« | »

Gregory Hicks: Troops Were Told To Stand Down

From the Washington Post:

Special ops halted from responding to Benghazi attacks, U.S. diplomat says

By Ernesto Londoño | May 6, 2013

As the weakly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya came under attack the night of Sept. 11, 2012, the deputy head of the embassy in Tripoli 600 miles away sought in vain to get the Pentagon to scramble fighter jets over Benghazi in a show of force that he said might have averted a second attack on a nearby CIA complex.

Hours later, according to excerpts of the account by the U.S. diplomat, Gregory Hicks, American officials in the Libyan capital sought permission to deploy four U.S. Special Operations troops to Benghazi aboard a Libyan military aircraft early the next morning. The troops were told to stand down.

Of course, we have heard before that the troops who might have been scramble to save the personnel in Benghazi were told to ‘stand down.’ But this is in the Washington Post, and it is coming from the top diplomat in Libya, after Stevens’ death.

Defense Department officials have said they had no units that could have responded in time to counter the attack in Benghazi, but Republicans on Capitol Hill have questioned whether the Obama administration could have saved lives with a nimbler, more assertive response. They say that the reluctance to send the Special Operations troops may have, at the very least, deprived wounded Americans in Benghazi of first aid.

All of the excuses from the Obama administration always boil down to this: nobody could have gotten there on time. The trouble with that excuse is nobody knew how long the attack would continue. So nobody knew that they would not get there on time to be of help.

Besides, as Hicks and others have pointed out, some fighters could have made it there pretty quickly. Just their presence overhead might have been enough to scatter the attackers.

Congressional investigators released a partial transcript of Hicks’s testimony Monday ahead of a hearing Wednesday at which he is scheduled to appear. His remarks are the first public account from a U.S. official who was in Libya at the time of the attacks about the options that were weighed as militants mobbed the American diplomatic outpost and CIA station in Ben­ghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other government employees.

The new details are certain to reignite a debate over whether the Obama administration has been sufficiently forthcoming in its public accounting of the events and missteps that resulted in the first death of a U.S. ambassador in the line of duty in a generation. If Republicans in Congress succeed in portraying the administration’s response as feckless, the episode could dog any future political aspirations of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was secretary of state when the attacks happened.

Our media guardians are always careful to point out the evil machinations of the Republicans, in these kind of stories.

After the attacks ended without planes being scrambled or special forces dispatched, the lieutenant colonel in Tripoli who commanded the Special Operations team told Hicks he was sorry that his men had been held back.

“I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than someone in the military,” the officer told Hicks, according to the diplomat’s account. Hicks called that “a nice compliment.” …

It really is amazing. Why do we even have rapid response teams, if not for situations like this?

“The White House and the Pentagon have allowed us to believe that there were no military options on the table,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said in a phone interview. “The model of the military is to leave no person behind, and it’s stunning and unacceptable to think we had military willing and ready to go and the Pentagon told them to stand down. That’s just not the American way.” …

But it is the Democrat way. And, after all, Obama’s re-election wasn’t the only issue on the table. Hillary intends to run in 2016.

A Pentagon spokesman said he would review the Hicks testimony. “We have repeatedly stated that while Department officials started taking action immediately after learning that an attack was underway at the American facility there, our forces were unable to reach it in time to intervene to stop the attacks,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in an e-mail Monday night…

And yet we are never told what actions they took?

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters that the Republican-led inquiry appears to be politicized, saying it was “not a collaborative process.”

He said, however, that the State Department is not seeking to suppress the accounts of whistleblowers. “We have always encouraged any State Department employee who wants to share their story and tell the truth,” he said…

Which is why so many of them have come forward and spoken with the news media.

Hicks, a veteran Foreign Service officer who is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, told congressional staffers that he and others in Libya thought that flying U.S. military jets over Benghazi during the early hours of the attack could have had a deterrent effect.

“If we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the [CIA] annex in the morning, because I believe the Libyans would have split,” Hicks said. “They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.” …

He’s right, of course. And, once again, what would have been the harm in trying?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 7th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Gregory Hicks: Troops Were Told To Stand Down”

  1. Enthalpy

    Impeachment with a conviction might be impossible, but it is deserved.

    • canary

      Since it wouldn’t be the first time a President has been impeached it is possible.

      CNN could run it 24/7 like they did the Jodi Arias trial. A packed court room of celebrities and sports athletes. Fashion comment shows. Sell t-shirts.

