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Mark Caserta: Obama failed to act swiftly in Benghazi

Nov. 01, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Despite an irresponsible lack of coverage by the liberal media, the details of "Benghazi-gate" are now beginning to reveal the Obama administration was negligent in protecting the lives of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other colleagues at our U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Last week, a CBS report revealed an unmanned drone and other reconnaissance aircraft observed the final hours of the siege on our consulate in real time.

"They stood, and they watched, and our people died," former CIA commander Gary Bertsten told CBS news in reference to the deadly attack.

Reportedly, Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships were stationed at nearby bases and could have provided support to our endangered Americans, who were brutally murdered by terrorists armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

A series of internal State Department emails obtained by Fox News also show that officials knew within hours of the attack that an al Qaeda-linked group had claimed responsibility.

This information contrasts the claims by President Obama, Vice President Biden and other senior officials that the attacks were the result of an obscure YouTube video.

The timeline of events paints a horrifying picture.

On Sept. 11, at about 10 p.m. Libyan time, Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff were inside our consulate in Benghazi when terrorists attacked.

The consulate staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli. The White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and numerous military headquarters reportedly monitored the entire battle in real time via phone calls and video from the drone overhead.

It's inconceivable that our commander in chief and his national security team could be in the White House situation room listening to the terrified calls for help from Americans under attack and watching a live video feed from the drone circling overhead, and the president did nothing to provide them immediate military aid!

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wants answers.

Last Thursday in a letter to the White House, Boehner called for President Obama to address lingering questions about the deadly attack.

"The American public is increasingly reading information contradicting early accounts by your administration of the causes of the events of the day," Boehner's letter states. "In the absence of your direct engagement to clarify these concerns, the public's frustration and confusion is likely to discredit efforts to achieve our shared goals of justice and accountability for the direct assault on American interests and the deaths of four public servants."

Numerous are the failures of the Obama administration, but none is more tragic or more foreboding of foreign policy catastrophe than the appalling handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

This was the anniversary of the day that changed America's attitude toward democracy and freedom, yet we saw another lack of preparedness result in more deaths.

No diversions from this administration or lack of media reporting will preclude the American people from finding out the facts -- facts which could indeed bring scandal to the Obama presidency just days before the November election.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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