Citizens Commission on Benghazi: Obama Provided Material Support to Terrorists

Stays-in-Benghazi

The interim report of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi is out and it states that…

The war in Libya was unnecessary, served no articulable U.S. national security objective, and led to preventable chaos region-wide. In the period since the 2011 revolution in Libya, the country has remained fragmented, poorly governed, and overrun with violent militias, the majority of which are jihadist Al Qa’eda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) affiliates. Yet, at the time of his overthrow, Muammar Qaddafi was an ally of the United States in the Global War on Terror.

And points out that…

Even more disturbingly, the U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qa’eda-dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion. The jihadist agenda of AQIM, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy. The rebels made no secret of their al-Qa’eda affiliation, openly flying and speaking in front of the black flag of Islamic jihad, according to author John Rosenthal and multiple media reports. And yet, the White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qa’eda. The result in Libya, across much of North Africa, and beyond has been utter chaos, disruption of Libya’s oil industry, the spread of dangerous weapons (including surface-to-air missiles), and the empowerment of jihadist organizations like al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The report also points out that Gaddafi was discussing terms of exile, but that there was no interest in the negotiations from the White House.

That’s interesting considering that the left had insisted that Bush endlessly negotiate with Saddam. Yet they entirely refuse to negotiate with Gaddafi.

The report also distinguishes between the technical ‘stand down’ order point that Media Matters has seized on to attempt to discredit critics of their leader.

On the day of the attacks in Benghazi, whether or not there was an official order to stand down, the result was the same. There were military assets, for example, at the U.S. base in Sigonella, in Sicily, Italy that could have been brought to bear, and perhaps could have saved the lives of the two men killed at the CIA Annex, the scene of the second attack that night. The failure to attempt to rescue these Americans amounts to a dereliction of duty.

  • trickyblain

    “There were military assets, for example, at the U.S. base in Sigonella, in Sicily…”

    Yes. Slow transports and tankers. Aircraft based at NAS Sigonella include C-130s, C-5s, P-3s, KC 135s, KC-10s etc. Nary a fighter or fast attack bird in the bunch. If the attackers were underwater in a sub, I suppose the P-3s may have been useful …

    • NAHALKIDES

      Perhaps a transport plane, with armed troops aboard, could have been useful – if they could have landed anywhere near the compound. In any case, it strains credibility that the entire U.S. Armed Forces was powerless to assist in Benghazi, or that no contingency plans (together with necessary personnel) were ever developed by military planners to evacuate a diplomatic facility under hostile fire.

      • DB1954

        The entire notion that we would not have attempted a rescue of Americans is utterly fatuous, absurd, and unthinkable. No American military officer would have even remotely considered letting Americans die without at least an attempt at a rescue. The ONLY reason that no rescue attempt was undertaken MUST be that it was the decision of the civilian command–a cabinet officer or the POTUS or both. The only reason the military commanders obeyed it was because it was their duty to obey it.

        • hiernonymous

          Okay, here we go again.
          1. The first two casualties were sustained in the initial attack on the compound. If the entire 82d had been on strip alert in Sigonella and had launched within 30 seconds of the first shot, they’d have been too late.

          2. The other two casualties were taken during the extraction, after forces from Tripoli had arrived to rescue the remaining personnel. In other words, help WAS sent, and as the personnel were being removed, they took indirect fire. Those casualties could not have been reliably prevented by a greater sized force, and waiting for such a force would only have multiplied casualties.

          3. We know that the DATT in Tripoli checked and found that there was NO fast mover in theater with the range to strike Benghazi, and no A2A refueling asset that could be used to extend range in time. Translation: there were no military assets in position to improve upon the actual tactical response.

          When you say there should have been an attempt at a rescue, you appear to be ignoring two things:
          1. There WAS a rescue. We lost 4 personnel, but we got the rest out.
          2. You haven’t suggested who, exactly, could have been employed in such an attempt, apart from those who actually were.

          I’d also submit that, had, say the 173d been able to get there, that still might have been a bad move. Benghazi wasn’t the only crisis that day. Part of the much larger embassy in Cairo had been overrun earlier in the day, and priority for larger-scale military assets should probably have remained with Cairo until it was clear that HN security forces had regained control in Garden City.

