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Panetta Defends Doing Nothing About Benghazi

From an unquestioning Associated Press:

Panetta: US lacked early info on Benghazi attack

By DONNA CASSATA and LOLITA C. BALDOR | Thu October 25, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military did not quickly intervene during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month because military leaders did not have adequate intelligence information and felt they should not put American forces at risk, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.

In his most extensive comments to date on the unfolding controversy surrounding the attack in Benghazi, Panetta said U.S. forces were on heightened alert because of the anniversary of 9/11 and prepared to respond. But, he said, the attack happened over a few hours and was over before the U.S. had the chance to know what was really occurring.

"(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," Panetta told Pentagon reporters. "And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."

We now know they had two drones overhead, and that there were live video feeds from security cameras all around the consulate, and continual radio contact throughout the attack. So it was pretty clear that our sovereign territory was being attacked and that 30 to 40 Americans lives were at risk.

So what more information was needed? What more could intelligence have told them?

Besides, what is the purpose of even having a military if they are not going to be used to protect and defend sovereign American territory and American lives? What exactly would be wrong with sending in assets to defend the consulate? Were they afraid they might hurt some innocent terrorists?

Panetta was referring to Gen. Carter Ham, the head of U.S. Africa Command, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Dempsey was probably on the phone with the anti-Muslim film maker.

In a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner questioned whether the White House considered military options during or immediately after the attack, and he questioned what the president knew about the security threats in the country.

He said that the national debate over the incident shows that Americans are concerned and frustrated about the administration’s response to the attack.

"Can you explain what options were presented to you or your staff, and why it appears assets were not allowed to be pre-positioned, let alone utilized? If these reports are accurate, the artificial constraint on the range of options at your disposal would be deeply troubling," Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote…

How come Obama has not yet briefed the Congressional leadership on what happened? Haven’t they decided on a story yet?

And there have been ongoing questions about whether there should have been additional military forces sent to the consulate immediately after it became clear that the Americans were under attack.

As the events were unfolding, the Pentagon began to move special operations forces from Europe to Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily. U.S. aircraft routinely fly in and out of Sigonella and there are also fighter jets based in Aviano, Italy. But while the U.S. military was at a heightened state of alert because of 9/11, there were no American forces poised and ready to move immediately into Benghazi when the attack began.

So what exactly is the purpose of being "at a heightened state of alert"? What good is it?

Also, the Pentagon would not send forces or aircraft into Libya — a sovereign country — without a request from the State Department and the knowledge or consent of the host nation.

Did we have permission when we were bombing Libya to help the Muslim extremists overthrow Gadhafi?

During his news conference, Panetta lamented the "Monday morning quarterbacking" that has been going on about how the U.S. handled the attack.

And we don’t recall Mr. Panetta ever lamenting the endless "Monday morning quarterbacking" that the Democrats did during the Bush administration.

Besides, since when is it ‘quarterbacking’ just to try to get some straight answers about what happened? Doesn’t the public have the right to know what happened when Americans are killed?

And Dempsey, sitting alongside Panetta, bristled at questions about what the military did or did not do in the aftermath. Noting that there are reviews already going on, Dempsey added, "It’s not helpful, in my view, to provide partial answers. I can tell you, however, sitting here today, that I feel confident that our forces were alert and responsive to what was a very fluid situation." …

Except they didn’t respond. Maybe Gen. Dempsey should be resigning instead of bristling.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced it will hold a closed hearing Nov. 15 into the circumstances surrounding the terrorist attack, including the intelligence and security situation there, and additional hearings will follow.

Oh, the Democrat controlled Senate Intelligence Committee is going to start hearings a week after the elections. What wonderful timing!

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 26th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Panetta Defends Doing Nothing About Benghazi”

  1. Petronius says:

    SG : “Besides, what is the purpose of even having a military if they are not going to be used….?”


    Although U.S. forces might not have arrived in time to save Stevens and Smith, there was still time to have saved Woods and Doherty, the two former SEALS. And to punish the (dare we say it?) “terrorists” who were attacking them.

    But the real question is why there was no American military force there to begin with? Bad optics? Doesn’t fit the narrative?

    Maybe we should ask Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff?

    What a disgrace.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      No American forces there is by design. Intentional. It can be nothing else. US troops are assigned to such places by the state department and the SecState is supposed to coordinate with the DoD for personnel requirements.




      The answer is because of providing “optics” for the media to suck on. “My, my. Look what a great job they do in Libya and all without the military being there. Awesome! And oh, look….Recycling!”

