Why Did We Leave Our People to Die in Benghazi?

My Friend Gary Fouse of fousesquawk wrote this posting.  I am proud to cross post it here.



“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

-Leon Panetta
As one who has served in both the military (not in combat) and law enforcement (Military Police, US Customs and DEA-including one shoot out), I fully recognize that there are differences between military and law enforcement combat situations. Yet, there is one thing that stands out in my mind about the Benghazi attack. It appears that our personnel in Libya were left to their own devices.

During the 7-hour attack at two different locations, the CIA annex requested military assistance 3 times. They themselves were told by somebody in the chain of command to “stand down” when they wanted to respond to the consulate, which was initially under attack. In spite of that order, ex-Navy Seal Tyrone Woods and others defied that order and went to the consulate, about a mile away, where they brought personnel out. (They were unable to locate Ambassador Stevens, who was presumably already dead.)

Back at the annex, Woods, Glen Doherty and others  faced attack. They apparently were killed by mortar fire while firing machine guns at the attackers from the roofs of the annex. During that final phase of the attack, they had lasers on the attackers’ positions and were calling for those positions to be fired upon, which never happened.

It has been reported that two drones were hovering over the site sending real time images back to Washington. Our officials in Washington knew that this was no protest over a video that got out of control.

Here is the point I am driving at; When your people are trapped, under attack, and being fired upon, whatever else you do, you go in and get them. That is precisely what Tyrone Woods and others on the ground did-defying orders to stand down.

Later, it was Woods, Glen Doherty and others who were under fire and needed help at the annex. There were clearly forces available in the region that could have responded-certainly in time to save those killed at the annex since the attack lasted 7 hours.

Again I stress the differences between military combat and law enforcement combat, but one classical situation in DEA was when an agent was undercover in a buy-bust situation and got into trouble either because the deal turned out to be a rip-off or a host of other emergencies. In those cases, surveillance agents go in and get their agent out. Period.

That is certainly the spirit of the military, and I have no doubt those involved were chomping at the bit to respond. Who kept them from going in to Benghazi?

In fairness, it seems a response team did go from Tripoli to Benghazi at some point, where they got stuck at the airport for some time. What seems to have been missing was air support and fire to rescue the men fighting at the annex.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was with President Obama in the White House within an hour or so of the beginning of the attack, told Pentagon reporters two days ago that forces can not be sent into a situation when they don’t have a clear picture of what is happening. Another reason I have heard was that many by-standers were gathered on the streets around the consulate and annex.

But in the end, our forces were told to stand down. It may have been too late to save Ambassador Stevens and his aide, Sean Smith, who died at the consulate, but what about Woods and Doherty 7 hours later?

Meanwhile, the man we may be re-electing president in 10 days is promising “to get to the bottom of it”. In my mind, he, his Secretary of Defense, and his Secretary of State already know.

  • Well, I guess we all know now what happens when that phone call comes.


  • First Findalis, WE didn’t leave them to die.. There’s not a one of us that wouldn’t have gone towards the gun fire to attempt to save our people.. The We should be Obama and your team..

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  • Arlie

    What ever happened with the Michael New case. Did he go to court and get an honorable discharge. I would like to know how it worked out for this brave American soldier.

  • EndthePain

    This administration has the attitude of a college professor. Know all the facts before you act.

    In the fog of war if you know all the facts before you commit troops the war would never be fought.

    Oh I get it now….thats actually the progressive lefts attitude. No battle is worth fighting. No life is worth saving if it endangers the greater collective.

    It all makes sense now why Obama would order his forces to stand down. No battle is worth fighting. It is why Obama fights his war with DRONES and then thumps his chest as if he is this great Commander in Chief.

    I wonder…..I have often wondered how they can pull the trigger on a drone and kill a dozen people in a home 12,000 miles away but they cannot pull the trigger and send help to Americans begging for it, but will set messmerized as they watch the deaths of their comrades on video screens in some secure bunker 12,000 miles away.

    It is simple…Obama is the smartest man in the room and no one should ever question him. Ever. The fear of war makes one unable to fight a war. Abraham Lincoln had this problem for 3 years until he found one man willing to actually fight the war.

    What we have is a president who is unable and incapable of fighting a battle, let alone a war…..acknowledging there is a war would justify the battle….but if there is NO WAR then there is no justification for fighting the battle.

    RIP Americans…..Your Commander in Chief is the smartest guy in the room.

    • Well said.. Lincoln wasn’t the problem the first three years of the Civil War.. the Generals were.. Your right it took a special man.. Grant.. to finally put the period on that terribly wasteful war..

  • EndthePain

    I present to you the smartest man in the room:

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  • The Secretary of State, the Director of the CIA, the Secretary of Defense, two or three Generals, and the Commander-in-Chief have no honor and are unfit to serve America in any capacity. What message did these “leaders” send to troops and future troops? They disgust me!

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  • sara

    I am asking ALL Americans today to join in with one voice to DEMAND answers. Why were our brave Patriots left to die in Benghazi? Why is Obama campaigning and ignoring the Benghazi debacle?

    The American people, and the families of those who lost loved ones, deserve the truth. We the people are the last line of defense to hold our goverment accountable. If we don’t do it WHO will? Please join in. Within this petition you can write what you wish to your reps.

    I hope every American takes the 2 minutes it takes to sign this petition and write in your own words what you wish. If our President has time to campaign and to do interviews with MTV, he has time to answer to the American people. Thank you.


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