- Grumpy Educators
- Grumpy Opinions
- Washington Critters
The Obama administration is playing Fast and Furious with Benghazi. It’s a scramble every few days to override the lies already told. A few days ago I mentioned that Sean Hannity said it was his understanding that Hillary Clinton had ordered more security for Libya. He hinted that there would be more on that the next evening on his show.
There wasn’t. At 38.26 minutes into the video below, Bret Baier says “on October 18th Secretary Clinton ordered security for Libya to be beefed up,” a request that was never carried out.” This seems to come from a Daily Caller article written by Ed Klein who has a lot to say but often doesn’t source his material. It isn’t necessarily true, when you say someone “close to,” in this case Bill and Hillary Clinton, said such and such, but it doesn’t mean it’s untrue. We have Senate Majority Leader Harry Ried’s example, don’t we? It’s out there, and we can choose to think about it. We know something wicked this way came. We just don’t know exactly what: who made the final decision not to provide adequate security, and who decided that blaming the anti-Islam film would solve the problem of deadly ineptness?
Below the Ed Klein quote is some information about Agent David Ubben who was badly injured in Benghazi – twice, once believe to be with Stevens (but not officially confirmed), and my summary of Bret Baier’s 41 minute video, “Death and Deceit in Benghazi” with the video following. If you have time to watch the video, I suggest you do, particularly the part where Fox News’ Greg Palkot walks you through the actual place where this terrible thing happened, in great detail (about 12 minutes in).
According to a member of Hillary’s inner circle to whom I have spoken, she and Bill Clinton assembled a team of legal experts a couple of weeks ago to determine how to handle the Benghazi debacle. The members of this team engaged in a lively debate over the best legal and political courses for her to take.
Their chief goal was to avoid allowing Benghazi to become a permanent stain on Hillary’s reputation and hurt her chances to run for president in 2016.
As they debated amongst themselves, it became clear to the Clintons and their advisers that the White House intended to throw Hillary under the bus. This conclusion became inescapable when David Axelrod went on Fox News Channel and cast all the blame for Benghazi on the State Department.
At that point, Bill Clinton and some of the members of the legal team advocated that Hillary consider a “nuclear option” — threatening the White House that she would resign as secretary of state if it continued to make her the scapegoat for Benghazi.
But ultimately, wiser and more rational heads prevailed.
After the Clinton legal team had a chance to review the State Department cable traffic between Benghazi and Washington, the experts came to the conclusion that the cables proved that Hillary had in fact given specific instructions to beef up security in Libya, and that if those orders had been carried out — which they weren’t — they could conceivably have avoided the tragedy…
I am told by my sources that she firmly believes that when the State Department cable traffic is made public, either through leaks to the press or during formal House committee hearings, it will exonerate her and shift the blame for the entire mess onto the president. Source: Daily Caller, Ed Klein October 18, 2012
Note that little has been said about Security Agent David Ubben who was in the building with Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith who, depending on which reports you believe, opened access to the outside of the burning building, thinking Smith and Stevens were following. They didn’t. Ubben then went back inside to find them. He repeated those attempts several times before collapsing. He was badly injured. His father said he was “blown up twice,” and had several broken bones and shrapnel wounds. According to the Wall Street Journal in an article updated on September 21st, Ubben was released from Intensive Care but remains at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda. I have not found more recent information on his condition. He is 30 or 31 years old, from Maryland, married with a stepdaughter and infant son. At that time, he was conscious and able to communicate, according to his father, Rex Ubben.
Son said it was an attack, not a riot
He said David Ubben described the violence on Sept. 11 as “obviously an attack and not a riot,” and sketched out what appeared to be a sophisticated mortar attack during the second wave of the assault. That took place at another compound where U.S. and Libyan personnel retreated, and resulted in the death of Doherty and Woods.
“What I wanted to know was whether the second part of the attack was pre-planned. The first (mortar) dropped 50 yards short and the next two were right on target,” he said, adding his son “was not conscious for any more.” …
Rex Ubben said his son did not share many details of the attack with him, but added: “He seems to have been blown up twice, and kept going after the first one. … I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to whoever did the first aid the first time, the second time, and maintained the tourniquets until they could get him out of there.”
Ubben said he was bothered that “people do not seem to realize that this was a much bigger disaster for the people of Libya than it was for us, that they were attacked just like we were.” Source: World NewsNBC
I’ve put what I can find about Ubben up front here because there is so little mention of him.
Feb 2011: Gaddafi is still alive in charge of Libya. U.S. State Department withdraws all personnel from Tripoli.
February 12, 2011: Colonel arrives in Libya as the new Commander of the Department of Defense Site Security Team.
April 5, 2011: U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens arrives in Benghazi (now under rebel control) in a chartered boat and a 12-man team. Stevens was a Special Representative to the rebels. His headquarters were in a hotel.
June 1, 2011: A car bomb explodes in the hotel’s parking lot
August 2011: Stevens and his team move to a compound on the West side of Benghazi
October 2011: Gaddhafi is captured and killed
Stevens begins spending more time in Tripoli at the U.S. Embassy there (which was evacuated in February 2011, but he still travels to Benghazi often. The State Department upgrades the security at the Benghazi Consulate but the “safe haven” is designed to delay intruders long enough for help to arrive.
Compound security consists of five diplomatic security special agents and four members of the Libyan government security force known as the 17th February Brigade.
The “Annex” that we’ve heard so much about is one mile away. This is the place where former SEALs Tyrone Wood and Glen Doherty died.
Based in Tripoli, but moving around the country is the Department of Defense Site Security Team (SST) with Col. Woods at the helm – a 16 member team. The Team consisted of Special Operations Soldiers with extra skills to protect the dangerous area. The caliber of the individuals on the team were the “best in the United States,” but they are slated to leave Libya by the end of summer 2012.
Spring 2012: While general lawlessness began to quiet down, targeted attacks toward Westerners were increasing.
April 6, 2012: A bomb is tossed over the wall of the Benghazi Compound. No injuries
June 6, 2012: An IED is placed on the Compound’s north gate. No injuries.
June 11, 2012: The convoy with Great Britain’s Ambassador to Libya is ambushed in Benghazi. Two security aids are injured. Lt. Col. Andrew Wood investigated at the scene. “It was definitely an assassination attempt by skilled operators.”
In past year there have been more than 230 security “incidents” in Libya. Col. Wood believes terrorists are working on increasingly bigger plots.
Wood and Eric Nordstrom, the Regional Security Officer, “implored” the State Department to keep Wood and the SST force in Libya beyond the scheduled August departure. Wood says he and Nordstrom DID NOT request ADDITIONAL security, but rather to keep the existing force in place.
Wood says his Team was only a small part of what the numbers planned to be withdrawn. The State Department’s Mobil Security Detachment (MSD), consisting of Ex-Green Berets, Ex-Navy SEALs were there when Wood arrived in Libya – three MSD teams already on the ground.
August 5, 2012: The State Department makes the decision to withdraw Wood’s SST. The MSD is being reduced. According to Wood, the State Department’s Charlene Lamb denied or ignored his requests to keep his SST in Libya. The withdrawal didn’t have anything to do with funding, according to Wood because his mission was funded by the Department of Defense. That claim was confirmed by Charlene Wood in a House Committee hearing.
At about 10 minutes into the video below, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, says he believes keeping the stronger security forces in Libya appeared to be an admission that conditions on the ground in Libya were not safe, which would have tarnished the world view that Libya had been an Obama administration success.
August 14, 2012: Wood and his team leave Libya. Wood said at that time he expressed specific concerns for Benghazi.
September 10, 2012: Ambassador Chris Stevens arrived in Benghazi for a full day of meetings beginning on the morning of September 11, 2012. This was Stevens’ first time in Benghazi since Wood’s SST left Libya.
September 11, 2012: A mob gathers in Cairo, Egypt at the American Embassy. We’re told the crowd is angry about an anti-Islam film, by a U.S. Coptic Christian man in California. [There is doubt that the crowd has seen the film.]
5:pm EDT: First reports of the Benghazi attack come across “the wire.”
Could the SST have saved lives that night? Sixteen guns from the SST and some members of the MSD are not there. Woods: “the more guns you have in a firefight the better chance you have.”
Beginning at about 12 minutes into the video, Fox News’ Greg Palkot “walks you through a timeline of terror,” that as Bret Baier says, “you won’t soon forget.”
About 8:30 pm Benghazi time: Stevens meet with and then escorts the Turkish Consul General to the gate of the compound.
9:00 pm: All is quiet outside the Consulate walls. Stevens decides to “turn in.” Joining him are Information Management Officer Sean Smith and one diplomatic security agents, David Ubben. Another agent (and possibly a second) is at the nearby Tactical Operation Center (TOC). Two more are in the “small residence,” or Building B, which is also the cafeteria. All agents are armed with pistols.
9:40 pm: An amateur video captures the first movement outside the Compound. The attackers break through the main gate, and then move to the understaffed “mission barracks.” They storm it and torch it. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers are well armed and are flying the black Islamist flag – some have accents foreign to Benghazi.
The agent in the TOC sees and monitors “scores of men pouring into the Compound. He activated available alarms. The State Department’s Charlene Lamb was at work that night. She says the TOC agent also alerted the “Quick Reaction Security Team stationed nearby,” (perhaps the Annex?), the 17th Brigade, the Embassy in Tripoli and the Diplomatic Security Command Center in Washington, D.C.
Back in the residence where Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith are, the Security Agent believed to be David Ubben, comes to Stevens bedroom and takes him and Sean Smith to the “Safe Haven,” a room within the main residence building. In the video, you see Palkot walking through the area, and into the Safe Haven. He says it is little more than a big, dark windowless closet with a locked iron gate.
Ubben radioes other in the Compound and says they “are fine.”
Other Security Agents in the Compound are scrambling amidst gunfire and explosions, gathering machine guns, body armor and ammo from other buildings. Two agents head for the residence and the Safe Haven. They have to divert or face a large group of armed men. The return to their building and barricade themselves.
At this point there are seven Americans at three different locations: Stevens, Smith and Ubben at the main residence, two Special Agents at the second residence and cafeteria, known as Building B, and two more at the TOC. Attackers are all around.
One group penetrates Building B (the small residence and cafeteria), but somehow do not get to the Agents, and they leave.
Inside the main residence where Stevens, Smith and Ubben are hiding, attackers get in an ramsack the place and try to get through the locked gate which leads to the Safe Haven. It’s dark inside. They can’t see anything. They try the lock and can’t break it. On the other side, Agent Ubben has a gun trained on them.
Col. Wood said his SST could have been rescuers for the men inside the Safe Haven, had they still been in Libya.
Attackers poured diesel fuel throughout the residence. As this report tells it, the residence was furnished with “fluffy Mediterranean furniture.” Everything went up in flames and heavy diesel smoke filled the building.
At about 17 minutes into the video begins Agent Ubben’s story, and how he tried to create an escape route for Stevens and Smith.
10:00 pm: The Safe Haven is black with thick smoke and fumes. Ubben, Stevens and Smith move to a bathroom within the “safe” area which has a window. The window is barred, and it won’t open. They drop to the floor tying to find breathable air, but there was none. They decide to leave the Safe Haven and take their chances.
They find another barred window which Ubben was able to open. He crawls out of it, but Stevens and Smith do not follow. Ubben goes back in to the hell hole – in and out several times, but cannot find the Ambassador or Sean Smith. He is overcome with smoke and struggles up a small ladder to a rooftop, collapses and radioes the other agents.
An agent in full combat gear comes from the TOC, throwing a smoke grenade to hide his movements. He goes to Building B and retrieves the two agents still there. The three men get into an armored vehicle parked there and drive to the main residence. They take turns crawling into the building on their hands and knees, trying to find Stevens and Smith. They find Sean Smith, dead, and they pull him out of the building. If there was a seventh man in the TOC he isn’t mentioned again.
At the Annex a mile away there is a small “unit of security,” with six Americans and 16 from the Libyan militia. They arrive at the Consulate Compound. Some surround the Compound. Others go inside the gates. They cannot find Chris Stevens.
11:00 pm: Libyan forces say they can no longer hold the perimeter. The American Agents carry Smith’s body to an armored vehicle and go through the main gate, heading for the Annex. They are fired upon, and two grenades explode under their vehicle. They take direct fire from AK-47s from about two feet away! They have two flat tires, but keep rolling. They finally make it to the Annex with injured Agent David Ubben with them.
September 12, 2012 after midnight: Back at the Compound: Looters find the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens slumped on the floor. They don’t know who he is, but they drag him out through a window. He is alive, eyes dazed, face smoke stained, “seemingly lifeless.”
Palkot: “When someone in the crowd says he’s breathing, the crowd is relieved and cheer ‘Allah Akbar, god is great.’”
About 1 a.m.: Ambassador Stevens is taken by car to the Benghazi Medical Center “where doctors tried desperately to resuscitate him for some 45 minutes. They fail. He dies of severe asphixiation.
Back at the Annex, the battle is on again. Attackers are hitting the place with AK-47s and RPGs forcing those inside to retreat to a building further back in the Annex compound.
Sometime after 1:30 a.m.: At the Benghazi airport, a team of reinforcements arrive from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. They travel to the Annex.
Around 4 a.m.: The Annex compound is hit by another wave of attacks, described as “planned and precise.” A round of mortar fire set well behind the Annex gate turns out to be deadly. Killed in that attack are former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods. Agent Agent David Ubben is badly injured again.
The attackers are repelled. The facility is said to be a place of high security – “a base of Operations for Sensitive Intelligence for tracking militants in Eastern Libya” is secured. The Annex is evacuated.
8:30 a.m.: A second flight leaves with the remaining Americans onboard, plus the bodies of Stevens, Smith, Woods and Doherty and perhaps gravely injured Agent David Ubben
Col. Wood says it would have been his Team’s job to engage the attackers until the Compound could have been secured. He believes, had his SST not been pulled, they could have made a difference.
The question remains: Who calculated that security was not a priority in Benghazi? Remember Hillary saying early on, that there was “robust” security in the Compound? How did Obama and Hillary decide to pound into our consciousness, the idea that an anti-Islam film was to blame? Who prepped U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to also blame the video in her interviews? Why the need to play Fast and Furious with Benghazi?