The latest Benghazi revelations come from Fox News and dropped on Friday afternoon. Rather than allow a late-August scoop to wither and disappear over the weekend, I figured that a Monday morning might serve as a more effective platform to highlight it. At a moment when criticism is mounting over the glaring lack of accountability over the terrorist attack that killed four Americans -- including sitting US Ambassador Chris Stevens -- nearly one year ago, this report raises additional questions about the Obama administration's judgment and decision-making process. Inexplicable:
Two weeks after the Obama administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently. Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could "never pull the trigger." In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department -- and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7...The special operators are starting to get frustrated at the lack of action, and Fox News has been told by multiple sources that one special forces leader "literally yelled" at former Libyan Chief of Mission William Roebuck "and told him, 'so you're willing to let these guys get away with murder?'" The outburst was "met with crickets," the sources said. Asked about what actions have been taken on the suspects, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.
Pentagon officials disputed what the operators in question are claiming, saying that group was not specifically tasked with finding the Libyan suspects responsible for the Benghazi attack. These officials said other forces out of Fort Bragg are tasked with that mission, and they are not leaving. Pentagon officials also say the trainers, which were authorized by Congress under part of the defense budget to facilitate training of Libyans for counterterrorism, were not there to track the Benghazi suspects. They insist congressional funding is very clear in its mission: for training locals in counterterrorism. However, special operators in the region counter the claims and suggest the Pentagon and State Department are playing with words, saying those being pulled are in fact tasked with both training the Libyans and identifying Benghazi attack suspects. "The training is partly a cover and some of these guys ... provided the information on suspects directly to U.S. military commanders and the U.S. State Department last November and again in January. They are there and trained to find, fix and finish," one said.
Months after video, photo and voice documentation on the Benghazi suspects was first presented to high-level military leaders, the State Department and ultimately the White House, prison breaks in the country have eroded security. U.S. special forces have now been relegated to a "villa," a stopover for the operators before they're shipped out of the country entirely. "We put American special operations in harm's way to develop a picture of these suspects and to seek justice and instead of acting, we stalled. We just let it slip and pass us by and now it's going to be much more difficult," one source said, citing 1,200 prisoners escaping two weeks ago. "It's already blowing up. Daily assassinations, bi-weekly prison escapes, we waited way too long."
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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