Fox News is reporting that security officials who witnessed the September 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi are challenging the official timeline as explained by the Central Intelligence Agency earlier this week, mainly saying calls for help went out much earlier than previously reported.
The Fox News article explains:
According to the CIA, the first calls for assistance came at 9:40 p.m. local time from a senior State Department official at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, to the CIA annex about a mile away.
But according to multiple people on the ground that night [both American and foreign], the Blue Mountain Security manager, who was in charge of the local force hired to guard the consulate perimeter, made calls on both two-way radios and cell phones to colleagues in Benghazi warning of problems at least an hour earlier. Those calls allegedly went to local security contractors who say that the CIA annex was also notified much earlier than 9:40 p.m. U.S. military intelligence also told Fox News that armed militia was gathering up to three hours before the attack began.
One source said the Blue Mountain Security chief seemed “distraught” and said “the situation here is very serious, we have a problem.” He also said that even without these phone and radio calls, it was clear to everyone in the security community on the ground in Benghazi much earlier than 9:40 p.m. that fighters were gathering in preparation for an attack. [Emphasis added]
The attack lasted roughly seven hours, but the CIA maintains that its security operators left their annex and headed to the consulate to help less than 25 minutes after receiving the first call.
If the call came earlier than previously reported, though, it could mean that help was not dispatched within half an hour. On October 26, an explosive report alleged the CIA operators– including former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods– were actually told to “stand down,” but went to the consulate in defiance of their orders.
The security officials continued to criticize both the government’s response to the attack, and how they are relating the information in its aftermath, according to Fox News:
Fox News was told by both American and British contacts who were in Benghazi that night that the CIA timeline rolled out this past week is only “loosely based on the truth” and “doesn’t quite add up.”
Fox News was also told that the local guard force meant to protect the consulate perimeter “panicked” and didn’t know what to do as the attackers took up positions. Sources say other guards simply “walked away”.[…]
Another source added, “Why would they put a ragtag team together in Tripoli as first responders? This is not even what they do for a living. We had a first responder air base in Italy almost the same distance away.” Despite the team arriving from Tripoli that night, sources said sufficient American back-up never came.
British sources on the ground in Benghazi said they are extremely frustrated by the attack and are still wondering why they weren’t called for help.“We have more people on the ground here than the Americans and I just don’t know why we didn’t get the call?” one said.
Both American and British sources said, at the very least, the security situation on the ground and the lack of proper response were the result of “complete incompetence.” [Emphasis added]
(H/T: Drudge Report)