It seems that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews wants to get to the bottom of what really happened in Benghazi. Really Chris? Because last October, you had the chance to ask what happened, but since it was only a month before the election, you didn’t bother. Instead, you helped push the narrative that the attack was over some movie that until the Obama administration started pushing it, no one had ever heard of.
He starts his show’s segment asking why reinforcements didn’t arrive in time, and then broke to a clip of last week’s CBS’ 60 Minutes piece when Lara Logan asked Gregory Hicks about military assets.
He was interviewing former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb who along with former Army Ranger/Green Beret Jack Murphy wrote the book ‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report. Brandon brought up the fact that the State Department wasn’t prepared to deal with the situation.
Matthews responds, “I guess this is the question that gets to me. If you’re out there pinned down and word gets back to Washington in real time at the National Security Agency, rather the National Security desk, why didn’t we try to send somebody from somewhere? What happened?”
According to my research notes from October 8th 2012, when asked by CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson if there was a disconnect between what he saw on the ground and what the State Dept. folks thought was going on in Libya, Green Beret Lt. Col. Andy Wood replied, “There was certainly no disconnect in our transfer of information to them. They were getting the information on the situation on the ground. We sent it up through State Dept. cables and I sent it up to the military side on the D.O.D. side. So, there was awareness of what the situation in Libya was about….” When asked when they received word that they would not be allowed to stay, Lt. Col. Wood replied, “We knew that was coming through the cables and the draft cables that were going back and forth. The requests were being modified to say ‘don’t even request for D.O.D. support’” Some of the security teams would have remained in Benghazi if they had been allowed to.
Matthews continued, “Well you know, as an American, that doesn’t work for me. The president, the security people were sitting in the White House twenty four seven, there’s officers on deck, they’re getting an instantaneous report on what’s happening there. Why, what were they looking at in terms of assets that could have been sent? Where was the US Cavalry, to use an American image, where were the people who could have come or tried to get there within how many hours it took to save the lives of the people still living? Where were they and why weren’t they called to do it? That’s, I’m going to ask that question until I get an answer.”
Well Chris, let me say that as Americans, this whole cover up and media “blackout” on the hard hitting questions haven’t worked for many of us since day one. You may be indignant now, but where have you and many of your fellow journalists been all year when many of us have been asking these same questions?
The Calvary was there Chris. They were stationed in a few places, ready to go- but they were told to stand down. By Who? It seems that some may have been relieved of duty because they refused to stand down. Why was no CBA ever given, when Obama as president is the only person who can give that authorization. And why were there blackouts at a major military operations center as it occurred, and news stations that were covering were switched off? Special Command could have been called but were not. They could have been sent in plenty of time but were not. Why?
From my research notes from last year, October 25, 2012 At a Pentagon press briefing, a reporter noted that “there was, in fact, a drone over the CIA annex [in Benghazi] and there were intelligence officials fighting inside the annex.” He then asked Leon Panetta: “Why there wasn’t a clear intelligence picture that would have given you what you needed to make some moves, for instance, flying, you know, F-16s over the area to disperse fighters or dropping more special forces in?”
Panetta’s answer, “there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here. We, we quickly responded…. We had FAST platoons in the region. We had ships that we had deployed off of Libya. And we were prepared to respond to any contingency and certainly had forces in place to do that. But, but the basic principle here, basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place.”
The Defense Secretary claiming that they don’t deploy men who are trained for war into harm’s way to save Americans doesn’t make any sense as Special Forces have been and still are sent into harm’s way every day all over the world. They are specifically trained for these kinds of scenarios. But even if they were worried about dropping Special Forces in, they could have used the C-130 that was on station in Tripoli to disperse the terrorists at least.
Now, back to Matthews, who then asks, “My facts questions I have about this are, what was the State Department’s role in real time, not beforehand, but at the time of the attack in defending the lives of their people. Especially the US Ambassador who was a friend, a friend of the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton? What were their actions? What was their tick tock? What did they do when they got the warning? Of the attack?”
Let me help you with that one too Chris. I know you and many liberals aren’t a huge fan of FOX, but some there have been trying to get to the truth since day one. On her show, Justice with Jeanine Pirro, the Judge interviewed Ret. Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer and Former CIA Officer, Gary Berntsen about the Critical Report, and the drone footage. Here’s what they had to say:
Lt. Col. Shaffer, “This was in the middle of the business day in Washington, so everybody at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, everybody was watching this go down…According to my sources, yes, [Obama] was one of those in the White House Situation Room in real-time watching this.”
Gary Bentsen,” I was a Chief of Station three different times so I’ve done this before. That report, a Flash or a Critic going back to Washington D.C. goes to CIA headquarters but it also goes to the situation room in the White House. It goes to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the State Department. It goes to the military committee – it goes to all of them. … When you’re a Chief of Station and you’re in a crisis, you fire out to the entire community and they all go it immediately.”
Back to Hardball, when Matthews’ other guest, Time Magazine writer Jay Newton-Small responded saying that Hilary Clinton admitted she knew what was happening in real time, but testified that they believed that the attack was over after the initial attack, was probably why no help was sent. They thought it was over.
I have to agree with Matthews on his next question, when he asked, “Would that be good, let me ask you something if that was your brother or your father in there. Would you say that it was a nice, an acceptable response; ‘Oh it’s probably over now it’s no good to send anybody’ or would you say, ‘I don’t care if it’s over or not, I’m going to go in and collect the bodies if nothing else. I’m gonna get there and show I care.’ That’s what I’d do.”
Newton-Small admitted that yes, Hilary still has a lot to answer for, but then Matthews brought up an interesting point which others have wondered as well. He mentioned that when Bin Laden was killed, there was a lot of coverage.
That’s very true; in fact, Obama immediately set up a press conference to announce to the world that by his orders, American forces got Bin Laden. In fact, OPSEC Team has been talking about this for over a year as well because the White House and others in the administration leaked so much about that operation that it put SEAL TEAM 6 members and many of our Special Forces in danger. And you know what Chris? Most of SEAL TEAM 6 are dead now.
Special Operations Speak has also been working on finding Justice for the Benghazi 4 and their families. Over 700 retired Special Forces members signed an open letter to Congress, and have been trying to get John Boehner to create a select committee with subpoena powers; maybe you ought to demand the same Chris.
Back to Matthews’ question of why there was so much press coverage over SEAL TEAM 6’s success in getting Bin Laden; the answer is simply because it was good for Obama, it made Obama look good.
Matthews asks finally at the end of the segment, “How come this is shrouded in mystery? What I can’t understand is all these months later, we’re still trying to figure out what happened.”
What happened before, during and after the Benghazi attack does not paint Obama or his administration in a good light, and in fact, being so close to the election, most in the media intentionally did not cover Benghazi because they had a reelection to push.
Now that Obama’s non phony scandals, socialized health care disaster, Middle East disasters and an ever strengthening of al Qaida after Obama said he had them on the run, maybe the media realizes that things aren’t looking too rosy for Obama supporters anymore- including the media. So, now after over a year of silence, the media has to cover itself and finally ask the questions they should have asked since day one.