I’m going to keep repeating the message until it reaches critical mass. This is the opening paragraph of a story released today by Yahoo News: “The Pentagon defended its decision not to deploy forces to Benghazi, Libya, as soon as the U.S. mission came under attack on September 11th, saying it would have been irresponsible to put forces in harm’s way without better information.”
“Defended its decision!!!???” This is the first admission by the Obama administration that a decision was actually made! Yet unconscionable weaseling that is the hallmark of the Obama administration remains in play. “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,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.
That’s what Panetta said today. Here’s what CBS News reported six days ago: “CBS News has been told that, 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…A White House official told CBS News 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.’”
In other words, that White House official is essentially telling CBS News as long as military forces arrived “well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies,” it apparently mitigates the reality that four Americans were slaughtered.
From Yahoo today: “Lacking (real-time) information, Panetta said he, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Carter Ham, head of the U.S. military’s Africa Command, felt they couldn’t “put forces at risk in that situation. This happened within a few hours and it was really over before, you know, we had the opportunity to really know what was happening,” Panetta said.
Really? I guess the operative legalese here is “a few hours.” Yet the actual number was revealed by CBS six days ago: “Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours…Add to the controversy the fact that the last two Americans didn’t die until more than six hours into the attack, and the question of U.S. military help becomes very important.” (italics mine)
Yahoo News today? “In the aftermath of the attack, Panetta reminded reporters that the Pentagon deployed a Marine fleet anti-terrorist security team to Tripoli and had Navy ships off the coast. ‘And we were prepared to respond to any contingency. And certainly had forces in place to do that,’ he said.
From CBS six days ago: “The Pentagon says it did move a team of special operators from central Europe to the large Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Italy, but gave no other details. Sigonella is just an hour’s flight from Libya. Other nearby bases include Aviano and Souda Bay. Military sources tell CBS News that resources at the three bases include fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships, which the sources say can be extremely effective in flying in and buzzing a crowd to disperse it.”
Confused? That’s precisely the objective. This is exactly the same disinformation campaign that began when the administration blamed the attack on a video. When that lie became unsustainable, even for the most useful useful idiots in the mainstream media, we got Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shouldering the pseudo-blame—since absolutely nothing about her status has changed—and then quickly off-loading that burden onto the all-purpose fallback “fog of war” excuse.
Now the deck has been shuffled again, and on top of it all, we’re apparently supposed to believe that the Commander-in-Chief was not only left totally out of the loop in a life-or-death decision, but that he wasn’t even advised of what was occurring “in real time.” Fine. Then when—exactly when—was he advised that Panetta, Gen. Dempsey, and Gen. Ham “felt they couldn’t ‘put forces at risk in that situation?’”
Bet your life it was long before he and his minions were out flacking the video excuse, before Hillary was fake-falling on her sword—and well after he knew about the emails revealing that the consulate was under attack 25 minutes after it began, and that terror group Ansar al-Sharia was taking credit for it, were sent to everyone that mattered.
This is way bigger than Watergate. The only difference is that, this time, a corrupt administration is being protected by an equally corrupt media, completely determined to drag their anointed candidate across the election finish line before this scandal explodes. Such a despicable alliance is the stuff of totalitarian regimes.
And mark my words: if they get away with it, that exactly what this nation will become.
UPDATE: literally five minutes after I sent this piece out, Benghazi “went nuclear.” From Fox:
“Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials—who also told the CIA operators twice to ‘stand down’ rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”
It gets worse. A third request for back-up was also denied when Americans “were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, 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. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours—enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.”
In tennis, the expression is “game, set, match.” Bottom line: unless Americans are willing to completely ignore the reality that this administration completely abandoned the time-honored military concept of never leaving our dead, wounded—or those still alive—behind, this election is over. It is a fitting end for an administration utterly bereft of honor and integrity, when honor and integrity interfere with political expediency.
Arnold was an op-ed columist with the NY Post for eight years, currently writing for JewishWorldReview.com and FrontPageMag.com. Arnold can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org