That’s the way I read it. And frankly, I can’t blame him. Petraeus is one of the precious few competent individuals in Obama’s executive branch, and he isn’t about to take the fall for Obama’s politically motivated decision to ignore repeated pleas for help by Americans under fire in Benghazi. Via Breitbart’s Joel Pollak:
Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus has emphatically denied that he or anyone else at the CIA refused assistance to the former Navy SEALs who requested it three times as terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on the night of Sep. 11. The Weekly Standard and ABC News report that Petraeus’s denial effectively implicates President Barack Obama, since a refusal to assist “would have been a presidential decision.”
This followed Obama’s latest attempt to obfuscate. As Jake Tapper notes, when Obama was asked directly whether or not Americans under fire were denied requests for help — a simple yes or no question to which he undoubtedly knows the answer — he simply dodged the question. Twice.
In an interview with a Denver TV reporter Friday, President Obama twice refused to answer questions as to whether the Americans under siege in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, were denied requests for help, saying he’s waiting for the results of investigations before making any conclusions about what went wrong.
After being asked about possible denials of requests for aid, and whether it’s fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and won’t be released until after the election, the president said, “the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.”
President Obama told KUSA-TV’s Kyle Clarke large that “we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.”
Clark pressed again.
“Were they denied requests for help during the attack?” he asked.
“Well, we are finding out exactly what happened,” the president again said. “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.”
Classic Obama shuck and jive. Bury the questioner under a colossal pile of BS and hope he gives up. If Obama knew he didn’t give the order to refuse the aid requested, wouldn’t he emphatically deny he was responsible as Petraeus did? He wanted to deny everything, I’m sure, but then he’d run the risk of being contradicted by the facts when they inevitably come out (after the election, no doubt). As the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol notes, there’s only one individual besides Petraeus who could have refused the request:
So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.
It would have been a presidential decision. There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it? When and why—and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations—did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?
Obama’s house of cards on the Benghazi coverup is beginning to collapse. The Obama media will do all they can to delay it unbtil after November 6th, but the collapse it will.
Update: I just realized that I didn’t include CIA Director Petraeus’ actual statement in this post. I really should know better than to post something before I’ve had my first Diet Coke in the morning, heh.
No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.
Update II: A few more thoughts: In Washington, the conventional wisdom regarding scandals is that the cover-up is always worse than that which is being covered up. But in this case, the opposite is true. Leaving Americans to die in the field for purely political reasons is beyond the pale, and until now something I would have thought no president capable of. In early September Obama had just received a big bounce from his convention which far surpassed the bounce Romney received from his milquetoast convention. Obama saw himself cruising to re-election and didn’t want to do anything to upset the applecart — such as a botched rescue attempt of American citizens in Benghazi. So he left them at the mercy of terrorists in Libya. The media may be able to forestall the sh*t storm that’s coming his way until after the election, but they won’t be able to protect Obama from his actions forever. Even if he does manage to win.
(h/t Mel Maguire)