700 retired Special Operations soldiers recently signed a petition as a part of the Special Operations Speaks group regarding Benghazi. Our sources do not run all the way into the Oval Office so we cannot answer all of their questions but many are fairly straight forward. My answers are in italics, questions I am unable to answer are left blank. View the petition itself here.
1. Why was there no military response to the events in Benghazi?
Two aspects of this are that America’s global response is not where it should be and the military was not situated in the best manner to respond as Libya is not a theater of war, but also the Obama Administration was hesitant to send in the military because they did not want to cause further embarrassment after a sizable para-military operation was exposed in Benghazi.
a. Were military assets in the region available? If not, why not?
Yes, a Special Forces CIF team and a JSOC element were both available.
b. If so, were they alerted?
c. Were assets deployed to any location in preparation for a rescue or recovery attempt?
Yes, a JSOC element was scrambled in order to effect a rescue and recovery operation for Ambassador Stevens before it was confirmed that he was deceased. Another Special Operations unit was placed on alert for combat operations in Libya at the same time.
d. Was military assistance requested by the Department of State? If so, what type?
e. Were any US Army/Naval/USMC assets available to support the US diplomats in Benghazi during the attack?
f. What, if any, recommendations for military action were made by DOD and the US Africa Command?
2. What, if any, non-military assistance was provided during the attack?
Unarmed Predator drones.
3. How many US personnel were injured in Benghazi?
Several, some seriously.
4. Why have the survivors of the attack not been questioned?
They have, this question is based on an assumption.
5. Where are the survivors?
Numerous locations. Congress is digging hard to find them but Congress is only interested in a circus and we believe in PERSEC so we’re not talking.
6. Who was in the White House Situation Room (WHSR) during the entire 8-hour period of the attacks, and was a senior US military officer present?
7. Where were Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey during the crisis, and what inputs and recommendations did they make?
8. Where were Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, his deputy, Valerie Jarrett and John Brennan during the attacks, and what (if any) recommendations or decisions did any of them make?
9. Why were F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy (less than two hours away) never considered a viable option for disruption (if not dispersal) of the attackers until “boots on the ground” (troop support–General Dempsey’s words) arrived?
10. Were any strike aircraft (such as an AC-130 gunship) in the area or possibly overhead that would cause former SEAL Tyrone Woods to laser-designate his attacker’s position and call for gunship fire support, thereby revealing his own location that led to his death?
No, this is a myth.
11. Who gave the order to “STAND DOWN” that was heard repeatedly during the attacks?
There was no stand down order. The Chief of Base at the Annex initially rejected the idea of the rescue mission despite an unofficial security arrangement between the CIA and the State Dept. No one at Tripoli or higher attempted to stop the OGA element at the annex from launching a rescue effort. Eventually Ty Woods convinced his Chief of Base that they had to act.
12. What threat warnings existed before the attack, and what were the DOD and DOS responses to those warnings? What data (which will reveal exact timelines and command decisions) is contained within the various SITREPS, records, logs, videos and recordings maintained by the myriad of DOD, Intelligence Community and State Department Command Centers that were monitoring the events in Benghazi as they unfolded?
Much of this has already been published in the State Department’s own reports.
13. Why did the Commander-in Chief and Secretary of State never once check in during the night to find out the status of the crisis situation in Benghazi?
14. What was the nature of Ambassador Stevens’ business in Benghazi at the time of the attack?
Officially, he was there to meet with the Turkish ambassador and for a local ground breaking ceremony. He was also there to receive a classified briefing at the annex which happened the day before the attack.
15. What guidance has been provided to survivors and family members since the time of the attack, and who issued that guidance?
The CIA has made it known in no uncertain terms that their people are not to talk about Benghazi at all.
16. Why are so many agencies now requiring their personnel that were involved in or have access to information regarding the events that took place in Benghazi sign Non-Disclosure Agreements?