(See updates at the bottom portion of this post)
(Video regarding this updated news is available at the link provided above)
Explosive new allegations surrounding the Benghazi attack emerged this morning, with FOX News’ Jennifer Griffin reporting that sources have confirmed that three urgent requests for military assistance sent from the CIA annex were all denied. Additionally, CIA operators were told to “stand down” rather than respond when shots were heard around 9:40 p.m. on September 11. Following the alleged developments, Charles Woods, father of ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who was killed in the attack, passionately responded to this new information on Glenn Beck’s radio program (see his comments at the end of the article).
Let’s begin by examining the new-found allegations: Glen Doherty and Woods, the two former Navy SEALS who were among the four Americans inevitably killed, subsequently disobeyed orders from superiors to “stand down” and decided to go to the main consulate building to help U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others who were under siege. While it was previously known that these men arrived on the scene to provide assistance, the alleged “stand down” orders and the repeatedly-denied requests for military assistance are new developments to a story that seems to be continuously unraveling.
When the attack first took form, Doherty and Woods were at a secure CIA annex only one mile away from the chaos unfolding at the compound. After the men heard shots fired, they promptly let the chain of command know about the situation on the ground. However, they were told to “stand down,” according to FOX’s sources. This same mandate was given to the men when they called a second time just one hour later to report that the dangerous situation was still unfolding at the consulate.
After being told twice to refrain from involvement, Woods, Doherty and two others ignored orders and made their way to the main compound, where violence was raging. At this point, the building was on fire and shots were exchanged. FOX News has more:
The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
Earlier today, TheBlaze reported about the questions surrounding the lack of a military response to the situation on the ground. The FOX News sources appear to claim that there were options that could have been pursued, although these avenues were reportedly not taken during the September 11 attack. According to sources, the forces available at Sigonella could have been flown into Benghazi in less than two hours — however, they were also allegedly told to “stand down.”
On Friday morning, radio host Glenn Beck interviewed Charles Woods, father of ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods. He reacted to the explosive, new allegations, deriding the “stand down” orders and calling for “moral strength.” Here is his complete on-air reaction:
“That is cowardice by the people that issued that order. And our country is not a country of cowards. Our country is the greatest nation on Earth. And what we need to do is we need to raise up a generation of American heroes just like Ty who is an American hero. But in order to do that, we need to raise up a generation that has not just physical strength but moral strength. We do not need another generation of liars who lack moral strength.”
Read the entire report here.
CIA Director Throws Obama Under The Bus
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director David Petraeus has emphatically denied that anyone at the CIA refused to assist and give support to former Navy SEALs who requested it three times, as referenced in emails that have come out, as the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was being attacked on the night of September 11.
Jake Tapper, tweeted on Friday:
So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.
It would have been a presidential decision.
“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi,” she said. “Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”
A local reporter in Denver, Kyle Clarke of KUSA-TV, asked Barack Obama directly whether the Americans in Benghazi were denied requests for support. Although Obama implied that he had known about the attacks are they were happening, he completely dodged the question, giving a ‘non-answer.’
On Friday The State Department cut off questions from reporters about Libya during a press briefing in Washington. The only one talking now, at least it seems until after the election, is Petraus who has been directly implicated by charges that the CIA would not offer support and so that has left him with one option and that is to point to the one man where the buck stops, whether he likes it or not, Barack Obama.
GINGRICH: SENATOR TOLD ME NETWORKS HAVE EMAILS FROM WHITE HOUSE ORDERING TEAM TO STAND DOWN ON BENGHAZI RESCUE
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday a U.S. senator told him that at least two news networks have emails from the White House ordering a counterterrorism team to stand down on a rescue mission at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “They were a group in real-time trying to mobilize Marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House ‘stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action.’”
He continued, “If that’s true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that’s true and that comes out in the next day or two, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And I think that’s very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”
Gingrich said if accurate, it leaves two conclusions: that the the secretary of defense usurped the commander in chief or that Obama never gave the order.
“I think you are going to see this come back tomorrow and the next day,” he said.
Gingrich said he thinks Benghazi will be “enormous in terms of the election,” saying that he’s been to multiple places where voters want to know what happened.
“[Benghazi] was suspended for two days by the storm coverage, which dominated everything, but I think tomorrow as the storm begins to recede, you’ll see Benghazi come back,” he said
Watch the video via Fox News at the link above. Relevant portion begins at the 9:55 mark.
During his Wednesday evening broadcast, Glenn Beck revealed that he and his network, TheBlaze, are absolutely certain based on “very well-sourced information” that two media outlets — one a network — do indeed have emails proving the Obama White House gave orders to “stand down” during the terror attack in Benghazi.
Beck said it is incumbent upon those media outlets to release the information and provide Americans with the truth, rather than shield the president. If they refrain from doing so, Beck said he will “expose them.”
Later on in the segment, Beck also broached Facebook’s censoring of the Special Operations Speaks (SOS) PAC. Facebook ordered the group to take down an anti-Obama meme about Benghazi and when they didn’t comply, the account was suspended for 24 hours.
Watch the powerful segment at the link provided above.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ: AMBASSADOR STEVENS CALLED FOR HELP DURING BENGHAZI ATTACK
The truth about the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi is trickling out slowly. The latest development is found in a classified cable obtained by Fox News that reveals the compound in Libya was unprepared to withstand a “coordinated attack” due to lack of security and other issues.
Appearing on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) revealed two more interesting pieces of the Benghazi puzzle. First, that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens rang Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks on Sept. 11 to tell him the consulate was under attack.
“He said that shortly after 9:40 p.m. what happened is his phone rang and he didn’t recognize the number so he didn’t answer it. And then it rang again and again he didn’t answer it because he didn’t recognize the number. But then given the persistence, he did answer it. It was Ambassador Stevens and Ambassador Stevens was saying we’re under attack,” Chaffetz said.
“Now I can’t say he told me specifically that he was asking for help but that’s kind of what I read into it. He hung up the phone, he immediately called into Washington DC to trigger all the mechanisms that need to be put on, and then he wasn’t able to contact him. And there were hours and hours where we didn’t know where our ambassador was.”
Watch the clip via Fox News (Chaffetz segment begins at around 6:20) provided at the link above.
The second important fact that Chaffetz provided involved Gen. Carter Ham, former head of U.S. Africa command. The Utah congressman says Ham told him “personally” that “he did not get a directive from the White House, from the president of the United States to engage in the fire fight to help protect those people.”
“Mr. President, you can’t have it both ways,” Chaffetz added. “You can’t say that you are doing everything you can to protect the people in Benghazi when we are under attack — a fire fight that starts at 9:40 at night and goes to the wee hours of the morning — and say you did everything when the military did not engage.”
Ham has since been relieved of duty, though the Pentagon says it has nothing to do with the Benghazi attack.
(CNN Video available at the link provided above.)
INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS PROVIDE NEW DETAILED TIMELINE FOR LIBYA ATTACK
WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — CIA security officers went to the aid of State Department staff less than 25 minutes after they got the first call for help during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday as they laid out a detailed timeline of the CIA’s immediate response to the attack from its annex less than a mile from the diplomatic mission.
The attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 by what is now suspected to be a group of al-Qaida-linked militants killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The timeline was offered just days before the presidential election in a clear effort to refute recent news reports that said the CIA told its personnel to “stand down” rather than go to the consulate to help repel the attackers.
The officials told reporters that when the CIA annex received a call saying the consulate was under attack, about half a dozen members of a CIA security team tried to get heavy weapons and other assistance from the Libyans. But when none was available, they went ahead with the rescue attempt. The officials said that at no point was the team told to wait.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide intelligence information publicly.
The Obama administration’s response to the attack on the consulate has been challenged by Republicans in Congress and elsewhere, questioning whether enough military and other support was requested and received. And it has become an issue in the election, with President Barack Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, and GOP lawmakers accusing the White House of misleading Americans about the nature of the attack.
Initial descriptions of the attack suggested that it may have been linked to a protest over an American-made anti-Muslim film.
On Thursday, intelligence officials said they had early information that the attackers had ties to al-Qaida-linked groups, but did not make it public immediately because it was based on classified intelligence. And they said the early public comments about the attack and its genesis were cautious and limited, as they routinely are in such incidents.
They added that while intelligence officials indicated early on that extremists were involved in the assault, only later were officials able to confirm that the attack was not generated by a protest over the film.
Here is the timeline given by CIA officials, which provides a minute-by-minute look at how the security teams’ response played out (All times are local for Benghazi):
– 9:40 p.m. The CIA annex receives its first call that the consulate has come under attack.
– Less than 25 minutes later, the security team leaves the annex en route to the consulate.
– Over the next 25 minutes, team members approach the compound and attempt to get heavy weapons. When they cannot secure heavy weapons, they make their way onto the compound itself in the face of enemy fire.
– 11:11 p.m. A Defense Department surveillance drone – an unarmed Predator – that had been requested arrives over the consulate compound.
– 11:30 p.m. All U.S. personnel have departed the consulate except for Stevens, who is missing. The vehicles come under fire as they leave the facility.
– Over the next 90 minutes, the CIA annex comes under sporadic fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. The security team returns fire, dispersing the attackers.
– Around 1 a.m., a team of additional security personnel from Tripoli lands at the Benghazi airport and attempts to find a ride into town. Upon learning that Stevens is missing and that the situation at the CIA annex has calmed, the team focuses on locating Stevens and obtaining information about the security situation at the hospital.
– Before dawn, the team at the airport finally manages to secure transportation and armed escort. Having learned that Stevens is almost certainly dead and that the security situation at the hospital is uncertain, the team heads to the CIA annex to assist with the evacuation.
– 5:15 a.m. The team arrives at the CIA annex, with Libyan support, just before mortar rounds begin to hit the facility. Two security officers are killed when they take direct mortar fire while engaging the attackers. The attack lasts only 11 minutes before dissipating.
– Less than an hour later, a heavily armed Libyan military unit arrives at the CIA annex to help evacuate all U.S. personnel and takes them to the airport.