We’ve learned a lot since the terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic personnel last September 11, especially in recent weeks. But, as conservative columnist Byron York points out today, many questions remain unanswered by the Obama administration, including “key aspects of what happened from a military point of view” and what U.S. forces could have done to intervene.
This information remains classified:
The House Armed Services Committee received a briefing from Pentagon officials last week about the military side of Benghazi. In a letter demanding the briefing, Chairman Buck McKeon told Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that he remains “deeply concerned” by the lack of information available about the hours Americans were under attack. McKeon said he wanted to know what aircraft the U.S. had in the region that might have come to the Americans’ aid; where those planes were; whether they were armed or could have been armed; whether they would have needed refueling; the presence of un-manned aircraft, armed and unarmed; the status of various U.S. emergency response teams; and the decisions commanders at all levels made in deciding to deploy or not deploy those assets.
Last Wednesday, McKeon got at least some of the answers to his questions. But it all remains a secret. “Everything that was said was classified,” says one Hill source. “At one point, it even moved up to a higher level of classification. Members had four hours to really drill down on what they wanted to know.” [...]
Should so many military aspects of the Benghazi attack remain classified? Some knowledgeable sources think not, or at least not all of it. So far, though, the Pentagon thinks so, and McKeon is going along. “Part of the nature of our oversight is that the questions we’re asking are sensitive and classified, and the answers we get back are by and large classified,” says the source. “We’re trying to get them de-classified because we think this deserves a full public hearing.”