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Aide: Obama didn’t deny requests for help in Benghazi

By Doug Powers  •  October 28, 2012 05:53 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

That according to a National Security Council spokesman.

Rick Moran breaks down the past few days (via Doug Ross):

The CIA is denying. The Pentagon is denying. And now the White House is denying that anyone refused to send help to our embattled CIA and State Department personnel engaged in a seven hour running firefight with more than 150 jihadists.

It just doesn’t get any lamer than this:

The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th.

“Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

Why was this so hard for President Obama to say on Friday when asked a direct question about assistance to Americans under fire?

President Barack Obama said repeatedly Friday that his administration would “find out what happened” and punish those responsible, but he twice ducked questions about whether U.S. officials denied requests for help.

As Bill Kristol points out, Obama doesn’t have to “find out what happened” in the White House — he was there and presumably was kept informed.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said his sources told him President Obama watched the attack from the Situation Room. It shouldn’t exactly be a bombshell to discover a president had been monitoring an ongoing attack on an ambassador and his detail — that’s exactly what we’d expect a president to do. However, the pickle for the administration is that the only way they can distance Obama from the “who denied requests for help” question is to allow everybody to believe that Obama wasn’t doing what everybody would expect a president to be doing under those circumstances: Closely monitoring the situation.

Leon Panetta said help wasn’t sent because they didn’t have enough information about what was going on before the attack was over. There might be a bit of semantics playing out here. Assuming for a moment no US official literally said “request denied,” most people would still consider doing nothing to be tantamount to a denial of request.

If nobody either in or connected with the Obama administration specifically denied requests for military back-up or gave any “stand down” orders during the Benghazi attack as Fox News reported, why didn’t the administration use the golden opportunity presented by the Sunday morning news shows to go out and rip Fox News apart at the seams much to the delight of disenchanted people who voted for Obama in 2008 who are desperately in need of motivation to get to the polls next Tuesday? Instead David Axelrod was worried about how Hurricane Sandy could harm Obama’s re-election chances and Stephanie Cutter was saying the Des Moines Register’s endorsement of Romney is not based in reality. The latter was during the “Pot Meets Kettle” segment of ABC’s This Morning.

A couple of Sunday show clips from today…

Sen. John McCain on CBS: It’s either a massive cover-up or incompetence:

Democrat Sen. Udall, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, won’t tell Chris Wallace if the drones above Benghazi that day were armed:

Gingrich: Obama canceling campaign trips due to hurricane but didn’t after Benghazi?

Update: Instapundit links to this post at Big Journalism noting that out of the five major Sunday news shows, only Chris Wallace raised the issue of Benghazi. Bob Schieffer in the video above talked about the subject only after John McCain raised the issue. The collective media silence speaks volumes with just over a week to go until the election.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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