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.”
Ty Woods, a former SEAL who was part of the CIA force in Benghazi, was among those in this team of operators who disobeyed their orders and put honor over political cowardice to carry out a rescue mission to evacuate the survivors.
Once the consulate staff had been evacuated back to the safe house, they were protected by Woods’ local CIA team, the eight-man CIA team that had flown in from Tripoli, and a force of Libyans that had driven Doherty and the rest of his team from the airport and which would cover the extraction.
We don’t know the exact breakdown of which Americans belonged to each specific group beyond the size of the eight-man team to which Doherty belonged, but the total number of Americans in the CIA safe house was at least 24, and may have been as high as 32 when the attack on that position began.
Once again, at least one Predator drone was overhead, transmitting video of the attack in real time to the White House and State Department for at least part of the time.
We know that CIA operators defending the site “lased” a terrorist mortar crew more than six hours into the attack. Military experts not on-site have asserted (but we cannot confirm) that the mortar team appears to have been targeted with a ground laser target designator (GLTD). The GLTD can direct laser-guided munitions from Predator drones, AC-130 and MC-130 airborne gunships, such as the one that a Fox News source may have been referring to with a reference to repeated requests for supporting fore from a “Spectre.”
A former military fighter pilot tells PJ Media that if a GTLD were used, it could have provided exact GPS coordinates for precision guided bombs, called JDAMS, carried by Air Force and Navy fighter aircraft which could have been on-site over Benghazi within an hour of the initial assault, and which could have been dropped with little threat of collateral damage and very low risk to the aircraft itself, since they can be dropped from stand-off distances.
The White House has not been forthcoming in explaining why at least seven American diplomats were abandoned in the Benghazi consulate to die while the president allegedly watched video of the attack.
The White House has refused to explain why they denied close air support to two dozen or more Americans and additional government forces at the CIA safe house who were under mortar fire, had the mortar team fixed with a laser, and repeatedly called for the terrorist position to be struck.
American lives were abandoned while a sitting U.S. president allegedly watched.
The American people deserve to know why, before the 2012 election.