Benghazi Travesty: 7 Hours, 4 Lives: No Scheisskopf, Please UPDATED

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson is committing journalism regarding Benghazi, on behalf of a citizenry that is entitled to know what the hell is going on:

Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours. The assault was launched by an armed mob of dozens that torched buildings and used rocket propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options. . . Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen believes help could have come much sooner. He commanded CIA counter-terrorism missions targeting Osama bin Laden and led the team that responded after bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa.

“You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen says. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”

Let that last line sink in for a minute. Ann Althouse did and then she asked:

The attack went on for hours. Why didn’t/couldn’t our military go in? Was it for the same reason that no military was there to protect them in the first place, that the Obama administration did not want the appearance of a military presence? Were they watching, thinking the attack should quickly succeed, allowing them to say it all happened so fast… and then it wasn’t fast?

We’re still not getting straight answers out of our government. The State Department, early in the game said they wouldn’t answer any questions, and while Hillary made an attempt to fall on her sword before the second presidential debate, that lead-ballooned. As the mother of one of the dead, Sean Smith, looks for answers she’s told that the situation is still being “studied”.

…I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my God, is that my son’s? I don’t know if he was shot. I don’t know — I don’t know. They haven’t told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.

Those of us who live in New York and had occasion to call the office of then-Senator Hillary Clinton on almost any issue will recognize the “we’re studying it” line as a classic Hillarian stall. When Hillary does not want to talk about something, or take a stand, or release information — essentially when Hillary is protecting herself — she has her people say the she is “studying” the issue.

She keeps “studying” until the situation moves off the front page. And she has been laying as low as possible, quiet and “studying” since Benghazi happened.

So, slowly we are learning that this planned, non-spontaneous attack on our consulate and the deaths of our Ambassador and three others, was a prolonged, sustained event of which we were fully aware, and about which…we did nothing.

This is a travesty of leadership; I almost want to say it is evidence of a depraved indifference to human life, but I am still trying — in some little corner of my heart — to be fair.

But the question keeps coming, and it’s a fair one, too: WHY?

– Why are these people dead?

– Why did we not even attempt to rescue them?

– Why were Ambassador Stevens’ requests for security unmet?

– Why was it essential to have Marines guarding the consulate in Barbados on 9/11, but not Benghazi?.

– Why did it take three weeks for America to secure the area, after the attack?

– Why did the administration blame a video no-one had ever heard of for a “spontaneous” uprising, and stick to that story so resolutely that President Obama was still mentioning it as late as September 25, in an address to the UN? And is the filmmaker they blamed and took into custody still in jail?

– Why is General David Petraeus, who now heads up the CIA, saying nothing at all? Why does he want more drones, when the information available from them seems irrelevant to our response options?

Why, why, why? Please don’t tell me it’s all about politics. Please don’t tell me that these people are dead and our country is showing the weakest of horses to Al Qaeda and the rest of the world, because of a political season. Because that’s just not acceptable.

Presidenting and administering don’t get put on hold for 9-months-to-a-year because of an election. Not in the real world.

But then, nothing about Obama’s presidency has been the stuff of “real worlds.” Not his messianic, cult-of-personality candidacy, not his early, unearned Nobel Peace Prize, not his media-cocooning, not his administration’s assertion that free people can be compelled to deny their consciences for the sake of a nation and still call themselves free.

Dorothy Rabinowitz calls out that unreality; she compares the stonewalling and lies about Benghazi to a cheating husband who asks, “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

It’s a sound comparison. But if we find out that Ambassador Stevens and three others died, our compound was left unsecured and a preposterous story about a video was floated way beyond its shelf-life all because of an electoral season, then I no longer think of a cheating husband who lies. I think of Catch-22′s Lieutenant Scheisskopf, who had no time to do his job and properly train soldiers under his command, because there was a parade to plan and a banner to win. Lieutenant Scheisskopf who was so intent on capturing and keeping his prize that he briefly — but seriously — contemplated modifying the bodies of his soldiers and restricting their natural freedoms in order to win:

. . .he considered every means of improvement, even nailing the twelve men in each rank to a long two-by-four beam of seasoned oak to keep them in line. The plan was not feasible, for making a ninety-degree turn would have been impossible without nickel-alloy swivels inserted into the small of every man’s back, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf was not sanguine at all about obtaining that many nickel-alloy swivels from Quartermaster…

Please tell me that when our drones saw our consulate under sustained attack for seven hours, when we watched while our people were being murdered, that their rescue wasn’t inhibited because some Scheisskopf was too distracted by a contest to make a gutsy call. Please tell me that when Stevens and his team were looking for help, they were not being pushed aside by some Scheisskopf saying, “I can’t pay attention right now; don’t you know there is a parade going on?”

UPDATE: Was the president lied to?. If so, why? Was someone trying to control his response? If so, shouldn’t some resignations be on his desk? This story gets curiouser and curiouser.

Related:
Tim Dalrymple with Five things he wishes Romney would say in debate.
Where was the Help?
The Three Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About
Should Obama Resign?
“It really isn’t an issue…”
And then, of course…

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://blog.kimpriestap.com/ Kim Priestap

    The Obama administration doesn’t give a rat’s ass that Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith were murdered by Al Qaeda. They care only about their own asses and staying in power. I’m sick over this.

  • KM

    Scheisskopfv: Actually, this describes the majority of what I’ve heard and seen from Mr. Obama and his administration.

    (Yes, I do pray for the salvation of his soul.)

  • Debbie

    Why? Because Washington doesn’t have the balls to put their country first anymore.

  • http://www.myspace.com/peterriedesel Peter in Mpls.

    Hey, don’t get all worked up over this – Ambassador Stevens, as they keep reminding us, was their good friend. They respected him. They feel bad that he died. Isn’t that enough? What else do you want from them?!

  • http://www.thecatholicbeat.com Gail Finke

    At the risk of sounding conspiracy-theoryish — maybe something else is going on. A day or two after the event I heard Glenn Beck (I know, I know, but just READ IT) say that he didn’t buy an ambassador not being in his embassy on the anniversary of 9/11 and not having any security detail except two ex military guys who just happened to specialize in weapons removal. His theory at the time (I have no idea if he’s changed it) is that the ambassador and his “security” were going after some weapons to remove and the deal went bad.

    I have no idea how plausible that is but it sounds a lot more plausible than the stupid movie trailer story the administration pushed for so long. Some kind of secret mission or deal combined with sheer incompetence, is my guess. Say the man WAS on a special mission of some kind (which would account for why he was in Bengahzi and why no one will say what he was doing there) — they didn’t have a story figured out? They didn’t have a backup plan? They didn’t have a rescue plan? That’s what intelligence DOES. But then again, what’s the alternative — he just happened to take a nice little trip to Benghazi for no reason at all on 9/11 and with no security?

    I read somewhere that the closest military planes were six hours away, which is nowhere near close enough should anything ever go wrong. If that’s true, it’s more incompetence. This whole administration is so incompetent that I can’t believe it. I saw some of Debbie W-S on TV yesterday, that woman will say anything at all. SHE is the face of the Democratic party? The mind boggles.

  • http://NA Lorraine

    What stirred my compassion as well as my outrage in this article goes beyond politics. What disturbed me is to read about Sean Smith, a mother who lost a son and voiced her heart’s crushing sorrow “I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking my God, is that my son’s? They are still studying it….” To be left in limbo about the cause of her son’s death is unthinkable, inhuman. The anguish of this mother’s heart needs immediate answers and support in the loss of her son. Many things need to be answered and clarified, before the elections, by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, the State Department, the Pentagon….I usually don’t get involved in politics, nor am I educated in this area, but reading articles in Patheos has opened my eyes and my mind as to what is going on.

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  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Obama should resign over this.

    Nixon resigned over Watergate—and the latter didn’t get anybody killed.

    Gail, in a situation like this, conspiracy theories inevitably abound, because—well, given the lies, and hedging and constantly changing “explanations”, it does seem like everybody’s trying to cover something up.

    All I can come up with, is that either there was some sort of plan to permit the attack to happen, for whatever reason—an October surprise, wherein Obama heroically rescues our kidnapped ambassador, and his polls numbers go up; an attempt to cover up what the C.I.A. was doing in Libya; an attempt to help the Moslem Brotherhood. . .

