#Benghazi: Obama denied aid to attacked consulate – confirmed?

Posted by: Phineas on May 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm

**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

“No help”

Last November, in a post about the Benghazi consulate massacre and the question of military relief, I wrote about the question of “cross-border authority” — that is, who has the power to order our military to enter another country without their permission, per force an act of war. Quoting an article at PJM by Matt Bracken, we learned that only the President -Barack Obama- has that authority. Here’s the relevant information, again:

Once the alarm is sent – in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi — dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.

That is the clear “red line” in this type of a crisis situation.

No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory. Because of this, only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission. For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace.

On the other side of the CBA coin: in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi, all the POTUS has to do is not grant cross-border authority. If he does not, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks.

Emphases added.

Today in an article at Fox News, Adam Housely reports that, because of a “communication breakdown” between the White House, State, and the Department of Defense, the military never received permission to enter Libya:

On the night of the Benghazi terror attack, special operations put out multiple calls for all available military and other assets to be moved into position to help — but the State Department and White House never gave the military permission to cross into Libya, sources told Fox News.

The disconnect was one example of what sources described as a communication breakdown that left those on the ground without outside help.

“When you are on the ground, you depend on each other — we’re gonna get through this situation. But when you look up and then nothing outside of the stratosphere is coming to help you or rescue you, that’s a bad feeling,” one source said.

Multiple sources spoke to Fox News about what they described as a lack of action in Benghazi on Sept. 11 last year, when four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

Read the whole thing. It describes a lack of contingency planning, largely centered on Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and surely they (and she) bear a lot of blame for the lack of proper security at Benghazi and the failure to recognize the dangers in that part of Libya. Four Americans died because of it. The Diplomad, a former Foreign Service Officer with direct experience of Clinton, has often described how she seemed utterly uninterested in the job, thus this failure seems all too plausible.

But, if Bracken is right, at the moment of crisis itself, responsibility for a rescue operation that night was not Clinton’s. Nor was it Defense Secretary Panetta’s, nor that of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nor of anyone else… except President Barack Obama, who, like the dog in “Silver Blaze,” did nothing. The Fox article itself, relying on unnamed albeit multiple sources, looks almost like an effort to either shift the blame to someone no longer there, Clinton, or disperse blame by showing how everyone screwed up, so no one person is responsible.

And yet, when we read:

Sources said that shortly after the attack began around 9:40 p.m., special forces put out the calls for assets to be moved into position.

“What that does is that enacts … every asset, every element to respond and it becomes a global priority,” one source said. “I would tell you that was given and the only reason it was given is because of special operations pack.”

However, the source said, “Assets did not move.”

The key question regarding a rescue effort remains: Who had “cross-border authority” and, if it wasn’t given, why?

Unlike Bob Owens, I’m not ready to say that Obama himself denied a rescue operation is “confirmed,” particularly when sources are unnamed, but it’s awfully plausible if Bracken is right about the president’s sole authority to grant CBA, and if we imagine a diffident Obama, who loves to campaign but hates to govern, voting present by simply not making a decision.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) will be holding hearings next week at which whistle-blowers with direct information about what happened at Benghazi and with our reaction are expected to testify. Maybe then we’ll finally get an answer about why the most powerful military in human history couldn’t couldn’t come to the rescue.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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8 Responses to “#Benghazi: Obama denied aid to attacked consulate – confirmed?”


  1. The key question is, “Why was there such despicable lack of security in the first place?” The Red Cross and British diplomat had both left the area after a series of attacks that began in April, almost a half-year ahead of the 9/11 attack on Benghazi. Pretending there is no threat to give the appearance of stability there only guaranteed the attack. It is not a case of being able to play the toddlers’ game of “Peek-a-Boo You Can’t See Me”.

    The WH complains this is all politics. Wrong! It is a continuing suspicion over unexplained events to which the public demands answers. They cannot just hope it will go away. Hope in one hand and crap in the other and see whcih one gets full the fastest.

  2. JoyO says:

    I ‘ve seen articles claiming the criticism of Obama’s handling of Benghazi as being political. I do not believe that. It was obvious from the first few days that something was wrong with the Administration’s story. I think the fact that Obama, Hillary, and Rice lied about the video for 2-3 weeks should have raised all kinds of flags. As far as I am concerned, the media’s refusal to cover the story made them accomplices to the Administration’s attempts to hide its colossal failures in Benghazi. And, I will never stop writing about Benghazi until Americans and the families of the four dead Americans learn the truth about Benghazi.

  3. Carlos says:

    And in the end, it will stick to Obama just like everything else, as if he had nano-lubricants – you won’t even be able to tell there was a problem as far as he is concerned.

    Reagan, the “Teflon” president, looks like a briar patch compared to this pile of (really slick) pig poop.

  4. Mike Giles says:

    I’m not one for conspiracy theories; BUT from the very first people were positing that reason the ambassador and consulate had so little protection, was that he was supposed to be unprotected. He was supposed to be kidnapped, not killed. In order to trade him for the Blind Sheik. But the arrival of the two Special Ops that arrived and tried to protect the consulate caused the plan to go sideways. The “mob” had been promised a simple kidnapping, and the next thing you know somebody was killing them. Whoever was supposed to be in charge lost control. That may be one of the reasons Obama is showing little, or no, effort to capture the murderers of our four people at the consulate. Last thing Obozo needs is a bunch of talkative captives, spilling the beans.

  5. Carlos says:

    As I and many others have noted before, the proof that this administration is neck-deep in a cover-up is that they have so vehemently denied it on so many levels, most of which have been shown to be categorically false already. With hope and prayer, maybe one of the congressional committee chairs will accidentally slip up and get to the real truth, but they seem to be as deep in the cover-up as the administration and its drones.

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that D.C. isn’t a swamp that needs to be drained, it is the cauldron of witches’ brew in “MacBeth” that is being poured on the American people: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” (Act 1, Scene 1) and “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.” (Act 4, Scene 1).

    Pretty prescient for a dead old white guy, wasn’t Shakespeare?

  6. Tango says:

    None of this matters. Our ambassador and his team were abandoned, murdered, and have been deemed by the Obama administration to have “taken one for the team.” And that’s that. Barry got mega-help in the cover up from the SCM, and paid NO price for it (having been re-elected to a second term in the aftermath).

  7. The four murdered innocents at the Benghazi compound were also deemed “bumps in the road.”

  8. sniperpitbull says:

    And in the words of our then Madame Secretary, when queried by a softball throwing Congressional panel of our esteemed Solons seeking the truth (DC Style-Honestly I thought I was watching Larry “The King of Softball Questions” King) when pressed for an answer into the cause of the deats of 4 Americans causally remarked, “What Does it Matter? What Does it Really Matter?”

    Like, do you think that we will forget? Are you kidding me? We will never forget and it is our duty to make sure that the voting public never forgets her comments. What a great tv ad? What a great t-shirt? and bumper sticker?

    But not as good as my “Waterboarding Works!” bumper sticker:):)