Former general: Knew early that Benghazi was terrorist attack
July 20th, 2013
07:06 AM ET

Former general: Knew early that Benghazi was terrorist attack

By Elise Labott

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories and opinion pieces surrounding the Aspen Security Forum currently taking place in Aspen, Colorado. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17 to 20 in Aspen, Colorado.

The former head of U.S. forces in Africa said the September 11, 2012, attack on the American mission in Benghazi quickly appeared to be a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous protest.

It was clear "pretty quickly that this was not a demonstration. This was a violent attack," former Gen. Carter Ham told the Aspen Security Forum on Friday. Ham is the former chief of U.S. Africa Command, commonly known as AFRICOM.

Five days after the attack, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on the Sunday news shows to say it was the result of a spontaneous demonstration, not a terrorist strike.

While the State Department has maintained that Rice's erroneous talking points were the result of getting and reacting to information in real time, critics accuse the Obama administration of orchestrating a politically motivated cover-up over a botched response, and continue to press for answers as to when the administration knew they were dealing with a terrorist attack.

When asked whether he specifically thought it was a terrorist attack, Ham said, "I don't know that that was my first reaction. But pretty quickly as we started to gain understanding within the hours after the initiation of the attack, yes. And at the command I don't think anyone thought differently."

Ham was in Washington for a meeting of all combat commanders when the attack was under way. Although a decision was made to send a drone from eastern Libya toward Benghazi, by the time it arrived above the facility, the attack on the mission was winding down.

Ham knew Ambassador Chris Stevens was missing and believed he could have possibly been kidnapped. Stevens and three other Americans died in the attack.

"In my mind, at that point we were no longer in a response to an attack. We were in a recovery and frankly, I thought, we were in a potential a hostage rescue situation," Ham said.

Ham said although he had authority to scramble a jet to the scene, he decided there was "not necessity and there was not a clear purpose in doing so."

"To do what?" he asked. "It was a very, very uncertain situation."

Ham said although U.S. officials were looking for indicators about a possible attack on US interests during the 9/11 anniversary, there was no information that an attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi was imminent.

"It was on it everyone's mind....we really were looking very hard," he said. "Did we miss something? Was there something in the intelligence that indicated that an attack on the U.S. special mission facility in Benghazi was being planned or was likely? If that intelligence exists, I don't know."

Ham said that he didn't think Stevens, who lived in Libya, would have traveled to Benghazi if he had information about a possible attack.

"If he felt there was a risk in Benghazi, I don't think only for himself, but he would not have put others at risk by going to Benghazi he felt was an increased likelihood of violence occurring in that place," Ham said. "I'm convinced that he didn't have any indications."

Ham said the fact there is not a stable government in Libya makes the country "a very significant threat," noting that al Qaeda has established itself in eastern and southwestern Libya. The United States, he said, is trying to strengthen the capacity of the Libyan authorities to deal with the threat.

soundoff (551 Responses)
  1. jake

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    August 4, 2013 at 3:52 am | Reply
  2. john vance

    It was clear very early on that this was more than a protest getting out of hand. Anyone with a television could view images of small arms fire and RPG impacts available from various news outlets soon after the disaster. I don't know if there was much that could have been "done" about the attack itself, but the administration's totally ham-handed, communications about the event was ill-considered management that could only make things worse – and it did.

    July 22, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      The Administration never said it was just a demonstration that got out of hand. Even Rice's much maligned remarks on the Sunday news shows were clear: The attackers were well-armed, extremist militants with possible ties to all Qaeda. Her remarks were consistent with eyewitness reports from Benghazi that had the militants reacting to the protests and attacks on the Cairo embassy.

      Protests, riots and attacks on US facilities spread to more than 20 nations at the time of the Benghazi attacks. They were conclusively linked to the anti-Muslim video that had just been transcribed to Arabic and was widely televised in the Mideast.

      Published eyewitness reports had the Benghazi militants reacting to TV news reports covering the events in Cairo and elsewhere. Eyewitnesses reported that, prior to the attacks, the militants were organizing a group of young people to chant against the video. Eyewitnesses also reported that the attacking militants themselves invoked their rage over the video while engaging in the attack.

      None of this excuses the violence. In fact, the Administration repeatedly declared that there was no excuse for such violence. None of this makes it anything other than terrorism, and the Administration called it such from the beginning.

      July 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        With all due respect that is a total misrepresentation of Rice's remarks. Greg Hicks the next person in charge after Chris Stevens stated not a single American in Benghazi reported anything about a demonstration or anything regarding that stupid video. On top of all that the protest in Cairo about the video was led by the Al Qaeda leader's brother. This administration bought the fake protest by Al Qaeda and then sold it to the US public. How low can we go? Meanwhile Al Qaeda is on the march in Libya with daily attacks and still to this day we have failed to seek justice for Chris Stevens the first American Ambassador killed in 30 yrs. Lying about a terror attack is the most shameful thing I've ever seen from a President.

        July 23, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • John, Jr.

      Hey Jim (I want everyone to be a) Ward (of the state): Aren't you the liing leftie (redondant) from that daddy issue filled Stef Miller show? What are you auditioning for a gig on MSDNC.
      PS: For those who don't know, Stef's dad was Goldwater's VP!

      July 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  3. Jerry

    The Obama administration is guilty of orchestrating a politically motivated cover-up over a botched response to a terrorist attack against the American embassy in Benghazi...
    They should just admit it and move on.. NO ONE can be right all the time but this charade has gone on long enough..

    July 22, 2013 at 7:20 am | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      This was not an embassy and there was no cover-up. This was an attack on what was largely a CIA operation by well-armed, extremist militants motivated, at least in part, by the protests and attacks on the Cairo embassy and elsewhere. The Administration called it an act of terror from day one and eyewitness reports support the fact that the anti-Muslim video was a catalyst for the terrorists. Nevertheless, the Administration was quite clear that it made no difference what their motives were, as there was no excuse for the violence against our people.

