On September 11, 2001, President George H. Bush was
reading along with a group of schoolchildren at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota County, Florida, when White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card informed him that a second airplane had just hit the World Trade Center. Bush remained seated for roughly seven minutes, and followed along as the children read the book. After spending about twenty minutes total with the children, Bush was scheduled to give a short press conference at about 9:30 a.m. At the conference inside the school, Bush made his first speech about the attacks and was later taken to a secure location by the Secret Service aboard Air Force One before returning to the White House later that evening.
Bush’s critics, notably Michael Moore in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, have argued that the fact that Bush continued reading the book after being notified that the attack was ongoing shows that he was indecisive.
We heard about this ad nauseam for years.
What was Bush supposed to do? The aircraft had already crashed. No one knew what might come next. Things were still chaotic, and information – verified information – was hard to come by.
On September 11, 2012, President Barack Obama was in the White House when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorist forces at about 9:40PM local time, about 3:40PM in D.C. According to the Washington Post:
About a half-hour after militants overran the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last month, the State Department notified officials at the White House and elsewhere that the compound was “under attack” by about 20 armed assailants, e-mails obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday show.
Two hours later, the State Department reported that the Libyan militia group Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and had also called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
“Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well,” the center wrote at 4:05 p.m, or 10:05 p.m. Libyan time.
A Predator drone already on station over Libya was directed over the Consulate to observe, providing a live feed to Washington. The U.S. had forces at bases in Italy, just an hour away by air – less, if fighter jets had been dispatched.
The emails sent to Washington were not just plain, everyday emails. They were marked with priorities that got them to the front of the line and to the White House.
By 11PM Benghazi time the fighting at the Consulate was over. The ambassador and one other were dead, but the ambassador’s body had not been found yet. Some of the personnel, with the body of one deceased American, relocated to a “safe house” some distance away. At 2AM the safe house came under attack. After about an hour’s fighting, two more Americans were dead.
Approximately five hours elapsed between the beginning of the conflict and the deaths of the last two Americans. The email notifications arrived in Washington, and the Predator drone arrived overhead in Benghazi during the first hour of the conflict. If President Obama was not made aware of the situation during that first hour, then his entire staff is incompetent. If he was made aware before the deaths of the last two Americans and took no action…
When will Michael Moore and the rest of the Left declare Obama indecisive?
Edited to add this:
The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.
According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.
But no one would authorize anything.