Benghazi: “They Stood and They Watched and Our People Died”

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


The idea that the American air power which destroyed Gaddafi’s regime could have intervened in the Benghazi attack had been ridiculed in the past, but now we learn that there was a Predator drone in the area.

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.

It’s unclear which Predator model this was, but the Predators can carry a weapons package and a Hellfire missile could have done wonders for dissuading Ansar Al-Sharia from further attacks on the compound.

Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen believes help could have come much sooner. He commanded CIA counter-terrorism missions targeting Osama bin Laden and led the team that responded after bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa.

“You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen says. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”

It’s unknown if the Predator drone was carrying weapons. The Libyan government claims to have denied permission for the US to fly armed Predators over Libya after the attack. But it’s possible that the drone dispatched during the attack was armed. Even so, it would have needed permission to fire and we know the problem with that.

US forces in Afghanistan have been denied air support anywhere near a village. The same Rules of Engagement that left American soldiers obscenely exposed would never have allowed using a hellfire missile inside the city of an “ally”.

Here is how Lt. Col Buzz Patterson described the process for authorizing an attack on Bin Laden in a ticking clock situation.

Pilots were in the cockpits, waiting to launch, targets were identified, everything was in place, all [Berger] needed was the go-ahead.”

Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit[uation] Room. He picked up the phone at one of the busy controller consoles and called the president. Amazingly, President Clinton was not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast. The plan of attack was set and the Tomahawk [missile] crews were ready. For about an hour Berger couldn’t get the commander in chief on the line. Though the president was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was somehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Sit Room, anxious and impatient.

Finally, the president accepted Berger’s call. There was discussion, there were pauses – and no decision. The president wanted to talk with his secretaries of Defense and State. He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The president eventually called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion. Berger alternated between phone calls and watching the clock.

This was how bad things were under Bill Clinton. You can only imagine how bad they were under Obama. Getting authorization to open fire within a very limited timetable would have been mission impossible.

The Predator drone was there for surveillance, but the only thing that its operator was authorized to do was stand there and watch while the people died.

  • truebearing

    To claim that we couldn't do anything to help Stevens and the others is preposterous. We have assets all over the Middle East. We have cruise missiles, Predators, fighters on aircract carriers that can put a bomb up someone's rear end on a foggy night.

    Let's get to the simple, unvarnished, intuitive truth: Obama is enabling the Islamists in any way he can, and for some reason, Stevens became a liability — a bump in the Caliphate expressway — so he was hung out to dry. Yes, he was abandoned to be murdered by terrorists.

    • Charles17121

      I'm inclined to believe the attack on the safe house in Benghazi was orchestrated by the illegal obama administration as a kidnapping of the US Ambassador to libya that did not go to plan . And that is why the people that wanted to come to the aid of the US Ambassador were told to stand down and when they didn't stand down the plan went sideways . We The People have a fraud and usurper sitting in the White House going by the name of barack hussein obama using a stolen social security number , forged birth certificate and forged selective service registration card to prove he is a legal sitting US President . We The People must demand the US Congress honor their oath to the US Constitution and remove this fraud and usurper barack hussein obama from office under Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5 of the US Constitution .

  • riverboatbill

    When you go for their hearts and minds,they stab you in the back.

  • GenoG

    Everyone knows Predator drones are too busy killing innocent people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.bernstien Chris Bernstien

    a.Obama did nothing to protect the ambassador.
    i.Wall Street Journal foreign affairs opinion writer Brett Stephens referred to the Benghazi attack as Obama’s “3 am phone call,” a reference to the foreign crisis call then-candiate Hillary Clinton predicted Obama would get as president and be unprepared to respond to. Except it occurred at 5 pm, Stephens notes. That’s when the White House was made aware of an attack on the consulate and decided not too send in reinforcements for fear of upsetting the Libyans. He quotes Wall Street Journal reporting: “There was no serious consideration at that hour of intervention with military force, officials said. Doing so without Libya’s permission could represent a violation of sovereignty and inflame the situation, they said. Instead, the State Department reached out to the Libyan government to get reinforcements to the scene.” (White House Dossier, 10/2/12.)
    b.This information established that Obama knew the attack was a pre-planned, organized terrorist attack and had nothing to do with an video. Yet, for three weeks, Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and UN Ambassador Rice insisted the attack was a protest gone over a video gone bad.
    i.Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack. (MSNBC, “White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack, emails show,” 10/23/11.)
    ii.Intelligence products published on September 12, sources tell us, included detailed evidence that al Qaeda-linked jihadists were involved in the Benghazi attacks. (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    iii.As first reported by Newsweek’s Eli Lake, within hours of the attack, “U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with the group that led the attack and members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate.” Lake reported that the intelligence was so detailed, U.S. officials “had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers.” (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    iv.Senior State Department officials were in contact with security agents on the ground in Benghazi, in real time, as the attacks unfolded. In conversations that evening and the next day U.S. officials in Libya gave no indication that there had been any protest of any kind. (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    v.On 9/12/12. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded internally that the incident was a planned terror attack likely by al-Qaeda affiliates on the embassy in order to release resources to respond, according to reports from several news media outlets. (USA Today, 10/11/12.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.bernstien Chris Bernstien

