Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:

Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o’clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, “up to us.”

In fact, Panetta says that the night of 9/11, he did not communicate with a single person at the White House. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Obama did not call or communicate in anyway with the defense secretary that night. There were no calls about what was going on in Benghazi. He never called to check-in.

The 5 o’clock meeting was a pre-scheduled 30-minute session, where, according to Panetta’s recollection, they spent about 20 minutes talking a lot about the American embassy that was surrounded in Egypt and the situation that was just unfolding in Benghazi.

As Bill Kristol wrote in the month after the attack, “Panetta’s position is untenable: The Defense Department doesn’t get to unilaterally decide whether it’s too risky or not to try to rescue CIA operators, or to violate another country’s air space. In any case, it’s inconceivable Panetta didn’t raise the question of what to do when he met with the national security adviser and the president at 5 p.m. on the evening of September 11 for an hour. And it’s beyond inconceivable he didn’t then stay in touch with the White House after he returned to the Pentagon.”

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4 thoughts on “Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi

  1. So, Panetta is failing on his sword for the administration? Obama doesn’t deserve such loyalty. Clearly, this tactic will not work.

    1. I wouldn’t say falling on his sword. I think he let information out that Obama did nothing to save anybody in Benghazi and had been lying about it ever since. Since Obama wouldn’t approve intervention, they had to send help from within Lydia. Too little, too late.

  2. It reminds me of Hilary’s 3 AM phone call ad… When the phone rang at 3 AM, a recorded message said, “Do not disturb. You are on your own.”

    Yes, it makes Obama look bad, but Paneta is then taking the blame for not sending help.

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