On 25 October, Leon Panetta stated:
“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”
On 26 October, multiple sources from the military and intelligence agencies (almost certainly CIA) call BS on Panetta, providing chapter and verse on all the sources of real time information available to Panetta and the Pentagon, Patraeus, and the White House. One of the sources was on the ground in Benghazi.
There were drones in the air. There was a trained special operator on the roof of the annex lazing targets (while manning a machine gun). CIA personnel were in constant radio contact with their commanders. They were providing the coordinates of the mortars firing on the annex.
In brief, Panetta and others in DC had about as good real time information as you can possibly expect in a combat situation. Certainty? No: that’s not possible. But it is hard to imagine having better information. So not “knowing what’s going on” is not a valid excuse.
Is it a coincidence that multiple sources unloaded these devastating details the day after Panetta spoke?
I think not. The events themselves, the coverup (of which Panetta’s remarks are a part), and the attempts to pin blame on the intelligence agencies have no doubt made very many people very angry. People who know things.
Count on more fire to come.