“D” from Texas has it all laid out on the invisible commander-in-chief and the rapidly-expanding Benghazi scandal leading into the Andrew McCarthy piece in NRO:
Here are some simple now known facts that should have all Americans asking one question (see bottom for question):
(1) 8:30 p.m Benghazi time (2:30 p.m. DC time), Chris Stevens stepped outside the consulate and said goodbye to a Turkish diplomat. ALL WAS QUIET. NO PROTEST ANYWHERE. Chris Stevens goes to bed at 9:00 p.m.
(2) 9:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m. DC time) – ATTACK STARTS. Militants flood compound.
(3) 10:15 p.m. (4:15 p.m. DC time) – Sean Smith found dead.
(4) State Dept., CIA, and military personnel are all watching the attack via drone feed and talking in real time and know immediately that there is no protest and that it is a well-coordinated attack; where is the invisible commander-in-chief?
(5) 11:00 p.m. Benghazi time (5:00 p.m. DC time) – Obama is briefed about the attack on the phone by Leon Panetta and General Dempsey;
(6) 12:07 a.m. Benghazi time (6:07 p.m. DC time) – The State Department’s Operations Center sends an email to the White House, Pentagon, FBI and other government agencies that said Ansar al-Sharia has claimed credit for the attack on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. (The existence of the email was not disclosed until Reuters reported it on Oct. 24.)
(7) 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. DC time – Obama is NOT IN THE SITUATION ROOM monitoring and responding to the attack AND during this time Obama has no further communication with anyone about Benghazi (other than alleged “updates” by his staff) until … the invisible commander-in-chief at…
(8) 4:00 a.m. Benghazi time (10:00 p.m. DC time) – OBAMA TALKED ON THE PHONE WITH HILLARY.
And, shortly after the 10:00 p.m. phone call …
(9) Approximately 4:00 a.m. Benghazi time (10:00 p.m. DC time) – HILLARY CLINTON ISSUES A STATEMENT confirming that one State official was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Her statement, which MSNBC posted at 10:32 p.m., made reference to the anti-Muslim video – but not to the invisible commander-in-chief…
Clinton: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior AS A RESPONSE TO INFLAMMATORY MATERIAL POSTED ON THE INTERNET (emphasis mine). The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
[This is the first reference anywhere blaming the Benghazi attack on the Internet video.]
(10) Also at about 4:00 a.m. Benghazi time (10:00 p.m. DC time) – Amazingly, (at about the same time Hillary and Obama were on the phone presumably discussing how to spin this disaster in a way that wouldn’t destroy both of their careers), Woods and Doherty are killed on the roof of the CIA annex in the second attack.
THE QUESTION IS:
What did Obama and Hillary discuss in the 10:00 p.m. phone call just before Hillary issued her statement blaming the attack on the Internet video and did Obama and Hillary discuss blaming the attack on the Internet video knowing full well that was not the case?
This question has actually been posed to Jay Carney at least once before. His response:
“At about 10 pm, the President called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation.”
Typical Carney non-response as to the invisible commander-in-chief.
Now to Andrew C. McCarthy and his breakdown on the invisible commander-in-chief…
You couldn’t help but feel for Robert Lovell. The retired brigadier general is haunted by the failure of AFRICOM, the U.S. military’s Africa Command, to respond when Americans were under siege in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. His congressional testimony this week was somber — no faux “What difference, at this point, does it make?” indignation, no “Dude, this was two years ago” juvenilia for him.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the State Department’s Sean Smith were killed in the early stage of the jihadist attack. By then, the actions that would surely have saved their lives — e.g., an adult recognition that Benghazi was no place for an American diplomatic facility, or at least the responsible provision of adequate security — had already been callously forsaken. It seems unlikely AFRICOM could have gotten there in time for them on that fateful night, though that does not come close to excusing the failure to try.
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are a different story. They fought valiantly for many hours after our military learned, very early on, that the battle was raging. Unlike AFRICOM, the SEALs did not stand pat. They ran to the sound of the guns. After saving over 30 of their countrymen, they paid with their lives. The armed forces, General Lovell recalled, knew that terrorists were attacking them. Yet no one came to their aid.
Lovell bears the burden of their abandonment with a heavy heart. His moving testimony made that clear. Still, his version of events is deeply unsatisfying. Why did AFRICOM fail to respond? “Basically,” he stammered, “there was a lot of looking to the State Department.” Unfortunately, we’re told Secretary Hillary Clinton and her minions were unclear “in terms of what they would like to have.” Come again? “They didn’t come forward with stronger requests for action.”