It seems that in the wake of the IRS and NSA scandals that the Benghazi scandal has almost been forgotten. However the recent admission of Martin Dempsey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, is certain to bring it all back into the limelight.
In the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate grounds in Benghazi, The White House and State Department both said that there were no troops or Special Forces that could have reached the consulate in time to help them, even though there were reports that said otherwise.
Now we learn that both the White House (Obama) and the State Department (Clinton) were again lying to the American people. According to a statement from Dempsey, a highly trained team of Special Forces, C-110, were within a few hours of Benghazi. The consulate reported that they were under attack early on and the attack lasted over 8 hours. If Dempsey is telling the truth, the Special Forces unit could have been there and possibly save the lives of the four Americans.
Dempsey tried to protect the White House and State Department by first saying that the Special Forces unit was more than 6 hours away and that was only if they were setting on the tarmac at the time. He did acknowledge that the unit was training in Croatia. A large commercial jet liner can make the trip in about two and half hours, and sources close to the unit said they could have loaded up and flown to Benghazi in about four to four and half hours.
He also testified that the Special Forces unit had been told to begin preparations to leave Croatia to return to the base in Germany. If that were true, then they would have already been preparing their gear for transport which would have cut their arrival time to Benghazi down.
Dempsey’s testimony before the Senate did verify a report that was aired on Fox News back in April that said there was a Special Forces unit close enough to have responded to the call for help from the consulate. The Fox News report quoted a whistleblower source as saying:
“We had the ability to load out, get on birds and fly there, at a minimum stage. “C-110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in a matter of about four hours … four to six hours.”
“They would have been there before the second attack. They would have been there at a minimum to provide a quick reaction force that could facilitate their exfil [sic] out of the problem situation. Nobody knew how it was going to develop. And you hear a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of advisers say hey, we wouldn’t have sent them there because, you know, the security was unknown situation.”
To add more controversy to what was reported and what really happened, Dempsey told the Senate hearing that on the night of the Benghazi attack, the command of the Special Forces unit was unexpectedly transferred from the European Command to the Africa Command. Former Libyan Deputy Ambassador to Libya Gregory Hicks testified earlier that when he got word of the attack, he tried to contact the Africa Command but received no support. He said:
“At about 10:45 or 11 we confer, and I asked the defense attache who had been talking about AFRICOM and with the joint staff, ‘Is anything coming? Will they be sending us any help? Is there something out there?’ And he answered that, the nearest help was in Aviano, the nearest – where there were fighter planes. He said that it would take two to three hours for them to get onsite, but that there also were no tankers available for them to refuel. And I said, ‘Thank you very much,’ and we went on with our work.”
So even in his attempt to support the White House and Statement Department, Dempsey only helped verify the earlier reports that help could have been sent to Benghazi, but it wasn’t. The help could have possibly arrived in time to make a difference, but no attempt or effort was made to save the Americans at the consulate. Our government deserted our ambassador and his staff and just left them there to fend for themselves against nearly 200 hostiles.
Perhaps this needs to be pointed out to anyone interested in pursuing a diplomatic career with the State Department. Once deployed on foreign shores, you’re on your own, especially if you are in a known hostile region and the President and Secretary of State will lie to your families as your body is returned to them. Doesn’t that make you want to sign up?