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Benghazi's smoking gun

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By Pat Buchanan
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
 

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?”

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