One area in which Benghazi: The Definitive Report was lacking was in some of the details of America’s response the night of, and in the aftermath of, the attack on our Temporary Mission Facility/Consulate in Benghazi. We hope to shed some more light on this issue, but first let’s take a look at it from the beginning.

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Benghazi Attack Timeline

  • The Special Mission Compound in Benghazi came under attack the evening of Sept. 11, 2012
  • Calls for help go out from the State Department compound under attack
  • Embassy in Tripoli evacuates to the local CIA base because of poor security posture
  • CIA Chief of Base in Benghazi refuses three calls for help. Navy SEAL Ty Woods says his team is going with or without approval. (Three calls and wasted minutes that could have saved Stevens and Smith. Meanwhile, the COB receives a recent award from the CIA.)
  • Ty Woods leads a small Global Response Staff (GRS) element and rescues all remaining survivors.
  • GRS team returns back to their CIA base and attacking element follows them. Attacks increase throughout the night.
  • CIA and JSOC element in Tripoli, including Navy SEAL CIA contractor Glen Doherty, are denied their request to fly up to Benghazi to assist. The team bribes local pilots with $30,000 US funds. Their assistance and addition of the UAV rover hand-held device ultimately plays into the overall evacuation of all CIA and State personnel from Benghazi. Glen and Ty Woods die on the rooftop of the CIA compound from a coordinated mortar attack.
  • Everyone evacuated and flown out of Benghazi. Stevens body is recovered by JSOC and delivered to the airport.
  • The President departs to Las Vegas on September 12th for a fund raiser. This gets him away from “direct involvement,” but he did give his orders to the SECDEF (see below).
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins to discuss the YouTube “video” and denounces the video. (Note: she also attended a viewing of the “Book of Mormon” in NYC. The play, like the YouTube video, mocks Mormon religion. Something to think about.)
  • Ambassador Rice goes on five Sunday talk shows to “sell” the video story to the American public. A Presidential election is on the line, and favors are traded at the highest levels. “The veteran diplomat said his “jaw dropped” and he was both “stunned” and “embarrassed” when Rice said the attack was a response to the YouTube video.” -From CNN discussing Hicks response to seeing Rice promote the video.
  • A cover up is born and continues to this day. Senior leadership within the State Department have not been held accountable for security oversights. It’s business as usual.

The Presidential Response

For the first time, we have learned a little about what was happening in the White House on the night of the Benghazi attack.  When informed of the attack, President Obama talked with his Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.  This is nearly an exact quote from the President to Secretary Panetta: Do whatever you can to save those people.  Panetta had a mandate but failed to act on it.  The Secretary of Defense did not take the incident seriously enough, and did not put nearly as much priority on launching support to Benghazi as he should have.

The Military Response

Today, we know more, but far from everything that should have been uncovered if there had been a real official investigation into what happened that night.  We do know that almost immediately after the State Dept. facility came under attack, they sent up a message to higher.  That message was received and a priority coding was sent out to the US military in order to get them ready to conduct mission(s) to Benghazi.  The exact priority code cannot be reported because it is classified, but we are assured that it was “very high.”

To give you an idea of how high a priority Benghazi was in military planning cells, we were told that aircraft were having their missions scrubbed and were being re-tasked for operations in Benghazi the night of the attack with verbal orders.  This is something that almost never happens, especially in the Air Force, where orders have to be typed up and e-mailed to move aircraft around.  When planners were called in the night of 9/11/12, there was some panic as the Benghazi attack came quick and fast, and caught many off guard.  However, we are told that both General Ham and General Breedlove were on point that night.  The officers involved were about getting the job done and were prepared to blow off waivers that would be required and other formalities in order to evacuate civilians and servicemen from Libya.

Military planners were leaning forward, identifying airfields in Libya which were capable of landing C-130 aircraft, and figuring out primary and alternate routes into country.  There were some roadblocks.  When an AC-130 gunship was flown in to stage out of Italy, it was denied permission to land by the Italian government and had to divert to England.  An AC-130 did arrive in Italy but not until 48 hours after Benghazi was over with. If you remember, the whole incident from start to finish was measured in hours, not days.

AC-130 Capability Video (a huge advantage)