Leon Panetta Confirms Lack of Ongoing Communication Between President Obama and Other Key Cabinet Members During Night of Benghazi Attack

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275432/Panetta-President-Obama-absent-night-Benghazi-attack-did-check-night-deadly-terror-assault.html#axzz2KKp5dSxD

Panetta: President Obama was absent night of Benghazi attack and did not check in once during the night of the deadly terror assault

By James Nye

PUBLISHED: 01:43 EST, 8 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:18 EST, 8 February 2013

The outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed on Thursday that President Obama was absent the night of the lethal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya – despite being told that the attack was occurring.

Speaking in front of senators investigating the terror assault which saw four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens lose their lives, Panetta said that Mr. Obama did not call or communicate with his defense secretary that night either.

According to his testimony, Panetta said that he met with the president at 5.00 p.m. on September 11th and went through a meeting that lasted 30 minutes during which he informed Mr. Obama of the incident before he left the Department of Defense for the evening and did not check back in.

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senators on Thursday that President Barack Obama was absent the night U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Libya Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senators on Thursday that President Barack Obama was absent the night U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Libya

According to Panetta’s recollection the two spent around 20 minutes discussing events at the American embassy in Egypt that was surrounded at the time and the situation that had just begun to unfold in Benghazi.

‘A Defense Department timeline says that Panetta and Dempsey had been informed of the terrorist attack in Benghazi at 4:32 p.m.–28 minutes before they went into their meeting with Obama,’ according to CNS News.

‘At today’s hearing, Panetta said he informed Obama of the attack when they entered their 5:00 p.m. meeting.

‘That was one hour and 18 minutes after the attack started and while it was ongoing.’

Leon Panetta said that he and the President went through a 30 minute meeting knowing that the Benghazi attack had begun - but that was the last contact he had with Mr. Obama that evening Leon Panetta said that he and the President went through a 30 minute meeting knowing that the Benghazi attack had begun – but that was the last contact he had with Mr. Obama that evening

Panetta said to Senator Kelly Ayotte, that President Obama left operational details for Benghazi ‘up to us’ – implying that the situation was under the control of Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

‘Did you have any further communications with him that night?’ Senator Ayotte asked.

‘No,’ Panetta replied.

‘Did you have any other further communications? Did he ever call you that night to say how are things going, what’s going on, where’s the consulate?’ she followed-up with.

‘No,’ Panetta said in response. ‘But we were aware as we were getting information about what was taking place there, particularly when we got information that the ambassador, his life had been lost, we were aware that that information went to the White House.’

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi claimed the lives of four Americans on September 11th 2012The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi claimed the lives of four Americans on September 11th 2012
Under attack: An armed man waves takes a picture as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11Under attack: An armed man waves takes a picture as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11

In addition, Panetta admitted to Senator Ayotte that there was no communication with anyone at the White House and that no one from the White House called for an update on the situation.

It was also revealed that neither the Secretary of Defense nor the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton once during the eight-hour attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

‘In between 9:42 p.m., Benghazi time, when the first attacks started, and 5:15 am, when Mr. Doherty and Mr. Woods lost their lives, what conversations did either of you have with Secretary Clinton?’ asked Senator Ted Cruz.

Ambassador Chris Stevens died in the attack - At Thursday's hearing, Panetta said he informed Obama of the attack when they entered their 5:00 p.m. meeting. That was one hour and 18 minutes after the attack started and while it was ongoingAmbassador Chris Stevens died in the attack – At Thursday’s hearing, Panetta said he informed Obama of the attack when they entered their 5:00 p.m. meeting. That was one hour and 18 minutes after the attack started and while it was ongoing

‘We did not have any conversations with Secretary Clinton,’ said Panetta.

General Dempsey also said he had no conversations with the former Secretary of State.

‘And General Dempsey, the same is true for you?’ Cruz asked. Dempsey confirmed this.

VIDEO Panetta: Obama was absent the night of Benghazi attack

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Posted on February 8, 2013, in Politics, US Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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