More Calls for Obama to Come Clean on Benghazi
October 31, 2012 • 8:32AM

Over the weekend, several calls have been issued to Obama to come clean on whether he left Americans to die in Benghazi.

* Retired Adm. James A. Lyons, former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the UN wrote in the Washington Times: "There is an urgent need for full disclosure of what has become the Benghazi Betrayal and Cover-up. The Obama national security team, including CIA, DNI, and the Pentagon, apparently watched and listened to the assault on the U.S. consulate and cries for help but did nothing.

"It has been reported that President Obama met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the Oval Office, presumably to see what support could be provided. After all, we had very credible military resources within striking distance. At our military base in Sigonella, Sicily, which is slightly over 400 miles from Benghazi, we had a fully equipped Special Forces unit with both transport and jet strike aircraft prepositioned. Certainly this was a force much more capable than the 22-man force from our embassy in Tripoli.

"I know those Special Forces personnel were ready to leap at the opportunity. There is no doubt in my mind they would have wiped out the terrorists attackers. Also I have no doubt that Admiral William McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, would have had his local commander at Sigonella ready to launch; however, apparently he was countermanded—by whom? We need to know.

"I also understand we had a C-130 gunship available, which would have quickly disposed of the terrorist attackers. This attack went on for seven hours. Our fighter jets could have been at our Benghazi mission within an hour. Our Special Forces out of Sigonella could have been there within a few hours. There is not any doubt that action on our part could have saved the lives of our two former Navy SEALs and possibly the ambassador.

"Having been in a number of similar situations, I know you have to have the courage to do what's right and take immediate action. Obviously, that courage was lacking for Benghazi. The safety of your personnel always remains paramount. With all the technology and military capability we had in theater, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only in incomprehensible, it is un-American.

"Somebody high up in the administration made the decision that no assistance (outside our Tripoli embassy) would be provided, and let our people be killed. The person who made that callous decision needs to be brought to light and held accountable."

* Bing West, former Asst Secretary of Defense and a Marine, challenged Obama to produce the directive proving that he gave an order to protect our people in Benghazi as he stated he did in an interview in Denver on October 26.

"An hour after the attack has begun, the president orders the CIA and the military to do whatever we need to do. Yet the CIA and the military do nothing, except send drones overhead to watch the seven-hour battle. A CIA employee and former Navy SEAL, Tyrone Woods, twice calls for military help. He has a laser rangefinder and is pinpointing enemy targets, radioing the coordinates. The military send no aircraft to attack the designated targets. Special Operations forces standing by, 480 miles away — less than a two-hour plane ride — are not deployed.

"Secretary of Defense Panetta later explained that this passivity was in keeping with a rule of warfare. A basic principle, he said on October 25, is you don't deploy forces into harms way without knowing what's going on — without having some real-time information about what's taking place.

"Rarely has a spontaneous mob so thoroughly intimidated our nation. And so much for sending our squads out every day in Afghanistan on patrol, when they don't know what's going on. The next time a platoon is told to take an objective, some corporal will say, 'SecDef says we don't have to go into harm's way without knowing what's going on.'

"The SecDef and the president have issued contradictory explanations. Either Mr. Obama ordered the Secretary of Defense to do whatever we need to do, or he didn't. And either the Secretary obeyed that order, or he didn't. And he didn't.

"It is also not clear whether the SecDef countermanded the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who is the direct military advisor to the president. Did the President as commander-in-chief issue an unequivocal order that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs received but chose not to execute? Or did the chairman reply that he would do nothing?

"Surely it is in the President's best interests to release a copy of his order, which the military would have sent to hundreds in the chain of command. And if the President did not direct the NSC to do whatever we need to do, then who was in charge? When the American ambassador is attacked and remains out of American hands for over seven hours as a battle rages — and our military sends no aid — either the crisis-response system inside the White House is incompetent, or top officials are covering up."

* Rep. Howard Buck McKeon, the top U.S. House Armed Services Committee Republican, in a sharply worded Oct. 29 letter, told President Barack Obama that his recounting of the events around a deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya sounds implausible.

McKeon's letter was sent in response to comments made Oct. 26 by Obama during a radio interview. The president 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.

"Your ... directive would appear to involve potential actions by the U.S. military," McKeon 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," the HASC chairman wrote. "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.

Specifically, McKeon asked 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 wants 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. McKeon also wants information about the kinds of communications Obama might — or might not — have had that day with senior Pentagon officials.

"If so, could you please describe any recommendations provided to you regarding available military support and any orders you gave to them?" McKeon asked in the letter.

* David French, senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice wrote an op ed. entitled "Evidence Hillary Answered the 3:00 a.m. Call While Obama Hung Up." He concludes: "The State Department answered the call with what force it had. The military did not. Either we did not have assets to answer (and that would be a different kind of scandal) or someone made the decision to — in effect — hang up on the 3:00 a.m. caller. Who made that call and why? The military already knows. So should the American people."