You may remember that Fox News was not invited to join the U.S. State Department press conference call on details of what happened at Benghazi. There is a transcript of that call linked below. Someone known as the “moderator” tells the story – he was there, and is unnamed. Former SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are not mentioned, unless they are alluded to as two deaths that happened at the “annex. While writing this, Smith’s mother “Pat Smith” is on Fox News and I’ve added some of her comments in the last paragraph. While you’ll read that Smith was found dead, and the assumption is he died from smoke inhalation, Mrs. Smith isn’t buying it. Don’t miss what she says about how Obama “hugged” her.
The moderator tells us there are “agents” for the U.S. (not clear whether these are American agents or Libyan agents working for us) in Building C which seems to be the living quarters for Ambassador Christopher Stevens – and maybe Sean Smith as well. At some point there is communication between the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and someone in Building C. Building C says they are in their Safe Haven in the building, and all is well. In Building C are Stevens, Smith and an “agent,” as well as other agents. The attackers enter Building C as an “agent” watches from the Safe Haven with a gun at the ready. The attackers do not find Stevens, Smith and the “agent.” As the agent watches he sees diesel fuel being poured throughout the interior of the building, including on the furniture, which is described as “big, puffy Mediterranean furniture.” The building ignites:
Back in Building C, where the Ambassador is, the building is rapidly filling with smoke. The attackers have exited. The smoke is extremely thick. It’s diesel smoke, and also, obviously, smoke from – fumes from the furniture that’s burning. And the building inside is getting more and more black. The Ambassador and the two others make a decision that it’s getting – it’s starting to get tough to breathe in there, and so they move to another part of the safe haven, a bathroom that has a window. They open the window. The window is, of course, grilled. They open the window trying to get some air in. That doesn’t help. The building is still very thick in smoke.
And I am sitting about three feet away from Senior Official Number Two, and the agent I talked to said he could not see that far away in the smoke and the darkness. So they’re in the bathroom and they’re now on the floor of the bathroom because they’re starting to hurt for air. They are breathing in the bottom two feet or so of the room, and even that is becoming difficult.
So they make a decision that they’re going to have to leave the safe haven. They decide that they’re going to go out through an adjacent bedroom which has one of the window grills that will open. The agent leads the two others into a hallway in that bedroom. He opens the grill. He’s going first because that is standard procedure. There is firing going on outside. I should have mentioned that during all of this, all of these events that I’ve been describing, there is considerable firing going on outside. There are tracer bullets. There is smoke. There is – there are explosions. I can’t tell you that they were RPGs, but I think they were RPGs. So there’s a lot of action going on, and there’s dozens of armed men on the – there are dozens of armed men on the compound.
Okay. We’ve got the agent. He’s opening the – he is suffering severely from smoke inhalation at this point. He can barely breathe. He can barely see. He’s got the grill open and he flops out of the window onto a little patio that’s been enclosed by sandbags. He determines that he’s under fire, but he also looks back and sees he doesn’t have his two companions. He goes back in to get them. He can’t find them. He goes in and out several times before smoke overcomes him completely, and he has to stagger up a small ladder to the roof of the building and collapse. He collapses.
At that point, he radios the other agents. Again, the other agents are barricaded in Building C and – Building B, and the TOC. He radios the other agents that he’s got a problem. He is very difficult to understand. He can barely speak.
The other agents, at this time, can see that there is some smoke, or at least the agents in the TOC – this is the first they become aware that Building C is on fire. They don’t have direct line of sight. They’re seeing smoke and now they’ve heard from the agent. So they make a determination to go to Building C to try to find their colleagues.
An agent in the Tactical Operations Centers uses smoke grenades to move to Building B where he “unbarricades” two agents:
…the three of them emerge and head for Building C. There are, however, plenty of bad guys and plenty of firing still on the compound, and they decide that the safest way for them to move is to go into an armored vehicle, which is parked right there. They get into the armored vehicle and they drive to Building C.
They drive to the part of the building where the agent had emerged. He’s on the roof. They make contact with the agent. Two of them set up as best a perimeter as they can, and the third one, third agent, goes into the building. This goes on for many minutes. Goes into the building, into the choking smoke. When that agent can’t proceed, another agent goes in, and so on. And they take turns going into the building on their hands and knees, feeling their way through the building to try to find their two colleagues. They find Sean. They pull him out of the building. He is deceased. They are unable to find the Ambassador.
Now there are other rescuers coming from other places.
Someone is still in the TOC “manning the phone:”
…that agent from the top of this incident, or the very beginning of this incident, has been on the phone. He had called the quick reaction security team, he had called the Libyan authorities, he had called the Embassy in Tripoli, and he had called Washington. He had them all going to ask for help. And he remained in the TOC.
A Quick Reaction team has arrived from “what we call the annex.” They get the man on the phones out of the TOC and they all move to Building C to join colleagues.
All the agents at this point are suffering from smoke inhalation. The agent that had been in the building originally with the Ambassador is very, very severely impacted, the others somewhat less so, but they can’t go back in. The remaining agent, the one that had come from the TOC, freshest set of lungs, goes into the building himself, though he is advised not to. He goes into the building himself, as do some members of the quick reaction security team.
The agent makes a couple of attempts, cannot proceed. He’s back outside of the building. He takes his shirt off. There’s a swimming pool nearby. He dips his shirt in the swimming pool and wraps it around his head, goes in one last time. Still can’t find the Ambassador. Nobody is able to find the Ambassador.
Rather than get stuck in the traffic, the agents careen their car over the median – there is a median, a grassy median – and into the opposing traffic, and they go counter-flow until they emerge into a more lightly trafficked area and ultimately make their way to the annex.
Once at the annex, the annex has its own security – a security force there. There are people at the annex. The guys in the car join the defense at the annex. They take up firing positions on the roof – some of them do – and other firing positions around the annex. The annex is, at this time, also taking fire and does take fire intermittently, on and off, for the next several hours. The fire consists of AK-47s but also RPGs, and it’s, at times, quite intense.
As the night goes on, a team of reinforcements from Embassy Tripoli arrives by chartered aircraft at Benghazi airport and makes its way to the compound – to the annex, I should say. And I should have mentioned that the quick reaction – the quick reaction security team that was at the compound has also, in addition to my five agents, has also returned to the annex safely. The reinforcements from Tripoli are at the compound – at the annex. They take up their positions. And somewhere around 5:45 in the morning – sorry, somewhere around 4 o’clock in the morning – I have my timeline wrong – somewhere around 4 o’clock in the morning the annex takes mortar fire. It is precise and some of the mortar fire lands on the roof of the annex. It immediately killed two security personnel that are there, severely wounds one of the agents that’s come from the compound.
Are the two killed above Doherty and Woods? I read this week that a third person was wounded and still in the hospital – could be the “severely wounded” agent. We were told Doherty and Woods were at a “safe house” with about 30 others.
At that point, a decision is made at the annex that they are going to have to evacuate the whole enterprise. And the next hours are spent, one, securing the annex, and then two, moving in a significant and large convoy of vehicles everybody to the airport, where they are evacuated on two flights.
The person telling the story above is named the “Moderator.” Now the press on the conference call has time to ask questions.
OPERATOR: The question is from Andrea Mitchell, NBC News. Please, go ahead.
QUESTION: Hi. When did you finally find Ambassador Stevens? And do you know now how he got to the hospital? Was it definitely Libyans? Were they the militia, the February 17th militia? What can you tell us about it?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: We do not know exactly how the Ambassador got to the hospital. That is one of the issues that we are – that we hope to resolve in the ongoing reviews and the information we are still seeking. We know he got to the hospital at some point. The hospital picked a cell phone out of his pocket, and we believe just started calling numbers that were on the cell phone that had received calls, and that is how we got the information that he was there.
The bones of this story is missing the details of how Ambassador Stevens died and got to a hospital. The entire transcription is at State.gov.
We’ll never know if what has been released, is what was on the call. Sean Smith’s mother is on Fox this minute with Jeanine Perino. She doesn’t believe anything she has heard. She said she was not given the opportunity to view her only son’s body, her only child. She also said she cried on Barack Obama’s shoulder. He hugged her and “looked away.” She said just yesterday, a month and two days after Sean Smith’s death, she received a phone call from a US Attorney General (there were others but I missed who they were). They told her they would answer any questions. She said she doesn’t believe a word they were saying, and they were still denying that it was terrorism. She thinks her son was killed because he knew too much, because he was trying to destroy documents. She obviously doesn’t believe he died of smoke inhalation. Now for the other side of the story, the story of the Libyans guarding the facility outside, check out Inside Benghazi from Lady Liberty 1885. H/T Powerline