Pat Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party's candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of The American Conservative. Buchanan served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national TV shows, and is the author of nine books. His latest book is "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"More ↓Less ↑
On June 6 of this year, a bomb planted at the U.S. compound in Benghazi ripped a 12-foot-wide hole in the outer wall.
On June 11, the British ambassador’s motorcade was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, wounding a medic and doctor. The next day, the ambassador was gone, and the British Benghazi post was closed.
At the same time, the Red Cross, after a second attack, shut down and fled the city.
“When that occurred,” says Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, who headed the military security team in Tripoli, “we were the last flag flying in Benghazi; we were the last thing on their target list to remove.”
On Aug. 15, at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, an emergency meeting was convened to discuss the 10 Islamist militias and their training camps in the area, among them al-Qaida and Ansar al-Sharia.
On Aug. 16, a cable went to the State Department describing the imminent danger, saying the compound could not defend itself against a “coordinated attack.”
The cable was sent to Hillary Clinton – and signed by Ambassador Chris Stevens.
On Sept. 11, Ambassador Stevens died in a coordinated attack on the Benghazi compound by elements of Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaida.
Catherine Herridge of Fox News, who unearthed the Aug. 16 cable, calls it the “smoking gun.”
Yet, on Oct. 11, Joe Biden, during the vice presidential debate, asserted, “We weren’t told they wanted more security there.”
While House spokesman Jay Carney said Biden’s “we” applied only to Biden, Obama and the White House. As the National Security Council is part of the White House, Carney was saying the NSC was in the dark over the Aug. 16 cable that had warned about the exact attack that occurred.
What else have we lately learned?
The State Department was following the Benghazi assault in real time.
Three emails came from the compound that night. The first described the attack; the second came as the firing stopped; the third reported that Ansar al-Sharia was claiming credit.
From an Oct. 26 report by Jennifer Griffin, also of Fox News, we now know there were two drones over Benghazi the night of Sept. 11 capable of sending pictures to U.S. commanders within reach of Benghazi, and to the CIA, Pentagon and White House.
We also know that ex-SEAL Ty Woods, in the CIA safe house a mile away, was denied permission to go to the rescue of the compound, and that he disobeyed orders, went and brought back the body of diplomat Sean Smith.
After the attack on the compound, the battle shifted to the safe house – for four more hours. Another ex-SEAL, Glen Doherty, made it to Benghazi from Tripoli. Seven hours after the initial assault that killed Ambassador Stevens and Smith, Doherty and Woods were still returning fire, when, having been abandoned on the orders of someone higher up, they were killed by a direct mortar hit.
Due to stonewalling and the complicity of the Big Media in ignoring or downplaying the Benghazi story during the last weeks of the campaign, the Obamaites may get past the post on Nov. 6 without being called to account.
But the truth is coming out, and an accounting is coming. For the character, competence and credibility of Obama’s entire national security team have been called into question.
Hillary Clinton said she takes full responsibility for any security failure by her department at the Benghazi compound. But what does that mean? Did she see the Aug. 16 secret cable sent to her by Stevens describing his perilous situation? Was she oblivious to the battle in her department over security in Benghazi?
This failure that occurred in her shop and on her watch, that Stevens warned about in his Aug. 16 cable, resulted in his death and the most successful terrorist attack on this country since 9/11.
Why has Hillary not explained her inaction – or stepped down?
The CIA has issued a terse statement saying it gave no order to anyone not to try to rescue the ambassador or not to move forces to aid Doherty and Woods, who died because no help came.
Who, then, did refuse to send help? Who did give the orders to “stand down”?
The president says he is keeping Americans informed as we learn the truth. But is that still credible?
When did Obama learn that State was following the Benghazi attack in real time, that camera-carrying drones were over the city that night, that a seven-hour battle was fought, that desperate cries for help were being turned down.
The CIA had to know all this. Did Tom Donilon of the NSC not know it? Did he not tell the president?
Five days after Benghazi, Susan Rice went on five national TV shows to say the attack was a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video.
Did the president not know she was talking nonsense? Could he himself have still been clueless about what went on in Benghazi?