Leah Barkoukis

While the administration would much prefer that the “false controversy” of Benghazi be swept under a rug, never to be talked about again, Americans know there’s more to the story and want answers. While the Benghazi select committee seems promising, in the meantime, the public became privy to new information on Wednesday that further discredits the White House’s story that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video.

On Fox News’ “Special Report” last night, Bret Baier aired an interview with retired Air Force Major Eric Stahl, who was also the commander and pilot of the plane used to transport not just the 4 Americans that died in the attack on the consulate, but also the remaining consulate staff (including the wounded) from Tripoli to the U.S. base in Ramstein, Germany.

I highly recommend watching the video in its entirety, but here are a couple major takeaways:

- Those who were on the ground in Benghazi knew the attack wasn’t triggered by an Internet video and were “confused” as to why the administration was making that claim.

Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers' higher ups.”

-Once again, we also heard that the U.S. military could have done more to help if they were asked.

Stahl also contended that given his crew’s alert status and location, they could have reached Benghazi in time to have played a role in rescuing the victims of the assault, and ferrying them to safety in Germany, had they been asked to do so. “We were on a 45-day deployment to Ramstein air base,” he told Fox News. “And we were there basically to pick up priority missions, last-minute missions that needed to be accomplished.”

“You would've thought that we would have had a little bit more of an alert posture on 9/11,” Stahl added. “A hurried-up timeline probably would take us [an] hour-and-a-half to get off the ground and three hours and fifteen minutes to get down there. So we could've gone down there and gotten them easily.”

More developments will undoubtedly come as the House committee’s work gets underway in the months ahead.


Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography