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Author Topic: Benghazi - Just the Facts, Ma'am
G3
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quote:
SEN. GRAHAM: Are you surprised that the president of the United States never called you, Secretary Panetta, and say, ‘how’s it going?’

SEC. PANETTA: I — you know, normally in these situations –

SEN. GRAHAM: Did he know the level of threat that –

SEC. PANETTA: Let — well, let me finish the answer. We were deploying the forces. He knew we were deploying the forces. He was being kept updated –

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, I hate to interrupt you, but I got limited time. We didn’t deploy any forces. Did you call him back — wait a minute –

SEC. PANETTA: No, but the event — the event was over by the time we got –

SEN. GRAHAM: Mr. Secretary, you didn’t know how long the attack would last. Did you ever call him and say, Mr. President, it looks like we don’t have anything to get there anytime soon?

SEC. PANETTA: The event was over before we could move any assets.

SEN. GRAHAM: It lasted almost eight hours. And my question to you is during that eight-hour period, did the president show any curiosity about how’s this going, what kind of assets do you have helping these people? Did he ever make that phone call?

SEC. PANETTA: Look, there is no question in my mind that the president of the United States was concerned about American lives and, frankly, all of us were concerned about American lives.

SEN. GRAHAM: With all due respect, I don’t believe that’s a credible statement if he never called and asked you, are we helping these people; what’s happening to them? We have a second round, and we’ll take it up then.


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TomDavidson
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Yeah, Graham's a total dick-clown. Dude knows he's got to strut for the circus, and doesn't even realize how desperately sad he looks while doing it.

[ February 08, 2013, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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G3
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Yeah! How dare Graham expose that Barry never even bothered to keep in touch with the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense after being informed that an American consulate was under attack from terrorists.

Interesting choice of vulgarity, "dick-clown". Defined in urban dictionary as:
quote:
Someone who ****s you over, often at work as well as just in life and finds great joy in it. Often leaves a situation completely ****ed over and runs away laughing. Also a verb meaning to **** someone's **** up.
That is precisely what Graham did to Obama and Panetta.

[ February 08, 2013, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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TomDavidson
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*sigh* Okay, look, we all agree that the stupid "My Pet Goat" attack on Bush's level of concern was in fact stupid, right? Before we continue on this topic, can we agree that expecting him to rush out of the room shouting for action is a totally unreasonable thing, and those people who criticized him for not doing that were taking cheap shots?
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G3
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Timeline of events:
quote:
9:05: After brief introductions to the Booker elementary students, President Bush is about to begin reading The Pet Goat with the students when Chief of Staff Andrew Card interrupts to whisper to the president, "A second plane has hit the second tower. America is under attack." The president stated later that he decided to continue the lesson rather than alarm the students.
and
quote:
A 9/11 Commission Staff Report entitled Improvising a Homeland Defense said: "The President felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening." According to Bill Sammon in Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the White House, Bush's Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was in the back of the classroom holding a pad on which he had written "Don't say anything yet." Sammon contends that, although Bush was not wearing his glasses, he was able to read this message, and it went unnoticed by the media. Sammon further states:
quote:

Bush wondered whether he should excuse himself and retreat to the holding room, where he might be able to find out what the hell was going on. But what kind of message would that send—the president abruptly getting up and walking out on a bunch of inner-city second-graders at their moment in the national limelight?


then:
quote:
9:14: President Bush returns to a holding room commandeered by the Secret Service shortly before 9:15. The holding room contains a telephone, a television showing the news coverage, and several senior staff members. The president speaks to Vice President Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, New York Governor George Pataki, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, and prepares brief remarks.
You're talking about 9 minutes where Bush and his staff wanted to project calm and control in the face of a unheard of and completely outside US collective experience issue.

Graham exposes that Barry, in the face of a well documented and known threat that occurs over a 8 hour period, cannot even be bothered to check in and see how it's going. It's not a 9 minute gap, it's not a surprise event that terrorists were targeting the consulate. Comparing the two and trying to say they're similar is incredibly disingenuous.

[ February 08, 2013, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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TomDavidson
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Let's get back to that. Do we agree that the "My Pet Goat" attack was ridiculous, first?
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Seneca
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It's completely absurd. So many people knew what was going on and they did nothing for over 8 hours.

I've worked in the military, messages to the pentagon and whitehouse come in with two main attributes: security level and action designation. There is no way these messages got "lost" in the "mix."

