Given the myriad updates and revelations surrounding the Benghazi terror attack that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his aid Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty dead, TheBlaze thought it might make sense to recap the week's key headlines in one cohesive post. Below is a review of the latest revelations in what has become a full-blown scandal the mainstream media has been reluctant to cover.
First, it should be noted that the most recent update in the Libya debacle comes to us in a report published Friday late afternoon by the Washington Free Beacon. According to the director of operations for the Pentagon's Joint Staff, classified United States military units have been on the ground and operating in the Benghazi region since the September 11 terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost. The Beacon reports:
The disclosure that secret U.S. military forces were dispatched to Libya recently was revealed in a letter sent Wednesday to the House Armed Services Committee by Vice Adm. Kurt Tidd, director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.
Tidd said that after the attack in Benghazi, the U.S. European Command sent a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoon to reinforce security at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
“Additional classified capabilities were deployed to the region,” Tidd said. He was responding to a letter from Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, head of the House Armed Services Committee, which questioned the administration over the numerous discrepancies regarding their accounts of what happened, and what actually happened.
The following is a review of just a few (repeat: just a few) of the myriad articles published by TheBlaze chronicling the Benghazi scandal this week alone. The dates preceding each of the following headlines represent the dates of publication on TheBlaze:
10/26: CIA operatives were told to "stand down" in Benghazi after three requests for back-up denied:
Explosive new allegations surrounding the Benghazi attack emerged this morning, with FOX News’ Jennifer Griffin reporting that sources have confirmed that three urgent requests for military assistance sent from the CIA annex were all denied; CIA operators were apparently told to “stand down” rather than respond when shots were heard around 9:40 p.m. on September 11. Following the alleged developments, Charles Woods, father of ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who was killed in the attack, passionately responded to this new information on Glenn Beck’s radio program.
10/26 Senators demand that Obama declassify the video of the attack:
Republican senators are demanding that the Obama administration make public the surveillance video taken during last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. ...Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte wrote to President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, CIA director and attorney general demanding that the video be declassified.
10/26: Panetta said military did not intervene in Libya because he did not have any "real-time" information:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday the U.S. military did not intervene when the U.S. Consulate in Libya was under assault last month because military leaders did not have enough information about what was happening on the ground.
Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon there was no “real-time information” on which to act, even though the military was prepared to do so, CNN reported. U.S. forces had been on heightened alert because of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, but Panetta said the Benghazi assault was over before military leaders had a good handle on what was going on, according to the Associated Press.
10/29: Sen. John McCain called the administration's handling of Benghazi either a "massive cover-up" or "massive incompetence":
While making the rounds on Sunday media programs, Sen. John McCain blasted President Obama over his role in the Libya “debacle,” calling the Commander in Chief’s handling of the brutal terror attack either a “massive cover-up or massive incompetence” — the worst he has ever seen. The former prisoner of war and Vietnam veteran also pointed out a glaring fact: that while some may compare the events in Libya to Watergate, “nobody died in Watergate.”
“This tragedy turned into a debacle and massive cover-up or massive incompetence in Libya is having an impact on the voters because of their view of the commander in chief,” the former Mitt Romney-rival said on CBS “Face the Nation.”
“It is now the worst cover-up or incompetence I have ever observed in my life.”
10/29: Capitol Hill briefings made 48 hours after the Benghazi breach blamed al Qaeda for the attack:
A new report by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reveals that a mere two days after the deadly siege on our diplomatic outpost in Libya on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, officials from the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) each gave briefings on Capitol Hill in which they confirmed that the evidence supported al Qaeda and al Qaeda-affiliates were the ones responsible for the attack.
10/30: A Facebook page by the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) critical of Obama's handling of Benghazi was censored and removed by Facebook:
Facebook reportedly took down an image, or a meme, posted by the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) that was critical of President Barack Obama’s handling of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. You may have actually seen it before it was taken down — it had earned roughly 24,000 “likes.”
