As we've noted, there was a steady stream of intelligence reporting on the attack, delivered at the FLASH/CRITIC level. Messages assigned that priority must be delivered to the President within 10 minutes of receipt. This traffic captured conversations between the Islamist factions responsible for the attack, before and during the assault on our compound. That's why administration claims that incident was some sort of "demonstration gone bad" are nothing more than a lie.
Ditto for Joe Biden's claim that Benghazi was some sort of intelligence failure. By all accounts, the spooks did their job, and it was apparent within minutes that our consulate was under attack by terrorists, not ordinary Libyans incensed over that internet video. If Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has any shred of integrity remaining, he should resign immediately in protest over how his community is being "used" to conceal leadership failures of the first magnitude.
But terrorist phone traffic wasn't the only source of information on the night of September 11, 2012. According to Fox News military analyst Colonel David Hunt (who spent most of his Army career in special forces), various U.S. command centers--in the U.S. and overseas--received a running account of the attack --while it unfolded--from a State Department official inside the consulate. Hunt detailed who was listening in during a recent interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr. Here's a partial transcript of their recent conversation, re-posted at FreeRepublic.com:
HUNT: What happened is that a woman named Lamb, Undersecretary of State for DSS (Department of State Security), 2 days ago, told Issa's committee that she listened, was talking to, and recorded an almost six hour fight that resulted in the death of four Americans. She was at the State Department's Operations Center in Foggy Bottom in DC.
When that happens, there are a bunch of people that get informed. President of the US gets found---- the embassy is being attacked---Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of CIA, and on and on.
What also happens is that their command centers, National Command Center (CIA), White House Situation Room--- twelve [Command Centers] that I won't bore you with. At least twelve separate Command Centers are listening to the same conversation. It went on for six hours. The question I think, besides the fact that Biden is lying about it, is Why didn't we do anything? Why didn't the United States government react?
Here we are, listening to an attack, and we didn't do a thing. We've got aircraft in Europe, aircraft in the in the Gulf, and we have the capability of doing something, and we did nothing. But for the Vice President...My point is everybody, from the moment the attack happened, in our government, and the decision-making capability, knew that it was an attack, that it was organized, that it was violent, and that it had nothing, nothing to do with a riot, an assembly of people, or a film.
This was not even close to an intelligence failure. This was prescient, actionable information. And this woman testified to it, and everyone's giving everyone a pass.
We sat by and watched the Embassy fall, and four Americans died.
Carr: Who was on the radio in the consulate in Benghazi?
HUNT: Department of State Security employee -- a DSS agent was at the operation center in Benghazi. They had a room with radios and cameras. And he makes the call; he punches the alert button. Does everything correct and calls his boss in DC.
Then he describes the attack for the whole time, until that the command center is overcome. But when she
[Lamb] gets the phone call….
Carr: He's killed. He's killed. He's at the radio when he gets killed. Is that right?
HUNT: The radio stays open. It's still being recorded until it gets destroyed.
Lamb, who is in DC listening to all of this--- Clinton gets called, the President gets called, the Joint Chiefs---everybody gets called about this. This is an embassy under attack. Period. It's an automatic phone call.
And the fact that we have this recording, instantly. We know exactly the picture. By the way, he sent pictures back because he had cameras.
So, the administration knew; they watched it, let it happen, and then for eight days lied about it. And then yesterday, last night, unfortunately, the Vice President of the US just lied. He knows it was not an intelligence failure. No one ever said that, by the way. This is a case where we have information and didn't act. It wasn't a case where we weren’t provided [info]. We had instant knowledge, accurate description, and just sat by and did nothing.
Carr: You said there were a dozen posts listening to this play by play account.
Carr: Just give me a few examples of what kind of agencies would have been involved in this listening or monitoring.
HUNT: National Military Command Center in the Pentagon (that's the military head), the White House Situation Room, the CIA Operations Center, the Counterterrorism Center, EUCON (European Command). Africa Command, Special Operations Command, SOC-EUR [?] Special Operations Command Europe), Atlantic Command, NATO. Everybody.
Once this call is made, and a button is pushed, saying, oh by the way, we have an attack going on, everybody listens in --- this is old tech, an old procedure that’s been going on for years. Anybody who has ever been on a watch listening in the military knows what I am talking about. And it is amazing to me that this is not even being discussed. It is the elephant in the living room for me. We knew this was going on and did nothing.
Carr: Let's say, let's say there's the African Command and some sergeant is monitoring it, and you know, he's there and he listens to what's going on, and he says, captain come over and listen to this. And the captain listens to it, and I guess the captain would have to call his superior officer, right? And then at some point , wouldn't all these people be calling the Pentagon or the State Department in Foggy Bottom and say, Hey there's a problem in Benghazi. What are we gonna do?
HUNT: Within minutes that happens. It's instantaneous notification of an entire chain of command. An embassy is under attack and falling.And oh, by the way, turn to channel 27, and here's the information. And then these separate places are asking for – some cases begging for--- guidance. What do you want us to do? Because the military guys, whether it's in Bahrain or Europe, or any place else, can't on their own just go in there, but we have the means available. The point is that nobody pushed the button to say "GO." Nobody had the guts. Nobody cared enough. Six hours"
Meanwhile, the National Security Agency (NSA) was adding even more detail to the picture, through its communications intercepts and reporting. So, as the attack unfolded, administration officials not only knew what was going on inside the consulate, they had a good idea of who was behind the incident, and were quite aware the sophisticated attack (using RPGs and other heavy weapons) was not the work of an angry mob.
Yet, the administration continued to lie, as evidenced by Joe Biden's whoppers last week, and the "video" story that made the rounds last month. Such conduct is inexcusable, and beyond the pale by any stretch of political imagination. Yet the same media that worried about George Bush's "lies" in Iraq have exhibited far less concern about the fabrications that followed the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, including the administration's refusal to describe the incident as a terrorist attack for nearly two weeks.
Go figure. .