These were either "flash" or "urgent" priority messages and Obama and his entire staff sat on them watching people die. What part of "attack, attack, attack" is hard to understand?

There was an aircraft carrier 300 miles away that could have had jets there in an hour. There were troops that could have been there in two hours. Instead, 8 hours later, Americans were dead.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
These were either "flash" or "urgent" priority messages and Obama and his entire staff sat on them watching people die.
Okay. While we wait for G3 to get back to me, let's play with this one for a second. Let's grant all these premises. We agree that just sitting on these priority messages, knowing that there's a priority and that there was a potentially effective response available, is absurd. So what do we imagine could have been their motivation for doing so? If they knew everything it is claimed they knew, and they had all the power we claim they have, why do we think they did not act?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Instead, 8 hours later, Americans were dead
Half of whom were part of the team that was sent in in response to the incident.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Instead, 8 hours later, Americans were dead
Half of whom were part of the team that was sent in in response to the incident.
Two ex-soldiers do not constitute a legitimate response to an embassy messaging "attack, attack, attack."

A team of 50-100 would have been a decent start.

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NobleHunter
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So why do you think that 50-100 soldiers weren't sent?
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So why do you think that 50-100 soldiers weren't sent?

The person that could issue that order was AWOL.
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noel c.
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- "Boots on the ground would have been an appropriate platfform... "...

To protect consulate personel says Panetta's military liason, the idiot Dempsey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNw9drCmb64

Barry just "left it (the job of commander-in-chief) up to" Panetta, and Dempsey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPsK6YwWItI

The latest testimony from Panetta is in stark contrast to his original position:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKNg1-kyi5M

... So were the "assets" available, and being held back to protect American citizens, or are we now to buy into Dempsey's contention that "boots on the ground" were the appropriate (but impossible) response. In the final analysis, Panetta tells us he did not even know what time our commander-in-chief went to bed on the night of September 11, 2012. He would have hated, after all, to disturb Barry on the campaign trail in "the city that never sleeps".

Now we need to expedite confirmation of Chuck Hagel as soon as possible the Whitehouse says:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKNg1-kyi5M

Senator Graham is hesitant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byvmG8_dQ1k

As is McCain:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wzFfSc2Fjc

God help us...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Xab2X_Yik&NR=1&feature=endscreen

If Panetta was uncertain/contradictory in his response to Benghazi, Hagel is a disaster waiting to happen. It is said that a leader defines himself by the people he surrounds himself with.

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D Pace
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quote:
Originally posted by D Pace:
. . .
Let's compare this to the factcheck.org timeline, with times in Eastern Daylight time:

quote:
Sept. 11: The Attack

2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (8:30 p.m. Benghazi time): U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens steps outside the consulate to say goodbye to a Turkish diplomat. There are no protesters at this time. (“Everything is calm at 8:30,” a State Department official would later say at an Oct. 9 background briefing for reporters. “There’s nothing unusual. There has been nothing unusual during the day at all outside.”)

3 p.m.: Ambassador Stevens retires to his bedroom for the evening. (See Oct. 9 briefing.)

Approximately 3:40 p.m. A security agent at the Benghazi compound hears “loud noises” coming from the front gate and “gunfire and an explosion.” A senior State Department official at the Oct. 9 briefing says that “the camera on the main gate reveals a large number of people – a large number of men, armed men, flowing into the compound.”

About 4 p.m.: This is the approximate time of attack that was given to reporters at a Sept. 12 State Department background briefing. An administration official identified only as “senior administration official one” provides an official timeline of events at the consulate, but only from the time of the attack — not prior to the attack. The official says, “The compound where our office is in Benghazi began taking fire from unidentified Libyan extremists.” (Six of the next seven entries in this timeline — through 8:30 p.m. EDT — all come from the Sept. 12 briefing. The exception being the 6:07 p.m. entry, which comes from Reuters.)

About 4:15 p.m.: “The attackers gained access to the compound and began firing into the main building, setting it on fire. The Libyan guard force and our mission security personnel responded. At that time, there were three people inside the building: Ambassador Stevens, one of our regional security officers, and Information Management Officer Sean Smith.”

Between 4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m.: Sean Smith is found dead.

About 4:45 p.m.: “U.S. security personnel assigned to the mission annex tried to regain the main building, but that group also took heavy fire and had to return to the mission annex.”

