Battleland

Benghazi Revisited

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Fireworks are in place and set to explode Wednesday on Capitol Hill over whether the U.S. military could have done more to save the four trapped U.S. diplomats who died in Benghazi last September 11.

It’s all going to boil down to a debate over time and distance: were U.S. warplanes close enough to Benghazi that night that they could have been dispatched in time to scare off the militants and prevent the deaths of two of the Americans? “Time and distance,” Admiral James Stavridis, who responded to the attacks as the NATO commander, “are a tyranny of their own.”

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and State Department computer expert Sean Smith died in the initial assault on the U.S. consulate. But three hours after Libyans looters pulled a dying Stevens from the compound, former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed in a second attack on the CIA annex about a mile away.

If U.S. warplanes had been scrambled at the first sign of trouble to scream low over Benghazi and threaten the militants, could the second attack have been thwarted?

We’ll never know for sure. But a U.S. diplomat in Libya thinks it might have, even as the four-star head of U.S. Africa Command at the time said he considered and scratched the notion.

“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,” veteran U.S. diplomat Gregory Hicks has told congressional investigators, according to a partial transcript of his interview with them. “They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”

Hicks is slated to be star witness Wednesday into the Benghazi attack at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Hicks said the U.S. military attaché in Tripoli told him that the nearest jets were at Aviano, Italy, and would take two to three hours to put over Benghazi, assuming refueling tankers could be found to help them make the 900-mile flight.

Those long odds apparently kept the planes grounded.

“Did you ever suggest that we deploy any military asset quicker than 24 hours?” Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Army General Carter Ham, then-chief of U.S. Africa Command, at a March hearing.

“I did not,” Ham responded. “I considered, but did not request, the deployment of fighter aircraft.”

Countered Graham: “Did anybody ever ask you, `General Ham, what do we have to get to the aid of these folks quickly?’ Did anyone ever suggest that we use an F-15 or F-16 to buzz the compound once the ambassador was found missing?”

“Not to my knowledge, sir,” Ham responded.

Military command is all about assessing risk, and determining how much is prudent to take.

Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador to die on duty since 1979, and Republicans have made clear that they believe the Obama Administration didn’t do enough to keep him and his three colleagues alive.

Believing that is one thing. Proving it is another.

122 comments
Jetstar99999
Jetstar99999

This is about far more than Benghazi

Connect the dots...... Massive and dangerous national security leaks (Joint Israeli- USA Iranian nuke hacking program, Drone kill list, Operational details of Bin Laden raid, and other programs) 12 to 18 months back, with White House at the time repeatedly declining "story callback" offers from the NY Times and other media entities, with Obama disinterested in finding leakers - all conveniently making Obama look like the strong Commander & Chief, such theme THE central theme at the early Sept 2012 Dem Natl Convention......... to slowing down or calling off an attack and leaving SEALS to die for a ("Al Qaeda is decimated") political narrative........to changed talking points and UN Ambassador Susan Rice letting her prestigious high office be used as part of a cover up to buy time to assist in winning the election mere weeks away.

This was at systemic levels having one purpose - re-election at any cost. High crimes? absolutely, and will make Watergate look like a parking ticket. After a series of National Security leaks last spring, left wing reporter Judith Miller (obviously tipped by vested parties) very oddly kept repeating the following talking point, (paraphrasing): "well if Obama FIRST declassified certain programs, and THEN the White House leaked" "its not a crime."

Nice try for Ms Miller to try to clear the minefield, but one is still looking at impeachable type offenses - sham "declassifications", massive and dangerous national security leaks to win an election, entire programs in shambles for political gain, field operatives exposed or perhaps killed, other current critical assets and potential future relationships permanently damaged going forward, for example Pakistani Dr Afridi (who helped established DNA evidence in the Bin Laden raid) tortured and given a 33 year prison sentence, all this just part of the damage - such systemic abuse and misuse of power precisely why there is an impeachment clause in the Constitution.

Put White House Natl Security Advisor Tom Donilon under oath and watch him plead the 5th. By the way, nothing Donilon does is ever done w/o the full approval of the President of the United States.......

IzaakGe
IzaakGe

Hey Obama voters! How’s Obama’s Arab Spring working out? Helping militants like the Muslim Brotherhood (in Egypt) and Al Qaeda insurgents take over Libya and Syria will lead to WW3. The Mid East is turning into a disaster. Whose side is our banking puppet on?

Obama and NATO bombed Libya into the Stone Age at the orders of the Big Banks. Gaddafi started a new trading currency called the Gold Dinar and it was becoming popular in the Mid East and North Africa. This made the Federal Reserve and the Big Euro banks mad. Globalist puppet Tony Blair and Goldman Sachs execs made several documented trips to Tripoli to warn Gaddafi to end his new currency. When will Americans wake up?

IzaakGe
IzaakGe

Obama supporters need to exit their Obama Coma! During an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, radio talk show host  John Baxter said the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus had nothing to do with an extramarital affair with his biographer, reserve Army officer Paula Broadwell, but was related to U.S. policy in the Middle East, ongoing “color revolutions” in the region, and specifically the operation underway to arm al-Qaeda in Syria and overthrow the al-Assad regime.