      July 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      Botched response? Two rapid response forces - one from nearby and one from Tripoli - were launched upon word of the attack, the first on its way in 25 minutes. These forces - comprised of CIA soldiers and US military - reinforced the DSS force that traveled with the Ambassador to Benghazi. The were further supplemented by Libyan military in more than 50 vehicles. Stevens and Smith were lost in the fire that was started within 15 minutes of the initial attack. Two CIA soldiers - one from each force - were killed the next day while manning a machine gun atop the CIA annex where surviving personnel from the outpost had been evacuated.

      In the end, nearly 100 of the attacking militants were killed by responding forces; the bodies of our 4 dead were secured; and more than 30 Americans were rescued, safely evacuated and on a plane home in hours.

      The bipartisan investigation and report found that every effort was made to save Stevens and Smith, and that all agencies responded in a timely and appropriate manner.

      July 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  4. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    What difference at this point does it make ???
    Americans are DEAD.

    Hillary Clinton is AWESOME !!!
    Just ask any Democrat

    FORWARD >>> >>> >>> >>> >>> >>>
    ALL of america can be like DETROIT

    July 22, 2013 at 6:47 am | Reply
  5. Bill

    Seems the only clueless folks that didn't think it was a terrorist attack were the ones in charge, back in Washington DC! No surprise there, as they seem clueless about pretty much everything!!

    July 22, 2013 at 6:11 am | Reply
  6. shelbyann

    investigate hate film

    July 22, 2013 at 5:47 am | Reply
    • John, Jr.

      Do you mean the Media's coverage of the TM verdict protesters?

      July 22, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
  7. BO

    He must be mistaken. Obama and Hillary told us it was that bogus movie that caused this.

    July 22, 2013 at 4:36 am | Reply
  8. True Blue

    Hey Blow,
    Please open your wallet for a bigger jail cell! If anyone needs to be put away (or down) for treason, it's Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Rice & Rove. Check your history on our illustrious invasion of Iraq and our search for the imaginary WMDs. While your at it, go back and look at the body count. If that's not enough take a look at the impact on our country's debt. Bengahzi was bad . . . but it was peanuts (oops 1 peanut). You may want to engage your brain, or perhaps zip your ignorant lip!

    July 22, 2013 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • Vigilant Eagle

      Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike

      CLINTON: Good evening.

      Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

      Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

      Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

      I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish.

      "Six weeks ago, Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors called UNSCOM. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. Their job is to oversee the elimination of Iraq's capability to retain, create and use weapons of mass destruction, and to verify that Iraq does not attempt to rebuild that capability.

      July 22, 2013 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • BO

      Still blaming Bush for the incompetence of the Obama regime, I see. Pitiful.

      July 22, 2013 at 4:38 am | Reply
    • rwdragon86

      I guess you better lump in Hillary and the 90% of Dems who had the same intel and also voted for war. Don't forget Colin Powell's role as well. Ahhh but I guess you have selective memory.

      July 22, 2013 at 5:19 am | Reply
      • Pete

        @rwdragon86,yah Colin Powells career went down the toilet after delivering those lies didn't he!!And don't you think you're supposided to believe a medaled general in Powell when he says something!And selective memory is what conservatives have because they like their reps don't want to take responsibility for putting the most ignorent ,irresponsible president in office not once buy twice and are still in denile about it aren't yah!!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        There you go again Pete, showing off your Chicago Public School education!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,jealous bud ,stick around you might learn something..Go to Chicago one day bud its not as bad as let's say where you're at and I really don't care about that either!!

        July 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete: I lived and worked in Park Ridge, IL for over 5 years. That's where HRC was born and raised, just in case the Special Ed teacher didn't tell you!

        July 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Jerry

      You're a delussional nit wit.....

      July 22, 2013 at 7:23 am | Reply
    • Ken

      TB, Treason? Bush had full authority from the house and senate. Howbout BO. How many times has he asked to move troops into combat . . . . . . . . .Wait for it . . . . . . . . .ZERO. And as far as Body count of our troops, CNN reported a few months back that BO had more troops buried in 4 years than BUSH IN 8. Get your facts. You've drank way to much of the KOOL-AID and need to become an independent thinker, instead of BO thinking for U

      July 23, 2013 at 12:19 am | Reply
  9. blow the ragheads up

    obama and clinton guilty of treason on many counts. time for a regime change (and overdue at that) and prevent them from ever being anywhere near American soil ever again.

    July 22, 2013 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • Pete

      @blow your head up,who would you suggest taking over brainiac..Huckabee,Romney or maybe your fav in Palin..Republicans from top to bottom all losers ,all republicans.O I forgot that skinny guy Christie,yah real winners,NOT!!

      July 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  10. russell forby

    Wag the Dog!

    July 22, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
  11. Bhawk1

    How did those that attack know it was a CIA station and the Ambassdor there. I'd like to ask Snowden that question.

    July 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
    • thunder down under

      is it true that Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette (In charge of Carrier Strike Group – (3) Middle East) was relieved of his command by Presdient Obama because quote unquote " due to this strike force commander disobeying orders when he ordered his forces on 11th September to assist and provide intelligence for American military forces ordered into action by US Army General Carter Ham, Commander USA Command (AFRICOM) against terrorist forces attacking the American Consulate In Libya."

      July 22, 2013 at 12:22 am | Reply
      • Jim Ward

        No. Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was the subject of a 5-month investigation by the Navy Inspector General. His career ended as a result of charges unrelated to Benghazi.

        July 22, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Jim Ward

      The militants attacked the Benghazi outpost. A CIA military force was launched within 25 minutes of the initial attack. They safely evacuated the surviving personnel and returned to the CIA annex 1 1/2 miles away. The militants located the CIA annex by following the response team there from the outpost.

