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Counter Terror Group Not Called For Benghazi

From Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News:

Sources: Key task force not convened during Benghazi consulate attack

By Sharyl Attkisson | Thu November 1, 2012

CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).

"The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies," a high-ranking government official told CBS News. "They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon."

So, apparently, Obama’s claim that he ordered everything possible to be done that night is not true. What a surprise.

Information shared with CBS News from top counterterrorism sources in the government and military reveal keen frustration over the U.S. response on Sept. 11, the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a coordinated attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya…

Counterterrorism sources and internal emails reviewed by CBS News express frustration that key responders were ready to deploy, but were not called upon to help in the attack…

Then why do we even have them?

Absent coordination from Counterterrorism Security Group, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official says the response to the crisis became more confused. The official says the FBI received a call during the attack representing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and requesting agents be deployed…

Note that this caller was representing Hillary.

Another senior counter terrorism official says a hostage rescue team was alternately asked to get ready and then stand down throughout the night, as officials seemed unable to make up their minds.

A third potential responder from a counter-terror force stationed in Europe says components of AFICOM — the military’s Africa Command based in Stuttgart, Germany — were working on course of action during the assault. But no plan was put to use.

"Forces were positioned after the fact but not much good to those that needed it," the military source told CBS News.

"The response process was isolated at the most senior level," says an official referring to top officials in the executive branch. "My fellow counterterrorism professionals and I (were) not consulted."

In other words, the Obama administration froze, like deer in the headlights. There was no ‘gutsy call.’ They could not handle the ‘3 am phone call,’ which actually came around 3 pm.

The official says a protocol set forth in a classified presidential directive calls for the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) to be convened in the event of a possible terrorist attack. According to a public military document, the directive was designed to "synchronize the efforts of all the government agencies that have a role to play in the Global War on Terrorism."

All protocol seems to have flown out the window.

The Administration also didn’t call on the only interagency, on-call, short notice team poised to respond to terrorist incidents worldwide: the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). FEST’s seasoned experts leave within four hours of notification and can provide "the fastest assistance possible."

FEST Teams deployed immediately after al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, and the USS Cole in 2000, but were not used for Benghazi, to the chagrin of some insiders. It’s likely that the CSG task force, if contacted, would have recommended FEST aid…

Didn’t anyone else at the White House or the Pentagon or the State Department know about this response team?

When asked why the FEST wasn’t utilized, a State Department official said it was used previously in East Africa because of damage sustained to a U.S. Embassy "to help restore communications and other infrastructure support. In this case, that was unnecessary at Embassy Tripoli."

Huh?

A White House official told us that at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta "looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies." He also said a "small group of reinforcements" was sent from Tripoli to Benghazi, but declined to say how many or what time they arrived. The Pentagon moved a team of special operators from central Europe to Sigonella, Italy but gave no other details…

In reality, only eight men were sent from Tripoli to Benghazi. Six CIA security officers and two US military officers. Eight men to fight against hundreds of attackers. And, of course, those special operators never left Italy.

And from the other surprisingly dogged reporter, Eli Lake at the Daily Beast:

New Details on Benghazi

Two U.S. officials tell Eli Lake that the State Department never requested military backup the night of the attack.

By Eli Lake | Thu November 1, 2012

On the night of the 9/11 anniversary assault at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Americans defending the compound and a nearby CIA annex were severely outmanned. Nonetheless, the State Department never requested military backup that evening, two senior U.S. officials familiar with the details of military planning tell The Daily Beast

[M]ilitary backup may have made a difference at around five the following morning, when a second wave of attackers assaulted the CIA annex where embassy personnel had taken refuge. It was during this second wave of attacks that two ex-SEALs working for the CIA’s security teams—Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods—were killed in a mortar strike.

Normally it would be the job of the U.S. ambassador on location to request a military response. But Stevens likely died in the first two hours of the attack. The responsibility for requesting military backup would then have fallen to the deputy chief of mission at Benghazi or officials at the State Department in Washington.

“The State Department is responsible for assessing security at its diplomatic installations and for requesting support from other government agencies if they need it,” a senior U.S. Defense official said. “There was no request from the Department of State to intervene militarily on the night of the attack.” …

For some reason neither of these developments is being reported by the rest of our mainstream news media, apart from Fox News.

