The Three Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About
By JAMES ROSEN
The Benghazi episode is best viewed as a series of three timelines. When fully exposed, the facts of the “pre” period before the attacks will tell us how high up the chain, and in which agencies, fateful decisions were made about security precautions for the consulate and annex in Benghazi. We also stand to learn how the planning for the attacks could have been put in motion without being detected until too late.
Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb, who oversees diplomatic security, testified before the House on Oct. 10 that she and her colleagues had placed “the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11 for what had been agreed upon.” While not the stuff of a perjury charge, this testimony cannot be true, given the known outcome of the Sept. 11 attack on the consulate and the pleas for enhanced security measures that we now know Foggy Bottom to have rebuffed.
The second Benghazi timeline encompasses the five or six hours on the evening of Sept. 11 when the attacks transpired. A State Department briefing on Oct. 9 offered an account that was riveting but incomplete. When all of the facts of these hours are compiled, we will have a truer picture of the tactical capabilities of al Qaeda and its affiliates in North Africa. We will also learn what really happened to Amb. Stevens that night, and better appreciate the vulnerabilities with which our diplomatic corps, bravely serving at 275 installations across the globe, must still contend.
The third and final Benghazi timeline is the one that has fostered charges of a coverup. It stretches eight days—from 3:40 p.m. on Sept. 11, when the consulate was first rocked by gunfire and explosions, through the morning of Sept. 19, when Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, publicly testified before the Senate that Benghazi was a terrorist attack.
This article neatly demonstrates that Benghazi is actually a threefold issue/scandal.
1.) Why, in the face of months’ certain knowledge that Libya was dangerous and getting worse, did the Obama State Department reduce security in Libya while keeping it strong in much safer places like Vienna?
2.) Why, knowing Benghazi was under attack an hour or less into the attack, didn’t the Obama Administration respond with swift, strong, measures that were readily at hand?
3.) Why, knowing within hours (if not while the attack was yet underway) that this was probably (if not certainly) both an organized and a terrorist attack, did the Obama Administration persist for at least two weeks in ludicrously blaming the “anti-Muslim” video?! And in otherwise trying to obscure and stonewall efforts to learn what happened in Benghazi and how?
The sheer incompetence and negligence of the Obama Administration exemplified in this attack is staggering!