A LONG READ BUT FROM THREE SOURCES 2/16/13
‘Obama AWOL when Americans killed’. Congress told White House left terror attack response ‘up to us’.
Panetta says President Obama was out of touch completely the night four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in Benghazi, Libya. The decisions on what resources were available to help, and other decisions were left “up to us.”A scheduled meeting with the president the day of the attack, Obama failed to communicate in any way with him that day. Panetta said he simply didn’t hear from anyone at the White House. He also said logistics and fear of more attacks prevented a quicker, more aggressive U.S. response to the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012. Panetta said no air support was dispatched when the terror attack over logistics.
Targeting and support capabilities were not in the vicinity of Libya and because of the distance, would have taken at least 9-12 hours to deploy. This was, pure and simple, a problem of distance and time,” he said. “The quickest response option available was a Tripoli-based security team. Within hours, the six-person team, including two U.S. military personnel, chartered [a] private airplane to Benghazi. Within 15 minutes of arriving at the annex facility, they came under attack by mortar and rocket propelled grenades,” he said.
“On that day, the Department of Defense was prepared with a number of contingencies,” he said, citing the “281 registered threats” against various American sites globally. “There was not enough time for military assets to respond,” he said, saying he did “everything we could to save American lives.” We were also concerned about potential threats to U.S. personnel in Tunis, Tripoli, Cairo, Sana’a and elsewhere that could potentially require a military response,” “A special operations force, which was training in central Europe, was ordered to redeploy to an intermediate deployment staging base in southern Europe,” Dempsey said that an unarmed drone was on the scene “within minutes.” “We positioned our forces in a way that was informed by and consistent with available threat estimates,” As a result of our posture and our ongoing operations, we were able to divert an unarmed, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to Benghazi within minutes.”
“Our posture was there because we did not take into account the threats against the consulate.” Dempsey did not answer McCain’s question, “Who is responsible then?”
But Clinton was not asked, and did not address, dozens of key issues about the tragedy, including: What did you know, and when did you know about the standoff occurring in Benghazi? Why did President Obama declare publicly in initial comments only hours following the Benghazi attack that it indeed was a terrorist attack but later in a CBS interview backtracked by saying that it was too early to determine whether it was a terrorist attack?
Were Obama and Clinton informed at the time the attack was unfolding? If so, what orders did Clinton give to seek to secure the facility? Was Clinton in direct contact at any time with the Secretary of Defense to determine what Special Forces were available to lend assistance? Was she also in contact with the director of the Central Intelligence Agency to ascertain whether he had any assets in the area to rush to the assistance of the beleaguered facility? At what level in the Department of State were officials informed and what action, if any. officials aware of the pre-911 security requests from Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other U.S. personnel in Libya?
What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi without his usual security detail, considering the already dangerous environment of Libya?
Why were his repeated requests for security either ignored, or turned down?
Since warnings are issued by the State Department on every anniversary of 9/11 to all posts to heighten security, why wasn’t it done at Benghazi, Why weren’t U.S. forces directed to be sent in, in light of a statement by the U.S. commander for Africa, Gen. Carter Ham, that he had the capabilities and was ready to go but never directed to go. Why is that? Why was a U.S. Marine fast action team out of Rota, Spain, told to take off their uniforms before going in to rescue the ambassador and the other three Americans? Why did the military conclude that the military couldn’t do anything? Why didn’t the accountability board even look at that? Why did CIA have such a large detail at the safe house location?
Why did Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy withdraw from Libya’s capital a 16-member special operations forces detachment that was assisting with security, a decision which was made two weeks prior to the Benghazi attack?
SEALs – Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty – killed in attempting to protect the ambassador and the consulate were contractors for CIA and their main purpose was to work out of a safe house not far from the consulate, ostensibly to inventory various weapons, some of which separate reporting says were then transferred to the opposition forces in Syria. In light of this prospect, why wasn’t more security in place to protect the few CIA contractors who were there? In such a high-risk security environment, why was security for the consulate provided by Libyans? Did they stick around to provide security for the consulate once the attack began?
Some of those providing security at the consulate either tipped off the terrorists or somehow pinpointed where in the consulate to attack, What has the State Department investigation revealed as to collusion with the terrorists by local Libyans charged with providing security for the consulate? Why was the FBI barred for 24 days from going to the consulate to secure evidence when reporters were given ready access and had obtained sensitive information which was later turned over to U.S. authorities?
We were told that four State Department officials involved in the decision-making process on security were removed or resigned. We now learn that isn’t true. Has there been any effort by the Obama administration in close coordination with the Defense Department and CIA to revise operational procedures to ensure that quick-reaction armed resources are available much sooner in future instances of impending or actual attack on U.S. facilities abroad?
