I was on Capitol Hill yesterday when word came down that Congress will get testimony from eyewitnesses to the attack on the Benghazi consulate last September. Others with information about the incident will also be testifying, including, presumably, the anonymous Special Operator recently interviewed by Fox News who said we had a 40-man Special Operations team doing a training exercise in Europe. According to him, that team was ready and willing to intervene but never got the order.
He speculates that the team could have been on the scene in four to six hours, which would have been in time to prevent the second (and fatal) attack on the consulate. He also says claims that no orders were given because "the security was an unknown situation" are nonsense. That's precisely when you send guys like him in, to assess the level of threat and deal with it--and if possible keep innocent lives from being lost.
Which brings us to the question of how we handle the next stage of figuring out what really happened during those 10 to 12 hours in Benghazi.
First, a new congressional investigation has to avoid the mistakes made by the last Senate investigators, who let Hillary Clinton walk away without answering a single serious question. It will demand to know from the president what he knew and when he knew it -- and, if he wasn't in the loop, why that lapse occurred.
It will demand former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta explain who knew about US military assets in the area, including the 40-man team known as c-110, and who decided not to summon them to Stevens' rescue.
It will have to ask former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen why he testified last December that we did not have forces close enough to respond to the Benghazi attack, when the evidence grows that we did.
It will demand to know why sources in the FBI say they were ready to send in a team to secure the scene less than 24 hours after the attack -- and who told them not to.
Finally, we need an answer to the crucial question of why Tyrone Woods, the ex-Navy SEAL who was killed along with Stevens, was using his Ground Laser Designator to paint targets at the scene --something he was trained never to do unless he believed armed help was not only on the way, but arriving imminently.
Every Special Operator, and every other military personnel on a battlefield, deserves an answer to that question. Because if they're going to be led to believe help is on the way when it's really not, they need to find that out before they ever risk their lives for this country again.
Let's get some answers. The Obama Administration has been allowed to stonewall this story long enough.