The details concerning the 9/11 Benghazi attack are getting murkier by the day. Where once, the Obama administration attempted to put forth the sterilized notion that the attack was a result of a spontaneous protest, the event has now metastasized into a bloody monstrosity. Details from intelligence sources have surfaced, saying that the CIA was twice denied the request for reinforcement and told to stand down during the attack. Fox News reports:
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 on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — 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.
In fact, the report even states that a member of the CIA team on the ground had painted the attacker’s mortar position, calling in coordinates, but waited in vein for the airstrike. Also, the assets maintained constant radio contact with command, while the attackers pounded the CIA safehouse. The reinforcements were blatantly denied. To this, Secretary of Defense Leon Pannetta claims that they couldn’t send in backup, because they didn’t know what was going on:
“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”
However, they had ample intelligence, including -not one- but two surveillance drones in the air, along with the realtime intelligence from the CIA assets on the ground.
So, what help could they have gotten, even if it was granted? Well…
A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.
According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.
If you didn’t feel like reading that massive paragraph… it basically says that a small army was available, accompanied with air support. Simply, Ambassador Chris Stevens, and the other 3 that died along side him, could have been saved, but Washington adamantly decided against it (then, tried to cover it up in the days after).
This debacle stinks to high hell, but virtue can still be found in mire:
Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and 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 Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack.
These folks ignored direct orders, and went into the fray to save their countrymen. It was uncommon courage.
Nevertheless, for it, they were awarded a trip home in a metal box. Washington must be held accountable.