Hundreds of pages of declassified transcripts are now available on the attacks on our Benghazi Mission in Libya on September 11, 2012. Most interesting among them is testimony from General Carter Ham, who was in command, on the
ground in Tripoli that night. UPDATE: Ham was in Washington DC working out of the Pentagon. Contrary to widely-circulated stories, Ham said he was never given a “no” answer to requests for action.
He was left out of White House preparedness-planning for the protection of American interests in Libya on the anniversary of September 11, 200, although “commanders were aware of a deteriorating security situation in Libya.” Those meetings included John Brennan, Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon, R-Calif., put the question to Ham.
MCKEON: “This might be a good time to ask. … I heard that you had made the statement that you were prepared to go to their aid and somebody told you no and you said you were going anyway. Is that all some supposition that comes from some reporter?”
HAM: “Yes, sir. No one ever told me no.”…
…according to Ham, whose area of operation came under attack, he was not asked what forces he had pre-positioned in the event of an attack and whether they were they sufficient.
ROBY: “So did anyone in DOD, the White House or national security staff, including Mr. Brennan, review the force posture with you?”
HAM: “Not personally with me. I did have a discussion with General Dempsey. … I did not have a personal discussion with anyone at the national security staff.” Source: Fox News
During the hearing, General Ham said he wanted more resources, additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“I considered and could have placed aircraft on heightened alert and probably could have relocated them into other places,” Ham told the subcommittee. “But I, again, knowing the intelligence that I had at the time, not obviously what I have now, but the intelligence I had at the time caused me to conclude in my military judgment that attack aircraft would not be the appropriate response tool. And so I did not direct a heightened alert.” (see the Fox News link above)
Four Americans died in the attack that night, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
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