CBS News is reporting tonight that during the attack on the Embassy in Benghazi, President Obama did not convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG), the top interagency counterterrorism resource.
The article reports:
“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”
The question becomes, “Why weren’t they called?”
The article further reports:
Counterterrorism officials from two agencies said they concluded almost immediately that the attack was by terrorists and was not spontaneous. “I came to this conclusion as soon as I heard the mortar rounds were impacting on top of the building our people were occupying,” says one. “The position of the mortar must be plotted on a map, the target would have to be plotted, computations would be calculated that would result in the proper mortar tube elevation and the correct number of powder bags to be attached to the rounds.”
We have no way of knowing whether President Obama, who has no prior military experience, would have understood that mortar rounds are not part of a spontaneous attack. That is why it is up to a President to have people close to him who know these things. By not calling in the CSG, he was depending on his own limited knowledge rather than bringing in the experts. I don’t know if the four Americans in Benghazi would be alive if this had been handled differently, but I do know that the people who would have immediately understood the situation and been able to evaluate correctly what was happening were left out of the loop.
Had the CSG been called in immediately, I doubt we would have had to listen to Susan Rice tell us on five Sunday shows that this was simply a demonstration that got out of hand.