Administration appeared to be covering up a gun-running scheme in Benghazi that fell apart when jihadists attacked the U.S. operation there. Paul has said he’s concerned by the “lack of security in advance of the attack, how they responded to the attack and the political coverup after the attack.” Paul said the evidence suggests political motivations throughout, and it appears that a larger agenda was at work.
In an interview with WND, the senator said his “suspicion, although I don’t have any proof, is that guns were being smuggled out of Libya, through Turkey and into Syria.”
“And that may be what the CIA annex was doing there,” Paul said, “and the cover-up was an attempt to massage and get over this issue without getting into the gun trade.” He said it was a “dereliction of duty” for Clinton not to have known more about the issues in Benghazi. Clinton claimed she didn’t see a classified State Department cable sent Aug. 16 that said the Benghazi consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack.”
In it was September when WND broke the story that Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials. the U.S. mission in Benghazi was set up without the knowledge of the new Libyan government, as WND reported.
WND also exclusively reported the facility may have violated the terms of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which governs the establishment of overseas missions. Like most nations, the U.S. is a signatory to the 1961 United Nations convention.
Panetta: President Never Called Me Night Ambassador Was Slain
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senators on Thursday that President Barack Obama was absent the night U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Libya on last Sept. 11. Panetta said that he had met with Obama at a pre-scheduled meeting at 5 p.m., The Weekly Standard reports.
The meeting was a pre-scheduled 30-minute session, Panetta testified. He testified that he and Obama spent about 20 minutes discussing the American embassy that was surrounded in Egypt and the situation that was just unfolding in Benghazi.
Obama left operational details, “up to us”. When Ayotte asked whether Obama had called to check on the status of events in Benghazi, Panetta said, “no, but we got information that the ambassador, his life had been lost, it went to the White House.”
The outgoing Defense Secretary said that he did not communicate with anyone at the White House on the night of Sept. 11. “There was no follow-up from the White House?” Ayotte asked. “No,” Panetta responded. Obama had never called to check in, he testified.
“The biggest problem that night was that nobody knew what was going on there.”
Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. special mission attacked on Sept. 11 was involved in gun-running. The remarks were perhaps the most important and telling of the entire hearing since they address a possible motive behind the jihadist attacks.
R-Ky. Paul asked Clinton: “Is the U. S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya? “To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.”
Continued Paul: “It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons, and what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?” Clinton replied, “Well, senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.”
“You’re saying you don’t know?” asked Paul. “I do not know,” Clinton said. “I don’t have any information on that.” That section of the exchange with Paul was almost entirely ignored by media. WND has filed numerous reports quoting Middle East security officials who describe the mission in Benghazi as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East. In September, WND also broke the story that the slain U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.
In November, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with countries, most notably Turkey, on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Assad’s regime, the security officials said. to the 39-page report released last month by independent investigators probing the attacks at the diplomatic facility, the U.S. mission in Benghazi was set up without the knowledge of the new Libyan government, as WND reported.
“Another key driver behind the weak security platform in Benghazi was the decision to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government, even though it was also a full-time office facility,” the report states. “This resulted in the Special Mission compound being excepted from office facility standards and accountability under the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999 (SECCA) and the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB).” The report, based on a probe led by former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering, calls the facility a “Special U.S. Mission.”
During the Libyan revolution against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups. At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi acknowledged in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”
The vast majority of media coverage worldwide refers to the U.S. facility that was attacked as a “consulate,” even though the government itself has been careful to call it a “mission.” A consulate typically refers to the building that houses a consul, who is the official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another. The U.S. consul in Libya, Jenny Cordell, works out of the embassy in Tripoli.
On Aug. 26, about two weeks before his was killed, Ambassador Stevens attended a ceremony marking the opening of consular services at the Tripoli embassy.
The main role of a consulate is to foster trade with the host and care for its own citizens who are traveling or living in the host nation. Diplomatic missions, on the other hand, maintain a more generalized role. A diplomatic mission is simply a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organization present in another state to represent matters of the sending state or organization in the receiving state.
However, according to the State Department investigation, the building was a “U.S. Special Mission” set up without the knowledge of the Libyan government.
In the released portions of the interview, Obama would not say whether he thought the attack was terrorism. Yet he would later emphasize at a presidential debate that in the Rose Garden on the day of the attack, he had declared it an act of terror.
Video footage from Benghazi reportedly shows an organized group of armed men attacking the compound, officials said.
Sources—wnd, aaron klein, todd beamon, taylor rose