“Benghazi is not about Libya, Benghazi is about the policy of the Obama administration to involve the United States without clarity to the American people, not only in Libya but throughout the whole of the Arab world now in turmoil,” Baxter told Kudlow. “Benghazi is about the NSC directing an operation that is perhaps shadowy, perhaps a presidential finding, perhaps doesn’t, that takes arms and men and puts them into Syria in the guise of the Free Syria Army.”

moni222
moni222

So the diplomat knows better than the military about military capabilities. This will probably be the first time the GOP listens to a diplomat over a general, because he is saying what they want to hear.

JacobD.Taylor
JacobD.Taylor

Well this is extremely one sided. From the top down it's defended the Obama administration. Not a single comment was neutral, everyone challenging Hicks 'validity'. I want a news outlet that will give me news. Not their damn opinion.

StevePWalter
StevePWalter

The one question that has not seen asked or answered is why Stevens' security detail left him behind alive and alone.

KevinNugent
KevinNugent

Smooth Edward you obviously dont know the first thing about a jet aircraft. When flying at a high rate of speed at low altitude, this will shack everything not held down by steel and the sound would be so loud and terrifying I assure you they would have ran for the hills. Considering our enemies know us better then the common american, our laser guided missiles and mini cannons can detect anyone with pin point accuracy that was t why the question was asked. 

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

What makes anyone think having jet scream overhead would have thwarted the militants? Unless the jet was going to blow the entire embassy to pieces it wouldn't have done much from up in the sky.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

Just curious...shouldn't the folks in the CIA annex have beat-feet out of there after the initial attack on the ambassador if they felt that the location was insecure? 

The big issue is whether there was enough security in-place to repel an attack (although no number of Marines could have swatted-away the incoming mortars).  Scrambling jets sounds like a swell idea in retrospect, but hindsight is always 20-20 (for most rational people anyway).

ChrisJackson
ChrisJackson

Gee if only it were as narrow as what this article represents. This is a huge deal. 

StephenSwain
StephenSwain

Somebody's fat is in the fire on this mess.  Whatever is done won't bring the four who died back, obviously.  The question in my mind is why the Diplomatic Security Service did not have a large complement in place, on the ground, read for any exigent move by the locals.  This ambassador should never have been in this position, period.  Somebody blew it!

Lord_Snerts
Lord_Snerts

Seems pretty ridiculous to spend this much time and energy for an attack that took four American lives in a foreign nation. How many people die within the country each day from acts of violence? How many go hungry each day? Nope. Don't care because Obama's out to get me. 

Really interesting which topics get elevated, and which ones get ignored. What's going to happen if any evidence comes to light that actually indicates fault with the POTUS? Same thing that happened to GW Bush for 9/11 occurring on his watch. Nothing. 

I'm actually surprised the anti-Obama folks haven't tried linking him to the Boston Bombing, or even cancer for that matter. Pretty sure Obama causes cancer. 

Seriously though, has any president been so vilified by the opposite party in American history? 

paulejb
paulejb

"Diplomat: U.S. Special Forces told "you can't go" to Benghazi during attacks"

"The deputy of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens has told congressional investigators that a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command Africa."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57583014/diplomat-u.s-special-forces-told-you-cant-go-to-benghazi-during-attacks/

There is no doubt that the Obama regime left its own employees to die gruesome deaths.

toddwils
toddwils

Oh for God's sake.   Add some tinfoil to your hats, conspiracy theorists.  It's not working. 

PavloDarcangellis
PavloDarcangellis

Go TIME magazine, good for you, one of the few outlets publishing this story.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"Those long odds apparently kept the planes grounded."

Um, not to mention that no one knew that there would be a second attack...or where it would be...or when it would happen...or what would happen...or that flying planes over the event that hadn't happened and couldn't be predicted would do any good. This is Scherer idiocy. I expect better from you.

paulejb
paulejb

5 Benghazi Mysteries that Must Be Solved

1. Who gave the stand-down order, and why?

2. Where was President Obama and what was he doing?

3. Where was Secretary of State Clinton and what was she doing?How much did Clinton know about the security situation in Benghazi before the attack?

4. Who changed the talking points, and who made the decision to blame a movie?

5. Where are the Benghazi survivors and why have we not heard from them?

Answers to these questions could doom the Obama regime.

IzaakGe
IzaakGe

@moni222, Where have you been?

 Retired Lt. General William Boyken said in January that Stevens was in Benghazi as part of an effort to arm al-Qaeda, what the corporate media calls the rebels. “More supposition was that he was now funneling guns to the rebel forces in Syria, using essentially the Turks to facilitate that. Was that occurring, (a), and if so, was it a legal covert action?” Boykin said during an interview with CNS News.

Boykin said Stevens was “given a directive to support the Syrian rebels” and the State Department’s Special Mission Compound in Benghazi “would be the hub of that activity.”

