Had Obama told the truth at the time, he would have been admitting that he had committed a huge error in judgment not to grant the consulate's repeated security requests, especially on the anniversary of 9/11. He clearly had a great deal of motivation to call it a "spontaneous demonstration," and that is exactly what he did!
On October 25, leading congressional lawmakers applied new pressure to the Obama administration for information on the attack: "The American public is increasingly reading information contradicting early accounts by your administration of the causes of the events of the day. "In the absence of your direct engagement to clarify these concerns, the public's frustration and confusion is likely to discredit efforts to achieve our shared goals of justice and accountability for the direct assault on American interests and the deaths of four public servants."
During a radio interview on October 26, Obama said that in the immediate wake of the attack he issued several directives, including one to “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”
In response to this, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wrote, “There appears to be a discrepancy between your directive and the actions taken by the Department of Defense. As we are painfully aware, despite the fact that the military had resources in the area, the military did not deploy any assets to secure U.S. personnel in Benghazi during the hours the consulate and the annex were under attack.”
“I find it implausible that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the commander of U.S. Africa Command and the commander of U.S. European Command would have ignored a direct order from the commander in chief,” the letter states.
It asks Obama to shed light on “to whom did you issue this first directive and how was this directive communicated to the military and other agencies — verbally or in writing?” The HASC chairman also wanted to know if Obama on that day directed the military to “move available assets into Libya” and if he gave military commanders authority to “take any and all necessary measures to secure U.S. personnel, including specifically the authority to enter Libyan airspace.”
Obama's claim that he "issued several directives, including one to “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to” may well be another fabrication designed to cover up his betrayal.
Bill Kristol and the Weekly Standard have posed a series of questions to President Obama:
- To whom did the president give the first of his “three very clear directives”—that is, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to?”
- How did he transmit this directive to the military and other agencies?
- During the time when Americans were under attack, did the president convene a formal or informal meeting of his national security council? Did the president go to the situation room?
- During this time, with which members of the national security team did the president speak directly?
- Did Obama speak by phone or teleconference with the combatant commanders who would have sent assistance to the men under attack?
- Did he speak with CIA director David Petraeus?
- Was the president made aware of the repeated requests for assistance from the men under attack? When and by whom?
- Did he issue any directives in response to these requests?
- Did the president refuse to authorize an armed drone strike on the attackers?
- Did the president refuse to authorize a C-130 to enter Libyan airspace during the attack?
The big missing pieces of the puzzle at this point are who denied permission for the CIA operators to rescue Ambassador Stevens when the attack started? Who denied the request for military support? Who grounded the Spectre Gunship? Who told the Special Operations Forces to “wait”?
And another major question, of course, is why would Obama issue such cold-blooded instructions? In “Benghazi Part 5 – The Turkish Connection”, to follow, we will discuss some of the factors that may have inspired Obama to leave the Benghazi Mission helpless.