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Reports In The Past Week Show A New Side To What Occurred At The Benghazi Mission
As US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans lay dead from the well planned out terrorist attack in Benghazi seven weeks ago, it's becoming evident that the Obama administration and other officials watched, but did nothing to help them during the assault. Fox News
is now reporting that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues.
Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers. So, it appears our government officials just sat and watched as at least one drone flew overhead capturing the events. As far as I know, there is no official reason why officials did not take military action to assist the Americans inside the mission.
An October 20, 2012 report from CBS News
claims that officials at least saw a portion of the attack. According to the network, "hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle."
The only official explanation given about any of the Benghazi tragedy came out in testimony during the recent House Oversight Commission investigation that brought out how the White House refused to send additional security when requested as far back as August because the administration didn't want to offend the sensibilities of the new radical Islamic regime which American and British arms had so recently helped install in Libya.
There have been conflicting stories that claim one rescue team from Tripoli arrived in Benghazi around 3:00am but were delayed at the airport. Other reports state no rescue teams were sent.
Pre- Attack Warnings
The Obama Administration received requests for additional security from the Embassy and the Ambassador himself as early as February. An embassy cable on June 25 expressed fear of rising Islamic extremism in eastern Libya around Benghazi, and noted that the black flag of Al-Qaeda "has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities." On August 2, Ambassador Stevens sent a cable requesting 11 additional bodyguards, noting "Host nation security support is lacking and cannot be depended on to provide a safe and secure environment for the diplomatic mission of outreach," But these requests for additional security were denied.
Taking into account that Ambassador Stevens was requesting additional security, the intelligence reports showing the increase in Islamic extremism, the presence of Al-Qaeda and knowing that the anniversary of 9/11 was approaching, the Obama administration should have ordered the extra protection. Instead, they did just the opposite and cut the security forces.
From the start of the Libyan uprising in early 2011, the Central Intelligence Agency built up an unusually large presence in Benghazi. By this September, two dozen or so operatives and contractors monitored Ansar al-Shariah and other militant groups. Deteriorating security after the war was no secret. U.S. intelligence noted militant camps in the mountains near Benghazi, including "al Qaeda leaning" fighters, according to Tuesday's New York Times.
Over the summer, the Red Cross and the U.K. closed their offices in Benghazi after attempted terrorist attacks and assassinations. A bomb went off outside the U.S. mission on June 6 but hurt no one. Ambassador Chris Stevens told his superiors in an August cable about a "security vacuum" in Benghazi. A different classified State cable sent in August, and obtained by Fox News this week, noted the growth of al Qaeda training camps and expressed concern about the Benghazi mission's ability to defend against a coordinated attack. It said it would ask for "additional physical security upgrades and staffing."
Repeated Calls For Help During Attack
Charles Woods, father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, 41, says his son died slumped over his machine gun after he and fellow ex-SEAL Glen Doherty, who were part of a small CIA team, held off the enemy as long as possible during those same seven hours. Reportedly when the attack first took form, Doherty and Woods were at a secure CIA annex only one mile away from the chaos at the compound. After the men heard shots fired, they promptly let the chain of command know about the situation on the ground.
Reports now claim that they were told twice to refrain from taking any action but the men ignored those orders left their secure area and went in search of American staff as any former combat-trained soldier would. They made their way to the consulate, which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and the body of Sean Smith, who had been killed in the first attack. Ambassador Stevens could not be located so they returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house. That request was reportedly denied. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.
Woods and Doherty, were part of a Global Response Staff that provides security to CIA case officers and provides counter surveillance and surveillance protection. A mortar shell killed them at 4am Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the Consulate began.
U.S. Forces Were Within 2 Hours Of Reaching Benghazi
A Special Operations team, Commanders in Extremis Force, (CIF) operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, according to Fox News, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, Fox claims that Pentagon officials say there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was also on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to them, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours.
White House Officials have spent the past seven weeks trying to covertly hide the facts behind the slayings and what prompted the assault. They engaged in false, misleading and deceptive tactics by trying to convince the public that the attacks were in response to an obscure anti-Muslim video instead of the truth that this attack was the result of 5 or so years of misguided foreign policy and unsettling Islamic extremism in that region.
The truth is coming out, just like when the Obama administration gave false reports
on just how Osama Bin Laden was killed. If it hadn't been for one of the Seal Team members coming forth with his direct involvement and knowledge behind that assault, we would never know the truth, only the administrations account of what happened.
At the very least, every American member of the Benghazi Mission is a hero, and President Obama should at the very least honor them with either the highest military or civilian honor afforded to any American who serves their country as they have.