    Or, this administration is hopelessly dumb and incompetent, and really does think along the lines of, “Chee, too bad about the ambassador, but I’ve gotta party to go to, in Vegas!”

    Take you pick. Either way, Obama should resign.

    P.S. Hillary was last seen, I believe, in Peru; where is she now? More importantly, where is Huma Abedin?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And free the guy who made the “Innocence of Moslems” video!

  • Mandy P.

    Unless you’re referring to a character from Catch-22, it needs to be pointed out that kopf is German for ‘head.’ If you were going for someone more along the lines of bull malarkey it’s more like ‘Stier’ or ‘Bulle.’ The scheisse part is exactly what you think it is.

  • Mandy P.

    Well, I should have read the piece before I commented. Sorry. I’m an idiot.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    I’m not going to go so far as to say the Obama administration was intentionally malicious, but every part of this story screams with INCOMPETENCE! And that includes the cover up. They couldn’t even cover their mistakes competently…lol. So much promise in Obama. Such epic failure. I’m praying we’re down to the final couple of weeks. They are just burnt out. I think it will be merciful for both the nation and for them if they lose on the 6th.

  • George Walton

    For what *might* have been done read Bing West at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331125/first-aid-living-bing-west

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If the Obama administration wasn’t deliberately malicious, then it was criminally negligent, and incompetent.

    Take your pick.

    And free the guy who made “Innocence of Moslems”!

    P.S. What is Huma Abedin doing now?

  • http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com Firehand

    Well, ‘election season’ or ‘political reasons’ may not be acceptable, but that doesn’t mean those aren’t the correct answers.

    Unfortunately.

    Let me throw in: son advised me a while back that their rules of engagement included that IF BEING FIRED ON, if you fired back without first obtaining permission from a officer, you can(hinted WOULD) be court-martialed; This administration is behind these ROE:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015944/Soldiers-ordered-shoot-Taliban-planters—WAKES-UP-locals.html
    Put it bluntly: this administration- and the politicians in uniform who pass these rules along- don’t give a rats backside about the troops getting killed and crippled, or the dead ambassador, and it is all for political reasons.

    And Rhinestone? If he had any actual ethics beyond “What is good for me and the progressive cause?” he wouldn’t have blocked the inquiry into Gunwalker; but if a few hundred dead Mexicans and some dead US cops aren’t reason for him to, why would this be?

  • Teresa

    Why didn’t they send in help from an air base in Italy–which is about a 30 minute flight to Benghazi? Why only send a predator drone to photograph the attack and not send an armed drone? This is the most evil administration I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Firehand, exactly!

    This is the administration being Fast and Furious.

    They’re capable of anything. If our media had been doing its job, Obama might have resigned when that first came to light.

    and, yes, Teresa, this administration is evil.

    And if, God forbid, it retains power in November—all bets are going to be off, and it will be “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

    And, if we re-elect Obama, we’ll deserve it! (No, not you, or me, or the Anchoress, or anyone posting here—but America in general will deserve it.)

    Free the man who made “Innocence of Moslems!”

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    @Rhinestone
    I don’t know the definition of criminal negligence, but you might be right.

  • bill bannon

    The oddity is this though: when it came to a Pope doing little to protect thousands of young people and children from sodomy etc. by priests from 1979 to 2002 worldwide, we blamed John Paul not at all but only his underlings with that magical word…subsidiarity. We beatified him. With Obama, because we have other things against him, the standard is entirely different. He is responsible also along with underlings as it should be frankly in a sane outlook. But we were not sane with assessing John Paul II. Either we lighten up on Obama in this security area or we tighten up on John Paul II before we canonize him…because we are not looking consistent on whether the buck stops here…or down there among the underlings only.

  • http://www.bede.org Stefanie

    As a mother of one son — also named Christopher — I am sick about the lack of answers to a mother about the fate of her son who was on a mission of peace. I’ve read all the conspiracy theories on the internet. I’ve listened to our President and to the SofS — but where are the real answers to the hard questions? The fact that a drone was recording everything that happened and there was no response — it gives me a horrible feeling about who-is-in-charge of such decisions. This was an attack on our own soil — as embassies and consulates ARE our own soil. I keep thinking about the stoic and ‘horrified’ reactions in that famous photo of our President, our Vice President, our Secretary of State, and others — at the ‘elimination’ of Osama B-L. Where is their horror now?
    I’m no war monger — I am a pacifist and if I weren’t a Catholic, I’d advocate isolationism as I did when I was a young voter in the ’70′s.
    We deserve answers — God bless the journalists who are not allowing this story – this failure to save American lives — to fade away for the convenience of the election.
    I pray that God allows us to have some answers soon…and I ask Catholics to ask Our Lady — Patroness of the Americas — via praying the rosary — for her swift aid and comfort to the anquished heart of Ambassador Steven’s mom. (This morning I’ve already prayed two rosaries while driving around town on errands — it’s not hard to do if you have ten fingers– and spent 30 minutes in Eucharistic Adoration.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Nice try, trying to steer us off subject.

    We get it. Obama must never be criticized, for anything. (At least, not unless we also blame Bush—or the pope—or somebody, anybody; but not Obama.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    My last post was directed at Bill Bannon.

  • bill bannon

    RS,
    You didn’t get that from my text. Read it slowly.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Indeed, I did get it from your text, Bill.

    You’re trying to distract us from Benghazigate by harking back to the church’s pedophilia scandal, and Pope John Paul, who, whatever his sins and failings, had nothing to do with Benghazi, Ambassador Stevens or the Obama administration’s ongoing cover-up. You say we must either tighten up on the pope, or lighten up on Obama—so, yes, I got it from your text.

    P.S. Free the man who made the “Innocence of Moslems” video!

  • marys

    There is a chain of command from President Obama’s staff to the State Department to the Benghazi consulate. Layers of bureacracy separate the various levels, but there is a line of accountability. There is no equivalent chain of command from the Pope to the dioceses and parishes where the abuse occurred. Dioceses have much more self-governing capacity than many people apparently understand, and that is where the attempted comparison of John Paul II and President Obama breaks down.

  • LadyBird

    I can’t believe this is America! I want my country back! I want everyone to deny Obama a second term and I want justice and answers for: Benghazi, Fast and Furious, The Fort Hood Terrorist Massacre see hood http://truthaboutforthood.com. We must stand for one another. Any one of us could have been the mother, the father, the son, the daughter, the friend of any one of these fallen heroes. God bless their families. Remember, the government’s job, first and foremost is to protect us. This administration has failed us miserably. The debt is even a bigger threat to our security!

  • bill bannon

    Marys,
        Actually the governing impotence of the Pope is an internet Catholic myth which you can easily fix by reading both canon law and the list of Bishops Benedict has removed for cause.  Here are some Bishops Pope Benedict has removed…the first one for financial irregularities:

         ” Pope Benedict XVI today added another name to the growing list of Catholic bishops fired on his watch, removing Archbishop Róbert Bezák of Trnava, Slovakia, from office.” ( Catholic Culture dot org…May 21, 2012.)

    Pope Benedict also removed:

    Bishop William Morris of Australia in May of 2011 for doctrine and discipline.

    Bishop Jean-Claude Makaya Loembe of Pointe-Noire in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in March 2011

    Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Australia, in May 2011;

    Bishop Francesco Micciché of Trapani, Italy, in May 2012.

     Archbishop Róbert Bezák of Trnava, Slovakia, from office on July 2, 2012.
    ……………………………………….

    Canon law ascribes total power to the Pope in the words “supreme” and ” immediate” “over all the Churches”:
    Canon 331…” By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.”
    Canon 333-3 3. ” No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff.”
    see nearby canons.

    In short, he has far more power over those under him than a president.

  • bill bannon

    ps
    pardon the repeat Bishop Bezak.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Um, Bill?

    What does Pope John Paul, or Catholic canon law, have to do with Benghazigate?

    Mary, Bill just wants to divert the conversation away from Obama, and onto—well, something, anything else. If Pope Gonzales Ludovico Gonzalo Papadoupalous IVX (whom I just made up), or whoever, doesn’t do the trick, he’ll switch over to the villainy of George Bush, the Japanese Tsunami, flying pigs or anyting else that takes his fancy.

