A former Department of Defense official said Friday that if President Barack Obama really gave an order to secure U.S. personnel when the consulate in Libya came under assault, there will a paper trail to prove it.
Francis "Bing" West, who served as an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that the president's explanation about his actions when the U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked should be easily verifiable.
"President Obama today said that he gave an order to everyone while the attack was going on to do everything they could to secure the personnel," West said. "Now that's really big because that means that those who were turning down [former Navy SEAL] Ty Woods when he was asking for the help were going against the orders of the president of the United States."
Woods was one of four Americans killed in the Libya assault. Obama on Friday wouldn't answer directly whether pleas for help on the ground were denied during the attack, telling KUSA-TV, "the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to."
"A chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn't take an order from the president when he says 'do everything' and not put that in writing and send it out to the chain of command," West said. “If that actually happened the way President Obama today said it happened, there’s a paper trail and I think people reasonably enough can say, 'well can we see the order?' because hundreds of others supposedly saw this order."
"But if there is no order then people have to ask some very basic questions, 'what the heck happened?'" he said.