September Surprise: Benghazi-gate
Benghazi-gate may well be a White House cover-up worse than Watergate. On September 11, 2012, Ambassador Chris Stevens, his aide, Sean Smith; and two former Navy SEALS, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed by well-armed Islamic terrorists when a multitude of military assets were only an hour or so away and could have been dispatched to stop the attacks.
On September 11, 2012, the CIA station, only a mile from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, was on full alert. Individual- and even some crew-served weapons on station’s roof were ready for action. A mortar was registered to fire on approach routes to the CIA station and the U.S. Consulate. A laser target-designator was available to guide fires from armed drones above Benghazi or guides fires from a C-130 gunship based just 45-minutes away from Benghazi. U.S. Marines were in nearby Tripoli, Libya, and embarked off-shore. Dozens of Navy carrier fighter jets and armed helicopters were on carriers in the region.
Once the U.S. Consulate was attacked and the sounds of the terrorist’s AK-47s, RPGs, mortars, and even a 23mm AAA gun were heard over at the CIA station, appeals for help were sent through the C3I Communications System which provides integrated, real-time intelligence to the Commander-in-Chief at the White House (Mr. Obama), to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department. From a drone overhead, personnel in the White House situation room and in command centers all over D.C. watched and listened in horror as the attacks unfolded and the desperate appeals for immediate help, which the U.S. military could have provided, went unanswered
The Benghazi battles raged for almost seven hours toward the end of which a small armed force arrived from Tripoli and bravely joined in the fighting. Too little. Too late. Now, the finger-pointing battle over the lack of consulate security, and the failure to use readily-available military force has moved to Washington where the CIA and the State Department are blamed for inadequate intelligence. Some claim the CIA station was ordered to "stand down" and not help the embattled consulate. Last Friday, CIA director, David Petraeus, threw Mr. Obama under the bus with this statement: "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate." So, who gave that order?
What was Mr. Obama doing while the Benghazi battles raged? Packing for a campaign trip the next day to Nevada. What could motivate the Commander-in-Chief with all those military resources at his disposal and all that real-time C3I data before him to dither so long when the lives of his fellow Americans were in mortal danger?
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, tried to be the fall-girl for Benghazi; however, she commands no troops and that didn’t sell. Next, DOD Secretary Panetta complained he didn’t have enough information to commit rescue troops. But the major issue is that the Commander-in-Chief is now caught in telling less than the truth about what he knew, when he knew it, and about why he did not immediately order military forces into action. Nevertheless, Ambassador Stevens, his aide, and the two former Navy SEALS are still dead. This is a developing story. Do your homework. You decide.
Nationally syndicated columnist and retired military officer, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2012. William Hamilton.
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