          • NAHALKIDES

            Regarding your two points:

            1. Wasn’t this a diplomatic security force and not the U.S. military? The question remains, why were no U.S. military assets sent?
            2. No, we haven’t named any particular assets that could have been sent, not having full (and probably classified) information as to the extent of military deployments in the region. What we are saying is that the idea the entire U.S. military throughout the world could not have attempted a rescue is incredible. If that is somehow true, then our military leaders need to do some further contingency planning on rescuing diplomatic personnel in an emergency.

          • hiernonymous

            1. Yes, it was a diplomatic security force. To the second part of your question, I thought that was already quite clearly addressed: there was no military force close enough to respond to the immediate crisis. And, as I’ve already pointed out, the DSS team was perfectly adequate to the extraction mission.

            2. So, in sum, you have no idea where our military forces were or what they were doing, but you’re willing to offer public criticism rooted in the surety that someone, somewhere, must have been in a position to do something.

            That’s magical thinking on multiple levels. First, routine diplomatic security is not a military mission, it’s the mission of the DSS, though of course DoD will augment when appropriate. (Actually, securing diplomatic missions is the responsibility of the HN, but sometimes, as in Libya, the HN lacks the necessary capabilities.) The USMC provides a small security element at our embassies, but our military does not have as one of its missions serving as a 30-minute-recall rapid reaction force for every diplomatic mission in the world. Our military does make contingency plans for dealing with threats to our missions, but that’s a quite different animal from serving as a local rapid reaction force for every mission in the world. Hold that thought for a moment.

            It’s magical thinking because you don’t have any clear understanding of what military force was available, what it would have done had it been available, or what the casualties would have been had we committed forces on short notice to Benghazi. You don’t really seem to understand what you’re talking about, but you’re quite sure that if we took casualties, it was because of malfeasance in the tactical response.

            Back to the thought you’re hopefully still holding. There’s plenty of room for criticism in the Benghazi situation – it’s just not where you’re implying. DoD will augment DSS (or contract security) in particularly risky situations, and had done so previously in Libya. A legitimate line of inquiry would be to ask why DoD assets were no longer in country and in position to help, or why they hadn’t been replaced by adequate HN, contract, or DSS assets (though I’m sure the answer to the latter is that DSS is stretched mighty thinly; State doesn’t get DoD’s budget). That’s quite a different issue from criticizing the tactical response to the events of the night, which seem to have been perfectly appropriate. If you disagree, disagree knowledgeably – explain what, exactly, should have happened differently given the actual disposition of assets available that night. If you have no answer to that, and you feel compelled to single out Benghazi rather than focus on the broader issue of the many, many casualties we’ve taken in diplomatic missions over the past few decades, then I’d suggest you focus on the question of what assets were in country, rather than how they were handled that night.

          • NAHALKIDES

            I’m not sure that “what assets were in the country” is publicly-available knowledge. And I don’t recall mentioning any “malfeasance in the tactical response”; what I and others find so striking is the absence of a tactical response by the U.S. military. Again, I find it incredible that a military force that size, with worldwide strike capabilities, either had no plan or no assets available when a diplomatic facility in the Middle East was stormed – a rather foreseeable contingency, don’t you think? And there are two other rather singular points:

            1. No presidential military order seems to have been issued that night. Records are kept, and if Obama had ordered the military into action, surely the order would have been released by now since doing so would improve his image considerably.

            2. General Ham retired suddenly and unexpectedly after Benghazi. Why? Had he refused to obey a “stand down” order and been offered retirement instead of a reprisal in exchange for his silence?

            Maybe the facts are as you state, and the world’s mightiest military could not attack a force that was probably less than 100 men – improbable but perhaps true. Or maybe Obama made the decision to cut his political losses in Benghazi, even if that meant abandoning our people there. Certainly his cold-hearted attitude after the men were dead suggests a lack of concern about them. You want me to focus on what military assets were available that evening, but lacking subpoena power I’m not sure how I’m supposed to go about it. Further investigation is certainly warranted, but by people with more power and resources than I have.

          • hiernonymous

            “I’m not sure that “what assets were in the country” is publicly-available knowledge. ”

            A rough idea of our military’s force dispositions is not hard to come by. Nobody’s talking about classified deployment information, but a simple understanding of where our units are based and what they’re roughly capable of. It’s something you can educate yourself on if you want to understand and comment on military operations. Globalsecurity.org is not a bad place to start.

