Well… Had John Q. Public been made aware from day one that Obama was absent from the War Room during the Benghazi attack, I seriously doubt he’d be sitting in the White House, right now.
When I get a chance, I’m going to go back and review some comments Obama made during the debates. Seems to me that I remember Obama implying that he was in control of the entire situation. So, someone’s bending the truth, here. Somewhere…
Anyway, I think I can sum this up with the following cartoon:
Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi
By Daniel Halper – The Weekly Standard blog
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified [yesterday] on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:
Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o’clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, “up to us.”
In fact, Panetta says that the night of 9/11, he did not communicate with a single person at the White House. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Obama did not call or communicate in anyway with the defense secretary that night. There were no calls about what was going on in Benghazi. He never called to check-in.
The 5 o’clock meeting was a pre-scheduled 30-minute session, where, according to Panetta’s recollection, they spent about 20 minutes talking a lot about the American embassy that was surrounded in Egypt and the situation that was just unfolding in Benghazi.
As Bill Kristol wrote in the month after the attack, “Panetta’s position is untenable: The Defense Department doesn’t get to unilaterally decide whether it’s too risky or not to try to rescue CIA operators, or to violate another country’s air space. In any case, it’s inconceivable Panetta didn’t raise the question of what to do when he met with the national security adviser and the president at 5 p.m. on the evening of September 11 for an hour. And it’s beyond inconceivable he didn’t then stay in touch with the White House after he returned to the Pentagon.”
Okay, I took a look at the 2nd debate transcript. Obama sort of starts off in the present-tense, but soon switches to past-tense, then future-tense:
So as soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national security team and I gave them three instructions.
Number one, beef up our security and procedures, not just in Libya, but at every embassy and consulate in the region.
Number two, investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us, to make sure folks are held accountable and it doesn’t happen again.
And number three, we are going to find out who did this and we’re going to hunt them down, because one of the things that I’ve said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we go after them.
Basically, if you parse his language, he’s saying that he found out Benghazi was being overrun while it was occurring, but he’s lying about when he gave those instructions to his “national security team” (whoever-the-hell they might be).
His instructions are clearly given after the fact.
Ergo, he knew about Benghazi when it was going down, but decided it was unimportant. So, he headed off to “wherever” and didn’t give it a second thought until he later found out that Ambassador Stevens and others had been killed.
Yup. Empty chair.