The few media that are covering the abandonment of Americans in Benghazi have focused — and not without merit — on the four Americans that perished over the course of the seven-hour battle.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and diplomat Sean Smith were not the only Americans in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, however, a fact some of us have lost sight of in our focus on the dead. Nor were Glen Doherty and Ty Woods the only casualties among the forces that disobeyed orders from the Obama administration not to rescue the consulate staff.
When terrorists surrounded the consulate at approximately 8:00 p.m. Benghazi time with 150 men and “technicals” — pickup trucks with heavy machine guns, bearing the logo of Ansar al-Shariah — Stevens and Smith were part of a larger American delegation numbering somewhere between 7-24.
We’re forced to say “approximately” because it has been difficult to determine through media accounts the exact number of Americans inside the consulate.
We do know that at least three other consulate staff members were seriously injured enough in the initial attack that they were treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Two more consulate staff members were apparently injured in the attack on the CIA safe house which also killed Glen Doherty and Ty Woods.
What we can be sure of is that as the consulate was under fire from a large terrorist force, the lives of a minimum of seven American diplomats were put at risk as President Barack Obama allegedly watched the attack live in the White House Situation Room via the satellite video link to an unarmed Predator drone circling overhead.
We now know that the small CIA force on a separate mission, occupying a safe house a mile away, called in to their superiors for reinforcements. We know that this force twice asked for permission to attempt a rescue mission. We know that they were twice told to “stand down.”