Someone’s Wrong: CIA and State Dept. Accounts of Benghazi Contradict Gen. Dempsey’s Explanation for Why DOD Sent No Help
(CNSNews.com) – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is telling a different story about Benghazi than the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.
If the story Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is telling is correct, then the story the State Department Accountability Review Board (ARB) and the Central Intelligence Agency have told is not. If the story the State Department and the CIA have told is correct, than Gen. Dempsey is telling an inaccurate story to explain why the Defense Department sent no help to the State Department and CIA personnel who were attacked by terrorists in Libya on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Dempsey said the reason the Defense Department sent no aid to the Americans under attack by terrorists in Benghazi on the night of Sept. 11-12, was because the attack did not last seven hours but was really two 20-minute attacks six hours apart.
However, both a CIA timeline provided last fall by a senior U.S. intelligence official and the report published by the State Department ARB, published in December, contradict Gen. Dempsey’s claim that the Benghazi terrorist attack was two discrete 20-minute battles separated by six hours.
Additionally, an account presented by the Senate Homeland Security Committee in its report on Benghazi also does not comport with General Dempsey’s version of events.
According to these accounts, the first phase of the battle against the Benghazi terrorists lasted roughly three hours and 20 minutes, during which time the terrorists fired at U.S. State Department and CIA personnel at the State Department’s compound in Benghazi, on the road between the State Department compound and the CIA Annex, and at the CIA Annex itself.
The firing on the Annex during this first phase of the battle ceased at about 1:00 a.m. Benghazi time–which was about three hours and twenty minutes after the attack started at about 9:40 pm Benghazi time, and about two and a half hours after Gen. Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had been notified at 10:32 p.m Benghazi time that the attack was happening.
The second phase of the terrorist attack started at about 5:15 a.m. Benghazi time–or about four hours and fifteen minutes after the first phase ended. This second phase lasted about 11 minutes.
An accurate summation of the Sept. 11-12 event in Benghazi, based on the CIA and State Department accounts, is that it was a three hour and 20 minute series of attacks followed four hours and fifteen minutes later by an eleven minute attack. That is significantly different than Gen. Dempsey’s claim–while trying to defend not sending any military assets to the rescue–that Benghazi was two 20 minute battles separated by six hours.
The Benghazi terrorists killed Amb. Chris Stevens and State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith during the first phase of the attack by burning the building in which they were taking refuge. The terrorists killed former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who worked for the CIA, and severely wounded a State Department security officer, in the second phase of the attack when they fired mortars into the CIA Annex.