Benghazi consulate attack: Political fallout and the media

Benghazi consulate attack: Political fallout and the media

Washington : DC : USA | Oct 28, 2012 at 7:41 AM PDT
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The event timeline for the Benghazi attack is, to say the least, troubling. Serious allegations have been made against the administration and the handling of the event on Sept. 11 that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and four others, including former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods.

The father of the former Navy SEAL, Charles Woods, has spoken out. He was interviewed by FOXs hard news anchorwoman Megyn Kelly Friday. Although the family had agreed not to make any public statements on the event and the cause of death, he said that he changed his mind after hearing that there had been three pleas for help, which were denied by the administration.

Keeping in mind that the father and family are still grieving, he depicted his son's killing as a murder, although not in legal terms. Charles Wood is a lawyer.

"They refused to pull the trigger," Woods said. "Those people who made the decision and who knew about the decision and lied about it are murderers of my son."

Woods said he forgives whoever denied the apparent request, but he urged them to "stand up." Source: FOX News

While two special ops teams were available to respond, one Delta Force, and could have been on station within two hours, those forces were stood down. Tyron Woods and his comrades were also told to stand down at least three times, although they were prepared to rescue those under attack in the consulate. Tyron Woods and others disobeyed orders and were able to bring some to safety, but were unable to locate the ambassador.

The administration depicted the attack for almost two weeks as a spontaneous attack as a result of a protest against an anti-Islam video. There is an unanswered question as to why the administration felt they had to do this and mislead the public.

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, went out of her way to depict the attack as spontaneous as a result of the video. On Oct. 5, according to the Washington Post, Rice denies she tried to mislead Congress, telling three Republican senators in a letter that her comments on Sept. 16 were based on the best information available at the time from intelligence officials.

On Friday, Oct. 26, FOX’s Jennifer Griffin reported that, according to sources on the ground at the time of the attack, an urgent request from the CIA annex for military backup during the attack on the US consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command. The CIA operators were told twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team, when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

E-mails appear to confirm that the State Department and by extension the White House was aware from the start that this was a planned terrorist attack executed by a group linked to al-Qaida. Furthermore it appears that the request for a rescue mission was denied three times.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that the military lacked enough information to intervene and felt that US troops should not be put at risk.

"(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."

Military pundits, including former Lt. Col.Tony Shaffer, during an interview on FOX News said that in his view that Delta Force was available, the operation could have been conducted. As an example with former Navy SEALs on the ground they could have directed he Delta team into the area. Apparently those former Navy SEAL had the wherewithal to coordinate and cooperate with a rescue force.

Tony Shaffer said, during an interview on "Justice with Judge Jeannie" Saturday evening, that according to his sources, President Barack Obama was in the room at the White House watching the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya unfold.

“This was in the middle of the business day in Washington, so everybody at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, everybody was watching this go down,” Shaffer said “According to my sources, yes, Obama was one of those in the White House Situation Room in real-time watching this.” The Blaze

The mortars that reportedly killed Woods were marked with lazer target indicators and could have been taken out easily. This raises the second question: Why did the administration deny a rescue request?

More details on these events can be found at the quoted sources:

Jennifer Griffin Exclusive, Father of Ex Seal Interview, Panetta: Military lacked enough information, and Washington Post Timeline

Political Fallout

There are serious questions on how the administration handled the Benghazi consulate attack, and those questions must be answered. With the election campaign in the final stages and the huge impact of Hurricane Sandy on the northeastern United States, the nation will be occupied with polls and the devastation Sandy may cause in its aftermath.

Benghazi will, in all likelihood, become a much larger issue after the election, the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas. It is suspected that regardless of who wins the election, Benghazi will receive the attention it deserves in January 2013. There will only be minor political fallout prior to the election.

The role of the media

The mainstream media, in my opinion, has done very little to raise the profile of this issue. Despite the obvious political motives of some news agencies, it is unthinkable that the media would ignore an event of this magnitude.

After all, the personal representative of the president was killed during the attack. How could the president have not been aware of the facts in this case? It seems that at the very least the president owed the nation an explanation. To have the details revealed because of whistleblowers in both the State Department and the CIA is not the way the nation should be informed of the events.

The national press and particularly those reporting from the White House and attend daily press conferences with Jay Carney should have pushed harder on the issue.

The appearance of a coverup, with the help of the press, can only be diffused by the White House and the national media. There needs to be a full accounting of the actions taken and what officials, including the White House, knew within hours of the attack.

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Benghazi Consulate Attack
America needs a full accounting on the events leading up and during the attack on the Benghazi consulate
Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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