Obama did not deny request for assistance from Benghazi diplomats says aide

Rick Moran
So says Obama's national security aide. Associated Press:

The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th.

"Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

Fox News Channel reported Friday that American officials in the compound repeatedly asked for military help during the assault but were rebuffed by CIA higher-ups. At a press briefing one day earlier, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, asked why there had not been a quicker, more forceful response to the assault, complained of "Monday-morning quarterbacking." Panetta said he and top military commanders had judged it too dangerous to send troops to the eastern Libyan city without a clearer picture of events on the ground.

The "basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place," he said during a joint question-and-answer session with Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

[...]

But Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, in a post published Friday, doubted Panetta's explanation and said the fault must lie with Obama himself. "Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No," Kristol wrote. "It would have been a presidential decision."

"He's wrong," said Vietor.

Passing the buck back to DoD. But the Pentagon has denied it turned down any requests also, as did the CIA.

Just who in hell is in charge over there?


So says Obama's national security aide. Associated Press:

The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th.

"Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

Fox News Channel reported Friday that American officials in the compound repeatedly asked for military help during the assault but were rebuffed by CIA higher-ups. At a press briefing one day earlier, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, asked why there had not been a quicker, more forceful response to the assault, complained of "Monday-morning quarterbacking." Panetta said he and top military commanders had judged it too dangerous to send troops to the eastern Libyan city without a clearer picture of events on the ground.

The "basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place," he said during a joint question-and-answer session with Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

[...]

But Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, in a post published Friday, doubted Panetta's explanation and said the fault must lie with Obama himself. "Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No," Kristol wrote. "It would have been a presidential decision."

"He's wrong," said Vietor.

Passing the buck back to DoD. But the Pentagon has denied it turned down any requests also, as did the CIA.

Just who in hell is in charge over there?