Americans died in Benghazi and our commander in chief did nothing to stop it.
Worse yet, senior U.S. officials were reportedly watching a live drone feed of a jihadist swarm pillaging a diplomatic outpost of the United States. Security officers on the ground in Libya at the annex facility were pleading for backup, and it was denied -- three separate times.
We have finally learned the enraging truth of the Benghazi debacle.
President Obama, or one of his most senior and powerful advisors, should have called in the cavalry right away. The opposite calculation was made -- “stand down” security officers on the ground were told. We have the most powerful military the world has ever seen, but the White House left it to a handful of brave Americans grossly outnumbered to fight their way out of a massive terrorist ambush.
This deplorable decision was made at the highest level. All Americans must demand to know why. There must be accountability.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said today that the Pentagon didn’t have enough real-time information to respond. But communication with officers on the ground at the annex in Benghazi, and the live drone feed of the attack, provide enough insight to see through this “fog of war” falsehood.
Action was not only possible in Benghazi -- it was a steadfast obligation for the commander in chief. Libya is not the interior of Mainland China nor the vast interior of Siberia. It is within striking distance of multiple U.S. air bases. Libya doesn’t have any real air defense and no foreign government needed to be advised of the mission. A rescue party should have been dispatched immediately, with orders to secure all Americans.
The moment the White House learned the consulate was under assault, the cabinet should have been assembled in the situation room, calling in reinforcements. AC-130 Spectre Gunships, F-16 fighter planes, and Special Operations troops should have been given the green light and told to respond to any hostiles in Benghazi with all necessary force.
This would likely have resulted in Libyan militia casualties, perhaps many of them. It would have looked bad on television for the Obama administration. It would have inflamed the Islamists in the Muslim world who view American presence -- even in a country liberated by U.S. action -- as an instigation to jihad.
But it was without question the decision that should have been made.
If the political optics in any way dictated the outcome in Libya -- if the Obama administration chose to stand down because they would rather let Americans fight for themselves than drop bombs on Libyan terrorists -- our entire nation must come to a moment of reckoning. This cannot stand.
One more thing-- Those of you who read my pieces on TheBlaze and watch me on Real News know that I generally prefer to offer analysis rather than personal anecdotes on national defense matters. I try to convey the truth about security matters without bias or agenda.
But this feels deeply personal. As an American, as a former CIA officer, as a fellow citizen with many friends and colleagues who have served and continue to serve their country in the military, intelligence community, and diplomatic service -- I believe this administration’s handling of Benghazi is an affront to the very principles we have fought to defend.
I did not want to believe anyone in the Obama administration watched attacks happen without taking decisive action. I did not want to believe that the political ramifications, and the reflexive belief that we were attacked because of an insult to Islam, could reach the top echelons of the American government.
Both accusations now ring true. And if during my time in conflict zones abroad, the White House turned its back on me or any of my defense colleagues in our hour of need, I would want every American back home demanding accountability and justice for that abdication of responsibility.
Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, Ambassador Chris Stevens, and Sean Smith died as heroes on a field of battle. We will remember and honor them, and their sacrifice will inspire us and remind all Americans of what is best in our country.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the Obama administration’s leadership. Their inaction should be held in infamy, and holding them to account next month at the ballot box does not even begin to rectify their shocking inability to lead and protect Americans.
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