A little over a month after the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, that left four Americans dead, then CIA Director David Petraeus denied that the CIA issued any type of stand down orders to those requesting to assist in Benghazi, leaving only one person that could have given such an order. This came as it was revealed that there were people on the ground with targets painted and air support overhead and the strike was called off.
Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed that that it was rumored that emails from the National Security Adviser’s office told a counterterrorism group to sand down (by the way, this would be part of the reason for the piece yesterday on Ben Rhodes). Now Breitbart is reporting that a source with intimate information about what took place on the ground in Benghazi on the night the U.S. Consulate and the CIA annex was attacked by terrorists is confirming that only the President of the United States, or someone acting on his authority, could have prevented Special Forces from helping the Americans who were under assault.
Kerry Picket writes,
According to the source, when the attack on the Consulate occurred, a specific chain of command to gain verbal permission to move special-forces in must have occurred. SOCAFRICA commander Lieutenant Col. Gibson would have contacted a desk officer at the time, asking for that permission.
That desk officer would have called Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, then in command of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara. From there, Bristol would have made contact with Rear Admiral Brian Losey, then Commander of Special Operations Command Africa. Losey would have contacted four-star General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. AFRICOM at the time.
“Ham answers directly to the President of the United States,” said the source. It wasn’t a low-level bureaucrat making the call, the source adamantly added.
We know that Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress indicating that he did not make a single phone call on September 11, 2012. However, just days later, Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama called then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at approximately 10pm EST.
In fact, Carney told reporters, “Like every president before him, he has a national security adviser and deputy national security adviser. He was in regular communication with his national security team directly, through them, and spoke with the secretary of state at approximately 10 p.m. He called her to get an update on the situation.”
Again, Obama was being coached by his national security team, which includes national security deputy Ben Rhodes.
Pickett says that the source explained, “I have a hard time thinking it was Hillary alone. Hillary may have tried to circumvent the counterterrorism board and deal with this. I think in order for her to tell General Ham, ‘No, you’re not going to get involved,’ she would have had to talk to the president. The president would have had to say, ‘No, take your commands from Hillary.’ He would have had said something, because Ham does not work for the Department of State; he works directly for the president.”
Today we will begin getting some answers as whistleblowers in the Benghazi scandal, Mark I. Thompson, Gregory Hicks, and Eric Nordstrom, begin their testimony before Congress.