            Again, I find it incredible that a military force that size, with
            worldwide strike capabilities, either had no plan or no assets available
            when a diplomatic facility in the Middle East was stormed – a rather
            foreseeable contingency, don’t you think?

            Okay, but do you know enough about our military capabilities for what you find “incredible” to be meaningful? A very powerful military is still not an omnipotent and omnipresent military, and it’s simply not feasible to keep a dedicated rapid reaction force on 15-minute recall at each of the nearly 300 diplomatic missions we have scattered around the world. I don’t know how to explain it any more simply or clearly than this: the military maintains plans for responding to crises at embassies, to include protecting them and evacuating their personnel, but that doesn’t imply that they can do it everywhere on a quarter hour’s notice.

            1. No presidential military order seems to have been issued that night.

            Why would there have been? One of the reasons we spend nearly 3/4 of a trillion dollars every year on defense to to build a very elaborate command structure. The President doesn’t generally make direct operational decisions unless it’s likely to result in a new war or the like.

            2. General Ham retired suddenly and unexpectedly after Benghazi. Why?
            Had he refused to obey a “stand down” order and been offered retirement
            instead of a reprisal in exchange for his silence?

            We’re veering sharply into conspiracy theory territory, and my general response to such is: if you have the evidence, show it. I don’t spend a lot of time dealing with innuendo, and this one’s pretty silly. Out of courtesy, I’ll steer you to this: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/7/head-of-africa-command-not-forced-out/

            3. I seem to recall there was a small strike force – perhaps a dozen
            men – under the command of a Lt. Col Gibson(?), I believe. They were
            ready to go and were ordered to stay where they were, according to his
            testimony which I saw on television. Why? No explanation has been
            given.

            Well, without knowing what you’re referring to, it’s hard to say. The only such that I recall reading was that there were a few special ops types in Tripoli who offered to go along with the DSS team that flew into Benghazi, but there wasn’t room or need. As the extraction was successful, and the presence of a few more rifles would have not materially affected the mission, this one is a non-story. If that’s not what you’re thinking about, let me know when you have some specifics.

            Maybe the facts are as you state, and the world’s mightiest military
            could not attack a force that was probably less than 100 men –
            improbable but perhaps true.

            What’s maddening about your post is that you keep talking what is credible or probable with absolutely no idea of what you’re talking about. Nobody has suggested that “the world’s mightiest military could not attack a force that was probably less than 100 men.” What they’ve suggested is that they couldn’t do it within the timeframe needed to have saved Ambassador Stevens.

            Or maybe Obama made the decision to cut his political losses in Benghazi, even if that meant abandoning our people there.

            Except that nobody was “abandoned.” The nearest available asset was flown in, extracted the survivors, and left.

            You want me to focus on what military assets were available that
            evening, but lacking subpoena power I’m not sure how I’m supposed to go
            about it.

            You feel well-enough informed to insist that something should have been done; I’m asking you what, exactly. The general disposition of forces in the area is not classified; it’s available through many sources. We know that the attache informed the charge that there were no military assets close enough to intervene, but if that’s not good enough for you, then take responsibility for your own assessment, do some homework, and tell me what could have been done.

            Further investigation is certainly warranted..

            How do you know? You’re still functioning at the level of magical thinking. If you have no idea of what the response could have been, how do you know that the response fell short to the extent that “further investigation is certainly warranted?”

          • NAHALKIDES

            First, let’s get a little context here, shall we? The whole Benghazi debacle came about because of a series of mistakes made by Barry and his subordinates, beginning with the Libya invasion itself which was justified by no U.S. security interest. Then, our ambassador requested additional security which was turned down by the Secretary of State or her designate. After the terrorist attack, Barry and Hillary pretended it had simply been a spontaneous mob uprising that got out of control. The reason for their deception was that the truth reflected badly on their performance in office. I think it’s important we set the stage because you seem very determined to defend and excuse Barry at any cost, and you have enough knowledge to cloud the basic issues here.

            Several times you press me for specific information, which is hard to come by because the Obama gang is doing everything it can to keep secrets. You can hardly fault me for not providing you with testimony of State Dept and CIA officials when Obama had refused even to make them available to Congress. At that, there have been a couple of witnesses that Barry couldn’t silence, notably Greg Hicks. You do remember Hicks? It was he who testified that Lt. Col. Gibson was ready to fly with his team to Benghazi but was ordered not to. I myself heard Gibson confirm this. I’d sure like to know who gave this order, wouldn’t you? That’s one reason why I say that further investigation is warranted.

