#Benghazi: the President couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone
**Posted by Phineas
One of your embassies is under attack, your ambassador and other Americans are in grave danger, and forces you’ve sent to their aid are held up at the local airport in a turf dispute. So, what do you do? Do you pick up the phone and call the leader of the host country and ask him to expedite things so your soldiers can go save American lives? Do you remind him of the aid we rendered to his people in throwing off the late dictator, without which they likely would have lost? And, if he demurs, do you remind him of your predecessor’s famous words, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us?”
Oh, hell no:
President Obama didn’t make any phone calls the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House said in a letter to Congress released Thursday.
“During the entire attack, the president of the United States never picked up the phone to put the weight of his office in the mix,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who had held up Mr. Obama’s defense secretary nominee to force the information to be released.
Mr. Graham said that if Mr. Obama had picked up the phone, at least two of the Americans killed in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi might still be alive because he might have been able to push U.S. aid to get to the scene faster.
The White House has said Mr. Obama was kept up to date on the attack by his staff, though after being alerted to the attack in a pre-scheduled afternoon meeting he never spoke again with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin E. Dempsey or then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Mr. Panetta told Congress last week that he knew immediately the attacks were a terrorist assault, though the White House downplayed that notion in the first five days after the attack.
Emphasis added. Let’s make this clear: Obama knew early enough that he could have made a phone call to Tripoli. (Somehow, I think Libyan President El-Megrahi would have picked up the line.) We had a rapid reaction squad at the Benghazi airport, where it was delayed due to an argument between rival forces. Had Obama put the weight of his office behind a personal demand that those men be allowed to continue their mission, at least the people at the CIA annex, including the two SEALs who died defending it, might have been rescued. But evidently, no one in this chowderheaded national security team thought to suggest it to Obama, nor did the Commander in Chief think of it himself. Or he did, but didn’t think it was such a big deal.
Well, it was a big deal to the Americans whose blood stained the walls of our consulate:
To say I’m disgusted would be an understatement. “Contempt” is the nicest way I can express my opinion for the man occupying the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, take a look again at the last quoted sentence. Panetta knew immediately it was a terrorist attack. That means Hillary Clinton knew. That means Susan Rice, our UN Ambassador knew. And that means Obama himself knew. And yet for days and weeks after the attack they continued to blame the maker of an obscure YouTube video hardly anyone had seen. Rice went on five Sunday talk shows to push that point. Clinton promised the father of the murdered Ambassador Stevens that they would get the maker of the video. And Obama himself repeatedly denounced the video in his address to the UN General Assembly.
And now —after the election— Panetta admits they knew the truth all along.
Senator Lindsey Graham has often frustrated me, but on Benghazi he’s been a bulldog. He has warned he will put a hold on the nominations of Senator Hagel for Defense Secretary and John Brennan for CIA Director until the administration answers the many questions left over from the Benghazi massacre, including who decided to alter the CIA talking points on the incident to make it look like a spontaneous demonstration over a video. Good, and I hope he can sustain it. The administration thinks they’ve skated on this, and the only way the truth will ever come out is to hold up major appointments.
As I’ve said before, the only people who did not know what really happened on September 11th, 2012, in Benghazi were the American people. Our government knew. The jihadis knew. The Libyan government knew. Everybody knew except us, because someone made the decision to hide it from us.
And if you recall that September comes before November, you’ll know the likely reason why this colossal screw up was covered up.
via Hot Air
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)