Skip to comments.Could assets have reached Benghazi in time to save lives? [Ret. Lt Gen Boykin-Huckabee]]
Posted on 05/13/2013 1:43:09 AM PDT by Yosemitest
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
The problem with the administration’s scenario...is that we are watching from hindsight now. At the moment when the ambassador was begging for help....it could have been an hour left for his life, or six hours. By doing nothing, they were saying that nothing in terms of time mattered. If this is the case....it’s best to admit they really didn’t care much for the situation or the ambassador’s life.
A Republican aide refused to release the full transcript of the April 11 interview. Here are the selected excerpts of the Hicks interview released by a Republican committee aide:
On why there were no air assets, Special Forces told to stand down.
Q But do you think, you know, if an F‑15, if the military had allowed a jet to go fly over, that it might have prevented ‑‑
A Yeah, and if we had gotten clearance from the Libyan military for an American plane to fly over Libyan airspace. The Libyans that I talked to and the Libyans and other Americans who were involved in the war have told me also that Libyan revolutionaries were very cognizant of the impact that American and NATO airpower had with respect to their victory. They are under no illusions that American and NATO airpower won that war for them. And so, in my personal opinion, a fast‑mover flying over Benghazi at some point, you know, as soon as possible might very well have prevented some of the bad things that happened that night.
Q The theory being, the folks on the ground that are doing these ‑‑ committing these terrorist attacks look up, see a heavy‑duty airplane above, and decide to hightail it?
A I believe that if ‑‑ I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.
Q I just wanted to ask you mentioned permission from the Libyans. Why is that important? What did you mean by that?
A Well, it’s their country. And for an American military aircraft to fly over their country, we have to have permission from them to do so.
Q So what would have been the risk of – do you think it would have been risky for us to send someone — do you think it would have been counterproductive for us to send a fighter pilot plane over Benghazi without that permission?
A We would have certainly wanted to obtain that permission. I believe we would have gotten it if we had asked. I believe that the Libyans were hoping that we were going to come bail them out of this mess. And, you know, they were as surprised as we were that American ‑‑ the military forces that did arrive only arrived on the evening of September 12th. Yeah.
Q So, at this point [At approximately 10:00 pm in Tripoli], you are talking to Washington, you are talking to your RSO Martinec, you are talking to RAO. Are you talking to the Defense Attache?
A The Defense Attache is there, and he is immediately on the phone to Ministry of Defense and to chief of staff of the Libyan Armed Forces. He also notifies Joint Staff and AFRICOM. Our SOCAFRICA lead, Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, connects with SOCAFRICA in Stuttgart, as well. And, obviously, RAO is also connected back home.
Q Was there ever any thought at that time of the night to have an F‑16, you know, fly over?
A I called ‑‑ when we knew that ‑‑ I talked with the Defense Attache, Lieutenant Colonel Keith Phillips, and I asked him, “Is there anything coming?” And he said that the nearest fighter planes were Aviano, that he had been told that it would take 2 to 3 hours to get them airborne, but that there were no tanker assets near enough to support a flight from Aviano.
A And for the second time that night [Before 5:15 AM attack], I asked the Defense Attache, is there anything coming, is there anything out there to help our people from, you know, big military? And the answer, again, was the same as before.
Q And what was that answer?
A The answer was, it’s too far away, there are no tankers, there is nothing, there is nothing that could respond.
Q So you had mentioned that the first team from Tripoli to Benghazi arrived at 1:15?
Q And was there a second team that was organized? Could you tell us about the second team?
A Right. The second team ‑‑ the Defense Attache worked assiduously all night long to try to get the Libyan military to respond in some way. Early in the morning ‑‑ sorry, after we were formally notified by the Prime Minister, who called me, that Chris had passed, the Libyan military agreed to fly their C‑130 to Benghazi and carry additional personnel to Benghazi as reinforcements. Because we at that time — at that time, the third attack, the mortar attack at 5:15, had not yet occurred, if I remember correctly.
Q So what time did the second rescue team ‑‑
A Well, again, they flew ‑‑ I think that flight took off sometime between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m.
Q At that point, you are the Chief of Mission?
A Yeah, I’m Chief of Mission effective 3:00 a.m.
Q Now, did any of the Special Forces folks, were they planning at any time to travel on that second aircraft?
A On the second, on the C‑130? Yes. We fully intended for those guys to go, because we had already essentially stripped ourselves of our security presence, or our security capability to the bare minimum ….
A So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the SOCAFRICA commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C‑130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, you can’t go now, you don’t have authority to go now. And so they missed the flight. And, of course, this meant that one of the ‑‑
Q They didn’t miss the flight. They were told not to board the flight.
A They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it. So, anyway, and yeah. I still remember Colonel Gibson, he said, “I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military.” A nice compliment.
Q Now, at this point, are you having communications with Washington?
A I was in communications with Washington all night long. I was reporting all night long what was happening to Washington by telephone.
Q When these Special Forces folks were told essentially to stand down, what was your next move? Did you have a recourse? Were you able to call Washington? Were you able to call anyone at this point to get that decision reversed?
A No, because the flight was ‑‑ the flight was leaving. And, you know, if they missed ‑‑ you know, if the vehicles didn’t leave when they leave, they would miss the flight time at the airport. And the airport ‑‑ you know, we were going all the way to Mitiga. The C‑130 is at Mitiga, which is all the way on the other side of Tripoli.
Q What was the rationale that you were given that they couldn’t go, ultimately?
A I guess they just didn’t have the right authority from the right level.
It looks like CBS doing its normal obfuscation duty. Notice Clinton’s response is to the FB posting, evading a fact that was known at the time she made this statement. What does CBS say to that? There are “thousands” of emails to go through and they too evade any effort to disclose the truth.
This question is almost irrelevant! Why are we wasting time with questions given what WE KNOW? Hillary lied. It ain’t a “witch hunt”, we HAVE FOUND THE WITCH!
If Hillary is taking the fall for Obama it is she who decided to take it. We all know she won’t take hat fall alone.
Obama was told of the incident, he told others to take care of it and went to bed.
There is plenty of blame to go around. There are numerous leaders in on this mess that need to be replaced—starting at the top with impeachment.
The man running cbs news is the brother of a HIGH RANKING OBAMA OFFICIAL.
Even if you did not arrive in time to save these people at least you would have tried instead of doing nothing. In addition once there even if it was to late to save the ones there you needed to rain down hell on the animals that attacked our Embassy as a warning to the next ones wanting to do so.
I agree, with every fiber of my body.
It is far worse than that. By PREVENTING any possible aid or help he abandoned them during the fight.
Think of what it means. You are fighting for your life. Fighting until help comes....and it does not come. They do not even try. You die in pain, alone, believing ... God help you. No one else will by presidential order.
God please save us from these demons leading America,
Your point bears repeating: How did they know how much time was available for a response? --The answer, of course, is they didn't know. They decided not to respond and made up an excuse.