By far the most important issue in Benghazi is not the cover up. It is the failure to make any attempt to rescue those in the consulate calling for help and left to die at the hands of a known enemy.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated assistance was not provided because they did not know “what was happening on the ground.” Another excuse was that since the attacks only lasted seven hours, we could not have been there in time. This is irrelevant, as at the inception of the attacks no one knew whether the attacks would last seven hours or seven days.
Never in our history has not knowing “what was happening on the ground” been a reason to abrogate our long-standing military tradition of “no man left behind.”
As a former fighter pilot, I knew if I were shot down behind enemy lines, our military would make every effort to bring us home. They would risk numerous lives to prevent one man from falling into the hands of the enemy.
It was criminal to leave those in Benghazi to die without making any effort to save them. I would direct one question to Panetta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the chief of staff: Who authorized two orders to “stand down” as referred to by Panetta and Gregory Hicks?
Harold H. Dean