The meme, which can be seen below, shows both Obama and deceased al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden with the following message: “Obama called the SEALs and THEY got bin Laden. When the SEALs called Obama, THEY GOT DENIED.”
10/31: Arrested Benghazi suspect returned to Tunisia where U.S .officials can’t interrogate him:
The Tunisian man arrested over the deadly terror attack in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his aid Sean Smith, and two Navy SEALs dead has now been identified through facial recognition software as having been present at the U.S. diplomatic outpost during the siege, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Fox News Tuesday. The only problem is that Ali Ani al Harzi, who was detained at a Turkish airport in the days following the attack for travelling with false documents, has now been transferred to Tunisia, where U.S. interrogators are unable to reach him.
10/31: White House denied that it nixed intervention in Benghazi when help was repeatedly requested:
On Tuesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s issued some damning remarks in which he claimed that two news outlets might have emails proving the Obama White House was in fact the one that gave the “stand down” orders and chose not intervene when asked for help during the Benghazi siege. Now, the White House is firing back.
“Neither the President nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi during the attack,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Hill in an email.
10/31 Glenn Beck revealed that two major media outlets have been sitting on information regarding Benghazi and that if they don't release the information and share the truth with the public, he will expose them:
During his Wednesday evening broadcast, Glenn Beck revealed that he and his network, TheBlaze, are absolutely certain based on “very well-sourced information” that two media outlets — one a network — do indeed have emails proving the Obama White House gave orders to “stand down” during the terror attack in Benghazi.
Beck said it is incumbent upon those media outlets to release the information and provide Americans with the truth, rather than shield the president. If they refrain from doing so, Beck said he will “expose them.”
10/31: A classified cable was reportedly sent from the U.S. outpost in Benghazi to the administration informing that compound was unprepared for a potential attack:
Less than a month before heavily armed terrorists overwhelmed the U.S. Mission in Benghazi and killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the compound held an “emergency meeting” because al-Qaeda had training camps set up in Benghazi and the consulate could not withstand a “coordinated attack,” Fox News reports, citing a classified cable.
The Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” indicated that the State Department’s senior security officer, or the RSO, did not think the U.S. compound could withstand a sophisticated attack — like the one that occurred on 9/11.
“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable says.
11/1 Senior U.S. officials say State Department never requested additional security in Benghazi:
As the U.S. Mission in Benghazi and a close-by CIA annex were overrun by heavily armed terrorists on Sept. 11, the Americans inside severely outnumbered, the State Department neglected to request any type of military backup, two senior U.S. officials “familiar with the details of military planning” told The Daily Beast.
11/1: U.S/ staff reported that Libyan police were photographing the inside of the American compound in Benghazi the morning before the attack:
Adding to the security concerns that were building up to the bloody attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, an Arabic television station revealed new information on the lax security there, including a major breach took place at the consulate early in the morning of the fateful day.
Alaan TV based in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday reported that in letters it obtained that were found inside the consulate – written by American staffers serving there and addressed to the Libyan Foreign Ministry and Benghazi police chief – security breaches were reported.
11/1: Obama had the hubris to declare “al Qaeda is decimated” during a campaign stop in Wisconsin following the Benghazi terror attack waged by al Qaeda and pro-al Qaeda militants. Conservatives were up in arms:
Even as new information continues to surface revealing that the Obama White House may be embroiled in a cover-up scandal regarding the terror attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, the president took to the campaign trail in Wisconsin Thursday morning and actually declared that “al Qaeda has been decimated.” Recall that the carnage in Libya was, according to experts, waged by al Qaeda or pro-al Qaeda affiliates like the militant group Ansar al Sharia, which even claimed credit for the attack.
“The war in Afghanistan is winding down,” the president said. “al Qaeda has been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead. So we made real progress these last four years, but Wisconsin, we know our work’s not done yet.”
