Benghazi's smoking gun
On June 6, a bomb planted at the U.S. compound in Benghazi ripped a 12-foot-wide hole in the outer wall.
On June 11, the British ambassador's motorcade was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, wounding a medic and doctor. The next day, the ambassador was gone and the British Benghazi post was closed. At the same time, the Red Cross, after a second attack, shut down and fled the city.
“When that occurred,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, who headed the military security team in Tripoli, “we were the last flag flying in Benghazi; we were the last thing on their target list to remove.”
On Aug. 15, an emergency meeting at the U.S. compound in Benghazi was convened to discuss the 10 Islamist militias and their training camps in the area, among them al-Qaida and Ansar al-Sharia.
On Aug. 16, a cable went to the State Department describing the imminent danger, saying the compound could not defend itself against a “coordinated attack.”
The cable was sent to Hillary Clinton — and signed by Ambassador Chris Stevens.
On Sept. 11, Stevens died in a coordinated attack on the Benghazi compound by elements of Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaida. Catherine Herridge of Fox News, who unearthed the Aug. 16 cable, calls it the “smoking gun.”
Yet on Oct. 11, Joe Biden, during the vice presidential debate, asserted, “We weren't told they wanted more security there.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Biden's “we” applied only to Biden, President Obama and the White House. As the National Security Council is part of the White House, Carney was saying the NSC was in the dark.
What else have we lately learned?
The State Department followed the Benghazi assault in real time.
We also know that ex-SEAL Ty Woods, in the CIA safe house a mile away, was denied permission to go to the rescue of the compound and that he disobeyed orders, went and brought back the body of diplomat Sean Smith.
After the attack on the compound, the battle shifted to the safe house — for four more hours. Another ex-SEAL, Glen Doherty, made it to Benghazi from Tripoli. Seven hours after the initial assault that killed Stevens and Smith, Doherty and Woods were still returning fire when, having been abandoned on the orders of someone higher up, they were killed by a direct mortar hit.
The truth is coming out, and an accounting is coming.
Hillary Clinton said she takes full responsibility for any security failure by her department at the Benghazi compound. But what does that mean? This failure that occurred in her shop and on her watch resulted in the most successful terrorist attack on the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.
The president said he is keeping Americans informed as we learn the truth. But is that still credible?
When did Obama learn that State was following the Benghazi attack in real time, that camera-carrying drones were over the city that night, that a seven-hour battle was fought, that desperate cries for help were being turned down?
Then five days after Benghazi, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on five national TV shows to say the attack was a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video. Did the president not know she was talking nonsense? Could he, himself, have still been clueless about what went on in Benghazi?
Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chryst named football coach at Wisconsin; Pitt AD Pederson fired
- Steelers notebook: Brown leads WRs in Pro Bowl voting, Bell 2nd at RB
- Fed emphasizes patient approach on rate increases
- Penguins notebook: Kunitz tests foot by skating during practice
- Son charged in dismemberment death of Penn Hills couple
- Parent finds body in parking lot of Stanton Heights elementary school, prompting lockdown
- With 3 more players possibly affected, Penguins’ fight against mumps escalates
- Steelers lookahead: Chiefs’ Charles injured but remains dangerous threat
- Regional public data center work underway with help from foundation’s $1.8M
- Pa. attorney general charges 10 in PennDOT fraud, kickback scheme
- Rossi: It’s OK if Pitt coaches don’t stay