      July 22, 2013 at 1:16 am | Reply
      • thunder down under

        Dear Jim – thank you for your response on Admiral Gaoutte. You write with absolute certainty about the reasons for his removal, so please provide attribution.
        Is it also true, General Carter Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help & support as the attack on Benghazi was taking place.
        According to first hand accounts, General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
        General Ham then received the order to stand down & according to first hand accounts, his response was to screw it, he was going help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
        If these first hand accounts are true it gives further weight to the allegations of cover up by the White House, bearing in mind there may have been other non-disclosed national security issues at stake running paralell in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack which prevented a full & accurate disclosure of this information. comments please.

        July 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  12. James

    Its all a game to this administration, lies and broken promises is all we get

    July 21, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @James,remember what administration lied to us for 8 long years and the thousands of loves lost and trillions of dollars wasted,proud of him,I bet you are idiot!!!And talk about broken promises,can't count them all !!

      July 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
      • Michael McCormick

        I know it is always Bush's fault. I know his administration had a lot of faults but I think most Americans would like answers now instead of excuses.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete pete all you do is repeat Bush lied and people died. Let's see if we can come up with an economically successful Dem President and a Dem House at the same time, shall we:
        FDR, Nope.
        HST, Nope.
        LBJ, Nope.
        JEC, definately NOT.
        WFC, Nope there was a Rep House when the economy began to rise.
        BHO & Fancy Nancy @ the helm of the House, definately NOT again.

        How about Dem's lie and the Economy dies!!!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • John, Jr.

        Sorry for the typo ... WJC. Although his name could have been William F around on his wife Clinton. :)

        July 22, 2013 at 12:18 am |
      • i12bphil

        I hate to be the spelling police, but until you can properly assemble a sentence that is grammatically correct, don't dare imply someone is an idiot, especially if you don't know them personally.

        July 22, 2013 at 12:40 am |
      • John, Jr.

        i12bphil: Don't be too hard on Pete's lack of writting skills. He obviosly went to Chicago Public School, where the teachers are the highest paid in the country and still go on strike and less than half the student body are performing at grade level. A National disgrace of the highest order.

        July 22, 2013 at 1:08 am |
      • Barredbard

        Facts are such pesky little things. Richard Nixon operated a clandestine outfit that burglarized and wire tapped his political adversaries. He resigned in shame. Ronald Reagan sold weapons to our enemies in the Iran-Contra affair in defiance of Congress. Many who served under him saw jail time. George Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction and ordered troops to Iraq. Thousands of soldiers died, and our economy imploded. No democratic president has done anything approaching the scale of dishonesty bordering on treason as these ones. You will notice that the Democrats did not impeach any of these presidents. Republicans have plenty of nerve running around scouring the attic for scandals to impeach the President with. They impeached Clinton for infidelity, when the Speaker of the House at the time, Newt Gingrich was also having an extramarital affair at a time when his wife was ill. Benghazi was an unfortunate tragic incident. End of story. Hypocrisy was never novel, but it has become boring.

        July 22, 2013 at 4:56 am |
      • rwdragon86

        Barrebard – Check your facts. Clinton was impeached or LYING UNDER OATH. Incidentally the affair carried on with a subordinate employee would have gotten him fired with any private company. Clinton was trash.

        July 22, 2013 at 5:24 am |
      • Barredbard

        Rwdragon86, that's a distinction without a difference. Republicans mounted a witch hunt which is why he lied in the first place. His domestic troubles affected neither my life nor my wallet. You may think he is trash, but he is on track to be one of our most popular presidents, with an almost 70% rating. Wherever he goes, he is loved and respected both abroad and here. The same cannot be said for Bush.

        July 22, 2013 at 6:06 am |
      • Jerry

        Reading your post, we all know who the idiot is...

        July 22, 2013 at 7:26 am |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,check out how Roosevelt worked around obstructionistic republicans back then to straighten out Hoovers Great Depression in 12 years and how he went from 7 justices in a republican led supreme court to 9 a democraticly led one in the SCOTUS because those republicans wouldn't pass his national work act that actually saved America!!Read up smart guy and even without republicans in congress Pres.Obamas still getting it done isn't he !!Research on how Clinton handled republicans while in office as well threatening them with vetoing everything they had if they didn't work with him,that's fact Jr!!I'll quit blaming Bush when you ignorents quit denying you voted twice for that Texas imbecile and take responsibility for Bush and how he left the country in this dreadful condition,DEAL I bet you won't!!Adalai Stevenson once said democrates will quit telling truths about republicans when republicans quit telling lies about democrates,fitting isn't it and truth does hurt as well,doesn't it!!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete: I know that you feel so strongly that you can't seem to think straight; but the fact is that the latest person to be jailed for voting multiple times was a female polling official of color, who was intelligent enough to brag about it on TV.

        JFK's papa's famous quote in 1960 : "I don't mind buying an election, but I'll be damned if I'm paying for a landslide".
        Boston's Democrap Mayor Curly: "Vote early and vote often".
        Taminy Hall in NYC.

        Try and revise those histories Pete !!!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,forgot more then you know smart ass!!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Pete

        @Barredbard,its like talking to a wall with these conservative posters and the walls more intelligent as well ..You're right on these facts but quess what these republicans like their reps in both branches like Issa,McConnell,Boehner and company only know how to obstruct when its they with Bush that created this mess in the first place..And try getting them to say they voted twice for that imbecile in Bush that made the mess ,when hell freezes over right !!

