The Washington Times reports that contrary to what Barack Obama and Leon Panetta have said, there were 8 special forces commandos in Tripoli the night of the attack, just 400 miles away. They were made up of Delta Force, the country’s leading counterterrorism force and Green Berets. Two of the Delta Forces volunteered to go to Benghazi, along with 5 private contractors. Both have been quietly awarded medals for their bravery for turning back the attackers. Delta Force is trained as a quick response force and assuming they could be ready in an hour, they could have been in Benghazi within three hours. This bolsters testimony given by Gregory Hicks that Lt Steve Gibson was prepared to relieve Benghazi, but was told to stand down. Pentagon spokesman, Major Rob Firman, stated:
“They weren’t told to stand down. They were simply told not to go to Benghazi. They were told to go to the airport in Tripoli to provide security there.”
The administration was able to hide the involvement of Delta Force using vague wording. The timeline mentioned that the relief flight from Tripoli contained ” two Department of Defense ” employees. The official State Department report on Benghazi mentioned “2 Department of Defense workers”, but conveniently left out the fact that they were special forces. The Washington Times reports that sources directly familiar with the attack, told them there was a force of eight men made up of Delta Force and Green Berets, who were in Tripoli to confiscate weapons and to abduct terrorists, as well as helping to train Libyan forces. The two special operations soldiers arrived in time to drive the terrorists back and to avoid further casualties. Both men were awarded medals for valor for the engagement. One source told the Times:
“Yes, we had special forces in Tripoli, and two in fact did volunteer and engaged heroically in the efforts to save Americans. The others were asked to stay behind to help protect Tripoli in case there was a coordinated attack on our main embassy. “The remaining [forces] were ready to dispatch the next morning, but by that time American personnel had been evacuated to the airport, local militias had provided additional security and it was determined there was no need for them to be dispatched at that point.”
The Pentagon claims that they did not disclose the actions of the two commandos because we didn’t have a Status of Forces Agreement in place. But the Libyan government warned of the attack and at that time was amendable to aiding the United States. That night has become famous for what the administration and the Pentagon did not do, which is to send troops and warplanes from outside the country. The fact that the two did make it to Benghazi, undercuts the carefully controlled message from the White House in the weeks leading up to the election. The administration has already admitted that parts of the story they told was “misleading.” What else is there we don’t know? Retired Army Col. Ken Allard observed:
“On the one hand, it is an indictment of the lack of contingency planning by both CIA and DoD, especially given the rising threat profiles in Libya that were well understood — and appropriately reported back to D.C. by agency reps on the ground. So why weren’t there more than just two Delta Force guys to send? Above all: Where were the air and naval resources that should have routinely been included in any contingency planning worthy of the name?”
The originally story put out by the White House through Susan Rice, was that it was a demonstration against a twelve-minute Internet film, even though they knew almost immediately that it was terrorists. The administration also said there were no assets in the area, which the latest revelations reveal as less than honest. Deputy chief of station in Tripoli, Gregory Hicks, sent the reinforcements in cooperation with the CIA. That means on a night when Panetta claimed he didn’t have enough information to commit troops, Hicks thought he did. There are no official reports on what the two did, but we do know that another person from that flight, ex-SEAL Glen Doherty, was on the roof manning a machine gun until three mortar shells landed on the roof, killing him and Woods. It looks like someone has some explaining to do.