An Air Force whistleblower who was stationed at Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy in September 2012 says his team could have gotten to Benghazi in time to save Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, the former Navy Seals who were killed by mortar fire during the attack. “I definitely believe that our aircraft could have taken off and got there in a timely manner, maybe three hours at the most, in order to basically at least stop that second mortar attack and have those guys running for the hills,” the man told Fox News on the condition of anonymity. It’s been almost four years, but the whistleblower still felt the need to ask that his identity be protected out of fear of retribution from the Obama administration. He is the first in his squadron to speak out publicly since that attack, according to Fox. His reason for going public is to explain that more could have been done to save Americans lives that night.
On 9/11/2012, his squadron got an alert that a “real world mission was going down.” They scrambled to the field, were briefed, and prepared to launch to Benghazi, 1,043 miles away.
“There were people everywhere. That flight line was full of people, and we were all ready to go” to Benghazi, he said.
Only they were waiting for the order. It never came.
“The whole night we were told that we are waiting on a call,” he told Fox News.
He told Fox that “others in his squadron also have wanted to talk about Benghazi from the beginning, but no others have been interviewed and all are afraid of the potential backlash from speaking out.”
“I’m not trying to give away any type of [information] that could ever harm the military,” the source told Fox News. “That is never my plan. I feel that some things need to come to light.”
Namely, he said, that a team was ready to go that night to help protect Americans under fire in Benghazi – an account that runs counter to multiple official reports, including from a House committee, a timeline provided by the military and the controversial State Department Accountability Review Board investigation, which concluded the interagency response to Benghazi was “timely and appropriate.”
The source said: “I definitely believe that our aircraft could have taken off and gotten there in a timely manner, maybe three hours at the most, in order to at least stop that second mortar attack … and basically save lives that day.”
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in that second wave. Ambassador Chris Stevens and information officer Sean Smith were killed in the initial attack on the main compound.
“We could have been there. That’s the worst part,” the source said.
He went on to say that Benghazi remains a sore subject within his squadron because “people know we were stationed there and didn’t respond.”
Democrats, meanwhile, have continued their drumbeat of calling the House investigation into the Benghazi attacks a waste of time and money that is being dragged on for political purposes. Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy argues that his committee has uncovered new facts, while admitting that they still are having issues finding witnesses.
In some cases, they have descriptions of individuals, but not names, and the Defense Department has been less than cooperative helping the committee find them. “It’s been very frustrating,” Gowdy said.
In response to Fox News report on Benghazi Wednesday, Gowdy released a statement saying it is “deeply troubling there are individuals who would like to share their stories, but have not because they are afraid of retaliation from their superiors.”
Incredibly, the two men who spoke with Fox News in this report have not yet spoken with the committee.