In a nutshell what is new:
More evidence on the timeline and what the White House knew and when they knew it.
New documents discovered show that Chris Stevens told the State Department that Al-Qaeda forces were gathering in Benghazi and that he believes the consulate was next. His warning was ignored.
Ambassador Chris Stevens called and spoke with Gregory Hicks, The Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli, begging for help as the attack began. We had TWO drones overhead. Hicks notified Washington.
Ed Klein reports that Hillary Clinton also asked President Obama to send in help and he said no.
CBS News releases information form confidential emails showing that Obama would not even assemble the counter terrorism group and reports that they were told to stand down.
Ambassador Stevens’ emails to State Department: Al-Qaeda forces are gathering in Benghazi and this consulate is the next target.
His warnings, which were classified by the Obama Administration but leaked, came in the weeks and even hours before the attacks so why were his security teams taken away, even under protest? Previous requests for more security were not only denied, but they were told to stop making the requests.
The British came under attack previously so they got out. Lt. Col. Andrew Wood that they expected the attack sooner or later.
Catherine Herridge in the video below: The State Department has culpability in the deaths of these four Americans. The warnings were specific, they were direct, they named the enemy and they said that this consulate needed more support. Stevens said that the Consulate should move long term into the CIA Annex. [Diana West has a transcript of Heridge’s remarks in the video below as well as more details on the terror groups mention. Nice work Diana – Editor.]
Also in this video Intelligence Committee member Jason Chaffetz: Ambassador Chris Stevens called and spoke with Gregory Hicks, The Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli, begging for help as the attack began. Hicks notified Washington.
Chaffetz says that he spoke with (former as of a few days ago) AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham personally. Chaffetz says Ham told him, “he did not get a directive from the White House, from the president of the United States to engage in the fire fight to help protect those people.”
“Mr. President, you can’t have it both ways,” Chaffetz added. “You can’t say that you are doing everything you can to protect the people in Benghazi when we are under attack — a fire fight that starts at 9:40 at night and goes to the wee hours of the morning — and say you did everything when the military did not engage.” Says Cheffetz, we had proximity, we had capability, and we had opportunity and the President would not pull the trigger.
Emails from the embassy staff to the State Department, local military commands such as AFRICOM, the CIA, DoD, DNI, and the White House Situation Room were sent DURING the attack. They watched the attack in real time via the drones flying overhead.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer along with Col. David Hunt said that his sources say that Obama was one of the people in the room watching the Benghazi attack. Col. Hunt explains how and who was watching the live feed from the two drones overhead. Says Col. Hunt, “This was also the fourth embassy in 24 hours to come under attack so the entire U.S. Government was paying attention”.
[Editor’s Note – Col. Hunt says that the President or the Secretary of Defense could have ordered the military to intervene, but it didn’t happen. President Obama said that he ordered the military to do all that they could to help, did the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta disobey that order or is Obama lying again? Remember that after the “it was the video” lie was busted the next lie was “it was the fog of war, we had no communication, then we had too much communication” then after that the story was that we didn’t know what was going on and we didn’t want to send our guys into an ambush. But what better data is there than contact with people on the ground and two drones giving a live feed?
There are standing orders to preserve American life when such a call comes in. Why were those orders not followed or were commands ordered to stand down?
Local CIA teams were told to stand down multiple times during the attack while in contact with Washington. The AC-130 gunship was certainly overhead because one of our people on the ground was painting the mortar target with a handheld laser designator that works with the fire control system of an AC-130. You do not waste batteries on the laser designator and make yourself a target in the process if you are not in direct contact with close air support.]
Two U.S. officials tell Eli Lake at The Daily Beast that the State Department never requested military backup the night of the attack.
BENGHAZI, Libya — More than six weeks after the shocking assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi — and nearly a month after an FBI team arrived to collect evidence about the attack – the battle-scarred, fire-damaged compound where Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Foreign Service officer lost their lives on Sept. 11 still holds sensitive documents and other relics of that traumatic final day, including drafts of two letters worrying that the compound was under “troubling” surveillance and complaining that the Libyan government failed to fulfill requests for additional security.
When we visited on Oct. 26 to prepare a story for Dubai based Al Aan TV, we found not only Stevens’s personal copy of the Aug. 6 New Yorker, lying on remnants of the bed in the safe room where Stevens spent his final hours, but several ash-strewn documents beneath rubble in the looted Tactical Operations Center, one of the four main buildings of the partially destroyed compound. Some of the documents — such as an email from Stevens to his political officer in Benghazi and a flight itinerary sent to Sean Smith, a U.S. diplomat slain in the attack — are clearly marked as State Department correspondence. Others are unsigned printouts of messages to local and national Libyan authorities. The two unsigned draft letters are both dated Sept. 11 and express strong fears about the security situation at the compound on what would turn out to be a tragic day. They also indicate that Stevens and his team had officially requested additional security at the Benghazi compound for his visit — and that they apparently did not feel it was being provided.