11/1: CBS finally reports on the Benghazi scandal with a report revealing that a counterterrorism task force was not convened during the attack:
The Obama administration neglected to convene its “top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG)” during the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, sources tell CBS News.
Citing “top counterterrorism sources,” CBS reports there was internal frustration over the U.S. response to the coordinated attack in Libya on 9/11. The fiery assault that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans lasted about seven hours.
11/1 Ambassador Stevens called on phone for help during Benghazi siege:
Appearing on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) revealed two more interesting pieces of the Benghazi puzzle. First, that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens rang Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks on Sept. 11 to tell him the consulate was under attack.
“He said that shortly after 9:40 p.m. what happened is his phone rang and he didn’t recognize the number so he didn’t answer it. And then it rang again and again he didn’t answer it because he didn’t recognize the number. But then given the persistence, he did answer it. It was Ambassador Stevens and Ambassador Stevens
11/2: Geraldo rails at co-host over Benghazi report, again:
In short, Geraldo continued to trumpet his argument from last week that the U.S. military could not have done anything to save those attacked in Libya.
After fill-in host Eric Bolling suggested how disgraceful it was that the government did “nothing” to help the eventual victims, Geraldo wasn’t having any of it.
It’s an “obscene lie,” he said emphatically.
“You are a politician looking to make a political point!” he added after Bolling challenged him, later repeating the point: “You are misleading the American people because you want to make a political point.”
11/2: CIA release a new, detailed timeline of the attack in Benghazi:
- 9:40 p.m. The CIA annex receives its first call that the consulate has come under attack.
- Less than 25 minutes later, the security team leaves the annex en route to the consulate.
- Over the next 25 minutes, team members approach the compound and attempt to get heavy weapons. When they cannot secure heavy weapons, they make their way onto the compound itself in the face of enemy fire.
- 11:11 p.m. A Defense Department surveillance drone – an unarmed Predator – that had been requested arrives over the consulate compound.
- 11:30 p.m. All U.S. personnel have departed the consulate except for Stevens, who is missing. The vehicles come under fire as they leave the facility.
- Over the next 90 minutes, the CIA annex comes under sporadic fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. The security team returns fire, dispersing the attackers.
- Around 1 a.m., a team of additional security personnel from Tripoli lands at the Benghazi airport and attempts to find a ride into town. Upon learning that Stevens is missing and that the situation at the CIA annex has calmed, the team focuses on locating Stevens and obtaining information about the security situation at the hospital.
- Before dawn, the team at the airport finally manages to secure transportation and armed escort. Having learned that Stevens is almost certainly dead and that the security situation at the hospital is uncertain, the team heads to the CIA annex to assist with the evacuation.
- 5:15 a.m. The team arrives at the CIA annex, with Libyan support, just before mortar rounds begin to hit the facility. Two security officers are killed when they take direct mortar fire while engaging the attackers. The attack lasts only 11 minutes before dissipating.
- Less than an hour later, a heavily armed Libyan military unit arrives at the CIA annex to help evacuate all U.S. personnel and takes them to the airport.
And of course a review of the moment-by-moment coverage provided to our readers would not be complete without acknowledging the utter lack of Benghazi coverage on all other mainstream media sites except for Fox News and TheBlaze:
Last week, prior to Hurricane Sandy, the father of slain Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods made an emotional and public plea as he questioned why no one — particularly the administration — came to the aid of his son and other Americans at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi when they repeatedly requested help after coming under siege by pro-al Qaeda militants. Of course, that is just one component of what has become a tangled web of discrepancies, contradictions, and what many believe to be bald-faced lies perpetuated by the Obama administration in an attempt to cover-up what really happened during the terror attack that took four American lives.
To assess just how important this now full-blown scandal is to the mainstream media, TheBlaze reviewed the front pages of the most prominent networks and newspapers last Friday, and lo, the only two outlets to cover the Libya story was Fox News and TheBlaze.