      The other answer is because they felt they could actually negotiate their way out of anything. They killed Kaddafi, right? How could any Libyans be anything but pee-in-their-pants grateful for that?

      Well, the answer to that is easy. Libyans don’t think like Hitlery. Or Reid, or any American for that matter. An American is a representative of a society that desires to enforce American rules and values on people. In that sense, they are like Hitlery. But she and her ilk think that, like in a bad Sherwood Schwartz script, the natives will all be able to identify the good Americans vs. the bad, right? I mean, it’s easy.

      But take away that the average Libyan earns the equivalent of 12 dollars a year.
      Doesn’t own but one pair of shoes.
      Has a third grade level of education
      Cannot sign their own name and is most likely, illiterate.
      Has to barter for a simple meal with either labor or offering up one of his daughters.

      They live in the middle ages.

      Hitlery’s “value system” is as foreign to them as is an encyclopedia to a moth. And yet she expected them to worship at her feet. This is just more proof that the national socialists really are removed from reality.

      Finally, I still insist that the whole ordeal was intended to be a Fast & Furious hostage-taking situation where Hitlery and Charlie Choom would negotiate the release of Americans without any military help, thus “validating” their notions of being able to negotiate with terrorists.

      But as I said before, the money was spent, the terrorists killed the Americans and didn’t care about getting the rest of the payoff. They walked away muttering “suck-ah” and smiling while Hitlery stood there holding the bag.

      This is why they keep hammering the video, the “lack of intel” and so much else. Keep throwing it against the wall and hopefully something will stick. But this time the truth is coated with teflon.

  2. Reality Bytes says:

    Those fallen Americans on that roof in Benghazi died only once. With Obama as president how many more times as a nation will we?

  3. untrainable says:

    Perhaps we need a little “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” since it appears that there was no quarterback on the field on Sunday at gametime. The longer this information mudstorm continues, and more and more obviously lame excuses continue to spew from the administration, the worse they look to anyone paying attention.

    But first things first. When will the media start asking the right questions? Why were our people in Benghazi on 9-11. What was the purpose of a visit from the American Ambassador to the most dangerous part of Libya on 9-11? Who sent him there? Why did Rice lie, and who told her what to say in her lies? I could go on… and on…

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      The media cannot be counted on as a player in this arena. Issa and Boehner and others must assemble facts, documents and evidence and subpoena the operators of this without vacillation.

      The media will do what it will do.

      One of the problems that exists is that the American public thinks the media is part of the government, for good or for bad. I submit that “just ignore them” works even better. Why expect them to ask anything? Go ahead and ask the government yourself. Call your representative and ask them why they are complicit in a coverup?

      The motivation for all this was political. Over at American Thinker Karin McQuillan does a nice run-down of the events, speculating on whether our “leaders” were eating popcorn and watching it all as it unfolded. Hitlery is noted in a small part as inquiring the Libyan government to use its airspace. But even that lays out the absolute ineptitude of our mealy-mouthed uber left-wing self-defeating government representatives who are more concerned with “optics” than protecting Americans.

      She asks some smart, pointed questions and recognizes that this will not blow away with the next news cycle.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    Simple for me.

    “Sir, our embassy in Benghazi is under attack!”

    “Kill everything in a 20 block radius.”

    That’s how a man with spine does it.

  5. electraglide says:

    Here’s how it would have gone down back when America had a real president:

    You’re sitting at home watching TV, when, during the commercial break, the local news teases about gunfire heard at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. “Film at 11” they promise. This is the first breaking news that the public is hearing about Libya and the press has only had the story for five minutes.

    Fifteen minutes later programming is interrupted as the network cuts away to a harried and disheveled Sam Donaldson standing in front of the White House.

    “We interrupt tonight’s broadcast to bring you breaking news from Washington D.C. where President Reagan will address the nation in five minutes concerning an urgent national security matter.”

    Sam continues… “Sources tell us military action is underway in Libya following a brutal attack on our embassy in Benghazi. Special forces have been sent in to search for and rescue our ambassador who is missing at this time. ”

    “Local news sources report large portions of northeastern Libya are without electrical power, along with explosions, air strikes and fires at military facilities in and around Benghazi.”

    Cut to the oval office:

    Ladies and gentlemen, President Ronald Reagan…

  6. Tater Salad says:

    If you want the truth of went down in Benghazi, here it is. America, we are at War and the war is within our own borders and overseas. Here is what is going on. Believe it or not but all of the pieces fit into the puzzle and the media is covering for Obama/Clinton and every other damn traitor to the United States in the Obama regime.


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