    (C’mon, Bill, if you want a nice, juicy scandal to deflect attention away from the Benghazi foul-up, can’t you come up with anything, well—juicier? Howzabout the Borgia popes? Or the trial of the Knights Templars?)

    Because Teh Won must nevah, evah, be criticized!

    Don’t give him the satisfaction.

  • http://Pathos WIld Bill

    WHy is everyone so worried about this possible lapse of intelegence? What about the first Septmeber 11? AS I recall there where lots of unanswered questions such as the warnings President Bush got before hand? Then there is another problem from Beruit about 25 years or so ago? This was when SAINT RONALD was President. Someone managed to get a carbomb into a Marine compound and killed 250 people people and the reaction was to turn tail and run. Then it doesn’t seem like a day goes by when you don’t hear about an American or some other solider from another country being killed by the people they are trying to help. What happend in Libya was not good but is nothing compared to so many other attrocities around the middle east.

  • JamesR

    Shorter Bill Bannon: “Look, a squirrel! But but but—what about the Pope?”

    Shorter Wild Bill: “Apples, you say? WELL, what about those Oranges?!! There are always intelligence lapses that lead to dead Americans, so….nothing to see here, move along folks. “Forward!!”"

  • LisaB

    “What happend in Libya was not good but is nothing compared to so many other attrocities around the middle east.

    It was a deliberate attack on American soil, killing Americans, NOT just another something bad that happened in the ME. It was a deliberate attack on the anniversary of the largest attack ever to take place on American soil, not just another day on the calendar.

    BTW – the FIRST attack on the World Trade Center happened on Bill Clinton’s watch, not GWB. And it was Bill Clinton who was negligent on capturing Osama Bin Liden after those first terrorist attacks. If GWB was guilty of anything early in his administration he was guilty in believing Clinton’s casual dismissal of OBL’s threat. Clinton was a complete foreign policy screw up and left a mess in the ME for Bush to handle; the USS Cole, Somalia, etc..

  • JamesR

    And by the way, Wild Bill, conservatives who thought Ronald Reagan was a great president never ever ever viewed him as perfect, infallible, or a “Saint.” We don’t view our politicians that way, since, unlike secular liberals, politics is not our religion. That cult-of-personality, hero worship stuff (Greek Columns?, World beginning to “heal,” “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” not to mention all that creepy imagery, etc, etc.) is on the left side of the aisle. (See also, e.g., all that “Camelot” baloney). That’s not how we roll. Sorry. I believe the word for assuming the other side views their favorite politicians the way the left viewed, (and apparently still views?) Obama, is called projection. “Saint” Reagan is the left’s caricture of how they THINK the right thinks.

    Our hostess raises a hell of a lot more questions than the “lapse of intelligence.” But you knew that.

    The current president blaming the incident on our rather inconvenient and bothersome (as far as keeping in good graces with the world’s despots and totalitarian regimes go) First Amendment, was DESPICABLE in and of itself. (The future can’t belong to those who “slander” a dead religious leader from the 7th century — what, do they get burned at the stake, stoned to death, or beheaded, “in the future”, Barry? Discuss. ) That it turned out that it was a two week long LIE, is beyond the pale. THAT is one example of how this incident is distinguishable from the “squirrel” distractions of trying to bring in the Pope, or Beirut under Reagan, or the two WTC attacks (under Clinton and Bush). But you knew that already.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Sadly, all Obama’s supporters have, at this point, is distraction. “Look! Over there! It’s the pope! It’s Catholic canon law! It’s all sorts of other atrocities happening around the world, that are really, really, much worse than Libya, and why are you getting so upset about some bumps in the road? And why should we care about the fact that Al Queda might have gotten it hands on some important classified information, in the days after the attack, when we neglected to go in and secure the embassy? What could possibly go wrong with that?”

    What indeed?

    “Okay, having our ambassador, and other Americans, murdered by the very Libyans we supposedly liberated isn’t optimal—but what about Ronald Reagan? What about Bush? (We must always blame Bush!) and what about all these other things? And, and, and. . . ”

    Obama’s supporters can’t defend him on this, so they just demand we change the subject, and/or shut up; don’t worry, be happy!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    JamesR, good points about the First Amendment, and the implied threat in that the future can’t belong to those who insult a dead prophet comment.

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