        July 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,not twice in the same election idiot ,after seeing him taking off for over 450 days his first 2 years on vacations as president and all the other destructive messes like the senseless,expensive Iraq war he created you voted for him for a second time bozo and junior the one who flunked in school not knowing how to read,where did you go to O Chicago right junior!!!Remember it is Bush,others who's indicted by over 100 countrys for human rights violations and if caught he'll fact trial at the ICC Hague,Netherlands just like Hitlers boys after WWII for war crimes,nice president but you ignorent republicans put him there didn't yah!!

        July 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete, Pete calm down your stammering again. Black female poll worker, who bragged about voting multiple times for BHO in the last election recently got 5 years, look up the facts that contradict your feelings..Another pesky fact is that our history is replete with Dem's committing voter fraud ... Daley's, Huey Long, the new black panthers, etc. Despite Dem claims to the contrary, you can't give one instance of Rep wrong doing.

        July 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete; given BHO's record, perhaps it is best to leave the vacation lies (450 days in 2 yrs!?!) alone.

        July 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,facts be known Bushs vacations totaled at 1020 days in his presidency ,highest in presidencial history,5 weeks at one time as well..And John ,Pres.Obamas record is already better in helping this country against your obstructionistic republicans than all of your republican presidents combined...Facts hurt bud but I can't tell unfactual statements like most of you because I wasn't brought up that way..Read up and you'll see how some called Bush the Phantom President,I did because he was never around even when he was physically there,not mentally,but again junior you voted for him again didn't yah!!!Who went to school and who's smart,obviously school didn't help you did it junior..Screwed up twice in voting for the imbecile but keep denying it still!!You didn't learn from your initial mistake did yah, gotcha stupid!!

        July 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,one name bud convicted in voters fraud for Bushs elections,others read about Nathan Sproul..Came out and arrested again funded by the GOP for Romney as well in Florida voter fraud case..You delushionals think you're angels don't yah..What about Newt Gingrich as speaker over ethics violations or Boehner tied to Keystone getting free stock deals for pushing XL pipeline,getting caught recently!!Don't talk trash when your partys full of corrupt puppets,more than democrates..I'll find more but you wouldn't want to see them all because there's not enough room here for it all your republican crooks junior!!Who's stammering now stupid!!Need anymore info on corrupt presidents like Reagan,Nixon or your favs in the Bushs just call and I'll try to help ...Just my Chicago style teachings that's all!!

        July 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete, Crawford and Camp David do not necessarily equal vacations for either your Presidents or mine. You Lib's harp on Iraq but completely forget LbJ and his escalation of the war in Viet Nam ... where 14 times as many soldiers were lost in the same time frame. Were you still riding the "short bus" during that time?

        July 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • Pete

        @rwdragon86,what about republican reps caught with their pants down bud like Sanford,Gingrich or McCain just to name a few and last time I checked getting a hummer wasn't against any presidencial ethics rules unless you're jealous and wanted to give ole Bill one too!!

        July 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Pete

        @john Jr.,they John were vacations just like you claim ignorently about in Pres.Obamas and are recorded the same way like it or not junior..Can't raise hell about one and let the other off the hook which you so frequently do in disregarding Bush in any of your posts ,upset because you sided with him more than once I suppose which left more than egg on your face...Yes LBJ was president but like I stated once before how Eisenhower sent 900 troops back in the 50s to help France as intervensional reps against the N Vietnamese gorillas and after the Gulf Of Tonkin incident it went to full scale war..Difference is we were physically attacked by N Vietnamese torpedo boats in international waters against our Navys ships that were real not lies of WMD in Iraq that were never found and the thousands of American,allied soldiers,Iraqi civilans as well who died for no reason.This senseless,unnecessary war was created to make certain people rich in Bush,Cheney ,MIC with no bid logistical contracts with Halliburton the first of its kind in war that were open ended that made Cheney billions even as presidencial VP being warned by congress,senate of conflict of interest...Remember these republicans who you voted for are indicted for human rights violations by over 100 countrys but ours and if caught would face trial at the ICC site at the Hague ,Netherlands!!Remember we should've never been there and most vets when asked will say the same thing truth be told!!John,can you read my post,no stammering now if you know what stammering is and did I give you enough facts for tonight teacher ,remember Chicago schools are probibly better than the snobby private one you supposidly went to John,got that!!I took that from memory not Googling like you probibly do smart guy!!

        July 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Who knew the Dem's kicking "Jack Ass" mascot was named Pete. Interesting how your Poli Sci teacher never exposed you to LBJ's trumped up Tonkin escapade. We bailed out the French 3 times in 50 years and they hate us for it. DDE 900 "Advisors", JFK more "Advisors", LBJ 500,000 Troops ... and predominently poor and of color!!! BTW 57,000 Am. deaths vs 4,000. Keep that short bus rollin'.

        July 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Stead

      Pat, go protest and bring your friend who knows this guy who said he really knew what happened!! Give me a break.

      July 22, 2013 at 12:00 am | Reply
  13. G_Edwards

    Hello? Anyone home, General Ham????

    Didn't you hear? It was in response to a video that no one saw. And even if it wasn't, what difference does it make?

    Sheeesh.

    .

    July 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      General Ham did not contradict anything regarding the video. The facts then and now confirm that what the Obama Administration - including Rice - reported was accurate. The attackers were well-armed, extremist militants who responded to the protests and attack on our Cairo embassy. Eyewitness reports had militants watching the protests in Cairo on TV prior to the attacks. Eyewitness reports had the attackers organizing youth to chant against the video prior to the attacks. Eyewitness reports had the attackers themselves invoking rage against the video during the violence.

      The anti-Muslim video had just been translated to Arabic and was widely televised throughout the Mideast. In fact, protests, riots and attacks on US facilities in 20 nations were conclusively linked to the video.

      July 22, 2013 at 1:34 am | Reply
      • Mike

        Bless you heart.

        July 22, 2013 at 7:38 am |
      • Joe Momma

        Dude, what flavor is that kool-aid?

