not more so.  As I know many of you are.

  • friskyness

    I guess this time Obama didn’t want to be taken off the golf course.  Obama is an embarrassment to this country.  Anyone who votes for Obama is anti-american.

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