You Decide – Smoking Gun or No Smoking Gun


John R. Houk

© December 12, 2015

Much of the Conservative oriented media were using words like “smoking gun” in Judicial Watch’s discovery of an email from Jeremy Bash to the State Department informing them that Benghazi was under attack and the Defense Department is prepared act immediately. The email was sent a mere hours after the attack began. The attack began about 9:40 PM on September 11, 2015 with the last defenders dying in mortar fire shortly after 5:15 AM on September 12, 2015.

Considering the U.S. military had assets in Tripoli, in Rota Spain and Croatia. And since the Bash email demonstrates that this was NOT a spontaneous Muslim riot inspired by a badly acted anti-Mohammed movie trailer called the “Innocence of Muslims.” The Muslim terrorist attack was well organized AND the higher-ups in the Obama Administration KNEW it was an organized Muslim terrorist attack. The Jeremy Bash email is at least yet another chink in the chain showing we the American voters that Obama, his Cabinet and his staff are a bunch of liars.

As to the Bash email “smoking gun,” the Dem Party liars of the House Benghazi Committee have launched their spin counter-attack against the “smoking gun” accusation. Evidently the minority Dem Committee members released an unredacted version of the Bash email. The Dems think this shows there is no “smoking gun.” Here is a screen capture of Dem member Bash email:

Unredacted Bash Email

Below is the Judicial Watch redacted version:

From: Bash, Jeremy CIV SD [REDACTED]

Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:19 PM

To: Sullivan, Jacob J; Sherman, Wendy R; Nides, Thomas R

Cc: Miller, James HON OSD POLICY; Wienefeld, James A ADM JSC VCJCS; Kelly, John Lt Gen SD; martin, dempsey [REDACTED]

Subject: Libya

State colleagues:

I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with S [apparent reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton].

After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak. They include a [REDACTED].

Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements, we will ask State to procure the approval from host nation. Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us [REDACTED].

Jeremy

One glaring explanation the Dems fail to reveal that Judicial Watch does is the identity of “S”:

apparent reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The unredacted version includes the recommended forces to send and where they are located:

… a SOF element that was in Croatia (which can fly to Suda Bay, Crete), and a Marine FAST team out of Roda, Spain.”

The other portion unredacted reveals names that follows “Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us”:

Burns/Nides/Sherman to Miller/Winnefeld would by my recommended course.”

I am currently unfamiliar with what those people do that was special enough to be redacted. If someone has a revealing source on these people, let me know in the comment section.

Frankly I do not see anything in the unredacted portion that indicates the Dem Party spin propaganda that there is no “smoking gun.”

Consider what Bash told the State Department under then Sec. Hillary Clinton saying, “After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”

What? He wrote “spinning as we speak”. The official line is that Naval were too far away to provide relief. BUT what about Air Fighter Assets check out this map:

Map: Aviano Air Force Base to Sigonella Naval Air Station to Benghazi

No check out this remarkably plausible scenario that still makes this a “smoking gun” and that there are probably groups of people involved in a lying cover-up:

The Obvious Solution – Pit-Stop Sigonella

Now that we have an understanding of the tactical constraints facing the DOD, there is a (hopefully) obvious solution that more alert readers probably picked up on.

o Hour 0-1. While the F-16s at Aviano are not on strip alert, given the genuine emergency it’s reasonable to expect that within an hour of the order being given a sober pilot or two could have been located, an aircraft fuelled and in the air with a minimal default loadout. In this scenario the aircraft may have had only ammunition for its 20mm cannon and pilot would be given a simple briefing on the way to the plane: Get to NAS Sigonella.

o Hour 1-2. Given that the distance from AFB Aviano to NAS Sigonella is only 610 miles, the pilot would be able to quickly attain altitude and cruise at above the standard cruising speed of 577 mph. The F-16 would be on the ground at NAS Sigonella within an hour of its departure from AFB Aviano. During this one hour flight two important things would happen:

1. Via radio the pilot receives a more detailed briefing. The plan – a quick refuelling at NAS Sigonella and an immediate departure for Benghazi to fly a close air support (CAS) mission.

2. NAS Sigonella is informed of the incoming F-16 and told to prepare for immediate refuelling of the aircraft upon its arrival.

o Hour 2-2.5. The F-16 arrives at NAS Sigonella and is immediately refuelled. While it’s possible to refuel an F-16 without even stopping the engines (hot-pit refuelling), it’s also possible that NAS Sigonella didn’t have a refuelling team available that was trained for this. Thus, let’s assume that the refuelling process takes a full 30 minutes before the F-16 is again airborne and enroute to Benghazi.

o Hour 2.5-3.5. Given it is only 468 miles from NAS Sigonella to Benghazi the F-16 is on station and providing close air support within 3.5 hours from the initial order.

And, of course, subsequent F-16s could follow the same route at intervals to ensure that continuous air coverage was provided from that time on.

What Difference Would This Have Made?

According to the people on the ground and knowledgable about such matters, the appearance of U.S. warplanes would have been a total game-changer (see their testimony in Appendix A). Basically, the consensus is that a single low altitude pass by an F-16 at full afterburner would have put the fear of God into the attackers – these men had all seen U.S. airpower in action during the Libyan campaign and would have tucked-tail and run as soon as air support showed up.

So, By What Time Could the F-16s Have Arrived in Benghazi?

Going back to our timeline of the attack (which started at 21:42), we can see that by 21:59 DOD had already redirected a surveillance drone to Benghazi. This quick response is important because is shows us how efficiently orders could get relayed through the DOD chain of command. By 23:00 it was clear to DOD that the attack involved U.S. casualties and was ongoing. In my mind, there is no reason not to have scrambled the F-16s at this point. After all, the worst case would be that the situation resolved and the F-16s would turn around and go home. There was simply no reason not to deploy the F-16s and, conversely, every reason to do so.