            It’s not some crazy conspiracy theory to notice that Gen. Ham retired suddenly and unexpectedly. Quite a coincidence, if that’s what it is. I didn’t find the article you linked to particularly convincing on that score. So personnel were being moved around – that might just as well be part of a cover-up. What’s needed is a very quiet sit-down with Gen. Ham, guaranteeing his safety and pension, and urging his to fill in a lot of missing details. Eventually, we need to have his public testimony, but first we need to ensure no one’s been tampering with him as a witness.

            I’m getting pretty tired of dancing around with your insistence that I play arm-chair Admiral and determine what military assets I could sent to Benghazi. I would rather hear Gen. Ham on this subject. Meanwhile, I noticed you made a couple of interesting admissions: twice, I believe, you stated that no forces could have reached our besieged men in time? But even if that’s true, how could anyone have known that on the night of Sept. 11-12? The fight went on all night. If I had been President, I’d have ordered the military to send what help they could on the possibility that it would arrive in time to make a difference. On the evening of Sept. 11, no one could have known whether it would arrive in time or not – yet no help was sent! Perhaps you can understand now why I find it suspicious that no Presidential military order has been released, and why I suspect Obama simply decided to write the men off.

            And once it was all over and our men dead, he knew there would be plenty of people like you to claim that help could not have arrived in time (not even Lt. Col. Gibson?). Again, I’ll believe that when someone with expert knowledge who isn’t a Democratic partisan explains it to me, and not before.

          • hiernonymous

            “First, let’s get a little context here, shall we? The whole Benghazi
            debacle came about because of a series of mistakes made by Barry and his
            subordinates, beginning with the Libya invasion itself which was
            justified by no U.S. security interest. Then, our ambassador requested
            additional security which was turned down by the Secretary of State or
            her designate.”

            In other words, you appear to finally understand my previous posts – to wit, that the legitimate criticism of Benghazi focuses on the resourcing decisions, not the tactical response to the immediate crisis.

            “The reason for their deception was that the truth reflected badly on their performance in office.”

            Perhaps. Or it might have something to do with the fact that 1) the attack was, in fact, inspired by the video, though you quite accurately note that it was not a spontaneous mob, and 2) the Cairo embassy was at that time being overrun by a mob inspired by the video in question.

            “I think it’s important we set the stage because you seem very determined to defend and excuse Barry at any cost…”

            Then you quite plainly are not capable of understanding what you read. Do I need to lay this out for you again? Very well. Please read this slowly and carefully, more than once if necessary, until you digest it:

            There are legitimate avenues of criticism for the Administration’s role in Benghazi. Those primarily deal with the resourcing issues. The only point on which I’m defending anyone is in noting that there is no obvious reason to criticize the tactical response to the Benghazi attacks. Is that plain enough?

            “Several times you press me for specific information, which is hard to
            come by because the Obama gang is doing everything it can to keep
            secrets.”

            Absolute nonsense. The sort of information I’m talking about is readily available, and I even steered you to a site that provides it. What you really mean is that making vague complaints rooted in ignorance is a lot easier than doing your homework.

            “You do remember Hicks?”

            The charge d’affaires who refused to pick up Ambassador Stevens’ emergency phone call? Twice? Yes, I remember him. What about him?

            “It’s not some crazy conspiracy theory to notice that Gen. Ham retired
            suddenly and unexpectedly. Quite a coincidence, if that’s what it is. I
            didn’t find the article you linked to particularly convincing on that
            score.”

            It doesn’t really matter what you find convincing; what matters is whether you can support a contrary view with anything more than rank speculation and innuendo. Knock yourself out.

            “It was he who testified that Lt. Col. Gibson was ready to fly with his team to Benghazi but was ordered not to.”

            This LTC Gibson?

            REP. ROBY (R-AL): At the May 8 hearing of the House Oversight and
            Government Reform Committee, Gregory Hicks, who was the Deputy Chief of
            Mission at the Embassy in Tripoli that you have referred to, on the day
            of Benghazi attacks, he was asked by a Member, and I quote, “You
            believed help was needed in Benghazi, and there was a SOF unit, Special
            Operations unit, ordered to stand down, correct?” And Mr. Hicks replied
            “yes” to this question. Do you agree that you and your team were ordered
            to, quote, “stand down”?

