CIA told to “stand down” during Benghazi attack

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More details about the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya are coming out, and they’re nothing short of outrageous. On Friday, Fox News reported the latest wrinkle on Friday, noting that requests from CIA operators in the area to assist the consulate during the attack were denied:

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.

CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood, though, denied the claims that requests for support were turned down. reported yesterday that, despite this recent development, no Sunday talk show host asked guests about this issue except for Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. Benghazi was brought up on every show by a guest, but the host changed subjects or ignored any talk of it.

This story just keeps getting worse. These men were essentially sentenced to die because of inaction. Of course, the Obama Administration has ignored these issues whenever and wherever possible rather than answer for both the security failures at the consulate and why they continued to blame a video for days following the attack. As Eli Lake noted last week, “The State Department, monitoring the phone calls from the consulate’s operations center, knew virtually from the first minutes, as Ubben, Stevens, and Smith were hiding, that the attack on the consulate was no protest gone astray.”

Forget the “apology tour” stuff that is being heaped on Obama. What happened in Benghazi is a disaster. Four men died because of security failures and, apparently, because of inaction. What’s more, the Obama Administration has tried to cover it all up.

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