As the White House and other agencies monitored intelligence in real-time, they faced a dilemma. They knew that the nation/state sponsored attack teams were lying in wait for U.S. rescue forces to arrive, which is the reason the fight did not conclusively end sooner. They did not know exactly where all of the attack teams were, but knew they were present based on signal communication intercepts. Could they risk such exposure by deploying a rescue team to Benghazi, only to end up with another Black Hawk down type scenario? In addition to that scenario, the entire operation now becomes exposed for what it is. Take another look at Panetta’s statement in that context. Does it now make more sense? Bad PR in an election year, no?
Phi Beta Iota: We do not believe that NSA was on the ball or that Panetta knew the attackers were waiting for US rescuers, but this is the first time someone has proposed an acceptable reason for equivocating on rescue. Never-the-less, forces should have been deployed from Sigonella, Rota, and Aviano. The truth will come out eventually.