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Much of the talk about the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya has centered around whether it was a spontaneous protest over a book on the internet or whether it was a coordinated terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9-11. Many want to know why the State Department and the Administration continued to say for days that it was a spontaneous attack and then finally "came clean" and said it was a coordinated attack. Trust me, I want to know that too. But I have more pressing problems with this whole thing.
Why did it take so long to get the mechanisms in action once we learned the consultate was under attack. It didn't matter whether it was spontaneous or coodinated, we were under attack in Benghazi. According to some of the timelines, our Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman weren't notified until nearly an hour after the attack began.
Nearly an hour an twenty minutes after the attack began, we still had not mobilized forces outside Libya to go in an help. Sometime later, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta did give the "go code" for marines in Rota, Spain to mobilize.
Here's a real troubling part to me. We had a special operations force training in Croatia. From Croatia to Libya, it's said, is about the same distance from New York to Miami. We could've had them there in three hours. That force was training in counter-terrorism. But yet 20 hours after the attack, they land at Sigonella Air Base in Italy.
Story lines like this are many and hopefully a lot of it will come out at the Congressional hearings this week.
Again, I'm concerned as to why we portrayed this as something other than a coordinated terrorist attack, but I hope the Congressional committee are able to find out more.
1. Did we have an intelligence breakdown and where did it occur?
2. Why did it take so long to coordinate and facilitate a rescue or a response?
3. What can we do to prevent something like this in the future?
There are many questions I'd like answered, not just how it all came about.