Report: U.S. Rescue Team Was on Its Way to Benghazi, But Was Turned Back

On November 9, 2012, Jake Tapper asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if and when the White House was going to put out a detailed “tick-tock” surrounding its response to the Benghazi attacks. Instead of answering the question, Carney blathered on about the State Department investigation: “Nobody is more interested than the president in making sure the facts are collected, we find out exactly what happened, that we bring to justice those who killed four Americans and that we take measures to ensure that what happened in Benghazi does not happen again.”

“We’re never going to get a tick-tock,”  one of the reporters complained at the time. As Attkisson notes, Obama "virtually disappears from the public narrative." All we know is he had a fundraiser to attend the next day in Las Vegas. Incredibly, in light of what happened in Benghazi, he didn't cancel the trip.

At a conference in Maryland last weekend, Benghazi security officer Kris “Tanto” Paronto revealed that two AC-130H “Spectre” gunships were “on call” that night, both within range of Benghazi.

One of them was a six-hour flight away, co-located with a U.S. special operations team in Djibouti. The other was at Naval Air Station Sigonella, in Sicily. “That’s a 45-minute flight,” Paronto said.

The Spectre gunship with its 25mm rapid-fire Gatling guns, its 40mm precision Bofors gun, and its 105mm canon is “good in urban warfare because you have little collateral damage,” Paronto explained.

In fact, it was just what the beleaguered security team needed. They could see the jihadis advancing on the Annex compound throughout the night and lit them up with lasers, which the airborne crew could have used for precision targeting purposes. On-line videos of the Spectre gunship in operation show that it can walk its cannons up narrow streets, killing fighters while leaving the surrounding buildings intact and people inside them unharmed.

“I asked for the Spectre and ISR [an armed Predator drone] at 9:37 pm,” Paronto said, certain that the attacks actually started at 9:32 pm local time, not 9:42 pm as previously reported. “At midnight, they told us they were still working on getting us that Spectre gunship. Not that it was not available, but that they were still working on it.”

And there were more forces immediately available for a rescue effort, in particular, the European Command (EUCOM) Commander’s In-Extremis Force, which was then on a counter-terrorism training mission in Croatia, a three-hour flight from Benghazi.

Paronto knew people in that unit, and remembers calling them after he and his security team got back to the CIA Annex from the diplomatic compound, where they had just rescued the surviving U.S. personnel. “They were loading their gear into their aircraft and ready to go,” he recalled. Later, his friends in the unit told him they had been shut down sometime after midnight.

Author and former Navy Seal Matt Bracken first made the point here at PJ Media in November of 2012.  All forces needed to enter Libya was a "cross-border Authority" from the commander in chief. Unfortunately for Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, Obama had probably gone to bed early so he could get his beauty sleep for the big fundraiser the next day.

If the White House doesn't like that unflattering perception, maybe it should -- at long last -- pony up that tick-tock.