Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a [AC-130] Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.
Respected military blogger and former paratrooper BlackFive has more details here (H/T ECM) from a Delta Force operator who thinks that the AC-130 was “on station”, i.e. – in flight:
Having spent a good bit of time nursing a GLD (ground Laser Designator) in several garden spots around the world, something from the report jumped out at me.One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target. That means that Specter WAS ON STATION! Probably an AC130U. A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser. You do not “paint” a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.If the AC130 never left Sigonella (as Penetta says) that means that the Predator that was filming the whole thing was armed.If that SEAL was actively “painting” a target; something was on station to engage! And the decision to stand down goes directly to POTUS!
And BlackFive himself writes:
Even with two Predators on station, one unarmed and filming and one armed, the call to stand down comes from the same sources. Earlier today, Bob Owens at PJ Media posts about the responsibility of the order to call off the mission as well as some good info about the AC130s on station.
Here’s the Predator:
AC-130 gunships and Predator drones are incredibly accurate when the target is being “lit” by a laser target designator (LTID) on the ground. There was no reason not to engage, and lives could have been saved. Instead, the Obama administration did nothing. This is worse than Watergate. Nobody was murdered by our enemies in Watergate. Nobody died because Nixon lied.
Gateway Pundit has already pointed out that the Obama administration refused to call for support that was an hour away in Italy.
The father of the ex-Navy SEAL killed at the consulate is calling for accountability from “the murderers of my son“. Will Obama respond? Or should we expect the same response as he gave to the death of the Border Patrol agent killed because his administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation?
UPDATE: CIA director David Petraeus confirms that ”No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate” . The Weekly Standard agrees that it was likely a decision made by the President himself.
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