        July 23, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  14. Jimbo

    If dissent is the highest form of patriotism and treason is the highest form of dissent, then treason is the highest form of patriotism.

    July 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • tommy mack

      And when the Downing Street Memo's proved that all the intelligence about WMD's in Iraq was completely bogus, but we STILL went in... and lost over 4000 troops, killed a half a million civilians, and cost us over a trillion dollars....

      Well, then they should have a nice cup of STFU.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
      • John, Jr.

        Has anyone ever bothered to look at a map. Iraq and Afghanistan bracket Iran, can anyone say containment policy against the ultimate WMD (ie Nukes). BHO's numero uno Val was raised in Iran and now the containment strategy is gone!!! Just something to think about!

        July 21, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
      • Tommy Mack

        John JR, not only do you state something obvious about geography, but by alluding to the destabilization of the region by our invasions...

        Well... you are right. But can you even think of history before 2001? Apparently not.

        July 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • Barnaby

        You mean the WMDs that the intelligence all said were in Iraq and that Saddam Hussein moved to Syria before the US invasion?

        July 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Tommy Mack: Yes I can. I contributed to your blog about GSMIC ... how's the book coming along.
        Can you imagine: What if I am even close to being right about the real reason .... easier access to the Natanz site? Would anyone have believed the idea of Stuxnet prior to its success? BTW the trillion $ was supposed to be repaid with Iraqi oil money until the Dem's nixed it after the 2006 mid-terms.

        July 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • DrScott622

        @TommyMack.....Nail on the head, Bro!! Good job!

        July 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • rickirs

      If your logic made any sense, you'd be a genius. "If" does not indicate certainty, only conjecture. So your statements of theory do not result in certainty, only an unproven hypothesis.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • John, Jr.

      Careful Jimbo. The NSA is watching !!! Just keep it pithy. Orwell appears not to have been paranoid enough! We wouldn't want you to be offered an all expense paid vacation to Gitmo.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  15. bdby

    The state department knew it was a terrorist attack within the first 5 minutes of the RPG hitting the wall.

    July 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • Jimbo

      Funny. And yet they (Hillary/Obama) lie to us anyway. It's like there isn't an objective press anymore that will call them on their lies.

      July 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply
      • Jim Talt

        Totally agree with you: Clinton and Obama knew the truth about the attack and are covering it up for reasons of their own that I can only guess at. Is it possible that arms deals and money were flowing in this region and those folks at this embassy knew about it and were killed to hide the truth...? Sounds crazy but ....

        July 22, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  16. JT Lawry

    Another GOP POS. General of what? Pee Wee Hermans fan club? The Republican Party is the biggest cancer on our planet. Racist, stupid, rednecks, Jesus freaks and of course millionaires. That's all they stand for. As for this so called General? Please flush upon departure.

    July 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • Jimbo

      There must be a kernel of truth here. What a reaction, JT Lawry. Methinks you protest too much.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
    • John, Jr.

      Way to raise the level of the discourse JT. You must be a real live Phi Beta Krappa!

      July 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • me

      angry liberals are funny

      July 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
      • John, Jr.

        Dear Me;

        They appear nightly on MSDNC! It's a hoot.

        July 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • Pete

        @me,funny but something republicans aren't ,intelligent..Watch MSNBC you might see how governments run properly next time because it sure as hell wasn't under Bushs reign of terror!!

        July 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete: You are one of MSDNC's viewers. Who is the other one? What a line-up: The Reverend Tawanna Brawley, Chris "I worked for Tip(s) Mathews, Chris "the kid", Rachel Madcow, & Lawrence of Arabia. All swing from the Left and would never get on base except for walks.

        July 22, 2013 at 12:34 am |
      • Pete

        @John Jr.,so you stand behind that Joseph Goebbels type propaganda that's comes from FAUX news,that's why you so delushional and ignorently republican as well!!

        July 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • John, Jr.

        Pete you keep on confusing feelings with thinking. Let me see if I can say this slowly enough so that even you can understand it ... think with your head and not your heart! Are you the reason that the Democraps chose a "Jack Ass" for their symbol and mascot???

        July 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Barbara Ball

      Speaking of a cancer, you are the biggest. We have been lied to by our President and you and the rest of the idiot liberals could care less. Go to hell Lawry.

      July 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • rickirs

      Ham said the attack on Benghazi consulate "quickly appeared to be a terrorist attack." No eye witnesses relayed this information. The CIA safe house was miles away from visual confirmation. Ham was in DC at the time and only knew it was "an uncertain situationb to do what?" He didn't have any intelligence on the attack and Stevens going to Benghazi had no indications an attack was coming. The chain of events and slowly developing information belies Ham's hindsight 13th hour knownledge of what was and what did happening. And if he was out of the information loop who else wouldn't be?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
    • Barnaby

      Keep. Getting suckered by the left wing media campaign and if you're lucky you'll end up exactly where they want you- broke and dependent on govt aid

      July 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • Jerry

      JT you sound more like the racist, redneck, bigot to me...
      you poor misinformed nit wit...

      July 22, 2013 at 7:29 am | Reply
    • TaterSalad

      JT Lawry.......................what a joke you are! Still drinking the Obama Kool aid is making people laugh at you buddy! You are a complete joke! Sad.............but typical of a left wing moron!

      July 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  17. Susan

    General – It's a little late NOW to come out and tell the truth! If you had any courage, you would have said this on 9/12 and before the election! Thanks for keeping your mouth shut like the rest of the Sheeple!

    July 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • cj

      it's tough...on 9/12 he was still in command and la egally sworn in sr officer.

      Had he come forward he would likely be in Guantanamo.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  18. martiniano

    So our government lied to us? OMG!! What a revelation! I bet Nixon never would have lied to the American people about Viet Nam, Laos or Cambodia! Or Reagan! The Great Communicator would never have lied about Nicaragua! But this damned neegra gets in office and guess what: lies. Oh the Humanity!!

