Recently, following the Congressional hearings on the attack on the Benghazi consulate in which Ambassador Stevens was killed, Patriotslog wrote an article about the hearings in which we stated that it appeared the White House and the Executive branch were either incompetent, or orchestrating a cover-up. While incompetence is always up for debate with any elected official, in this situation, Patriotslog was wrong. Now it is time to eat our crow.
It has become apparent that there was no cover-up orchestrated. The failures from the administration to indicate that this was a terrorist attack appear to stem from intelligence failures, and not from any fault of the administration. The President took two weeks to indicate that this was a terrorist attack, but it is now apparent that, while slow, the delay was not entirely his fault.
Side note–I know the President said he called this an act of terror in the Rose Garden the day after it happened. Patriotslog has listened to that speech multiple times, and it seems that the President was referring to acts of terror in general, and did not indicate that this was a planned, intentional attack that did not stem from a protest over a video. That took the President two weeks.
Regardless, Patriotslog’s primary criticism was that the administration continued to assert that the attack was in response to the YouTube video that insulted the Prophet Muhammad. We now know that during the Sunday talk shows, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was making her statements almost directly from a CIA Intelligence report. The failure, then, is not with the administration, but with the intelligence agency. It is not clear if it took a full two weeks for the CIA to give the President information that this was indeed a terrorist attack; because of this we need to know whether or not the President immediately told us it was a terrorist attack after receiving this information. But because it appears that the information we were given came from an intelligence report, we cannot fault the administration, assuming they gave us the information they had as they received it.
Now, conservatives and conspiracy theorists will highlight that this was obviously not from a protest and there was someone in the CIA covering for the President by giving him that report. To this I respond that George Bush blew up the twin towers. If you can find evidence that the CIA did this, Patriotslog will be happy to write an article and highlight this scandal and we will hold the President accountable for it. Until then, when one considers the evidence (without a bias) there is no more reason to assume this has happened than there was to assume George Bush blew up the Twin Towers.
The CIA has also released a detailed timeline of the events which is reportedly backed up by video evidence. Since Jason Chaffetz and Darrell Issa, two of the most unrelenting anti-Obama Congressmen, have not refuted the time line, Patriotslog feels it is a safe assumption to say the timeline is accurate. Moreover, it is corroborated by the emails released by Reuters and eye witness testimony. There was immediate action taken. As soon as the CIA annex was alerted they began to organize a response team. After 24 minutes when they had organized the counterstrike, and it was clear they could not get support from the Libyan militias, they left and cleared the compound. Unfortunately, by then Ambassador Stevens was missing. Three other response teams were sent as well; one from Tripoli which arrived shortly after the attack ended; one from Sicily, and one from Fort Bragg.
The drone that witch hunters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox propaganda have said the President watched the entire attack on, implying that he knew about the attack and did nothing, did not actually arrive until a few minutes before the attack ended. Nobody was told to “stand down”; they may have been told to wait for the task force to organize, but not to “stand down” and leave those at the consulate to die as Fox Propaganda has suggested. The AC-130 gun ship that was reportedly in the air over the CIA annex during the 11 minute attack in which a few mortars were dropped was in fact nowhere near the annex. Every step along the way it appears the right decisions were made, and the outcome was not a conspiracy, but a tragedy.
Moreover, the criticism on the administration over the refusal to provide additional security may not be very well founded either. There was clearly enough security at the annex a mile away to fight off the terror attack. Furthermore, the Ambassador was not based in Benghazi, but in Tripoli, where there was certainly adequate security, evidenced by the response team that was immediately sent. Benghazi was a consulate, not an embassy. It was a place Ambassador Stevens would spend only limited time, then return to Tripoli. It is understandable for the state department to feel there was no need for heightened security at a place that was only visited, not inhabited by the Ambassador. A better question is why the Ambassador did not bring a security detail with him from Tripoli?
We do need an investigation into the intelligence failures, as well as the report that an outpost of the CIA did confirm within 24 hours that this was a terrorist attack, not in response to the video. We also know that a phone call was intercepted that would have helped determine the nature of the attack, but apparently this was not known to the CIA. We need the President (both to help clarify his innocence, and to give the American people the truth) to order an investigation into why these intelligence agencies did not communicate with each other. If one intelligence agency concluded it was a terrorist attack, all intelligence agencies should have been aware of this IMMEDIATELY. The fact that this apparently did not happen is very concerning to Patriotslog. It is certainly possible that the intelligence was shared, but was deemed by other intelligence agencies to not be credible evidence. In light of what we now know, that evidence clearly was credible; so the question still needs answered: why was credible intelligence ignored?
There is still so much we do not know about the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, and we need to know the truth; there were clear failures, but they were intelligence failures, not failures from the administration; we now know the administration was swift in their response. We also need to know what the President knew, and when if he told the nation what he knew as soon as he knew it. But with the evidence we now have, it is clear that Patriotslog owes the administration an apology. It is relieving to learn that the administration is not pulling the wool over our eyes. I hope new evidence does not prove our initial impression to be correct.
3 November, 2012
Posted on November 5, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged Benghazi attack, Benghazi cover up, cia intelligence, CIA timeline, drone over benghazi, gunship over benghazi, intentional attack, libya, middle-east, politics, prophet muhammad, response team, stand down. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.