About 5:20 p.m.: “U.S. and Libyan security personnel … regain the main building and they were able to secure it.”

Around 6 p.m.: “The mission annex then came under fire itself at around 6 o’clock in the evening our time, and that continued for about two hours. It was during that time that two additional U.S. personnel were killed and two more were wounded during that ongoing attack.”

6:07 p.m.: The State Department’s Operations Center sends an email to the White House, Pentagon, FBI and other government agencies that said Ansar al-Sharia has claimed credit for the attack on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. (The existence of the email was not disclosed until Reuters reported it on Oct. 24.)

About 8:30 p.m.: “Libyan security forces were able to assist us in regaining control of the situation. At some point in all of this – and frankly, we do not know when – we believe that Ambassador Stevens got out of the building and was taken to a hospital in Benghazi. We do not have any information what his condition was at that time. His body was later returned to U.S. personnel at the Benghazi airport.”

factcheck link

. . .

If the CIA's revised timeline is correct, the mortar attack which killed the ex-SEALs on the roof lasted 11 minutes. (On Sept. 12, the State Department indicated the attacks were over and the area secured by 8:30 p.m. EDT) (The CIA timeline above extends that to 5:15 am Libya time, or 11:15 PM EDT. )

(But if the CIA is correct, the two SEALs were killed by mortar fire just after the additional security arrived on scene from the airport, -- so what does that do to the claim that the CIA or Obama left our heroes dying alone while crying for support [which had just arrived on scene])?

...

Needless to say, I think it's helpful to note the 6 hour time gap Benghazi time to D.C. time, and the fact that the attack on tbe consulate started and finished 4 pm to 5:30 pm EDT, not in the middle of the night. [/QB]

I don't understand Graham's fixation on "when Obama went to bed," other than trying to continue a mis-inference that this situation was going on in the middle of the night, Washington time.

[ February 11, 2013, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: D Pace ]

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noel c.
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Pace,

- "(But if the CIA is correct, the two SEALs were killed by mortar fire just after the additional security arrived on scene from the airport, -- so what does that do to the claim that the CIA or Obama left our heroes dying alone while crying for support [which had just arrived on scene])?... I don't understand Graham's fixation on "when Obama went to bed," other than trying to continue a mis-inference that this situation was going on in the middle of the night, Washington time."...

Both Panetta, and General Dempsey, made it clear (upon being pressed to answer) that *no* military assets had "left the ground" before the al Quaeda attack was over. A CIA airport escort is unable to drop ordinance on a concealed mortar position, and the Secretary of Defense was not responsible for the extrication. Graham's "fixation" on Obama's "bedtime" was probative in determining just how involved our CIC was in monitoring the situation over which Panetta had been given authority. The answer is that Barry was *completely* disengaged. These clowns dropped the ball entirely, simply put, and Senate republicans are unlikely to move forward with the confirmations of Hagel, Brennan, or Lew until this fact is put out before the public in neon lights.

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hobsen
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President Obama was a lawyer and not a soldier, so any suggestion he should have personally taken command of the defense of a consulate thousands of miles from Washington is not sensible. There were people much lower on the chain of command who should have arranged to have that consulate better defended, and who had the authority to do everything necessary and possible once it was attacked. If they neglected to do so, or proved unable to do so, that fault belongs to them. In a government with millions of employees, some are incompetent, whether the current president is a Democrat or a Republican.

Senator Graham can of course try to block any nominations he wants if he feels this issue has not been properly addressed. My guess is that such a ploy would backfire, since he would be holding up public business over something unrelated and regarded as of little importance by voters. While most Americans are already contemptuous of Republicans in Congress, he might succeed in making their opinion of Congressional Republicans even lower.

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noel c.
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hobsen,

- "President Obama was a lawyer and not a soldier, so any suggestion he should have personally taken command of the defense of a consulate thousands of miles from Washington is not sensible."...

This is simply exemplifies a misunderstanding of what it means to be the Commander-in-Chief. Barry will tell you that he placed these people into harm's way. It is important that a sitting CIC not lose sight of the attendant responsibility, or suffer from the same misperception of his role in protecting them.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
This is simply exemplifies a misunderstanding of what it means to be the Commander-in-Chief. Barry will tell you that he placed these people into harm's way.
Except of course that he didn't. It's one thing to be ultimately responsible for the decisions of your people; it's another to micromanage them.
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D Pace
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Noel:

I'm talking about a particular meme that has Obama going to bed while this is going on, which I believe played off of idiocy in failing to differentiate between Benghazi time and Washington time with commentators wanting to make a point regardless of the facts.

Whether the State Department and CIA's internal response and allocation of force is a separate issue.

Graham asking when Obama went to bed seems as stupid as mentioning Saddam and Al Qaeda in the same sentence so that people will "remember" them being linked. This was a daytime event for Washington D.C.

[ February 11, 2013, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: D Pace ]

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D Pace
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:

4. The attack lasted for seven hours. (True, there were periods of calm, but only an idiot would use that as a rationale to divide the attack into *separate* events.)

. . .

8. Two of those Seals disobeyed that order, and died defending the consulate: Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty. (This is just plain stupid. Where did you get it from? They died on the roof of the CIA annex following the rescue of embassy personnel seven hours into the attack.)


(Noel, if I understand your post above, end of page 1, you're quoting OSC / OP at each number, and then giving your take, correct?)

I hunted all over and from the non-partisan timelines I've been able to see, there was an attack at the consulate that happened pretty quickly, Stevens was already gone to the hospital and Smith was dead, Seals from the CIA / State department went to the consulate and got everybody out, took them to the annex (where they should have been before because it was safer and defensible), and then (see above) from 6-8 pm EDT there was an 11 minute mortar attack at the annex that killed Woods and Doherty.

Who has disproved or contradicted the factcheck timeline?

Everybody that was going to die, did, from 4 to 7 pm EDT, apparently.

That's what mattered, right? And there was a 20 minute warning window of things getting weird to "Attack!" from 3:40 to 4 p.m.

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noel c.
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Pace,

Pentagon chronology in Benghazi time:

* Consulate attacked, Smith Killed, and Stevens died at hospital shortly thereafter - September 11, 2012; 9:42pm

* Panetta notified - September 11, 2012; 10:32pm

* Panetta "orders" three teams "prepare" for rescue stationed in U.S., Spain, and Croatia - September 12, 2012; 12:00 midnight

* Woods, and Doherty, killed by mortar fire on annex roof top - September 12, 2012; 5:15am

* C-17 based in Germany notified to prepare for extrication from Tripoli- September 12, 2012; 6:05am

* Aircraft departs with annex staff, from Benghazi to Tripoli - September 12, 2012; 7:40am

* Aircraft departs with second group, including bodies of four dead Americans from Benghazi to Tripoli - September 12, 2012; 10:00am

* C-17 departs Germany for Tripoli - September 12, 2:15pm

* C-17 evacuates all personnel, and dead, from Tripoli to Germany - September 12, 2012; 7:17pm

- "I'm talking about a particular meme that has Obama going to bed while this is going on, which I believe played off of idiocy in failing to differentiate between Benghazi time and Washington time with commentators wanting to make a point regardless of the facts."...

It was 6 hours, and 43 minutes, between the time that Panetta was notified, and the last American was killed (5:15am Benghazi time, 11:15pm D.C. time). Graham is not the one "playing off idiocy".

Initially Panetta said he could not give the order for rescue because it would "put troops in harm's way". In this last round of damage control, he, and Chairman of the Joint Chief's Dempsey, said "no assets were available"... "appropriate assets" defined as "boots on the ground". He wizzed right past air assets which specifically included F-16 fighters. It's a crying shame this idiot Dempsey beat out General James Cartwright for the Chairman appointment over PC Whitehouse crap. Cartwright actually understands how to deploy air-to-ground support.

Tom,

- "Except of course that he didn't. It's one thing to be ultimately responsible for the decisions of your people; it's another to micromanage them."...

I wish Barry had said that the campaign swing through Las Vegas could not be interrupted to "micromanage" the rescue of four Americans, which he put at unnecessarily extreme risk, prior to the election. Everyone on his propaganda squad lost little time blaming an American cartoonist, and threatening him with prison time. At least he is clear on his priorities, if not his job description.

[ February 11, 2013, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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D Pace
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See, you need to pick a timeline. If the pentagon timeline is correct, then the attack at the consulate was done and all were evacuated at

**11:30 p.m. -- All surviving U.S. personnel are evacuated from the consulate. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and State Department computer expert Sean Smith were killed in the initial assault.

which was 5:30 p.m. D.C. time.

In the pentagon timeline, there is no further hostile actions until a new 11 minute attack on the annex occurs at 5:15 a.m. (11:30 D.C), killing Woods and Doherty.


I see reports that small arms fire was heard through the night, sometimes quite intense. I haven't seen any reports but of the 11 minute mortar attack which killed the guys at the annex.


Anyway, the "official pentagon timeline" seems to answer my questions, if you believe that sort of thing.

(Anybody got a map of benghazi?) (found one - hey, that CIA Annex location is supposed to be classified!)

-----------------------

Anyway, could we discuss some plausible explanations? Let's try working from the assumption that our president, state dept., and DOD aren't sitting around watching videos and drinking a shot every time they see an American get killed. Maybe if we started from an assumption that the CIA and State Dept. are doing a pretty significant operation in Benghazi, and then start wondering why on earth are things so secretive, maybe we could speculate on some more plausible explanations for events . . . which don't revolve around the president desperately needing to get into his jammies by 9:30.


1) Was it okay for Obama to go to bed sometime after 11:30 that night? Midnight? 1:00?

2) Why did everyone in the administration parrot incredibly false talking points which had been provided (altered by) the CIA?
Were they
A) desperately trying to delude the american people, or
B) trying to protect intelligence concerning an ongoing CIA operation for a week or two while we sorted things out?

3) If Ambassador Stevens and the CIA had a massive operation in Benghazi to track down a bunch of lost Stingers, and were taking meetings with the Turkish ambassador on 9.11 specifically for that point, and the CIA wanted to keep this operation . . . secret, and maybe not waste the lives of the CIA operatives (n.b. not soldiers) who were killed on 9.11 and 9.12, do we think it more likely that orders to "stand down" in the midst of the incident are more likely to be
A) the U.S. President and sec'y of state laughing at how they've managed to hang some red state former SEAL's out to dry, or
B) a measured attempt by the state department and CIA to not blow the lid off a covert operation.

4) If an attack on an "embassy" occurs with 5 personnel, who retreat to defensive and safe room positions, while 30 CIA personnel are in a CIA safe house 2 km away managing a huge intelligence operation, and an order to "stand down" comes from CIA HQ to the spies who want to leave the safe house, is the reason more likely to be
A) POTUS is a coward who wants to get to Las Vegas and likes Americans to die, or
B) CIA / State Dept. takes calculated cold-blooded risks with its spies, not wanting to blow big important covert op, spies in embassy should be safe, and if spies from CIA safe house drive to embassy and back they might lead angry mob back to secret CIA safe house and blow the operation?

5.) Is the decision not to bring military assets to bear in Benghazi have something to do with there being no military personnel in Benghazi? I.E. could it be that a spy is treated as an asset, and signs up to try to accomplish something, and generally the CIA doesn't call in gunships to blow its secret operations?


I think questions of this sort, which lead from an assumption that the CIA, POTUS, DOD, and State Dept are actually patriotic, not incompetent, and trying to accomplish something, may lead to a more rational explanation of the decisions which occurred in Benghazi than assumptions that the president is more interested in protecting muslims than Americans (this from the guy that blows the f^** out of citizen muslims wherever they may be), that 30 CIA operatives in a Benghazi safe house which took no casualties after 6 hours of small arms and rocket fire might have been okay if everybody stayed off the roof, and maybe they were trying to do something important, brave, and secret, so maybe decisions were made to try to protect that mission.

I dunno. I tend not to think that people are complete idiots. I also like to think that CIA may act like a jerk but may know what it's trying to do. (hey I want to believe [Wink] )

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noel c.
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- "I see reports that small arms fire was heard through the night, sometimes quite intense. I haven't seen any reports but of the 11 minute mortar attack which killed the guys at the annex."...

There was heavy gunfire for 3 hours, and 20 minutes (per CIA report) carried over from the Consulate to the Annex. The 50BMG set up on the Annex was responding to this prior to the lull that ended in an 11 minute mortar attack. Woods, and Doherty, never got a bead on the mortar crew.

- "1) Was it okay for Obama to go to bed sometime after 11:30 that night? Midnight? 1:00?"...

By 4:00am D.C. time, all personnel at the Annex had been evacuated to Tripoli. Barry might just as well have forgotten about his jammies because it was almost time to begin a new day (and Panetta's response teams are *still* forming-up in Italy).

- "2) Why did everyone in the administration parrot incredibly false talking points which had been provided (altered by) the CIA?"...

You think that the CIA tells the administration what its talking points should be? The real question is why was U.N. ambassador Susan Rice designated as propaganda point-man rather than Hillary (State), Leon (Defense), or David (CIA)? How about the obvious; an al Qaeda attack did not fit Barry's "the world is safe because I killed Osama" narrative?

- "B) trying to protect intelligence concerning an ongoing CIA operation for a week or two while we sorted things out?"...

Sorted out, as in; "We could not send close air ground support to relieve the Consulate, or Annex, because the administration has just armed al Qaeda with Stinger missiles, so now what?" (per Russian intelligence)

- "B) a measured attempt by the state department and CIA to not blow the lid off a covert operation."...

... That had gone terribly wrong? Sure, I would be embarassed too.

- "A) POTUS is a coward who wants to get to Las Vegas and likes Americans to die... "...

Or; POTUS is simply too busy to be bothered.

- "B) CIA / State Dept. takes calculated cold-blooded risks with its spies, not wanting to blow big important covert op, spies in embassy should be safe, and if spies from CIA safe house drive to embassy and back they might lead angry mob back to secret CIA safe house and blow the operation?"...

Ummm, "angry mob" already knows about CIA Annex. Pre-placed mortar position is perfectly dialed in for range, and windage, during daylight hours. This is why four of five rounds score direct night-time hits... very good shooting even in broad daylight.

- "5.) Is the decision not to bring military assets to bear in Benghazi have something to do with there being no military personnel in Benghazi?"...

Or even worse; because security assets actually being sent *out* of Benghazi in weeks preceeding attack (despite Benghazi Cousulate requests for security build-up)... YES!

- "... could it be that a spy is treated as an asset, and signs up to try to accomplish something, and generally the CIA doesn't call in gunships to blow its secret operations?"...

Could it be that once the shooting begins, this is a silly question?

- "I dunno. I tend not to think that people are complete idiots. I also like to think that CIA may act like a jerk but may know what it's trying to do. (hey I want to believe )"...

Well, like Forrest Gump says; "stupid is as stupid does". The real person that should be talking to the Senate committee is General Carter Ham, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, who was accountable directly to Leon Panetta in the chain. Interestingly, he was relieved of his command, the day after the attack, while only 1.5 years into a 3 year assignment. Some of us think Dempsey intervened to prevent a proper miliiary response to the Benghazi attack by Ham.

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hobsen
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Without having studied the matter deeply, "The real person that should be talking to the Senate committee is General Carter Ham, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, who was accountable directly to Leon Panetta in the chain," seems a sensible comment. The U.S. Africa Command was set up by the U.S. Army fairly recently specifically because that part of the world was considered especially dangerous, and U.S. facilities there might need prompt military support. In other words, that had been specified as the U.S. Africa Command's most important mission. In Benghazi, such support was surely needed; and Africa Command did not provide it. Now General Carter Ham may have some valid excuse, such as his orders being countermanded by those of his superiors, but at first glance that fault would seem to be his. Of course, the Benghazi consulate was basically impossible to defend - or at least there is no way to defend all 300 or so similar installations around the world against whatever forces our enemies choose to throw against them - but they should be defended well enough so the attackers' casualties run to many times those of the defenders. While I am sure nobody knows exactly how many attackers perished in this assault, it would seem to have been a lot fewer than the number which might deter those who would like to carry out such attacks in the future. Incidentally, while I doubt Al Qaeda had much to do with the attack itself, I have wondered whether Al Qaeda is keeping track of U.S. rapid response forces throughout Europe and the Middle East, and perhaps tipped off the attackers in Benghazi that they could attack for a number of hours before U.S. forces could respond. Al Qaeda is not a particularly large group, and it probably could not keep track of every U.S. soldier stationed overseas, but the units trained and equipped to respond to such attacks are a much smaller number - and Al Qaeda may very well have people reporting on their whereabouts at all times.
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Pyrtolin
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Part of the issue there was that, because of budgetary and other policy consideration, State is pretty much forced to used local resources for defense. Embassies that have classified documents on hand get a Marine detail, but Benghazi didn't qualify for that much.

They had agreements with local militias for defense, but only a small portion of those turned out when the embassy was attacked.

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noel c.
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Pyrtolin,

- "Part of the issue there was that, because of budgetary and other policy consideration, State is pretty much forced to used local resources for defense."...

You are buying into the Hillary for 2016 nonsense. This is an utter lie.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
Pyrtolin,

- "Part of the issue there was that, because of budgetary and other policy consideration, State is pretty much forced to used local resources for defense."...

You are buying into the Hillary for 2016 nonsense. This is an utter lie.

No, it's not.
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noel c.
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- "State is pretty much forced to used local resources for defense."...

So you honestly believe that the Secretary of State is incapable of marshalling military resources of the United States in the face of a clear, and imminent threat to diplomatic personnel due to "budgetary", and "policy" considerations?

Not even Hillary stood by that early claim, later asserting she was never informed of the conditions in Benghazi; a defense CJCS General Dempsey did not find credible as of last week.

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Pyrtolin
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I'd say that the SoS is certainly not in the military chain of command, and definitely should not have the authority to override the generals taht are calling the shots in such a situation.

State, on its own, is very much constrained by the budget that it's given to fund all of its expenes, and GOP representatives are very much on the record patting themselves on the back for chopping away at State's budget. It's not at all surprising that a low profile embassy with no valuable assets didn't get much attention.

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noel c.
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- "... and definitely should not have the authority to override the generals taht are calling the shots in such a situation... It's not at all surprising that a low profile embassy with no valuable assets didn't get much attention."...

So which is it; a case of Hillary's powerlessness, or neglect?

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Pyrtolin
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That's a disingenous question.

CAreful allocation of limited resources is not negligence. 20/20 hindsight doesn't suddenly make it so. hiring additional security for one random backwater embassy would have been rightly seen as a waste of resources when theere were many more high propority locations that were also spread thin.

And the SoS has plenty of power within their own portfolio. They do not, however, have the authority to command the military. That's not powerless, that's reasonable separation of powers.

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G3
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Saying this was some "random backwater embassy" is disingenuous. There was quite a bit of warning involved that should have put this very high on the priority list.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
There was quite a bit of warning involved that should have put this very high on the priority list.
The beauty of hindsight, really, is that it's always pretty accurate.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
Saying this was some "random backwater embassy" is disingenuous. There was quite a bit of warning involved that should have put this very high on the priority list.

Same with many other locations in unstable areas. Unless you're suggesting that we should give State an open-ended allocation tospend as much as they need across the board, then shoring up one place will simply translate to weaker defense somewhere else. Which then mens that it will be somewhere else that's not well enough defended and isn't able to turn back an assault.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
There was quite a bit of warning involved that should have put this very high on the priority list.
The beauty of hindsight, really, is that it's always pretty accurate.
That's not hindsight.
quote:
The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack,” according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.
Summarizing an Aug. 15 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” said that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.

quote:
American diplomats were warned of possible violent unrest in Benghazi three days before the killings of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three members of his team, Libyan security officials say.
quote:
Fox News this morning reports that cables from the consulate itself made clear that they expected an attack from local militia groups in the hours before the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. They also told the State Department that they had reason to believe their local security was gathering intel for the attack...
Weeks and days and hours before the attack. Repeated warnings and concerns over a significant period of time. To say one could only figure out something was going on by hindsight is ridiculous.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
To say one could only figure out something was going on by hindsight is ridiculous.
You know, there are people who say this after every problematic "disaster." 9/11 was preventable. Katrina was preventable. The housing crisis was preventable.

And yes, all these things were predicted by somebody. But I'm generally willing to cut people some slack on 'em.

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Pyrtolin
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Are you claiming that, out of all US Embassies, Benghazi was the only one that has any suggestion of a dangerous situation?

You keep pretending that they could somehow have magically predicted that of all such reports that they have, they would have been able to magicvally know that lightning was going to hit Benghazi and so it was safe to pull resources from some other location under similar threat to cover it.

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G3
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Are you claiming the warnings and exposure in Benghazi is a typical experience for all US Embassies?

There is no need to pretend they could have known, nothing magical about it. They should have known of the risk. There were repeated, credible warnings. The attack lasted 8 hours, forces were in position to respond during the attack. Barry went to bed.

[ February 13, 2013, 04:23 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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kmbboots
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The question that continues to remain unanswered, as far as I am concerned, it why we didn't engage in this level of scrutiny on the dozen or so other fatal attacks on embassies and consulates in recent years?
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TomDavidson
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You really consider that an unanswered question, Kate? I would have thought it was obvious.
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