    July 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • cj

      All valid points...and all reasons that the named presidents and their people were pulled through the ringers.

      Your point seems to be that because Obama is half black he should get a pass? let him face the same 'firing squads' the other former leaders caught in lies have faced.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
      • Ruby

        I agree, we need to hold them all accountable regardless of party, popularity or other achievments. Let them all answer to us for what they do in our name with our money.
        I would like to see our new services return to the day when they lead in demanding answers on behalf of the people, but they will do what they will, and perhaps we need new methods for demanding the truth be told. If so, come let us find them.

        July 22, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Jimbo

      Is that a false equivalence argument? Oh. Look at the lies of Nixon. Therefore, the lies of Obama are nothing.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • itwasntme904

      Don't leave out Clinton!

      July 21, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  19. sawtooth

    All countries got spy's, any head of government who say's they don't have spy's is lying

    July 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  20. ThinkAgain

    The Aspen Security Forum is a GOP-sponsored event, so of course this ex-general would express this opinion.

    July 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • cnnisok

      everyone with an IQ above 50 knew it was a terrorist attack on 9/11 that's what made the lie so dumb in the first place. keystone cops if lying.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • Jim Ward

        There was no lie. AP reported the next day that the administration was investigating it as a terrorist attack. The President called it an act of terror multiple times in the days that followed. Rice accurately described it as the work of well-armed, extremist militants motivated, at least in part, by the attacks on our embassy in Cairo. In fact, there were protests, riots and attacks on US facilities in more than 20 nations at the time - conclusively linked to the anti-Muslim video and widely televised throughout the Mideast.

        July 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • Pete

        @Jim,talking to republicans the ignorent narrow minded ones is like talking to a wall and that's cutting down on the wall,sorry!!No matter how facts be told republicans always have their theory of it,not facts mine you just theory that's not close in any way as well!!Jim remember GWBush how delushional he was and now you see it here on a larger scale that's all and you wonder what's wrong with America!!

        July 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • JiminNM

      Doesn't matter which party is in power because both respond to orders from the same controllers. The Ambassador was eliminated because he was sending diplomatic cables complaining about the government sending guns and mercenaries to fight against Syrian government via Libya.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
      • cnnisok

        You left out who the controllers were/are? Because if these controllers actually exist I suspect it would be of great importance to out them.

        Thanks

        July 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  21. AnnonUSA

    Another instance of the Government spying that proves once again, they cannot and do not keep anyone safe by eavesdropping spying or by intelligence reports.
    Any one else want to allow our freedoms to be removed to be kept at this level of safety?

    July 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • cnnisok

      where was the spying that you note?

      July 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  22. Richard

    Thank god that Obama decide to remove the existing government and help establish the new government

    July 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • cnnisok

      He will keep switching governments until they get one they like.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  23. hubert39

    Any time anybody is attacked, shot at etc it's a terrorist attack. Terrorism is a over used word, along with the word, Hero.

    July 21, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • cnnisok

      this was a terrorist attack

      July 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Jimbo

      Unless it's a Muslim Army Officer attacking a deployment center at Ft. Hood. Then it's "workplace violence."

      July 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  24. Steve

    CNN on top of the story, post-election that is.

    July 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • DC Johnny

      Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  25. Yusef

    Stevens was running guns to Syria... that's the coverup.

    July 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • abmri60

      Through Turkey.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      "Running Guns" is what you call it when you are a partisan trying to link this CIA operation to another faux scandal, "Fast and Furious." While the Neocons were pushing the Administration for a full-blown US war against Syria, the CIA was engaged in limited provision of weapons via our ally Turkey to the Syrian rebels trying to overthrow the Assad regime. This was all being done with bipartisan oversight from the Congressional intelligence committees. (In sharp contrast to Reagan arming the Congrats in violation of US law after such activity was specifically deemed illegal by Congress)

      July 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
      • cnnisok

        But they did lie about the terrorist attack, correct?

        July 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • JiminNM

      Nope; Stevens was complaining about the guns and mercenaries going to Syrian in diplomatic cables to State and was eliminated.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  26. reader10

    So what nothing will happen to Obama and admintration.

    July 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • John, Jr.

      Not a damn thing because the "Lamestream Media" and the Liberals refuse to honor MLK and judge BHO on the content of his (lack of) character and not the color of his skin. Anyone who attempts to utter a criticism of BHO's policies is met with a fusillade of accusations that they are "Racist".

      July 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
      • ugottabkidn

        Cover up? Two words – Pat Tillman

        July 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  27. Cynthia Avishegnath

    Was Susan Rice opportunistically jumping Hillary's gun and grand-standing to boost her image as future Sec of State?

    Did she disrupt the press release process while the State Dept and WH was performing a more thorough analysis before releasing a half-baked statement like Rice did?

    She probably was not in any authoritative position to know at what stages of analysis and public disclosure preparation WH and State Dept were, and therefore she should have "kept her mouth shut".

    Now, her one-upwoman-ship had not only put the WH in having to defend a perceived cover-up, everyone that worked with her have to skirt around statements from implicating her as being unstatesmenlike or unstateswomanlike.

    Not only so, she terribly destroyed her chances in being Sec of State, by trying to exploit the incident to boost her chances. If my analysis of the situation is true, I wouldn't want Rice anywhere near any govt decision making in the future.

    July 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      Rice said nothing wrong in her remarks about Benghazi on several Sunday news shows. She prefaced all her remarks with the fact that they were based on initial information and deferred to the FBI investigation for the definitive answers.

