The House Benghazi Committee’s report is out, and while some in the media are downplaying its findings, what Trey Gowdy announced Tuesday will definitely raise eyebrows.
One particular item of note is whether swift action by the Obama administration could have saved Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, former Navy SEALs working with the CIA in Benghazi.
Back in 2013, Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said nothing could have gotten to Benghazi in time because:
The reason is because armed UAVs, AC-130 gunships, or fixed-wing fighters with the associated tanking, armaments, targeting and support capabilities were not in the vicinity of Libya and because of the distance, would have taken at least 9 to 12 hours if not more to deploy. This was, pure and simple, a problem of distance and time.
But Gowdy told the country in a televised press conference on Tuesday:
“The mortar attacks could have taken place at 7:15 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. or even at lunch time on the twelfth. Because at the time those two Americans were killed, not a single wheel of a single U.S. military asset had even turned toward Libya.”
The much-awaited report also detailed a reason why they had so much trouble getting forces who could help.
NBC News reports:
In a newly revealed two-hour secure video conference on the night of the attacks led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and attended by Clinton and others, State Department officials raised concerns about the diplomatic sensitivities of the attire to be worn by assets launched.
In an interview with the Committee, Patrick Kennedy, the under secretary or Management at State, described the department’s sensitivity as wanting to “make sure that the steps we were taking would enhance the security of our personnel, not potentially diminish the security of our personnel.”
According to one commander, the report states, as forces prepared to deploy, “during the course of three hours, he and his Marines changed in and out of their uniforms four times.”
Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods perished, Gowdy noted, seven hours after the attack began.