The president says the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed, but, as in 1980 at another embassy, it should — just as it matters who gave the order to stand down.
We have speculated that a reason the cries for military help during the seven-hour assault on our consulate in Benghazi were ignored was due to fears of another "Blackhawk down" incident as in Somalia under President Clinton or a repeat of the Desert One mission that crashed and burned in the Iranian desert in a failed attempt to rescue our hostages in Tehran in 1980.
After all, according to Richard Miniter's book "Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him," it was at the urging of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett that President Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden three times before finally approving the May 2, 2011, Navy SEAL mission. Her concern: the political harm to Obama if the mission failed.
As we've written, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has falsely said we didn't have real-time intelligence of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. The administration has also suggested it was the CIA that put the brakes on any attempt at relief or rescue.
ABC's Jake Tapper reports that a CIA spokesman, presumably at the direction of CIA Director David Petraeus, has put out a statement saying, "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate."
Someone did, and the question is who?
We know that the mortars firing at the roof of the CIA annex, where former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were still fighting six hours into the attack, were "painted" with a laser targeting device as the two repeatedly requested backup support from an AC-130 Specter gunship. AC-130s are commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to support Special Operations teams involved in intense firefights. They are deadly accurate, with little risk of harm to civilians.
The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours, more than enough time for any planes based at Sigonella Air Base in Italy, just 480 miles away, to arrive. According to Fox News, two separate Tier One Special Ops forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators. So who told them to wait?