Instead we articles like these from our media guardians:

From the Associated Press: "US officials counter reports on Benghazi attacks"

From the Associated Press: US officials: No delays in rescue effort in Libya

From the New York Times: "C.I.A. Played Major Role Fighting Militants in Libya Attack"

From the Washington Post: "CIA rushed to save diplomats as Libya attack was underway"

And even from the op-ed page of the Washington Post: "In Benghazi timeline, CIA errors but no evidence of conspiracy"

The last piece is from the same writer, David Ignatius, who was just saying that the questions raised by Fox News deserved to be answered. Apparently, he has been taken to the woodshed.

And even Ignatius’s piece puts the lie to the claim that there were no delays:

"1:15 a.m.: CIA reinforcements arrive on a 45-minute flight from Tripoli in a plane they’ve hastily chartered. The Tripoli team includes four GRS security officers, a CIA case officer and two U.S. military personnel on loan to the agency. They don’t leave the Benghazi airport until 4:30 a.m. The delay is caused by negotiations with Libyan authorities over permission to leave the airport; obtaining vehicles; and the need to frame a clear mission plan."

In fact, the only coverage we are getting from the mainstream media is push back against the investigative reporters like Sharyl Attkisson and Eli Lake and Fox News.

It would be like only seeing articles written in defense of the Nixon Whitehouse during Watergate. The news media is now doing the cover-up for the Obama administration.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, November 2nd, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Counter Terror Group Not Called For Benghazi”

  1. Right of the People

    It looks like four years of frustration with this asshole and his posse and their do nothing policies so they don’t look bad is boiling over at the various agencies. The intel and special forces communities don’t like being tossed under the bus and they’re fighting back. Look for more facts to surface in the days ahead. This makes Watergate, Irangate and all the other gates pale by comparison!

  2. canary

    The failure Libya is what Romney should be talking about. Obama droning without congressional approval and how in spite of asking for more security weeks prior to 9/11 their Special Forces trained military team of 13 were taken in spite of everyone involved in Libya begging to get it back and more security. Then 3 orders not to aid the embassy.

    And burning all the evidence that Libya was being overtaken by growing Al-Qaida camps and Islamic extremists. The head of the former security team told Stevens not to go back, but he said he had to. He was going to blow the lid off, and he needed to be shut up.

    Who better for the job to shut him up than Hillary and Obama.

    When Obama says the election is not about Libya??? Romney needs to know the election is about Libya and the future of the world. \

    Romney needs to stop playing Mr. nice guy and use these days shouting out. If we would focus on this and get off the jobs issue he’s already made his point.

    He needs to expose Obama as failed as commander of chief and keeping any peace in the world.

    Can you imagine everything gone from that embassy and in the hands of Libya while the US sat and watched.

    Can you hear the ahhs of Hillary looks like that spot burned pretty good.

  3. yadayada

    I could see it’s possible (& still believe it happened) that someone in the state dept. issued a “stand down” order to some of the response team members
    – if the reports in the time line are true —
    that approx. 2 hrs into the attack, there was a 3+ hour lull in the fight.
    that is a huge mistake to make. moose limbs don’t just walk away from a good terrorist attack while they still outnumber their victims.
    but no one in the o-hole team has any military experience of any sort. they had video from one of o-hole’s sacred drones after all. they thought the victims had been evac’d from one compound to another by only a small team of 6 (count em SIX) CIA men who arrived within an hour (without orders from D.C. I’m sure).
    the O-team saw the drone video, thought it was all over and breathed an incompetent sigh of relief. they did not understand that the enemy were mearly regrouping, re-arming, and relocating for the big boom.
    apparently no one in o-team thought the bad guys would follow or that you gotta reposition them mortars.
    it probably caught them in the middle of high-fiving their dodged bullet .
    then the shiites hit the fan. and while the heros on the ground were still trying to finish the damn job, the o-hole team froze like the tree hugging pacifist pieces of excrement they are and let our American Heros die.
    I wont scream treason like so many of my conservative brethren.
    but it is certainly easy to see that incompetence and negligence oozes from the O-team.

  4. canary

    CNN and FOX are reporting Panetta said “we’re not the fire department”

    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/.....s-at-risk/

    The fire was not that bad, as Hillary watched hoping the fire would grow.
    Panetta holding people back weeks and trying to recover anything in the charred U.S. embassy.




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