'Stand Down': U.S. Had Two Drones, AC-130 Gunship, and Targets Painted in Benghazi
Reports indicate two drones and an AC-130 gunship were in the area when Benghazi was attacked, yet their resources were not used.
This runs completely against the current explanation coming out of the White House, which is that Obama did everything he could once he learned of the attack.
You'll remember that in the second presidential debate, Obama said that as "soon as I was aware the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national security team." The not-so-subtle intimation is that Obama was stepping up to the protect the U.S. personnel who were in Libya. And in the wakes of their deaths, which weren't "optimal," we have been assured that stronger action wasn't taken stronger because those options weren't available.
Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta gave us another version this same excuse, saying: "The U.S. military did not get involved during the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi last month because officials did not have enough information about what was going on before the attack was over."
There are three huge problems with the excuses Obama and Panetta are making.
1. It is now known that the U.S. had two drones in the area -- both of which were filming the attacks, sending back feeds in real time, and at least one of the drone may have been armed.
2. Reports also indicate a Specter gunship, probably an AC-130, was in the area for backup. The gunship could have swooped in and not only leveled the playing field in the match between 50 attackers vs a handful of security personnel, it could have thrown the attack decisively in favor of the security personnel.
3. The security personnel in Benghazi had painted a laser mark on the attackers outside the consulate. This mark would have made possible a response by the drones or the AC-130 routine had they been allowed to zero in on it. The member of the security team who was on the roof of the consulate, spraying machine gun fire down on the attackers, continually asked for backup from the AC-130. It never came.
Obama says he was doing everything he could, and Panetta says we didn't react more strongly because we weren't sure what was going on. Yet we now know two drones were sending back video of the attack in real time, and at least one of those drones may have been armed. We also know a massive AC-130 gunship could have been used for backup as well, but it was not. And we know that security was begging for backup and even marking targets with lasers for the drones and/or gunship so they could make quick work of the attackers.
Yet Obama chose not to respond, and that's the bottom line.