The news that CIA Director David Petraeus resigned yesterday overshadowed the Pentagon’s release of its Benghazi timeline. It took 19 hours for the military to respond. They were caught completely off guard, even though they had ample warning prior to the 9/11 attack on our consulate.
New Pentagon details show that the first U.S. military unit arrived in Libya more than 15 hours after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was over, and four Americans, including the ambassador, were dead.
A Defense Department timeline obtained by The Associated Press underscores how far the military response lagged behind the Sept. 11 attack, due largely to the long distances the commando teams had to travel to get to Libya.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his top military adviser were notified of the attack about 50 minutes after it began and were about to head into a previously scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama. The meeting quickly turned into a discussion of potential responses to the unfolding situation in Benghazi, where militants had surrounded the consulate and set it on fire. The first wave of the attack at the consulate lasted less than two hours. …
But there have been persistent questions about whether the Pentagon should have moved more rapidly to get troops into Libya or had units closer to the area as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America approached. In particular, there was at least a 19-hour gap between the time when Panetta first ordered military units to prepare to deploy – between midnight and 2 a.m. local time in Tripoli – and the time a Marine anti-terrorism team landed in Tripoli, which as just before 9 p.m.
It gets worse from there. They said the reason it took so long to respond is that the situation was “murky” and they had not been aware of any specific threats ahead of time. But we all know that Ambassador Stevens had sent numerous warnings of threats, and even did so just a few hours before the attack began. So is it true that nobody at the Pentagon was aware? If so, why not? The State Department knew about it.
All of this goes back to the White House. The CIA, State Department and Pentagon can all point fingers at each other, but it’s the man at the top who is ultimately responsible, which is why the media did everything they could to avoid this issue before the election.
Hot Air has more.