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Secretary of Defense Claims He “Spared No Effort to Save the Lives of Our American Colleagues”

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On November 12, 2012 @ 11:35 am In The Point | 5 Comments

And by spared no effort, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta means that an unarmed drone was dispatched and a team that waited until the attack was completely over and the Libyan authorities gave them clearance to land. Somehow this seems like a lot of effort was spared.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the U.S. military “did everything they were in position to do” about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

So now we’ve gone from “The department’s senior leaders and I spared no effort to save the lives of our American colleagues” and ““did everything they were in position to do” which is DiploSpeak for “did everything that we could do without offending anyone or altering administration policy by even a smidgen of a smidge.”

In his letter, Panetta said he wanted to specifically address the question of why no armed U.S. aircraft were used to stop the attack.

“Armed UAVs, AC-130 gunships, or fixed-wing fighters with the associated tanking, armaments, targeting and support capabilities were not in the vicinity of Libya nor postured to an effective operational option during the timeframe of this attack,” he said.

Except of course, as numerous experts have pointed out, they were well within flying distance, even if they weren’t present in Libya, which the actions of the SEALS in using lasers suggests that they were.

So Panetta is once again being disingenuous and as a former Clintonite, we’re in “meaning of vicinity” territory.

While officials insisted that the military did not have armed aircraft that could have responded in time to rescue Americans fighting off the terrorist attackers, the revelation raises questions about whether the team of at least 30 special operators could have been there, or off the coast of Libya, at an earlier hour.

It was “not feasible” to have an armed aircraft there in time, a senior defense official told reporters in a briefing where the Defense Department released its own timeline of events.

But critics of the military response have said the Pentagon could have at least tried to scramble F-16′s from Aviano Air Base in Northern Italy.

Further, the special ops team, known as a Commanders in Extremis Force, or CIF, appeared to take an unusually long time to travel to Italy.

The team left on a modified C-130 aircraft from Croatia and was directed to head straight to Sigonella air base in Italy — rather than to Benghazi.

The final attack on the CIA annex, which killed Americans Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, occurred at 5:15 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

The senior official said the CIF landed at Sigonella at 7:57 p.m. Libya time later that day — but he would not say when the aircraft left central Europe.

According to the Pentagon’s timeline of events, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave verbal approval for the CIF team to “prepare to deploy” somewhere between midnight and 2 a.m. Libya time. That means it took the CIF a minimum of 18 hours to go from Croatia to Sigonella. For some perspective, Sigonella is closer to Croatia than Benghazi and the distance between Croatia and Benghazi is roughly the same as Washington D.C. to Miami, Florida — about 900 miles.

It’s also important to note that AFRICOM only gave the order to deploy a C-17 in Germany to rescue surviving Americans at 6:05 a.m. on Sep. 12, Libya time, almost an hour after the final attack.

That aircraft departed Tripoli with the remains of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans killed, at 7:17 p.m. that same day. That was almost 24 hours after the attack began.

No effort was spared, folks. No effort was spared to save the economy or Benghazi or to stop Iran or bring back jobs. Obama and his cronies spare no effort for the big stuff. They do everything they are in a position to do… and then they go play golf or party in Vegas.


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