Newly declassified documents reveal that high-ranking members of the Obama administration were aware that the September 11, 2012 assault on the American consulate in Benghazi was a “terrorist attack” only minutes after the battle began.
In classified testimony given on June 26, 2013 to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Gen. Carter Hamm, former head of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) revealed he was the one who broke the news to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Hamm testified that he learned about the attack only 15 minutes after it began at 9:42 p.m. Libya time. Thus, the administration’s carefully crafted narrative that the attack was based on a video has once again been revealed for the lie it always was.
“My first call was to General Dempsey, General Dempsey’s office, to say, ‘Hey, I am headed down the hall. I need to see him right away,’” the General told lawmakers. “I told him what I knew. We immediately walked upstairs to meet with Secretary Panetta.” Hamm characterized the ability to meet with both men so soon after the attack occurred as a fortunate “happenstance” because “they had the basic information as they headed across for the meeting at the White House.”
That meeting had been pre-scheduled with the president for 5 p.m. EST. A Defense Department (DOD) timeline notes that the meeting occurred one hour and 18 minutes after the attack began, and even as the battle at the consulate was ongoing. The DOD also revealed that an unarmed drone arrived over the battlefield during that time. As both men revealed in subsequent testimony, the meeting with the president lasted approximately 30 minutes—after which they never heard from anyone in the White House again.
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