  2. Wave goodbye to your family, Gregory. Washington does not forgive, and damn sure does not forget.

    • canary

      GBJ: There is hope. Gregory might be making a smarter move than Hillary’s water-gate cronie Foster and Bill’s large body count.

  3. canary

    On Huckabee this weekend there was man disguised and voice change over that said there was already help a the Benghazi airport that could have been used. Maybe it was in regards to this, and why aren’t we having more testimonies at the hearings.

    FOX Exclusive: Security officials on the ground in Libya challenge CIA account

    By Adam Housley – Nov 03, 2012

    Despite a carefully narrated version of events rolled out late this week by the CIA claiming agents jumped into action as soon as they were notified of calls for help in Benghazi, security officials on the ground say calls for help went out considerably earlier — and signs of an attack were mounting even before that.

    The accounts, from foreign and American security officials in and around Benghazi at the time of the attack, indicate there was in fact a significant lag between when the threat started to show itself and help started to arrive.

    But according to multiple people on the ground that night, the Blue Mountain Security manager, who was in charge of the local force hired to guard the consulate perimeter, made calls on both two-way radios and cell phones to colleagues in Benghazi warning of problems at least an hour earlier.

    Those calls allegedly went to local security contractors who say that the CIA annex was also notified much earlier than 9:40 p.m. U.S. military intelligence also told Fox News that armed militia was gathering up to three hours before the attack began.

    One source said the Blue Mountain Security chief seemed “distraught” and said “the situation here is very serious, we have a problem.” He also said that even without these phone and radio calls, it was clear to everyone in the security community on the ground in Benghazi much earlier than 9:40 p.m. that fighters were gathering in preparation for an attack.

    Many of these security contractors and intelligence sources on the ground in Benghazi met twice a week for informal meetings at the consulate with Blue Mountain and consulate staff, and at times other international officials. They were all very familiar with security at the consulate — and said the staff seemed “complacent” and “didn’t seem to follow the normal American way of securing a facility.”

    Both American and British sources say multiple roadblocks set up by fighters believed to be with Ansar al-Sharia were in place in Benghazi several hours before the 9:40 p.m. timeline and that communications also alluded to “heavily armed troops showing up with artillery.”

    One former Special Op now employed by a private company in Benghazi said that even the safe room wasn’t properly set up.

    He also said, “Ambassador Stevens would likely be alive today if this simple and normal procedure was put into place.”

    Multiple British and American sources insist there were other capabilities in the region and are mystified why none were used.

    Fox News was told there were not only armed drones that monitor Libyan chemical weapon sites in the area, but also F-18’s, AC-130 aircraft and even helicopters that could have been dispatched in a timely fashion.

    British intelligence sources said that unarmed drones routinely flew over Benghazi every night in flight patterns and that armed drones which fly over chemical sites, some a short flight from Benghazi, “were always said to be on call.” American sources confirmed this and questioned “why was a drone armed only with a camera dispatched?”

    British sources on the ground in Benghazi said they are extremely frustrated by the attack and are still wondering why they weren’t called for help. “We have more people on the ground here than the Americans and I just don’t know why we didn’t get the call?” one said.

    Both American and British sources said, at the very least, the security situation on the ground and the lack of proper response were the result of “complete incompetence.”

    The covert team that came in from Tripoli was held up at the Benghazi airport for more than three hours by Libyan officials.

    Sources said the team notified officials in Washington that they were being delayed within 30 minutes of their arrival.

    They also point out that these questions “don’t even address the military capabilities of our United Nations ally Turkey, who (has) forces available a similarly short flight away.” Fox News has learned that Turkey had a number of embassy staff in town the night of the attack and that the Turkish consul general met with Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi the night he and the three other Americans were killed.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....z2Sc1vJZbF

    Hillary said Turkey is a true friend to the US and she was sending them US Soldiers, planes and bombing drones for non-lethal support to the border with Syria so I beleive we did have help in Turkey.

    “““
    And to think Little Rock just renamed their airport after Bill and Hillary Clinton when they live in New York. What happened to the little airport in the boonies Bill had his cocaine dropped off at in the air field.

    http://www.arkansasonline.com/.....edication/

  4. Petronius

    For shame. They didn’t try. They didn’t even lift a finger.

    There is a lesson here for those who believe they can rely on government to solve their problems and answer their every need.

  5. BannedbytheTaliban

    Imagine nobody had done anything after the Boston bombing. No cops to secure the scene. No paramedics to treat the wounded. No FBI to investigate what happened. Then the administration came out and blamed a gas line explosion. That is the gravity of the Benghazi cover-up. And nobody is going to do a thing to rectify this injustice.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »