Pentagon releases its Benghazi timeline; Troops arrived 15 hours after attack ended

More than eight weeks after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and a week after the CIA released its official timeline of the events that took place, the Pentagon has issued its official timeline.

According to the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey were notified of the first attack at 4:32 p.m., and the two met with President Obama at the White House at 5 p.m. for a regularly scheduled meeting, where they discussed the situation in Libya.

The Associated Press reports that the first military unit arrived in Libya 15 hours after the attack in Benghazi had ended.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his top military adviser were notified of the attack about 50 minutes after it began and were about to head into a previously scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama. The meeting quickly turned into a discussion of potential responses to the unfolding situation in Benghazi, where militants had surrounded the consulate and set it on fire.

But there have been persistent questions about whether the Pentagon should have moved more rapidly to get troops into Libya or had units closer to the area as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America approached. In particular, there was at least a 19-hour gap between the time when Panetta first ordered military units to prepare to deploy – between midnight and 2 a.m. local time in Tripoli – and the time a Marine anti-terrorism team landed in Tripoli, which as just before 9 p.m.

A senior defense official on Friday said forces were at the ready around the globe, but it took time to assess the murky situation, evaluate the threats, put plans in place and get the teams there. With the situation on the ground rapidly evolving, military officials have said there were a number of potential scenarios that had to be evaluated, including concerns that the violence could continue for some time or there could be a hostage situation to which commandos might have to respond.


CIA rushed to assist diplomats in Libya within 25 minutes, officials say

  • Claire Adams

    I hope two months was enough time for them to get their cover-up story straight. This is UnSat. Way to make our military look awful with this report, Pentagon. You know our guys woulda coulda gone in earlier, and shoulda been allowed to. Don’t try to blame this on the Libyan government, either. They were the only ones telling us THE TRUTH in the first few days after the terror attack(s).

    “Prepare” to go in sure isn’t ordering them to “do all we can to support those in need” or whatever the President said, repeatedly, that he said he ordered (e.g., Colorado tv interview and Daily Show).

    It’s time for some military guys to blow the whistle. Those men are Patriots like few others, they won’t stand for these lies.

    • Kimberly Schutzenhofer

      You nailed it – it’s taken all this time to go over and over all the times, create emails, destroy others and further cover their tracks. Petraeus resigning now is a smoke screen to further divert attention away from the real matter — squirrel.

      • TugboatPhil

        What’s also not been mentioned is that most of the comms between Libya and DC would be voice. There are, or were, recordings of these. The paper trail is probably less than a third of what was going on.

        • Kimberly Schutzenhofer

          Wonder how many times, they’ve listened to those or if they even still exist? Seriously – if a missile fired at our drone doesn’t get reported for over a week – what else do they withhold?

    • diamondNtheRough

      I aree.This was a cover up and nobody can convince me otherwise. Probably for the weapons that landed in the hands of the enemy.

  • Steve_J

    Is that unit the same one it took 22 hours to get to Sigonella, Italy? If it is that means it took the U S 37 hours to get troops on the ground in Benghazi. That would be inexcusable.

  • Jim Denney

    Sheesh … we wait all this time for the Friday afternoon “information” dump and this is the best they can do?
    I’ve seen more credible performances from Stephanie Cutter.

    • Burt Zerker

      It was a Friday dump, because over the weekend it will be ignored to death, the same way 4 of our countrymen were ignored to death. By the time Monday rolls around, it won’t even be a story.

  • JoeMusgo

    This is what happens when you make a community organizer your Commander in Chief. He, in turn, makes a political hack like Leon Panetta his Secretary of Defense. Then, when a situation like Benghazi occurs that requires decisive action, instead you get paralysis, a whole administration of morons mulling the political ramifications of taking action. If we put our people on foreign soil, they need to be protected by Americans with the resources and discretion to protect them. This president and his minions will never understand that.

  • Burt Zerker

    The media will help excuse away any inconsistencies, and that will be enough for the zombies who will support this failed president no matter what he does.

    This presidency is becoming dangerous for the American citizens, and is downright deadly for our servicemen.

  • Slam1263

    Can’t release this on Veteran’s Day, can we.
    Article 133 of the UCMJ is very specific.

  • The Daffodil Times

    If a statement by Panette isn’t enough for you people to stop with the conspiracy theories I don’t know what to tell you hopeless cases

    • AMERICAN Kafir™(KAdams)

      Apparently, it’s enough for you, so there’s no reason for any further comment from you now, is there? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Make sure you go re-tweet all those people above and relay the same sentiment. Don’t forget to add the families of the slain servicemen in your replies.

      • The Daffodil Times

        Actually, I wont add them, because at least one of the families called for republicans to stop politicizing the deaths. I’m not a republican, but I will still listen

  • Tequila

    Even with the late arrival no attempts were made to secure the consulate and weeks later documents were still just laying around on the ground. Meanwhile what has become of the 30 people rescued by the CIA?

  • Joe W.

    I’ll bet that enlistments and re-enlistments will tank. When the military and the Commander in Chief abandon their own, you have lost them.

  • Joe W.

    And it took them about 30 minutes to seek, find, and arrest the producer of the film that they demonized as the catalyst for this whole episode. You wanted another 4 years?? Y’all got it. Have a nice day….

  • redheadgrl

    Interesting how this didn’t come out before Nov 6, but I guess since it doesn’t talk about vaginas, no one would have cared anyway.

  • GunTotingLib

    I read the time line linked in this post and it shows a rescue party entering the fight in less the 30 minutes from the first call for help.

  • Chris Coon

    if 15 hours after attack ended does that mean 21 hours after it began?