Op-Ed – A Call to Courage Over Benghazi
After 8 months of stonewalling the Congress, the below listed article calls for Congress to take action to force the Obama Administration to provide the American people with the truth about what happened leading to the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. That article is a further attempt to shed light on the heroic actions of two Navy SEALS who saved 32 American lives during the assault on the Benghazi Consulate. That attack was perpetrated by over 150+ Al Q’ieda and affiliated terrorists, from Ansar al-Shariah, in a well-coordinated and premeditated commando style assault on the US Consultant; US Ambassador Stevens, two heroic Navy SEALs (Glen Doherty and Tyrone Wood), and the Ambassador’s aide were assassinated. The two Navy SEALs were not part of the Ambassador’s security detail, yet the White House intentionally misreported their status as such; they were killed in the Consul Annex; they had previously jumped into the breach to try to save the lives of the Americans in the Consulate. Despite urgent and desperate calls for help from Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens sent directly to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she and her staff ignored Ambassador Stevens repeated cries for help, and let him twist in the wind for 8 hours, until he was delivered to a hospital with severe wounds, where he finally died about 4 hours after the attack began. The below listed article was forwarded by ADM James A Lyons, Jr., USNA ‘52, USN (Ret) former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet and the former Senior US Military Representative to the UN, he is calling for the establishment of a Select Committee in the House of Representatives to investigate and respond to the attack on the US Consultant in Benghazi; 122 Congressmen have signed on to House Resolution 36 calling for the establishment of a House Select Committee on the Benghazi Attack, but House Speaker John A. Boehner has been stonewalling the establishment of such a Select Committee. Everyone in the Benghazi Consulate knew in the very beginning of the attack at 9:40 PM on September 11th, that the attack was a well-planned and premeditated attack by Al Q’ieda terrorists with heavy weapons, RPGs, and mortars, and Ambassador Stevens reported that fact, over and over again the Consulate and the Navy SEALs kept requesting support, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the White House Situation Room, and to Secretary of Defenses Leon Panetta, yet for a period extending for over 2 weeks after the terrorist attack, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Obama in his speech to the UN (2 weeks after the attack) kept repeating that the attack was the result of a Libyan civilian demonstration against a YouTube video on the Internet that went bad—we do not think anyone in Libya has ever seen that fathom video.
THE TIME LINE: On March 28, the Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens requested additional security of Secretary Hillary Clinton; she turned him down on April 12th. On May 3rd, the State Department turned down a request for a Security Team from the Libyan Embassy. On May 22nd Terrorist attack Red Cross Office in Benghazi (the Red Cross Office in Benghazi was closed after the attack); at that time, the US Consulate was warned of a pending attack. On June 6th, terrorists attacked the US Consulate and blew a hole through Consulate wall. On June 7th, Ambassador Stevens asked the State Department for two Security Teams to protect US personnel in Benghazi (the request was rejected). On June 10th, the British Ambassador survived an assassination attempt on his convoy and Al Q’ieda Terrorists openly rallied in Benghazi (the British Consulate in Benghazi was closed after the assassination attempt). On June 6th, Ambassador Stevens was told his Security Team contract would “not” be renewed. June 22nd, Ambassador Stevens warned the State Department that extremist groups were operating openly in Benghazi. On July 9th, Ambassador Stevens made a request for 13 more security personnel to protect the Benghazi Consulate. Instead, to protect the embattled diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the State Department hired the Libyan Militia Group, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, that had clear Al Q’ieda sympathies; they were hired to protect the Consulate, even though it had prominently displayed the black Al Q’ieda flag on its Facebook page for many months. On July 21th, the Regional State Department Security Officer warned the State Department that the risk to the US Consulate in Benghazi was HIGH. On August 2nd, Ambassador Stevens sent another urgent cable directly to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton requesting a “protective bodyguard detail” for him because he was in danger. On August 5th, the State Department ordered the “removal” of Ambassador Stevens Security Team. On August 15th, there was an emergency meeting in the US Consulate in Benghazi on security matters. On August 16th, the Regional Security Officer sent a direct E-mail to Secretary of State Clinton warning of the dire security situation developing in Benghazi. On September 8th, the Benghazi Security Officer warned the Department of State and the Secretary of State of imminent attacks. On September 10th, the Al Q’ieda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahri publically called for Libyans to avenge the death of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri’s deputy, Abu Yahya al-Lib, on September 11, 2013, the anniversary of the Al Q’ieda terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York. On September 11th, Ambassador Stevens warned the State Department via cable of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, and meets with a Turkish diplomat at 7:30 PM in the Benghazi Consulate. At 8:00 PM, Al Q’ieda terrorists set up check points around the Benghazi Consulate. At 8:30 PM. Ambassador Stevens ended his meeting with the Turkish diplomat. At 9:40 PM, terrorist fire the first shots in the coordinated attack on the Benghazi Consulate, and Ambassador Stevens called Hicks in Tripoli to tell him that he was now under attack by terrorists, and asked for help. At 9:59 PM, the Pentagon ordered a surveillance drone to overfly the Benghazi Consulate; from that point on, the White House Situation Room, the CIA, the State Department, and the Pentagon could view live video feed of the ongoing attack in Benghazi (the live feed continued for 8 hours with a second relief surveillance drone). At 10:05 PM, the Benghazi Consulate was in flames for all to see on live video feed, and messages were being transmitted between the White House, the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon. At 00:06 on September 12th, Ansar Al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack on the Consulate. At 1:00 AM, on September 12th, the body of Ambassador Stevens was transported to the hospital by friendly local Libyans for medical attention; that was 3 hours and 20 minutes after the attack began. At 4:00 AM, on September 12th, two Navy Seals were killed on the roof of the Consul Annex; that was 6 hours and 20 minutes after the attack began. On September 12th, at 3:00 PM Washington, DC time, about 3 hours after the Navy SEALs were killed, Obama departed for a Las Vegas fundraising rally.
THE MILITARY SUPPORT THAT WAS AVAILABLE: It is a well-known fact that F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy could have arrive over the scene of the attack on the Consulate in 90 minutes, and could have retaliated against the Al Q’ieda terrorists to save the lives of those under attack. In addition, there was also a 130-man US Marine Corps Marine Force Recon Team at Sigonella, Italy that was on the tarmac, ready for deployment, which could have arrived at the compound within 2 hours. General Carter Ham, Commander African Command, was relieved of his command, when he ignored the White House’s order to “stand down”, and tried to send a military reaction force to save the lives of the Americans under attack, which was only several hours away. General Petraeus at CIA put out an urgent request for military assistance to the White House, in order to save American lives, but the White House ignored his request. The entire attack was viewed by live video feed from two separate drones overflying the on-going attack for 8 hours; one of those drones could have been armed and to strike the terrorist. For 8 months 32 survivors of the attack, whose lives were saved by the two Navy SEALS, have relayed their fear of intimidation from the Obama Administration; they hired attorneys and informed congressmen that they have been threatened and were warned not to testify as to what actually happened leading up to, during, and following the Benghazi attack. The Foreign Emergency Support Team that is required to be called up by the Secretary of State, to arrive a US Mission within 48 hours to preserve and protect all forensic evidence after an attack for FBI investigation, was never called up by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and 8 months later, the Foreign Emergency Support Team still has not been called up.
Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt USN (Ret)
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC