The Scandal in Benghazi

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 2, 2012

No responsible commander-in-chief would have gone this long without firing people for this debacle:

On the night of the 9/11 anniversary assault at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Americans defending the compound and a nearby CIA annex were severely outmanned. Nonetheless, the State Department never requested military backup that evening, two senior U.S. officials familiar with the details of military planning tell The Daily Beast.

In its seventh week, discussion about what happened in Benghazi has begun to focus on why military teams in the region did not respond to the assault on the U.S. mission and the nearby CIA annex. The only security backup that did arrive that evening were former special-operations soldiers under the command of the CIA—one from the nearby annex and another Quick Reaction Force from Tripoli. On Friday, Fox News reported that requests from CIA officers for air support on the evening of the attacks were rejected. (The Daily Beast was not able to confirm that those requests were made, though no U.S. official contacted for this story directly refuted the claim either.)

It’s unlikely any outside military team could have arrived in Benghazi quickly enough to save Ambassador Chris Stevens or his colleague Sean Smith, both of whom died from smoke inhalation after a band of more than 100 men overran the U.S. mission at around 9:30 p.m. that evening and set the buildings inside ablaze.

But military backup may have made a difference at around five the following morning, when a second wave of attackers assaulted the CIA annex where embassy personnel had taken refuge. It was during this second wave of attacks that two ex-SEALs working for the CIA’s security teams—Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods—were killed in a mortar strike.

We have yet to receive any kind of comprehensive and coherent explanation from the Obama administration regarding this issue, and regarding why they allowed the calamity in Benghazi to take place without giving the consulate military support. And again, many of the people responsible for the calamity are still in their jobs–including Secretary Clinton. This alone should be a reason for the country to put in for a new commander-in-chief this Tuesday. We demand accountability from our presidents and our presidents ought to demand accountability from their subordinates. When that doesn’t happen, change is needed.

  • beatbarack

    A responsible commander in chief vs. a commander in chief responsible. We only have one of those.

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