New details about the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya are still coming out daily. Just the other day we learned about e-mails from the Embassy in Tripoli sent to the State Department and the White House situation room detailing the attack in progress and that terrorists claimed responsibility. Now we are finding out that the attack lasted for seven hours and that our government was watching a live feed of the attack in progress. That begs the question, “why didn’t we respond with military force?”
Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, one of those killed in the attack is now publicly questioning who made decided to respond with force to the attack on our. From The Weekly Standard:
“Apparently even the State Department had a live stream and was aware of their calls for help. My son wasn’t even there. He was at a safe house about a mile away. He got the distress call; he heard them crying for help; that’s why he and Glen risked their lives to go that extra mile just to take care of the situation. And I’m sure that wasn’t the only one received that distress call—you know, come save our lives … I’m sure that other people in the military, in the State Department, in the White House, received that same call that he would receive. And I’m sure that most military people would jump at the chance … to protect that life [and] not leave anyone behind.”
Woods made clear that he isn’t “mad,” but that he wants to the “truth” to be told because he feels ” abandoned.”
Woods says he was told by military officials that the military could have “come above [the area] and completely carpeted area,” and therefore saved the officials in Benghazi, Libya. But that someone gave the command for the American military not to save the lives of the Americans under attack.
“When I heard, you know, that there’s a very good chance that the White House as well as other members of the military knew what was going on and obviously someone had to say, don’t go rescue them. Because every person in the military–their first response [would be], we’re going to go rescue them. We need to find out who it was that gave that command–do not rescue them.”
Picking up from there is IBD:
Scandal: More than six hours after terrorists attacked our consulate, former Navy SEALs manned a blood-soaked machine gun to defend U.S. territory. Meanwhile Apache helicopters sat on the ground in Italy.
At 4 a.m. local time on Sept. 11 — six hours and 20 minutes after the initial attack began — former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at the CIA annex not far from the consulate by a mortar shell. The machine gun they were firing was encrusted with blood, an indication they continued to fight after being wounded.
During that eternity, Woods and Doherty might have wondered between gunfire and explosions where the military, with bases strewn across Europe, was. U.S. forces were indeed being moved like chess pieces as the attack unfolded, but none came to their aid because no one gave the order.
…”The last two casualties occurred well over six hours after the initial attack,” Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted. “It is disappointing to hear that our national command authorities failed to try to reinforce the consulate with timely air assets, and that a consulate located in one of the most dangerous regions in the world was so unsecured.”
At The Washington Times gets the administration’s non-answer answer today:
Mr. Panetta decried “a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking” in the questions his department has faced about why it didn’t send help in the middle of an hours-long assault on the U.S. Consulate.
Mr. Panetta said the military had forces positioned to respond, but the situation was too uncertain to send them in.
“The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” he said. “It was really over before, you know, we had the opportunity to really know what was happening.”
A defense official told The Washington Times that an elite commando team called the Commander’s In-Extremis Force had been deployed to a U.S. air base in Sicily, about an hour’s flight from Benghazi, “within hours” of the start of the attack.
The assault, by dozens of heavily armed extremists supported by mortar fire and rocket-propelled grenades, unfolded in two stages over about seven hours.
“The attack was over before any forces were in position,” said the official, who was authorized to speak only on the condition of anonymity.
But the official added that diplomatic concerns also were at play, saying Libya is “a sovereign nation, a sovereign government. That was a consideration.”
So we didn’t do everything we could to protect our people on a day that we should have been extra vigilant because it might have upset the Libyan government? That’s beyond “not optimal,” it’s dereliction of duty…