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@StephenSwain This was a CIA operation that the Ambassador chose to participate in at the last minute. Clandestine operations in foreign countries don't typically utilize a large footprint. The Ambassador knew the risks he was taking and was a much better and braver men than the GOP buzzards now trying to score political points of his death.

Hachi
Hachi

@Lord_Snerts  

Please, we all know that cancer and Boston bombing were Bush's fault

JacobD.Taylor
JacobD.Taylor

@Lord_Snerts Actually yes. Much more than Obama. Read up on a few individuals, even Kennedy, let alone Nixon.  However I contest with, "has anyone deserved it as much?"  I think not.

dett3356
dett3356

@Lord_Snerts Yes. George W. Bush. "Bush Derangement Syndrome." It's the chief reason the broken and useless Democratic Party won the WH . . . twice. That, and lots (Billions) of money from rich white people. With Billions of dollars, a branded demagogue, and lots of hate generated by the press over a decade, our democracy is now threatened. It's not about Obama. It's about making sure branded buffoons who prefer The View and the gold course rather than doing work can never get near the White House again.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@Lord_Snerts "I'm actually surprised the anti-Obama folks haven't tried linking him to the Boston Bombing, or even cancer for that matter."

You must have missed the news. Google "boston bombing false flag." Haven't seen anything on cancer yet. Stay tuned; if they come up with the lie, you'll probably find it repeated here.

DongFuller
DongFuller

@paulejb If this horses ass gets elected we can just pack it up. American has become a dump

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb Idiotic cartoons like this which cheapen the loss of brave Americans is the reason the GOP is becoming extinct. Please keep posting.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb There were plenty of CIA personnel available at the Annex. The attacks that killed the Ambassador were over in minutes and couldn't have been prevented. The attacks that killed the other two CIA operatives were hours later via a mortar shell. More troops at that location would have only meant more casualties. But by all means keep up the GOP lies.

row1519
row1519

Still flogging a dead horse? There's no more juice left in those sour grapes.

paulejb
paulejb

@toddwils

A grudging admission from the declining WaPo.

"As more information emerges, we will continue to track how the administration’s statements hold up over time and whether more Pinocchio ratings are appropriate."

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@toddwils They'll beat the poor dead animal as long as the MSM is willing to hand them a stick. When was it that the Clinton's killed Vince Foster? They're ineducable.

DanCummings
DanCummings

@shepherdwong If you've read the published timelines you'll know the attack never really stopped. These were not discrete events as this account suggests. When in doubt a massive show of force is always preferable. The property was under-secured and a highly armed group attacked. What would lead anybody to believe they'd just give up and go home?

paulejb
paulejb

@shepherdwong 

Improvise, adapt and overcome. A concept alien to the ethos of the Obama regime.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb Lets see. Water Gate was a GOP president bugging a Democratic Office, Iran Contra was a GOP President illegally selling arms to Iran to finance Central American death squads. So the simple answer is no, but keep spinning.

JacobD.Taylor
JacobD.Taylor

@mantisdragon91 @JohnDavidDeatherage  Right... like the Democrats are?  We may have claims that can be a bit of a stretch, but Democraps are SOOO far out left I seriously believe they need to begin their own race and find a different planet.

ChristianHemenway
ChristianHemenway

Sicily(which by flight time is not that far from Lybia) is a refueling base.

JacobD.Taylor
JacobD.Taylor

@mantisdragon91 @StephenSwain Right, political points that completely overshadow the fact that Obama cares more about his personal relationship with Islamic Radicalists in the Middle East than saving the people he actually governs and represents.

SchumacherMichael
SchumacherMichael

My sister thinks like you do..it was ambassador Stevens fault.  He should have not been there, and he was killed for that decision along with the other 3 people.  So nothing to investigate, it just happens.  What a bunch of crap, of course we have to know what really happened and why nobody helped them.  Why did our government make untruthful statements.  I want to know the truth.  Look, if people die in a bus crash, the NTSB is investigating it. 

bobcn
bobcn

@DanCummings @shepherdwong

"When in doubt a massive show of force is always preferable"

Clearly you've never served.  It always offends me that I could have died to satisfy the ego of a dimwit who won't take the time to do the homework.

When in doubt you don't get a lot of people killed just to impress General Palin, Major Coulter, and Private Limbaugh.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@DanCummings  Hindsight is always 20/20...eventually...usually. Security was under the CIA and a week later the head of the CIA still didn't know what happened. If events didn't happen "as [the CIA] account suggests," what do you know that the CIA doesn't? And if they happened at two different places hours apart, how were they not "discrete"? Under the circumstances, any anti-administration surety about this event, makes you an anti-Obama partisan. If I'm wrong, tell me who's at fault.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@reallife  Wasn't it you Bush apologists who said "blame 9/11 on al Qaeda, not 'bin Laden determined to strike in US' George W. Bush"? Bit of a different tune when terrorists surprise attack an CIA-defended embassy a world a way isn't it? Hypocrite.

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