(excerpt) Panetta said there was no "real-time information" to be able to act on, even though the U.S. military was prepared to do so.
"You don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on," Panetta said. "(We) felt we could not put forces at risk in that situation."
A defense official provided more context on Panetta's comments about the decision-making involved in not sending U.S. troops to the consulate being attacked in Benghazi.
He said there was a drone aloft but not directly over the area at the time the attack began.
He said the drone was redirected and arrived in time to record some of the attack. But he described what the drone saw as "looking down, seeing a bunch of buildings and fires, a lot of chaos on the ground."
There was direct radio and phone comms with good guys on the ground throughout the whole attack.