This doesn't wash. When the Critical Incident Report went out from the consulate in the first 30 minutes of the attack those forces would have automatically been put in motion by their force commanders in Europe.
Now I was only a LT for 5 years active duty in NavSpecWar, but it was imprinted deeply upon my brain that ONLY the PUTUS can give cross-border permission. Probably a million living ex-military officers know this like they know 2+2=4. This Benghazi fiasco is Obamas baby 100% and there is no way for him to wiggle out.
The system is designed to ENSURE that when a crisis is happening, (and a missing ambassador with a consulate under attack is Crisis Level Infinity), and military assets are already charging in to the rescue, the president must be in the loop to grant the the cross-border authorization. Nobdy else can do this. This one formality must be followed, just put your intitials here, Mr. President, for history, so to speak. Boiler plate, but it must be done.
(Can you imagine Reagan or either Bush saying No. Cross border permission not granted. Stop the rescue. Stand down.)
The POTUS has to tell the Sec. State and JCS, Yes, do it, execute the rescue, cross the borders. Then it WILL happen, without delay, since the military is already on the way, flying in from all directions toward Benghazi.
But if POTUS says at 5pm DC time, No military action, no cross border, and then he becomes unavailable, then his last standing order stands until he changes it. So if he went to bed, for example, nobody could change his standing orders.
I imagine that a lot of extreme military, CIA and State Dept. craziness was going down while Obama was sleeping. Aircraft must be told proceed, or return to base, or they fall from the sky. I imagine many HEATED arguments around the globe on phone, text and email, subject, Well wake the damn president up! Followed by, I cant! You MUST stand down the mission!
Just imagine dozens of inbound planes, jets and helos. Ships moving at full speed into position to be lilypads for long-range over-water helo refueling. Airborne refueling tankers all head to the area. Its a complicated ballet. The Pentagon is wide awake, the military is on full alert. The rescue is in process, from the first minutes after the alarm.
Everybody in all the planes and involved HQs knows how many minutes/miles to the Libyan border, Benghazi, and their bingo fuel moment, when they must turn around or run dry and crash. Ships can loiter, but planes fall from the sky.
So you can imagine why General Ham of Africom was relieved for refusing to stand down. He probably KNEW Obama was unavailable, and was screaming over the phone, Well, wake him up, dammit!!
Planes and jets and helicopters and ships and commando teams are zooming all around the central Med, keying in on Benghazi
And in that environment, OBAMA WAS ASLEEP AND UNREACHABLE!!!!! Resting up for Las Vegas! With a MISSING AMBASSADOR, in Al-Queadatown!
Anybody not furious is a vegetable.