From AP source
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is determined to position small, quick reaction forces closer to global crises after the rapid assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya last September kept U.S. armed forces from responding in time to save four Americans.
This is an assessment made by the reporter based upon Thier understanding of the details in the Testimony of Panetta & Dempsy. What it does not account for is that a) two military options existed 2 CIA options at the time & of those options Only 2 were available to Panetta based upon his clearance to authorize- the 6 man rapid response team based in the Tripoli embassy (3hours out) & the assets at the CIA Annex 1 mile away from which Agents Dogherty & Woods arrived from after disregarding orders to "Stand Down" according to animonous CIA sources.
The Second Two options would have required POTUS approval since they were not located " in country". Those were the strike teams based on the Stennis carrier group and the team based in Italy, both capable being on sight well within the 7&1/2 hours that the consulate was under attack. As Panetta's testimony confirms no further communications with the POTUS occured after the initial meeting at the beginning of the attack. Why?
Furthermore, according to this testimony the POTUS issued a directive- to do whatever was nessesary to protect Ambassador Stevens and staff.
Again why was this directive clearly followed ?
"Time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response,"
This is Quote from Panette requires willfull ignorance of the following facts a) multiple cables from the consulate security team and the Ambassdor himself, several weeks before the attack, of deteriating conditions on the ground. b) that the rapid response team stationed in the embassey, located in Tripoli could not reach the Consulate within 7 hours had they been ordered to so immediately as per the POTUS's directive c) & that Panetta himself testified that he issued orders for teams based Spain and Europe to prep for Benghazi knowing full well he would require the Presidents authorization to do so
d) & where exactly was the communication to receive that authorization? As we already mentioned- no further conversations occurred between the White House and Secretary of Defense's office.
Panetta said he and Dempsey were meeting with Obama when they first learned of the Libya assault. He said the president told them to deploy forces as quickly as possible.
While reported by the LA Times:
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta learned of the attack shortly after it began, about 4:30 p.m Eastern time, Defense officials said, and discussed it in a previously scheduled meeting with the president. Obama ordered him to pursue whatever options were feasible, a Defense official said.
Panetta "ordered all appropriate forces to respond to the unfolding events in Benghazi, but the attack was over before those forces could be employed," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
All appropriate forces would mean "in country" forces in this circumstance.
During the eight-hour period, did he show any curiosity?" Graham asked.
Panetta said there was no question the president was concerned about American lives. Exasperated with Graham's interruptions, Panetta said forcefully, "The president is well-informed about what is going on; make no mistake about it."
Exactly how can Panetta say this without having any communications after their 5:30 meetings? He directly counterdicts his own testimony
Of course just as damning is the fact that not one single Major Broadcast Network ( ABC, CBS, NBC) bothered to report on the hearing at all.