Panetta's Testimony Calls Obama's Benghazi Explanations into Question

Panetta's Testimony Calls Obama's Benghazi Explanations into Question

Throughout the weeks between Sept. 11 and election day in Nov. 2012, President Obama claimed he acted the minute he found out the attack on the Benghazi consulate was taking place. 

However, in his Thursday testimony before the Senate, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made it clear that Obama was AWOL on the night of the attack.

In other words, Obama didn’t watch the real time video with Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, and he didn’t even bother calling to check in on them as they watched the attack unfold.

If Panetta is telling the truth, this means Obama has spent months telling the American people a blatant falsehood. 

During the second presidential debate between Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama said, “As soon as we found out the Benghazi consulate was under attack, I was on the phone with national security team.” 

And while campaigning in Denver on Oct. 26, 2012, he said, “the minute I found out what was happening… I gave the directive.”

Yet Panetta says he did not hear from Obama from 5 PM forward on the night of Sept. 11. He says Obama left the response to him and General Dempsey.

As my colleague Joel Pollak has pointed out, if Obama gave directives minutes after finding out about the Benghazi attacks, no one knows who he gave them to and no proof of them has been produced.