NSC: No Requests For Benghazi Aid Were Denied By White House
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor says there was no denial of aid for Benghazi during the attack on the American compound. Vietor says, “Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi.”
At a press briefing [Thursday], Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, asked why there had not been a quicker, more forceful response to the assault, complained of “Monday-morning quarterbacking.” Panetta said he and top military commanders had judged it too dangerous to send troops to the eastern Libyan city without a clearer picture of events on the ground.
The “basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” he said during a joint question-and-answer session with Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey.
“As a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation,” Panetta said. General Carter Ham commands the U.S. Africa Command.
And the CIA has denied that anyone in its chain of command rejected requests for help from the besieged Americans.