      At all times, she made clear that the attackers were well-armed, extremist militants spontaneously driven to violence, at least in part, in response to the attack on our embassy in Cairo. The Cairo attack, like the protests, riots and attacks on U.S. facilities in 20 countries at the time, were conclusively linked to the anti-Muslim video that had just been transcribed in Arabic and widely distributed throughout the Mideast.

      Rice stated quite clearly, "Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine."

      Indeed, eyewitness reports from the Benghazi outpost had militants organizing a group of youths to chant against the video prior to the attack. Other eyewitness reports had the attackers themselves citing the video during the violence.

      That the Obama Administration was using the video as an excuse for the violence is contradicted by the Clinton comment that has been wildly misquoted by Republican partisans. The Secretary of State specifically said at the time that it "makes no difference" what their motive was, there is no excuse for the violence against our people.

      July 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • cnnisok

      no she was lying to acquire more of the moslem vote for her boss. And quite frankly there was no reason to lie they had that vote locked a long time ago.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply
      • Jim Ward

        Well, you are right about one thing. There was indeed no reason to lie. The Administration deserves credit for getting bin Laden and decimating the leadership of all Qaeda. To the point, the President specifically declared, upon the death of bin Laden, that they would try to attack us again and that the war on terror was not over.

        Partisans would have us believe that the President hung out a "Mission Accomplished" banner and thus needed to cover-up any terrorism. The facts just don't support this and another faux scandal is losing steam.

        July 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  28. JM

    This is not news. Everyone knew that there was eventually a terrorist attack. The critical question was whether a demonstration had morphed into a terrorist attack – that is what the initial intelligence analysts were unsure of. This commander's statement sheds no light on this issue.

    July 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Monomachos

      The news is that you can add the general's account to what Petreus and high officials in the State Department are on the record as stating which is they all knew early on that it was a planned attack, not a protest gone while. This means that the comments by Clinton, Obama and Rice about the nonexistent protest were baloney and they knew it.

      July 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
      • Jim Ward

        Petreus was actually among those complaining that the talking points did not include enough about the protests, riots and attacks on US facilities in 20 nations at the time of the Benghazi attacks. All of these were conclusively linked to the anti-Muslim video which had just been translated to Arabic and widely televised throughout the Mideast.

        Partisans pretend that the Administration claimed an ordinary protest turned into the violent attack. This, of course, never happened.

        AP reported the very next day that the attacks were being investigated by the Administration as terrorism. The President repeatedly called it an act of terror in the days that followed. Even Rice's maligned comments had well-armed, extremist militants reacting to the protests and attacks on our Embassy in Cairo and discussed the possible links to all Qaeda.

        The undisputed eyewitness accounts from Benghazi had the militants taking action in response to TV reports from Cairo. They had militants organizing youth to chant against the video prior to the attack. And they had militants invoking their rage over the video during the attack.

        July 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
      • Jim Ward

        Petreus was actually among those complaining that the talking points did not include enough about the protests, riots and attacks on US facilities in 20 nations at the time of the Benghazi attacks. All of these were conclusively linked to the anti-Muslim video which had just been translated to Arabic and widely televised throughout the Mideast.

        Partisans pretend that the Administration claimed an ordinary protest turned into the violent attack. This, of course, never happened.

        AP reported the very next day that the attacks were being investigated by the Administration as terrorism. The President repeatedly called it an act of terror in the days that followed. Even Rice's maligned comments had well-armed, extremist militants reacting to the protests and attacks on our Embassy in Cairo and discussed the possible links to all Qaeda.

        The undisputed eyewitness

        July 21, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Jimbo

      "everyone knew", except that is not the narrative that the Administration and the media were peddling.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  29. Scott

    I am so tired of hearing about this. Bush knew earlier (than Sept. 11th) that an attack with planes was imminent but did nothing. Nor did the GOP afterward except make Bush out to be some great warrior. It is understood that the GOP will go to any means to take the Presidency by beating any dead horse they can find instead of developing solutions for this country but...enough already of the hypocrisy.

    July 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • Cynthia Avishegnath

      Everyone is trying to avoid blaming the ambassador. He is known to dismiss his security apparatus just so that he could be more "approachable" to the Libya people.

      He violated security protocols.

      With his known habit of violating security protocols, don't you think that AlQaeda & co would take notice?

      Sometimes, trying to be too nice to people, as the ambassador did, could actually harm not only yourself but the people to whom you wish to express your congeniality, as well as those around you.

      July 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • Jimbo

      Be prepared to be even more "tired" of this story. Oh. if only those mean, ugly, goopers would stop attacking the man-god.

      July 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  30. just wondering

    and just how clear was it to these experts about the WMD's Iraq had?..... opinions are like ast holes everyone has one

    July 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Jean Sartre

      Yes, and if you are married, you just might have two!

      July 21, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  31. blakenaustin

    It appears that Obama, Clinton, and Rice are compulsive liars that should not be trusted.

    July 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • just wondering

      if your a Tea Puglicon it explains your lack of integrity, honesty and morals

      July 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Reply
      • Jimbo

        And if you can refer to honest dissent by a fellow citizen as a "Publicon", perhaps you are not as respectful at you should be.

        Remember, Dissent is patriotism.

        July 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Scott

      And yet, never should the GOP ever be trusted.

      July 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  32. ItSoNlYmE

    Well, I've served as well, and I've done combat planning for the USAF. And I can tell you for a *fact* that it's just not that easy. The closest assets were at Aviano, which on the best day is a good couple of hours. Add that to the several hours it would take to define the mission, plan the mission, plan the ordnance, brief the crews, etc, etc, etc, and you end up with a long time after the whole thing was over. Don't use your alleged "knowledge" to cover the fact that you simply don't like the black man in the White House. This is not a cover-up and it's not a scandal. It's a very sad series of events that, yes, could probably have been handled better on many levels. Anyone who actually, seriously believes that the President (ANY President) of the United States would knowingly and willingly sacrifice American diplomats for some as-yet undefined conspiratorial reason doesn't deserve the time of day.

