Eli Like reports that CIA acting director, Michael Morell, will testify before Congress “that agents on the ground the night Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed never requested military assistance.”
DAILY BEAST – When the CIA’s acting director, Michael Morell, testifies Thursday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, he is expected to say that the agency never requested Europe-based special operations teams, specialized Marine platoons, or armed drones on the night of the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official.
According to a Pentagon timeline made public last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta prepared multiple military responses from the region at around midnight Benghazi time, more than two hours after the initial assault began. Those orders included mobilizing two special Marine platoons known as Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) from Rota, Spain, to deploy to Tripoli and Benghazi. Panetta also ordered a special operations force, training in central Europe, to deploy at the Signonella Airbase in Italy. Another special operations team based in the United States also prepared to deploy to Libya.
The CIA, however, requested none of that assistance. Neither did the State Department. None of those teams ever arrived in Benghazi.
On the evening of the attack, the military provided two kinds of support to the CIA security officers who tried to fend off an attack at the U.S. diplomatic mission and then later stood guard at a CIA base less than a mile away, which was hit in a second wave at about 5 a.m. (A U.S. military team working for the CIA was sent that evening from Tripoli, but that team did not arrive at the CIA annex until after the U.S. diplomatic mission was overrun.)
The military support included an unarmed predator drone that recorded the dramatic rescue of U.S. personnel from the diplomatic mission to the CIA base at about midnight. (Timelines differ between the Pentagon and the CIA.) The U.S. military also provided medevac support to survivors of the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department communications specialist Sean Smith, and two retired Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty.
I find it hard to believe that the CIA agents never requested any military assistance. After all, we know one of the former SEALs had a laser targeting device and was targeting mortar sources in hopes they would be destroyed when the military arrived overhead.
But let’s just say for argument sake that they didn’t request military assistance. It was a terrorist attack and the US government knew it. Why would they not respond with at least air assets? They knew how many people they had in Benghazi and they were watching it in real time from a drone, even as the rescue attempt was made on the consulate. They had to see the rescue vehicle take on heavy damage before reaching the annex and they had to see the ensuing firefight which forced members of the annex to retreat to a building further back in the annex complex.
No, something’s not adding up.