            LTC. GIBSON: Madam Chairman, I was not ordered to stand down. I
            was ordered to remain in place. “Stand down” implies that we cease all
            operations, cease all activities. We continued to support the team that
            was in Tripoli. We continued to maintain visibility of the events as
            they unfolded.

            REP. ROBY: And, in hindsight, which we have tried in asking a lot of
            these questions to make sure that we are looking at this situation based
            on what you knew at the time, and, of course, looking back on what we
            know now, should you and your team have gone to Benghazi?

            LTC. GIBSON: Madam Chairman, if we would have went to Benghazi, it could have had catastrophic — are you talking about the first plane or the second plane, Madam Chairman?

            REP. ROBY: The second plane, when you were told not to go.

            LTC. GIBSON: The Special Forces medic was instrumental in providing
            the support to the wounded that returned. We would not have been in
            Tripoli in order to provide that support if we would have got on the
            plane. The decision by my higher headquarters to not get on that plane was the correct decision, in hindsight. [House Of Representatives Hearing Subcommittee On Oversight Investigations, 6/26/13, accessed 1/14/14]

            “I’m getting pretty tired of dancing around with your insistence that I
            play arm-chair Admiral and determine what military assets I could have
            sent to Benghazi.”

            Why do I care what you’re tired of? The fact is that you’re asserting that there was a shortfall in the tactical response; what was the shortfall?

            As for hearing Gen Ham on the subject, Gen Ham has already been heard on the subject; don’t you research anything before offering an opinion? Ham has spoken at some length about his decision not to have close air support on heightened alert, and has quite specifically debunked the idea that he was prepared to send military assistance but was denied permission.

            “Meanwhile, I noticed you made a couple of interesting admissions:
            twice, I believe, you stated that no forces could have reached our
            besieged men in time. But even if that’s true, how could anyone have known that on the night of Sept. 11-12?”

            Because the attack began at 2130. By 2200, the Consulate was in flames and by 2245 the compound had been abandoned and the survivors en route to the other compound. In other words, Stevens was lost within a half hour, and the whole episode of the initial assault was finished well before the “12 Sept” part of the night of Sept 11-12. Is that clear enough?

            “The fight went on all night.”

            No, it didn’t – not in the sense you mean. The compound was overrun, the survivors pulled back to another compound, where there was intermittent fire during the evening – no assault, no attempt to overrun that compound, nothing that they couldn’t handle, and – paying attention here? – no additional casualties. There was no longer a crisis; the survivors were simply hanging on waiting for the Tripoli team to arrive and extract them. On that team’s arrival, the compound took indirect fire, which is where the other two casualties took place, and that was a risk no matter what flavor of relief team – DSS, military, HN, whatever – was performing the extraction.

            “On the evening of Sept. 11, no one could have known whether it would arrive in time or not…”

            Except that they could, because the initial fight was over in an hour, and the survivors secure in a compound that was not being pressed. And, of course, it’s incorrect to claim that no help was sent – in fact, the Tripoli team was in the air by midnight, linked up with HN forces on arrival, and reached the compound by 0515. (Perhaps you’ve forgotten that Glen Doherty, one of the four casualties, was part of the relief team.)

            “Perhaps you can understand now why I find it suspicious that no Presidential military order has been released…”

            Of course I understand it. You have exactly no understanding of what the chain of command in such a situation looks like, you have exactly no understanding of who should and should not have been doing what, so you believe that the president should have been in some secret-squirrel command center directing military response forces from around the world to Benghazi.

            “…and why I suspect Obama simply decided to write the men off.”

            Try to understand this. Four men died in Benghazi. The first two were lost in the initial assault – there was no saving them. Nobody “wrote them off,” they were gone before anyone even knew about the situation. The second two died in the rescue. How can you claim that anyone was “written off” when one of those two casualties was incurred by the relief force itself?

            “Again, I’ll believe that when someone with expert knowledge who isn’t a Democratic partisan explains it to me, and not before.”

            What you believe doesn’t really matter. My purpose here is not to convince you, but to point out unsubstantiated speculation and innuendo for what it is. You’ve already heard from someone who’s not a Democratic partisan, and who has more expertise than your line of magical thinking warrants.

          • NAHALKIDES

            I’d almost think you were my old antagonist from NRO, jukeboxgrad, who was a master illusionist, except you’re somewhat more capable of at least trying to address points of contention. Still, you have no answer for most of what I’ve brought up here, and while I’m getting pretty tired of this, I’ll point out one or two problems with your latest response.