    vi.On September 12, the New York Times reported: “American and European officials said that while many details about the attack remained unclear, the assailants seemed organized, well trained and heavily armed, and they appeared to have at least some level of advance planning.” (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    vii.That same day, Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had no doubt the attacks were planned. “It was a coordinated, military-style, commando-type raid.” (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12; USA Today, 10/11/12.)
    viii.Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jay Carney, and Susan Rice maintain the attack was not a pre-planned, predetermined terrorist attack, but a mob reaction to a video that got out of hand. (USA Today, 10/11/12.)
    ix.On September 14, a U.S. official told Reuters that while the question of planning was an open one, “Everything I have seen says this was a highly armed, organized attack. Not a mob reacting to a movie.” (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    x.The officials who gave these assessments—elected and unelected, Democrat and Republican—were in a position to do so for one reason: the intelligence. Most important: There is no intelligence whatsoever linking the Benghazi attack to the anti-Muslim video. (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.bernstien Chris Bernstien

    xi.Notice that all of those assessments came before U.N. ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five political talk shows September 16 and linked the Libya attack to the video. And they came well before Barack Obama appeared on David Letterman on September 18 and did the same. (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    xii.Democrats said the same thing. Representative Adam Smith, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said: “This was not just a mob that got out of hand. Mobs don’t come in and attack, guns blazing. I think that there is a growing consensus it was preplanned.” (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    xiii.Senator Carl Levin, leaving a briefing with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, was asked if the attack was planned: “There’s been evidence of that. . . . The attack looked like it was planned and premeditated, sure.” (The Weekly Standard, The Benghazi Scandal, 10/22/12.)
    xiv.Finally, on 9/20/12, Jay Carney stated it was a terrorist attack. However, Obama repeated the video lie during a Univision Town Hall meeting later that day. The following day Clinton admitted it was a terrorist attack. On 9/25/12, Obama admitted it wasn’t just a mob action, but continued to blame the attack on the video, stating it was the “natural protests” that arose because of that video. Later that day, Obama spoke at the U.N., falsely blaming the video several times in his speech. Several sources establishing the video had nothing to do with the attack continued to surface after this. The State Department came clean on 10/10/12. (USA Today, 10/11/12.)
    xv.The State Department report makes it clear that there were American agents who fought their way out of the compound and made it to safety. These agents certainly would have been available to provide a first hand account of the events well before Ambassador Rice issued here wildly inaccurate remarks. (Forbes, 10/10/12.)
    xvi.It took two weeks for anyone to step inside the Benghazi compound to investigate the attack.
    xvii.Obama attempted to rewrite history during his second presidential debate on 10/16/12, claiming he called the Benghazi attack an “act of terrorism.” However, it is highly questionable that Obama was referring to the Benghazi attack. If he was, then it’s strange he would switch the following day to claiming a mob got out of hand because of a video, stick with that story for weeks, and then go back to his “initial” claim that it was a terrorist attack. This is particularly true in light of the overwhelming evidence that the White House and the State Department knew it was a terrorist attack and that a video had nothing to do with it the day of the attack. Quite simply, Obama orchestrated a lie and conspired with his press secretary, Secretary of State, and U.N. Ambassador to perpetuate that lie to those who elected him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.p.robbins.18 William P Robbins Jr

    Oboma should have been on the roof with Biden!

  • https://www.facebook.com/VincentR64 Vincent Ross

    SUBOPTIMAL BUMPS IN THE EARTH

    They were "bumps in the road",
    Now, just bumps in the earth.
    While we join with their families in grief.
    They foresaw grievous danger,
    But petitioned in vain,
    To "THE ONE" who could offer relief.

    Their defiled remains now shout: “TRAITOR,
    As their lives and their faith are besmirched,
    By appeasement, even tribute, to killers,
    Who laugh at their own blood stained earth.

    May we find some small solace in learning
    Those harsh lessons now known from their deaths:
    If you’re under attack when Barack’s got your back,
    Then you know that you’ve breathed your last breath.