Skip to comments.CIA Benghazi timeline 'doesn't quite add up' say security officials in Libya
Posted on 11/04/2012 7:21:26 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
You knew the timeline released by the CIA on Friday would be self serving, but how accurate was it?
Fox News reports - not very:
>>>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, 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.
Many of these security contractors and intelligence sources on the ground in Benghazi met twice a week for informal meetings at the consulate with Blue Mountain and consulate staff, and at times other international officials. They were all very familiar with security at the consulate -- and said the staff seemed "complacent" and "didn't seem to follow the normal American way of securing a facility.".......<<<
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
What they reported was the drive by presence of armed militia men whom were reconnoitering the Mission to determine the defending force.
That was a bit unusual but not unheard of, Benghazi is frequented by cruising armed militia men of unknown loyalty, many are friendlies.
There is often random gunfire also.
Directed gunfire began at 09:38 hours. That’s when the tactical situation changed.
All of this is secondary to the essential question:
Why was the SST (Site Security Team) sent away at the end of August without any comparable security left on station?
The SST was paid for by DOD funds, so no excuse there, they were free to the Dept of State for one year with another year extension if requested. No request or review was made by State. The SST, to a man, had offered to stay deployed another three months, but were rejected and went home.
The lack of security, heavy weapons capable, is the defining reason for the attack.
BTW, all comments regarding why we didn’t relieve Benghazi with other rapid response forces fail to understand the mission-driven nature of all our military.
Any relieving force at Benghazi would have to be capable of night-vision and HRST:
and have CH-47 (Phrogs) mission capable of insertion.
There were only three - company sized units available. Two were committed to relief of the embassies in Cairo and Khartoum and the other to the AfPak theater.
Our president can’t be bothered with attending intelligence/security meetings. That, alone, demands that he be removed from Office.
Petraeus and CIA are managing a much larger covert op in N Africa.
CIA has always been a very available punching bag as they are not answerable to the press or Congress.
On other words they are frying bigger fish. There are significant national security issues at stake and CIA is doing its best and saying little, as well they should.
In a few months the fuller story will come out after more tactical success.
Fox, as much as I admire them, sees ending Obama’s administration as more important and is desperate to out the CIA role as being driven by Obama to stay quiet.
That is not the case, and as I previously posted before the last debate, even Romney, as advised, will not speak of Benghazi as he may likely inherit the tactical situation in N Africa.
You’re assuming this was an attack to overrun and seize the two locations. It looks more like a raid to me. The first thing in either situation is to gain fire superiority and suppress the attackers fire. You can do that from the air. And if the only way to get help there is by roping in from a helicopter, then we’ve sure bought a lot of parachutes for no reason.
“Significant national security issues”? And the press wouldn’t report those just like the New York Times didn’t publish THE PENTAGON PAPERS. They were asked not to report Abu Ghraib, but some naked Moslem men are more important than covering the story about four dead Americans in Benghazi? Baloney.
I did not assume an attack on two locations. You are correct that it was a raid, but on one location only, the Mission Station.
The media, Fox especially, has continued a confused reporting regarding the “annex” and the “consulate”.
The Benghazi location has never been a consulate, all consular activities are conducted at our embassy in Tripoli.
The Benghazi location is a Mission Station. As such, it is not an expected location for our Ambassador or Marine security.
Also, there are two annexes, not one. The Mission Station has a security annex on the Mission Station grounds.
CIA has a separate Station Annex about a mile away that was not attacked. That is the reported “safe house” that the Mission Station personnel exfiltrated to, and were then evacuated to the airport from.
There were three separate attack/firefights at the Mission Station and one ambush/firefight on the roadway between the Mission Station and CIA Annex.
Was the “safe house” where the two former seals died?
The Pentagon Papers were mostly after-the-fact reporting and didn’t discuss ongoing tactical events.
Au Ghraib was reported by the Army personnel on site. Those reports went viral, so no valid comparison there.
The press knows very little about the tactical situation in N Africa and only in bits and pieces, not enough to report.
Our media is obviously in the bag for Obama, but they are also careful to stay away from ongoing operations.
No, they died on the roof of the security annex on the grounds of the Mission Station from a mortar strike.
There has also been some confusion about the “safe house”.
The Mission Station has a central building that has been called the “residence” and the “safe house” as it has a “safe room” within it. There is actually three rooms in the “safe room”.
That central building was the residence of the current owners and our Mission Station landlords.
Yes, we are renting the Mission Station in Benghazi.
We do not rent Consulate or Embassy locations.
The U.S. Military is capable of taking on several missions simultaneously. Multiple units train for these types of missions, including navy battle groups and amphibious assault groups with their embedded marine component, who have to be certified for NEO. The exact disposition of relief forces has not been disclosed. However, if the reports that General Ham and others had forces ready to go and he was seeking final approval are correct, then this assertion does not hold water. Neither the Pentagon nor the Obama administration has claimed that the forces need to provide relief in Benghazi were employed elsewhere.
This went on for 7 hours, which allowed for plenty of opportunity to respond.
That call was not simply a call to the annex. It was a Critical Incident Report that automatically triggered the alarm in Tripoli, D.C., Eurocom, Africom and every CentCom sit-room in the world. In D.C. that includes the WH sit-room, Pentagon sit-rooms, CIA sit-rooms and the State Dept. sit-room. Probabaly the NSA as well. All of those sit-rooms were already on high alert due to several other embassies having been under assault earlier in the day. FWIW that would have been 3:40 PM in D.C.
Whats the old cavalry command ? Ride to the sound of the guns?
I was referring to the two types of rapid reaction forces General Ham had at hand.
One was not mission qualified and the other was committed to two embassies that had already been overrun and were a far higher priority than the Mission Station in Benghazi.
It has been misreported that General Ham was turned down or countermanded, that never happened. He is the CinC in that theater and was stretched to thin. It was agreed that CIA personnel in Benghazi could accomplish all that could be done and extract any assets that could be recovered which they did except for Stevens.
Again, this was not a 7 hour firefight, it was 3 firefights within that 7 hour period. Our tactical decisions and responses were different each time that hostiles attacked, and different, irregular units were chosen for each relief.
To clarify, the FAST unit in Spain did deploy to our embassy in Benghazi the next day as its only mission is to reinforce embassy Marine Guards that guard the classified docs at embassies and the personnel there.
The Army Air Commando team out of Germany was held in reserve at Sigonella as they did not have air assets for this kind of mission.
Again, to have relieved Benghazi with regulars, they have to have a mission that qualifies and they have to have air assets and training qualified for the particular tactics needed at Benghazi. That is why the relief was left to our irregular forces and their friendlies.
I think that’s what SpecOp teams were created for. I dunno!
Are you speculating here, or are you leaking classified information?
Someone with this type of information would have to either be on one of the staffs involved or is speculating.
Yes, there is a much larger story than what has been reported and the current media story, Fox included has a number of misunderstandings about the tactical events of Benghazi.
Fox is also driving the story to discredit Obama. That is a laudable goal, but my concern is that they will reveal classified information along the way. So far they haven’t and their interest in the story will lessen after the election.
I have posted a number of cloaked posts to try to get FR posters and FR media watchers to have patience, the story will out but it will take months.
I’ve posted only open source intel and what I feel is safe to discuss.