            “Because the attack began at 2130. By 2200, the Consulate was in flames
            and by 2245 the compound had been abandoned and the survivors en route
            to the other compound. In other words, Stevens was lost within a half
            hour, and the whole episode of the initial assault was finished well
            before the “12 Sept” part of the night of Sept 11-12. Is that clear
            enough?”

            I don’t know – is it clear enough to you that no one knew Stevens was dead at 2245 because Hicks had to hear it from the Libyan government later that night? Most of the problems with what you’re presenting here is that they depend entirely on hindsight, for example Col. Gibson’s testimony. At the time, Gibson was furious at not being allowed to go to Benghazi, and one would hope and expect that the military would try anything – anything – to rescue those men whom, I once again point out, no one could have known were deceased.

            Do you understand what we skeptics find so incredible? That no effort was made by any U.S. military unit. O.K., it would have taken 2 or 3 hours to get a fighter airborn, and they have to be refueled – but no one tried to do that. Why not?

            In the end, it may be that your military assessment is correct, and that no rescue attempt could have been mounted. If true, that is almost as shocking as Obama’s obvious callous indifference to the men we lost. It means the Obama gang is even more incompetent than we thought they were, and that’s saying something. One would hope in that event we someday have a competent commander-in-chief who insists that we have some military capability to effect an emergency rescue of a diplomatic facility in a part of the world known to be a powder keg, for such is not exactly an unforeseeable contingency.

            And you really should try to understand why people like me are so suspicious. As I mentioned, we already know there was a big lie and a huge cover-up over Benghazi, at least regarding the nature of the terrorist attack and the lack of proper security. We also know that Obama has deliberately kept certain personnel away from Congressional investigators. If there’s nothing to hide, why would he do that? Of course, it could be that it’s the lie/cover-up he’s still trying to cover up, and not the fact that he failed to exert every possible attempt at rescue, but we won’t know until we hear from the witnesses. That’s why I say, let’s continue to investigate until all the facts are out.

            And yes, another look at Gen. Ham is still appropriate, to make sure no one got to him. It’s not impossible given the venal and corrupt nature of the Obama gang.

          • hiernonymous

            I’ve seen jukeboxgrad’s posts; thank you for the compliment.

            Concerning Stevens, the rescue team from Tripoli landed with the initial mission of locating Stevens, but shifted focus to extraction once they learned that he was dead. Smith’s body was recovered immediately, so they knew he was dead. CIA personnel were able to return to the compound by 2300 and sweep it for Stevens, so they knew that he was either dead or captured. In either case, it was beyond the scope of an initial military response force; the retrieval of a prisoner is not an off-the-cuff operation. So, yes, by shortly after 2300, they knew all they needed to know about the necessity for further military units.

            You don’t seem to understand what LTC Gibson proposed. He had a small team of special ops that he wanted to add to the rescue force. There was neither room nor need. His few soldiers would have added little capability but a great deal of confusion, and he himself acknowledges that staying was the right call. It’s not as if the army had a battalion on call in Tripoli that did not deploy; it was a question of augmenting the team that actually went.

            As for sending fighters, Gen Ham addressed that directly and publicly. For someone who wants so badly to hear what Gen Ham has to say, it’s remarkable that you haven’t informed yourself on what he’s already said. Short version: by the time fighters could get there, there wasn’t enought targeting data to make them effective. Let’s say you get your wish and by 2am there are a couple of fast movers in orbit over Benghazi. Now what?

          • NAHALKIDES

            I know what Ham has said; what I don’t know is what sort of pressure was brought to bear on him. That is why I’d like some Congressional investigators to talk with him quietly and privately, giving him whatever assurances they can to ensure they get the whole story.

          • hiernonymous

            You didn’t answer the question: if fighters had actually made it there, then what?

            As for Gen Ham, you wanted to hear what he had to say, you don’t like what he said, so you assume he was somehow coerced into his comment? Unless you have some evidence of coercion, there’s no sound basis for your position.

          • NAHALKIDES

            I don’t “assume” Gen. Ham testified under duress; I simply want more assurance that he was not under duress. Hence my preference that he be questioned quietly, with no Democrats knowing about it beforehand, and assurances given him so that we find out if there’s anything else we need to know about.

            By the way, Gen. Lovell just testified today that he thought something should have been done to attempt a rescue.

          • hiernonymous

            Yes, he did. And you’ll note that in so doing, he was equally unable to identify any assets that could have been used to make a difference. He simply expressed a visceral sense that “we should have done something.” Lovell was simply the DDI in the J2 at AFRICOM; let’s look at bit of the article on Lovell’s testimony:

            Still, Lovell confessed there was little the military could have done
            to save any lives due to its inadequate posture leading up to the
            attack.

            “There might be some who, for various and sundry reasons, would like
            to distort your testimony and suggest that you’re testifying that we
            could have, should have done a lot more than we did because we had
            capabilities we simply didn’t utilize,” Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va.,
            said. “That is not your testimony.”

            “That is not my testimony,” Lovell testified. “No, sir.”

            Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top-ranked Democrat on the committee, pressed Lovell on the point.

            “I’m afraid I just don’t understand why you are testifying here today
            under oath that the United States military did not try to help the
            night of the attacks,” Cummings said.

            “What I’m speaking to is that, as a nation, we should try to do more,” Lovell said.

            After the hearing, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck
            McKeon said Lovell’s testimony “did not further the investigation or
            reveal anything new.”

            “[Brigadier General] Lovell did not serve in a capacity that gave him
            reliable insight into operational options available to commanders
            during the attack, nor did he offer specific courses of action not
            taken,” McKeon, R-Calif., stated. “He was another painful reminder of
            the agony our military felt that night; wanting to respond but unable to
            do so.”

            As for your approach to General Ham, he was asked his questions and he provided answers. Absent evidence that he was coerced, there’s exactly no reason to proceed on the assumption that he was. If you don’t assume that he was coerced, on what is your desire for “more assurance” based?

          • NAHALKIDES

            The circumstances of Ham’s retirement are very suspicious, and given the propensity of the Obama gang to use any method, legal or not, to obtain their goals, it is not exactly unlikely that some kind of pressure was brought to bear on Ham. Since that sort of thing is always done in secret, it would be surprising if there were any evidence of coercion. A nice, quiet, private talk, out of the spotlight (and away from Democratic interference or intimidation) is therefore called for, under conditions that guarantee his safety and immunity from reprisals by Obama and the top brass at the Pentagon. And then we need to talk to anyone else Obama has kept away from investigators – they probably know something, or they wouldn’t have been shuffled around to make them unavailable. That is a fair and reasonable deduction.

            If there’s really nothing there, then you’ve nothing to be afraid of.

          • hiernonymous

            “The circumstances of Ham’s retirement are very suspicious,”

            Except that you’ve shown nothing suspicious about them.

            Your premise isn’t frightening, it’s simply baseless.

          • NAHALKIDES

            Ham retires suddenly and unexpectedly just after Benghazi – and you don’t find that suspicious? You’ve no future as an investigator, that’s for sure.

          • hiernonymous

            I may not have a future as an investigator, but I have a past as an Army officer, and I don’t find “sudden” departures suspicious. I linked you to an article that explained the slating of the 4-star GO/FOs at that time. You have, without offering a rational basis, decided that the article itself is ‘suspicious.’

            One would hope that an investigator, as opposed to a conspiracy theorist, would apply his limited resources to the investigation of circumstances that actually show some evidence of wrongdoing.

    • truebearing

      According to you, or some leftwing “expert” trying to run cover for Obama and Hillary.

      Even if you’re right, which you aren’t, why wasn’t there a capability to defend our Embassies on the anniversary of 9/11? We knew Benghazi was getting more and more dangerous, and we knew it for a long time. Why send an ambassador to an undefendable and undefended facility in a hotbed of Islamist activity, knowing we had no rescue assets in the area?

      • Asemodeus

        Benghazi wasn’t a embassy by the way. The actual embassy, in Tripoli, was guarded already.

    • DB1954

      You’re lying. And even if there were only “slow transports and tankers” available, there isn’t an officer in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard who would have held back an attempt to rescue Americans in Benghazi, no matter the slow speed of the available means of transport, no matter the risk of failure, and no matter the cost. The ONLY reason no effort was made was because General Ham–then AFRICOM commander, was ordered by a higher authority–presumably someone in the White House–to “stand down,” an order which does not exist in the U.S. military. Only a civilian at the Cabinet level or above could have given or even contemplated giving such an order.

      • hiernonymous

        No, he’s not “lying.” Do your homework and you’ll find that the attaché in Tripoli confirmed that there were no fast movers capable of striking Benghazi. There were no refuelers in position to get air-to-ground birds into Libya.

        For readers without military background, in a nutshell: fighter aircraft have very limited ranges, and rely on flying gas stations to extend their range. These lumbering refueling aircraft have to be dispatched to their rendezvous positions long before the strike craft take off. You can’t just wish them into position. Even if there had been strike craft with the right ordnance waiting on the strip in Italy, they’d have had to wait for the support aircraft to take off and approach their orbits.

        “Somebody should have done something!” isn’t an informed criticism, it’s just emoting.

  • truebearing

    The media will demean and dismiss these findings on the usual grounds — racism, paranoia, conspiracy theory, Islamophobia, or racism…or even racism. They can’t accept so much as one element of what the Citizens Commission on Benghazi has concluded because doing so would be admitting that both Obama and Hillary are traitors to this nation. It establishes that the Obama administration was aiding and abetting an avowed enemy of the United States, which is treason by any definition.

    Commission member, Admiral James ‘Ace’ Lyons, believes the Benghazi raid was a pre-arranged kidnapping of Stevens intended to result in a swap, where Stevens would be exchanged for the ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman. He said an FBI source told him “that was the plan.” If Lyons is telling the truth — he can’t possibly be as dishonest as Obama or Hillary — then Obama and Hillary conspired to subvert the justice system and use the State Department to free a proven, convicted enemy of the United States.

    Once this kidnapping scheme unraveled, it seems that both Obama and Hillary decided to let Al Queda destroy the evidence by killing Stevens, the most dangerous witness. By refusing to send help, they hung Stevens out to dry to save their own political power.

    • NAHALKIDES

      Part of this story could be true – the attack on the compound could have been a kidnapping attempt. But it’s hard to believe that even Barry and Hillary were in on the plan from the beginning. Let me suggest a more likely continuation: the kidnapping goes awry because the resistance is greater than the terrorists expected, and Stevens is killed. Barry and HIllary try to cover up the terrorist attack not because they were in on the kidnapping but because it proved that their policy in Libya had failed, and ran counter to their narrative that they had the terrorists on the run.

      Why they refused to send help: this is still hard to understand. Perhaps Barry thought he could more easily explain the deaths of a few people as being the result of mob action inspired by a video than he could a possibly failed hostage rescue attempt. Or perhaps he simply chose to give up on the men as dead – unbelievably cold, but perhaps possible for Obama.

  • USARetired

    The unqualified idiot Muslim occupying the Oval Office is continuing his support of the wrong side and terrorist in Syria as well! He knows dam well they are the ones using chemical weapons and still sends them aid!

  • American1969

    This doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already suspect or know. Hillary Clinton lied under oath when asked directly whether or not she knew anything about arms shipments from Libya to Syria.
    The Obama Administration knowingly has been arming our enemies while lying, stonewalling, and obfuscating the entire time. Why? Because what they were doing was treasonous and illegal and it was an election year. They have done nothing but lie to the families of these men, which prompts me to say we also need an investigation into Extortion 17, which killed Seal Team Six. They lied to the families about that too.
    This administration has refused to answer questions about this and they have dismissed this as unimportant. The MSM has only been too willing to help silence anything that makes Dear Leader look bad. They should be ashamed of themselves, but they have none.
    This is something that every American should be outraged about, and the fact that the Obama administration could care less tells you all you need to know. It’s way passed time to appoint a Special Prosecutor and have public hearings like they did for Iran-Contra and Watergate! This whole thing stinks and has from the very beginning.

  • World Wide Waco

    The thing I love most about benghazi and the cover up is the response in the wake of elenor clifts HOLOCAUST DENIAL, albeit some state it is a LIMITED IN MAGNITUDE OF VICTIMHOOD HOLOCAUST DENIAL…still holocaust denial IS holocaust denial on the daily caller o have been CENSORED for responding to ad hominem attacks directed into my email box for comments I posted

    My comments have been removed…the ad hominem attack comments remain

    My whole point is the double standard that exists where jews can do and say the most wicked evil thinga and be protected while those who speak the truth and oppose that double standard are abused censored and have their GOD (supposedly) given rights trampled…by BOTH PARTIES & THEIR MEDIA SHILLS

    DAILY CALLER= HYPOCRITES SQUARED