Skip to comments.Why did Obama choose to “stand down” in Benghazi? (Best explanation of motive I've read.)
Posted on 10/28/2012 8:11:58 AM PDT by StandAndDeliver1
As John and Scott point out, the CIA has issued a statement making it clear that no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need [in Benghazi]; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. That statement surely was issued with the approval, and presumably at the direction, of the CIAs director, General Petraeus.
Who, then, made the several decisions denying help to the Americans in Benghazi who needed it? Who, initially, told CIA to stand down in face of the attack? Who decided that American defense forces an hour or two away in Southern Europe would not be deployed?
Bill Kristol argues that, at least with respect to not sending in the military, the decision must have been made by President Obama. Given what was at stake the safety of Americans, including an ambassador, in the face of an attack by hostile forces Kristol surely is right. It is inconceivable that none of the key actors Secretary of Defense Panetta, Secretary of State Clinton, and General Petraeus failed to present to Obama the decision of how to respond. And if Obama failed to make a decision, that would be more damning than making the wrong one.
Kristol goes on to ask: When and whyand based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversationsdid President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?
The key question is why.
Leon Panetta has provided an answer. He says the basic principle is that you dont deploy forces into harms way without knowing whats going on, without having some real-time information about whats taking place. At one level, this answer doesnt work. He and the others involved did know the essence of what was going on, and they did have real time information.
At another level, Panettas statement provides a window into the thinking at the White House that day. Although the administration knew, in general, what was going on, there was much uncertainly in Benghazi. We didnt know for sure what the outcome of the attack on our personnel would be; we didnt know whether military forces, if deployed, would have succeeded in saving them; we didnt know how many of our rescuers would have been killed; and we didnt know (as far as I can tell) what Libyas reaction to the use of large-scale use of American military force would be.
Faced with uncertainty, Obama apparently opted for caution, hoping that somehow the CIA contingent from Tripoli, aided perhaps by Libyan forces, would save the situation.
This is just the decision one would expect from Obama. By temperament, he is a non-interventionist and (except when pet domestic policies are in play) a non-risk taker. He was highly cognizant of the consequences of a failed U.S. military operation in Libya, including, I suspect, the electoral consequences in an election that he believed on September 11 he was winning fairly handily.
Lets also remember that, although Obama decided to approve the raid that killed bin Laden, his team apparently considered this (and his campaign has promoted it as) a difficult decision. Bill Clinton and Joe Biden praise Obamas alleged courage on this occasion, pointing to the adverse consequences to Obama of a failed mission against bin Laden.
If the decision to kill an unsuspecting and poorly defended bin Laden Americas enemy number 1 for a decade was difficult for the Obama administration to make, then the odds were always against a decision to fly our military blind into harms way in Benghazi in response to situation whose precise contours werent well known. Obamas decision not to intervene was likely less about the fog of war than about fear of the fog of war.
In hindsight, Obama made the wrong decision. The extent to which he should be criticized for the decision is difficult to assess because we dont know all of the information he had at the time the decision had to be made. Perhaps the decision was a reasonable one to make at that time. But lets keep in mind that our inability to assess this is due mainly to the administrations unwillingness to speak about the decision and the surrounding events.
Voters, then, must assess the administrations handling of Benghazi with limited information. But we do know this: (1) the administration erred grievously by leaving open our mission in Benghazi while turning down requests for more security, (2) the administration made the wrong decision on the day of the attack by not bringing our military to bear, a decision consistent with Obamas instincts, and (3) the administration has not been forthcoming or honest in its discussion of Benghazi after the fact.
These facts, without more, present a serious indictment of Obama.
SEAL’s were sent to kill Osama...(former) SEAL’s were on the ground giving intel in Benghazi. These SEAL’s were elite, “trained” military working for the CIA, how can they expect us to believe they didn’t have “on the ground” intel?!
We should note here that Obama, via intermediaries, delayed the decision to go get Bin Laden twice. Likely delayed until what was at risk was a scandal if he didn’t act and the risk opportunity might be squandered. But, the longer the delay the closer to election.
Majorly--he failed to mention Obama would do ANYTHING to keep from offending Muslims in general and the Muslim Bro'hood in particular.
I really think Kristol, along with many RINOS just doesn't get the whole picture in real time.
the key actors Secretary of Defense Panetta, Secretary of State Clinton, and General Petraeus.
The author misses the most important key actor... Valerie Jarrett. I think her role in this has been totally hidden from public view.
Very powerful. Very insightful. Very agonizing to see.
Obama and administration should get copies of it, shouldn't they?
I think I will send it to my representations, etc. Maybe they can show it to the right people - like the investigative committee.
That would be General Carter Ham of Africom who was relieved of his duties 30 seconds after ignoring his order to stand down on the afternoon of 9/11. Good story today in American Thinker showing the chain of command.
Tony Schaffer says his sources tell him Obama *was* in the situation room during the whole debacle. I’ll trust him over anything in any adminstration since Reagan.
Nowhere to run, folks. Nowhere.
Stevens was meant to die. Why, we can only guess. There are basically two possibilities.
Great Netflix movie we saw the other night “Act of Valor”-
Instant watch, released 2012. One of the finest military movies I’ve ever seen.
Very thoughtful post. Thanks.
“The author misses the most important key actor... Valerie Jarrett. I think her role in this has been totally hidden from public view.”
BINGO! IMO, She is the ENGINE powering the train!
There's also the theory that he was meant to be taken hostage, so that Obama could look presidential negotiating a deal to get them released, but it all went sideways when the contingent from Tripoli launched that rescue attempt against orders.
The best theory that I saw was developed from material that I saw on the Canada Free Press website. Keep in mind as you read this that I have seen no direct supporting evidence for this theory, but I do believe that it makes sense.
After Eric Holder was held in contempt of congress for Fast and Furious on June 28, 2012 it became clear to the White House that the Mexican gun-running scandal was not going away. The White House had been supplying massive amounts of weaponry to al-Qaeda from Qaddafi’s stores of weapons, and sent Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi to negotiate for the return of some of it and supervise the shipment of more of it to al-Qaeda in Syria, in collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned government in Turkey.
Because Amb. Stevens knew so much about the program, Obama and his most inner circle decided that he had to be eliminated. Therefore, they first had an informer (originally called Sam Bacile) post the Muhammad video in early July), and then used this video as a diversion to conceal their plan to assassinate the ambassador.
On September 11, the President and the CIA sent Ambassador Stevens back to the mission (not a “consulate”) in Benghzai, with no protection, assuming (or knowing) that he would be attacked and murdered, and his secrets would die with him.
Then, Obama, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Jay Carney blamed the video, which first was attributed to 100 Jews led by an Israeli-American and ultimately was attributed to a Coptic Egyptian-American.
Ultimately, too many people were involved in the events of September 11, 2012 for the betrayal of Ambassador Stevens to stay hidden, as Obama intended. First, the two Navy Seals defied orders and went to protect the Ambassador. In addition, the senior Navy person sought permission to intervene. In addition, the attack was being broadcast in many locations (I saw that it could have been as many as 15), and many people were outraged that nothing more was done.
In short, the President of the United States collaborated in the scripted assassination of the US Ambassador to Libya as a way to eliminate the one witness who knew the most about Obama’s secret program to send armaments to al-Qaeda from Libya. He hoped to divert attention to the set-up of the Muhammad film, and that failed because too many people who really care were outraged.
She is the president's brain.
No. AQ doesn’t play sofball when they’re on a roll.
They prefer to select and take their own hostages in quick grab and runs, then play the media game. Play along with an enemy they won’t do, because if you try playing their game you’re weak and they’ll show their contempt.
This was a heavy, sustained assault with a significant force, and they obviously had detailed pre-worked information on the target.
This is pretty damning. Especially when we know that they had real time video and we know they knew what was going on...in spite of what Panetta and the others say, THEY DID HAVE INTEL!
And it is obvious - THEY ARE, FULL ON, IN COVERUP MODE.
Considering that Obama does drugs—I mean, really, he was seriously mis-medicated in the first debate and if you can’t wrap your mind around that, watch him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNu9xjUwPEk —and if true that he had to be retrieved from the golf course which is a perfect cover for getting high (or whatever), he was probably under the influence of ....... something ...... at the time this fiasco was happening and he either made the wrong decision or was not capable of making any decision at all.
I think Powerline is bullshiite... I pretty much ignore them anyway...
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