Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Obama Decided Not To Send Air Support to Benghazi During the Attack for Fear of Inflaming the Situation

Besides not providing security to the Benghazi consulate despite repeated requests, it looks like nearby air support was not considered due to fear of "inflaming" the situation.  It seems that when 30 Americans are under attack by terrorists the situation is already inflamed and so you might as well send help that is only 20-30 minutes away.  But God forbid the administration do something to protect Americans when there is a risk of "inflaming":

The hour is 5 p.m., Sept. 11, Washington time, and the scene is an Oval Office meeting among President Obama, the secretary of defense, the national security adviser and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi has been under assault for roughly 90 minutes. Some 30 U.S. citizens are at mortal risk. The whereabouts of Ambassador Stevens are unknown.

What is uppermost on the minds of the president and his advisers? The safety of Americans, no doubt. So what are they prepared to do about it? Here is The Wall Street Journal's account of the meeting:

"There was no serious consideration at that hour of intervention with military force, officials said. Doing so without Libya's permission could represent a violation of sovereignty and inflame the situation, they said. Instead, the State Department reached out to the Libyan government to get reinforcements to the scene."

So it did. Yet the attack was far from over. After leaving the principal U.S. compound, the Americans retreated to a second, supposedly secret facility, which soon came under deadly mortar fire. Time to call in the troops?

"Some officials said the U.S. could also have sent aircraft to the scene as a 'show of force' to scare off the attackers," the Journal reported, noting that there's a U.S. air base just 450 miles away in Sicily. "State Department officials dismissed the suggestions as unrealistic. 'They would not have gotten there in two hours, four hours or six hours.'"

6 hours to travel 450 miles?  Are the planes driving there or flying there?  It takes about 8 hours to fly commercial from New York to Rome, so why would it take 6 hours to fly at supersonic speeds from a place much much closer?  We're talking about flight times in the 20-30 minute range.  The incompetence and cowardice of this administration is stunning.

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