READ ENTIRETY (Benghazi – The Mystery of the Missing Air Support; By Greg; Passion for Liberty; 6/16/13)

The key to remember about the Democratic Party – they lie to stay in power.

See Also:

How will Media and American Left Spin Recent Email Exposé? SlantRight 2.0; 12/9/15

Facts and questions about what happened in BenghaziFox News; 1/22/13

Another Benghazi Smoking Gun – Judicial Watch; 12/11/15

JRH 12/12/15

Please Support NCCR

*******************************

U.S. Military was Prepared to Immediately Protect U.S. Diplomats in Benghazi, Email Records Show

Tom Fitton email

Sent: 12/11/2015 5:55 PM

Email sent by; Judicial Watch

Contrary to what the Obama administration has told the American people, the U.S. military was poised and ready to respond immediately and forcefully against terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.

That’s what we have learned from an email exchange from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” The Obama administration redacted the details of the military forces available, oddly citing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption that allows the withholding of “deliberative process” information.

Bash’s email seems to directly contradict testimony given by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013. Defending the Obama administration’s lack of military response to the nearly six-hour-long attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Panetta claimed that “time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”

This latest bombshell your Judicial Watch has released to the public has attracted considerable media attention. Here is how the Washington Examiner reported on these revelations:

While parts of the email were redacted, the message indicates the Pentagon was waiting for approval from the State Department to send the forces in. That help never arrived for the Americans under siege at the Benghazi compound. A spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi said investigators had received the unredacted version of the email, which was obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act and made public Tuesday, last year but had declined to make it public.

Now would be a good time to go back and review the Obama administration’s many prevarications on the Benghazi terrorist attacks. (A significant collection of our history-making work on the Benghazi scandal is available here.)

You may recall that the first assault occurred at the main compound at about 9:40 p.m. local time (3:40 p.m. ET in Washington, DC). The second attack on a CIA annex 1.2 miles away began three hours later, at about 12 a.m. local time the following morning (6 p.m. ET), and ended at approximately 5:15 a.m. local time (11:15 a.m. ET) with a mortar attack that killed security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

The newly released email reads:

From: Bash, Jeremy CIV SD [REDACTED]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:19 PM
To: Sullivan, Jacob J; Sherman, Wendy R; Nides, Thomas R
Cc: Miller, James HON OSD POLICY; Wienefeld, James A ADM JSC VCJCS; Kelly, John LtGen SD; martin, dempsey [REDACTED]

Subject: Libya

State colleagues:

I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with S [apparent reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton].

After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak. They include a [REDACTED].

Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements, we will ask State to procure the approval from host nation. Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us [REDACTED].

Jeremy

Jacob Sullivan was Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the time of the terrorist attack at Benghazi. Wendy Sherman was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the fourth-ranking official in the U.S. Department of State. Thomas Nides was the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

The timing of the Bash email is particularly significant based upon testimony given to members of Congress by Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attack. According to Hicks’ 2013 testimony, a show of force by the U.S. military during the siege could have prevented much of the carnage. Said Hicks, “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.”

Ultimately, Special Operations forces on their own initiative traveled from Tripoli to Benghazi to provide support during the attack. Other military assets were only used to recover the dead and wounded, and to evacuate U.S. personnel from Libya. In fact, other documents released in October by Judicial Watch show that only one U.S. plane was available to evacuate Americans from Benghazi to Tripoli and that raises questions about whether a delay of military support led to additional deaths in Benghazi.

As per usual, we only obtained this document after going to federal court. The new email came as a result of a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on September 4, 2014 seeking:

• Records related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.

The Obama administration and Clinton officials hid this compelling Benghazi email for years. The email makes readily apparent that the military was prepared to launch immediate assistance that could have made a difference, at least at the CIA Annex. The fact that the Obama Administration withheld this email for so long only worsens the scandal of Benghazi.

The Washington Examiner puts it very well:

The newly disclosed email chain casts doubt on previous testimony from high-level officials, several of whom suggested there was never any kind of military unit that could have been in a position to mount a rescue mission during the hours-long attack on Benghazi.

It came out later that day that the House Select Committee on Benghazi had been withholding from the public an unredacted version of the email released by Judicial Watch. Almost immediately upon Judicial Watch’s release of the devastating email, a spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi made a snide, sour-grapes announcement to The Daily Caller attempting to defend the Committee’s decision to keep the email secret for a year by implicitly criticizing Judicial Watch’s supposed “rush to release or comment on every document it uncovers.” Bad enough fighting the lawless secrecy of the Obama administration – so it is disappointing to have the unnecessary spitballs from presumed allies for transparency.

The Democrats on the Select Committee thought they helped their cause of defending the indefensible by releasing a complete version of the email. Hardly. The new details show that the military forces that weren’t deployed, specifically “a SOF [Special Operations Forces] element that was in Croatia (which can fly to Suda Bay, Crete), and a Marine FAST [Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team] team out of Rota, Spain.” The FAST Team arrived well after the attack and the Special Operations Forces never left Croatia. In addition to providing confirming details that forces were ready to go, the Democrats expose the Obama administration’s dishonesty in withholding the information in the first place.

All this goes to underscore the value of Judicial Watch’s independent watchdog activities and our leadership in forcing truth and accountability over the Benghazi scandal.
____________________

You Decide – Smoking Gun or No Smoking Gun

John R. Houk

© December 12, 2015

____________________

U.S. Military was Prepared to Immediately Protect U.S. Diplomats in Benghazi, Email Records Show

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Author: oneway2day

I am a Neoconservative Christian Right blogger. I also spend a significant amount of time of exposing theopolitical Islam.

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