First, there appears to have been a tug of war between State and Defense over how the 'rescue forces' should dress.
The report highlights the military's failure to carry out Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's order to deploy forces to Benghazi and the lengthy delay that prevented the military assets from arriving at the embassy in Tripoli until 2 p.m. the day after the Benghazi attack.
"What was disturbing from the evidence the Committee found was that at the time of the final lethal attack at the Annex, no asset ordered deployed by the Secretary had even left the ground," the report states.
Previous accounts blamed the "tyranny of time and distance" plus the failure to have airplanes ready for the significant delay in moving military assets. But the report states conflicting orders from State Department and Pentagon officials over whether Marines should wear military uniforms or civilian attire also played a role. (emphasis added)Really? People are dying and the Foggy Bottom boys (and girls) are worried "diplomatic sensitivities"? Let's put them in a position where they're getting shot at and see if they care what the rescue team is wearing.
In a newly revealed two-hour secure video conference on the night of the attacks led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and attended by Clinton and others, State Department officials raised concerns about the diplomatic sensitivities of the attire to be worn by assets launched.
According to one commander, the report states, as forces prepared to deploy, "during the course of three hours, he and his Marines changed in and out of their uniforms four times." (emphasis added)GMAFB.
Another thing which raised my hackles was this tidbit.
The report also finds that then-Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James Winnefeld, did not participate in the secure call because "he had left to return to his residence to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries." He received one update during the dinner on the attacks.If true, and if there isn't a damn good reason behind his failure to participate, then his military career needs to come to a schreeching halt. I wasn't there, I don't know all the details, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but it just sounds wrong.
Of course, barry and hillary screwed the pooch seven ways from Sunday on this one, but it sure looks like there's plenty of other blame to go around. Regardless of how much ineptness is at the top of the food chain, people need to figure out some way to do their job - or find another one.
I'm so disgusted by everyone involved I need to stop typing now before I blow a gasket...