Four American lives. That’s how many were lost during the attacks on the Libyan consulate. Want to hear an even more disheartening number? Two. That’s how many times “urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself were denied by the CIA chain of command.” (http://goo.gl/qeDhY)
Those people who would’ve saved the lives of the four Americans were just a mile away from the consulate.
Now here’s where it get’s really interesting. There’s a protocol for when Diplomats, Embassies, or Consulates are attacked. Here’s how it would have gone down in the Libya attacks.
Within a few minutes of the consulate being attacked, personal security detail for ambassador notifies communications room in Tripoli who then sends a message to the white house situation room saying that the ambassador was in peril.
- WH situation room has a list called the critical information list which contains certain pieces of information that must immediately go right to the person standing next to the president informing him on both military and civilian leadership (this is the part of the protocol that would not under any circumstances have been missed)
- Under a half hour after the attack has started, the President is informed of the situation
By the way, the protection of an American ambassador is supposed to be one of the highest priorities, equivalent to the protection of a four star general. The messages that go out between his people and the White House are like IM’s. Instant communication. The person receiving these messages is required to acknowledge receipt.
So what if the president can’t / couldn’t be reached? Well they thought about that too.
There’s also standard operation procedure for forces in the area. When they code word goes out (the one that says the embassy is under attack) the geographic combatant commander in charge of Libya (who is included in the list of people that is immediately notified once the code word does go out) is tasked with having military forces ready to strike within five minutes. (these were the same people who were told to stand down twice http://goo.gl/qeDhY)
Sources say these forces were explicitly denied action by the President at his 5pm meeting with his advisers. Why do the sources say this you ask? Because standard protocol for the team waiting to evacuate Stevens and his convoy are REQUIRED to protect the lives in the geographic area they are assigned to. It would only take an order from the top to get these men to stand down.
Here’s what we know.
- The communication between the consulate and the White House was instant
- Those monitoring the communication are required to immediately notify those charged with briefing the president
- The team in charge of protecting the embassy would have been ready to go in minutes
- That team would have immediately gone out and evacuated the ambassador and his convoy because of the protocol they’re under
- That same team was ordered to stand down twice
Now here’s my question. How quickly, and from what seniority, would the stand down order have to go out before Stevens and company was already evacuated?
Well, the team was a mile a way. The communication was instant. The President and the geographic combatant commander would have been notified about the same time. You do the math. The only thing that would have gotten the commanders team to stand down would be direct orders from the POTUS.
So why then would the President order the team not to interrupt the situating and extract Stevens and his team? The media wouldn’t react very nicely to news of a U.S involved (potential) combat operation in Libya, regardless of the details. This makes me wonder, did the Obama administration choose politics over human life? Many believe the Obama administration to be an adversary of the pro-life agenda, but could pro-life take on a new meaning with Benghazi?
The following video details the protocol that wen’t down during the consulate attack. What do you think? Why did the administration order the team responsible for the rescue of Ambassador Stevens to stand down?