Thanks to 9News and Kyle Clark for the video and interview.
Released Transcript here [emphasis added]:
KYLE CLARK: Were they denied requests for help during the attack?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we are finding out exactly what happened. I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.
As I’ve pointed out before, Obama has already admitted that he knows who at the State Department denied security requests – why is he saying he needs to find out?
Two things worth noting there. One: In claiming that he needs to “find out exactly what happened,” he’s professing ignorance about the distress calls. Remember that if/when it comes out later that he had earlier notice than we thought. Two: The first “directive” makes it sound like he’s blaming someone else for not informing him sooner so that he could send the help needed. Is that a reference to the CIA? If so, David Petraeus is prepared for it: Per Bill Kristol, he just threw Obama under the bus.
CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood said, “We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”
If CIA didn’t give the order to stand down, who did? Panetta? In that case, why is the Secretary of Defense being called on to make a snap decision on a sudden military intervention in the middle of an international crisis? To put it differently, if O’s excuse is that no one gave him a heads up while this was going on — for hours — why didn’t he get that heads up? “The ambassador is under siege by jihadists in Libya and his security detail is requesting assistance” sounds exactly like the sort of thing you’d get in the fabled 3 a.m. phone call. How come someone other than O took the call, if that’s what in fact happened? Was he busy with something more important, like a fundraiser in Vegas?