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OPINION

The “Stand Up” Order That Never Happened in Benghazi

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Before Hillary Clinton opens her mouth to spout her first lie about Benghazi to the Select Committee, she is already guilty of gross dereliction of duty for two major failures: first, she failed to respond to repeated requests for security from our Ambassador in Libya and second, once an entirely predictable assault occurred, she failed to send any assistance to protect Americans in harm’s way.

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Repeatedly, the media and Clinton’s cheerleaders—redundant, I know—try to pass off the former Secretary’s culpability by emphasizing that, the administration did not issue a stand down order to troops attempting to respond to the attack.


But the absence of a stand-down order shows that they’re looking at this completely backwards. In a crisis situation, like an attack on a US Consulate, the first thing you do is find all of the nearest military units and you tell them to pack and launch.


That would be a stand up order and, due to gross negligence, it was never issued for the hours-long duration of the attack.


Based on evidence revealed by investigations so far, not a single US asset was alerted or even told to prepare—let alone told to move toward the sound of gunfire. And let’s be clear, there were multiple units available that could have gotten there before the end of the fight and possibly in time to save the lives of Ambassador Stevens and the others.


There were Special Ops troops in country who were not sent. There was the 10th Special Forces Group door-kickers, a mere hours away in Croatia. In this situation, any armed US military presence would have been appropriate to send. At a bare minimum, they could have done overflights by US aircraft to give the attackers the idea they were about to get some hellfire raining down on them. But the phone never rang at any of those units.

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That is a command failure that Hillary owns as the State Department’s top executive. There should have been flurries of communications going to anyone she thought could possibly assist, but there is no record of her asking anyone for any help at all for the people she put in harm’s way. If she’d done her duty, she would be showering the Benghazi Committee with copies of all these requests. But there weren’t any.


She should have been relieved for cause as soon as this was determined. But her boss, President Obama, seems to have been even more conspicuously absent. There are no records of him talking to anyone about anything, no phone calls, no messages. He deserves the same level of scrutiny but, thus far, a compliant media has allowed him to escape the consequences of his inaction.


Part of the problem may have been the nature of the actions happening in Benghazi. They were related to gathering weapons from the now defunct Qaddafi regime and shipping them off to the friendly and helpful rebels in Syria. It is one thing to divert attention from these secret (if completely misguided) types of covert operations. But that is completely different from failing to take a single step to save the US personnel you sent on that mission when the enemy is lobbing mortar rounds into their compound. That is disgraceful and unforgivable.

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So she is guilty on both counts of gross dereliction of duty: one for failing to give the Ambassador the security he asked for and so obviously needed, and second for abandoning our people on the field of battle. She left them undefended and failed to call for a stand up order to rescue them. Nothing she says changes those two indisputable facts. Those alone render her absolutely unfit to serve as president, let alone as Commander in Chief of our military.

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