    July 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Chris Pratt

      Sir (or Sergeant if you worked for a living),

      I too served with honor. I am not a conspiracy nut. I am not claiming that anything could be done, it did not occur on my watch so I do not know what in theater assets where available. I do know one asset that should have been available, that was our Commander in Chief. One of the factors that contributed to the lack of action was confusion regarding the chain of command. This fact was outlined by the review board. If our Commander in Chief was not AWOL, there would have been no confusion.

      Let's put this back into perspective..........

      Date: Anniversary of 9/11
      Location: Mediterrainean AO
      Action: Attack of Americans and American Interests.
      Commander in Chief Response: Nothing.....According to reports POTUS did not even go to the WH crisis room. Nobody can account for his actions or even his location.

      We give the POTUS a blank check for our lives. Even if nothing could have been done I expect my Commander in Chief to at least act concerned

      Mission: Commander in Chief
      Status: FAIL

      July 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
      • Jim Ward

        This has to be the biggest lie of all the lies surrounding Benghazi. With all respect, specifically not calling you a list as this has been retold so many times I can certainly believe that one can innocently believe it. The facts just don't support such nonsense.

        The President, who was meeting with wounded veterans at Bethesda Medical Center when the attack began, met with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the incident unfolded. He continued to consult with his national security team members throughout the crisis. He was captured in a White House photo later that evening as he continued to meet with members of his National Security team.

        On the White House’s Flickr account, you can see the photo taken by White House photographer Pete Souza clearly labeled “September 11, 2012.” In the photo, then-Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough can be seen briefing Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the situation in the Middle East:

        The bipartisan accountability report concluded:

        "The Board members believe every possible effort was made to rescue and recover Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith."

        "The interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference."

        July 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  33. Reggie from LA

    How long are we going to revisit this. Not that those lives didn't mean a great deal, but it was addressed as a terrorist act by the President right away. Ms Rice was acting as an agent (by script) by CIA, for a reason. The terrorists took advantage of acts of protests as a cover for their activities. So we what, should have just dropped bombs and killed everybody? Not everybody in the streets outside the embassy were terrorist operatives.

    July 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • longfisch

      I agree, we expect our officials to lie to us and only a loser would not support his team no matter what the situation was. The only people who still care about this are the ones who didn't vote for President Obama, and since they lost their opinion is worthless, only the winners opinion matters.

      July 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  34. Homer10

    The answer is simple. It was a protest march that was utilized by terrorists to do an attack. It was both.

    July 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  35. Tier One Vet

    I served in Southern Europe and Africa, and I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that America, to this day, has combat aviation assets in both Southern Italy and Spain that could have been scrambled and over Libya in MINUTES to quite accurately have sliced-and-diced the bad guys, and possibly saved American lives.

    Remember, an American embassy is considered sovereign American territory.

    Why these Air Force and Navy combat aircraft were not scrambled is a mystery to me to this day. Can Washington please explain or do they have still another excuse in their bag?

    Color me SFOD-D, Retired.

    July 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • Jim Ward

      Again, this was not an embassy. The Benghazi outpost was largely a CIA operation. Thus, the response teams - the first launched within 25 minutes and the second from Tripoli - were comprised of CIA soldiers, former SEALS and commandos.

      Stevens and Smith, despite the heroic efforts of the DSS force that traveled with them from Tripoli, were lost in the fire that was started within 15 minutes of the initial attack. Seven hours later and 1 1/2 miles away, two of the responding soldiers were killed in a 11-minute mortar attack while manning a machine gun atop the CIA annex.

      Multiple bipartisan investigations and reports found that all military options were green lighted, there were no delays by superiors, there was no "stand down" and every effort was made to save Ambassador Smith.

      Former Secretary of Defense Republican Robert Gates, who served in the administrations of both Presidents Bush and Obama, said that critics who said that military force could have saved lives had a “cartoonish” view of U.S. military capabilities.

      July 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • Monomachos

        In his comments Gates admitted that he had no inside information on Benghazi. He also noted that the US "has no bases in the Middle East" , apparently unaware that Libya is actually in North Africa. There has been testimony that a " stand down" order was given to the FEST unit that normally would be sent in these situations. Finally, though no aid could have arrived to help the ambassador, 7 1/2 hours was enough time to send help for those defending the annex.

        July 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
      • pat

        His name was Stevens...and why aren't we having any justice for Stevens rallies?

        Also, I know a Marine that says he knows guys that are in units that were ordered to STAND DOWN!

        July 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jean Sartre

      This was not an "American Embassy!"

      It was a compound, which was used to "front" for some 40+ CIA operatives who wanted a very low profile.

      Little wonder you are retired...

      July 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
      • awlgrip2

        .............and you have served your Country how?............................

        July 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • Bill

        Jean, what do you think most embassies, run by most countries, really are these days?? Nothing more than an official presence in another country, where you can conduct official, and not so official, business.

        Been out much??

        July 22, 2013 at 6:10 am |
    • Joe

      Mr. Ward and Tier One Vet,

      Once, while a lowly Detachment Commander in 5th SFG, I was alerted to be prepared with my team to enter Iraq (this was during early 1992) in order to assist United Nations Weapons Inspectors who'd been waylaid while doing their work. Not at a sovereign American site. Not even all that strategic at that point in time. And the fact that we were the ones alerted, as opposed to our Tier One friends, indicates that there were not an awful lot of knickers in twists at the National Command Authority level. However, the alert occurred, early in the timeline of the incident, and should provide anecdotal support to the fact that something on the order of three-five SF ODAs, never mind the Tier One crowd, should have been on aircraft heading that way. This is not hard, and the precedents are multi-decade. The rest of you ought to stop the lying.

      July 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
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