Former President Obama recently suggested that outrage over the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi — which resulted in the deaths of four Americans — was a result of “wild conspiracy theories.”
Okay, here are the undisputed facts. On Sept 9th, 2012, the US Consulate in Bengazi, Libya, was attacked by a well trained and equipped tactical unit of radical Islamists. There was lots of intelligence that there would be something happening on the anniversary of 9-11. We had a contract with some good civilian security folks that was up for renewal that summer; Secretary Clinton didn’t renew it.
So, on 9-11 our ambassador to Libya—and the ambassador is the personal representative of our president—not just another government employee—was at the Consulate in Benghazi, and it came under a coordinated ground attack by a tactical unit. The few armed guards returned fire; they were greatly outnumbered. The Ambassador was taken to the safe room in the building and the US embassy in Tripoli was called immediately; they immediately contacted the State Department in Washington DC.
In less than an hour we had an unarmed drone over the battle area, so everyone in Tripoli and Washington and the Pentagon had both instantaneous reports via phone and a birds-eye view of actions.
Only the President, Obama, or the Secretary of State, Clinton, could order military forces to rescue our ambassador and his team; but they never did. The battle began in the evening and went through the night.
Of course, our military has response forces ready for emergencies and all automatically got ready to go.
Defense Secretary Panetta said he met in the Pentagon with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the head of Africa Command, and they couldn’t decide what to do since they didn’t know the situation. What nonsense—they had minute-to-minute reports and the drone overhead. And, the role of reaction forces is to get to the danger area and develop the situation—I had that job several times when commanding a company in the 101st Airborne Division.
At AFRICOM, General Carter Ham did attempt to mount a rescue effort but was told to “stand down”.
And there was a Special Ops team in Spain that could have been there by then—but was told to stand down.
At 11:30 PM, seven security people left Tripoli, arriving in Benghazi at 1:30 AM, where they held off the attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a mortar direct hit at 4:00 AM.
But the Administration said there were simply no military assets that could arrive in time to make a difference– mainly due to the unavailability of tanker support for fighter aircraft. By the way, how did they know how long this fight would last? Some fights last minutes, some hours, some for days. Clearly, this excuse is a total lie.
In fact the closest asset was not half-way around the world, but at Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of F-16Cs were based.
Consider this (all times Benghazi): When Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Benghazi saying they’re under attack, implement their existing “Emergency Response Plan.”
When at 10:00 PM AFRICON alerts the Aviano Air Base, Italy of the attack, the Commander orders preparation for launch of two F-16s and advises NAS Sigonella (a bit more than half way there) to prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets—no need for tankers.
By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five hundred 20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they’ll cover the 522 nautical miles to Sigonella in 1.08 hours. The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with fuel and cover the 377 nautical miles to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at 1:50 AM which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of the security reinforcements.
Then, the two F-16s pass over the mob, in full afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots; if that didn’t stop the attack cold, a few strafing runs would do the trick. And there could be additional flights of jets coming, too. But all this wasn’t permitted.
And what did the Obama Administration tell us and the world? Pure lies. For 9 days the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said the killing was related to the rioting that was going on in the area in response to a video made in the US. But that was not true; there was no rioting there that day. And Vice President Biden said that the White House was reporting what it was told by our Intelligence folks. Hey, the least competent intelligence officer in the world or the newest employee of our State Department could tell the difference between an attack on the consulate by an armed force and a city-wide riot. The president knew.
Former President Obama refused to use our excellent military response teams and he let our people die—and now he calls it all a “wild conspiracy theory.” The man is lying, period.