One letter, written on Sept. 11 and addressed to Mohamed Obeidi, the head of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ office in Benghazi, reads:
“Finally, early this morning at 0643, September 11, 2012, one of our diligent guards made a troubling report. Near our main gate, a member of the police force was seen in the upper level of a building across from our compound. It is reported that this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore that this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission. The police car stationed where this event occurred was number 322.”
The account accords with a message written by Smith, the IT officer who was killed in the assault, on a gaming forum on Sept. 11. “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures,” he wrote hours before the assault.
Jake Tapper at ABC News reports:
White House has disclosed that President Obama was informed about the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi at roughly 5pm by his National Security Adviser Tom Donilon as he was in a pre-scheduled meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. At that meeting, senior administration officials say, the President ordered that the U.S. begin moving military assets into the region to prepare for a range of contingencies.
We believe this is misinformation. We know that there was a previously scheduled meeting with President Obama at 5pm, which is an hour and twenty minutes into the attack. What we do not believe was that this was the first that the President knew about the attack. As Col. Hunt said, this was September 11th and three of our embassies had already been attacked that day. The entire US Government was watching. Everyone was on a heightened state of readiness.
Remember when we said that the Obama administration may be in denial of terrorism because they were caught up in a “mission accomplished” mentality? Today there are reports that President Obama said in a speech in Ohio that bin Laden is dead and Al-Qaeda is finished. After Al-Qaeda killed our people in Libya they flew the Al-Qaeda flag over our consulate.
Did Barack Obama have a “Mission Accomplished” moment with dreadful consequences in Libya? Libya’s former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril believes he did.
Perhaps you’ll recall when George W. Bush stood on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and a banner positioned behind him read “Mission Accomplished” regarding Iraq on May 1, 2003. It was a moment that haunted him throughout the rest of his presidency and beyond, as the Iraq War continued on for eight and a half more years.
And just as many Democrats say Bush made a premature call after the sacking of Baghdad and the toppling of the Hussein regime, so too the former Libyan PM says Obama counted his eggs before they hatched.
Jibril has “accused the United States and its NATO allies of high-tailing it out of [Libya] as soon as dictator Moammar Gadhafi was disposed a year ago.” He says the quick departure created “a power vacuum” that has allowed radicals, like those who attacked the Benghazi consulate, to strengthen their numbers and flourish.
According to Jibril:
After the collapse of the regime, the immediate task of our friends was to help us rebuild the government before they withdrew from Libya. [But] the moment the regime fell down, they felt that their mission [had] been accomplished. I think it was a premature decision.
Ed Klein, a confidant of Bill Clinton (known as one of the Clintonista’s) tells Andrew Wilkow that Hillary Clinton asked President Obama to respond as the attack happened and Obama refused. See the video interview HERE.
CBS News: Counterterrorism Security Group told to stand down
CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).
“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”
Information shared with CBS News from top counterterrorism sources in the government and military reveal keen frustration over the U.S. response on Sept. 11, the night ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans were killed in a coordinated attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
The circumstances of the attack, including the intelligence and security situation there, will be the subject of a Senate Intelligence Committee closed hearing on Nov. 15, with additional hearings to follow.
Counterterrorism sources and internal emails reviewed by CBS News express frustration that key responders were ready to deploy, but were not called upon to help in the attack.
Now read carefully – from CBS:
Another senior counter terrorism official says a hostage rescue team was alternately asked to get ready and then stand down throughout the night, as officials seemed unable to make up their minds.
“The response process was isolated at the most senior level,” says an official referring to top officials in the executive branch. “My fellow counterterrorism professionals and I (were) not consulted.”
This of course is a bomb shell. What is interesting is that Speaker Newt Gingrich said that he knows of two major news agencies that have these emails, including the story about the stand down order, and that a Senator told him of this [probably the same Senator who leaked it to CBS and Glenn Beck in the first place who is almost certainly an Intelligence Committee member – Editor].
What is even more interesting is that Glen Beck not only said the same thing but he threatened that if said major news network waited until after the election to release these emails that he would out them, name names, etc. Hours later CBS released the story above.
Greg Davis, a retired DIA and State Department official tells Political Arena, “I think this is the first time in modern history where we can absolutely NOT trust our President to protect our troops; in this case, we need to protect them from him”. Davis has a light hearted blog where he talks about deadly serious things and offers up some of his speculation and what information he is still able to glean. He is not happy that our people were allowed to die while the White House situation room watched.
UPDATE – Followup report from Jennifer Griffon: More on the ground sources confirm they asked for help and were ordered to stand down – LINK:
Judge Pirro goes nuclear again: