Embassy Attacks

President Obama Had One Conversation With Leon Panetta on the Day of the Benghazi Attack

Lindsey Graham got visibly upset asking about the lack of response or interest from the president


hem, haw

In today's hearing on Benghazi at the Senate Armed Forces Committee, New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte asked about the president's personal involvement, finding out that the president only had one conversation with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta or General Martin Dempsey on 9/11, the day of the Benghazi attack. In that conversation, according to Panetta, President Obama told them to "do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people". The president didn't, according to Panetta, ask for any specifics on what kind of response was possible. And, as Ayotte found out, the president never called to follow up. "The biggest problem that night… was that nobody knew really what was going on," Panetta said.  Dempsey noted that follow up came from White House staff, "the way it would normally work."

After a line of questioning about cyber security and some sort of cyber ROTC idea from New York Democrat Kirsten Gillebrand, Lindsey Graham picked up where Ayotte left off, confirming the president only had one conversation with Panetta and Dempsey on 9/11 about the unfolding attack in Benghazi. Further, he found out no defense assets were launched to respond to the attack in real time. Visibly upset, Graham asked Dempsey: "is there a saying in the military, when you go in harm's way, we've got your back? …Don't you think that saying's been undermined here?"

Graham question Panetta's assertion that "the president of the United States was concerned about American lives," saying he didn't consider it a "credible statement" if the president never called to ask if the Americans on the ground in Benghazi were being helped or what was happening to them. Nevertheless, Graham trusts the same president and government to judiciously kill American citizens.

Watch the hearing live here.


NEXT: Criticism over Possible Post Office Delivery Cutbacks

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. No wonder they swept this under the as fast as they could.

  2. You know who else went to sleep and left orders not to be disturbed?

    1. Rumplestiltskin?

      1. Or maybe Rip van Winkle.

  3. “The biggest problem that night? was that nobody knew really what was going on,”

    Oh fuck you. The US Military has enough surveillance capability to read the license plate off a truck in Nepal on command. We knew exactly what was going on, and we knew our Ambassador and the Embassy was under attack.

    I don’t understand why Panetta is still covering for Obama and Shrillary. They must have something bad about him they are keeping under wraps, because he’s leaving and he’s still playing the “well shit happened man” excuse.

    1. Any Dem who throws BO under the bus is going to have no future and no influence in the Party. Panetta probably has unemployed nephews who could use a party job.

    2. Being a traitor means less speaking gigs and some bullshit made-up job at a think tank.

  4. To be fair, I seriously doubt that BO being more involved in the operation would have actually helped matters at all. We’d probably be better off as a country if he locked himself in the White House bathroom and refused to talk to anyone for the next four years.

    1. Except only the president can give orders to send armed forces into a country we are not at war with, which would have been required to defend and rescue the personnel under attack.

    2. What are you talking about Tulpa? Obama personally killed bin Laden in a hand-to-hand deathmatch. Obama was totally gonna let him live after taking him down, but bin Laden pulled out a hidden weapon so Obama had to use the three-finger death touch that his Sensei forbade him from ever using, so he could save the country.

    3. On September 11, 2012 General Carter Ham, AFRICOM Commander, was relieved of command and reportedly arrested.

      Only 2 people in the world could give that order. The Sec Def or the President. Which one and why?

      1. “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

        1. If I ever stand trial, I will answer every question that way.

  5. Sort of OT: The Ultimate Slate Article has finally be published. They’ve peaked. We’ve hit Peak Slate!

    Could Climate Change Be Al-Qaida’s Best Friend in Africa?

    1. Holy shit, if you doubt AGW, the terrorists will win!
      You’re right, I seriously don’t see how they top themselves after this one.

      1. How about same article, only linking AGW to not just terrorism but the War on Wimmens courtesy of Double X.

    2. Nothing about racism? They can do better.

      1. They are suggesting that black people are going to spend more time killing each other because it’s slightly hotter maybe kinda.

        Sounds racist as fuck to me.

        1. Well, fine. I still don’t see anything about sexism in there.

          1. “And the Rethugligican refusal to provide free birth will guarantee that more unwanted children will be born who will then grow up to spend all of their time killing each other.”


            1. *free birth control


            2. Don’t even have to wait until they’re grown up because we are now providing military aid and training to countries who use child soldiers.


    3. *facepalm* What the fuck? No RACISM or WAR ON WYMMINZ worked in just for good measure? I am disappoint.

  6. He was too busy reading “My Pet Drone” to Sasha’s class. Or fundraising in Vegas, I forget.

  7. Tony: GGGnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhh….

    1. That was supposed to be in response to Nutrasweets Slate link

  8. Every morning I wake and then fall to my knees, thanking God that his dear son, Barack Hussein Obama has stepped down from on high to bless us all with his presidency. Dear Lord, thank you so much for placing an adult in charge as our dearest, blessed leader. I sleep soundly knowing that the fate of the country and of the world is safely guided by the hands of the blessed Obama.

  9. In that conversation, according to Panetta, President Obama told them to “do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people”.

    I’ve heard of deligating authority before, but holy shit, not even a follow up? Not even a phone call: “Hey, Leon, how’s that Benghazi situation going? Have our people been rescued, or what?” This is a little beyond deligation of authority, this smacks of attempting to delegate responsibility. Newsflash asshole: YOU’RE THE FUCKING PRESIDENT, AT LEAST TRY TO ACT LIKE IT ONCE IN A WHILE! Shithead.

    1. The man has NO, as in ZERO, as in NONE, NADA, executive experience so what would you expect?

      Plus he looks like a fag. Not that there is anything wrong with looking like a fag or being a fag, unless you literally swing the biggest dick on the globe. In which case looking like a fag isn’t a good thing because nobody takes you seriously even if you double dog dare them.

  10. “The president didn’t, according to Panetta, ask for any specifics on what kind of response was possible”

    You will recall from the original version of this movie, “Iran-Contra Affair V1”, that the best defense for a president is to REMAIN AS IGNORANT AS POSSIBLE, so that there is some provable degree of plausible deniability. Let the CIA and some subordinates get to answer awkward questions, admit mistakes were made, and then the Pres can step in and fire a few people and tut tut this sort of thing and issue some sincere regrets, and then Move On along with the American people, because What Else Is There To Do at this point? MOVE ON.

    I will bet no one bothered to ask a single question about what the fuck Amb Stevens was doing in Benghazi. All anyone wants to do on the Dem side is change the subject (Cyber ROTC? WTF), and all anyone on the GOP side wants to do is make Obama look bad – not actually get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi or why, and whether anything perhaps less-than-legal was going on.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.