According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces, and is the person exercising supreme authority of our nation's military forces.
Part of that responsibility in terms of Benghazi was approving a Cross Border Authority.
Only the POTUS, or Commander in Chief, can give the ‘go ahead’ to our military when travelling into another country for a mission or rescue. This is called a CBA or “Cross Border Authority”. On September 11, Obama gave no order, and without an order from the POTUS, Americans were destined to die.
Within 10 minutes of the attack in Benghazi on September 11, a Flash Traffic was sent from an agent in the Benghazi CIA compound’s technical office through the Military Information Network; it was received by the Army, CIA, State Department and Whitehouse.
Flash traffic or flash call is a digital point to point message, like an Instant Message. According to military protocol, a message from the CIA Compound would be sent directly to the Embassy in Tripoli, the State Department and the Whitehouse Situation Room. When received in the situation room of the Whitehouse, someone immediately transmits it to an Obama aide who WALKS the information immediately to POTUS and verifies delivery. It doesn't matter where the POTUS is; he always has an aide with him. This wasn’t just an attack, there was a missing Ambassador who has a priority 4-stars rank and is representing the President in Libya. Obama knew about the attack immediately.
Charlene Lamb at the State department also received the call and was able to watch the attacks in real time.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said that he has sources indicating that President Barack Obama was at the White House watching the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya unfold, also in real time. Two unarmed U.S. drones were dispatched to the consulate and recorded the final hours of the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Panetta has testified that he told the President about the Benghazi attack at that meeting. Why would the Commander-in-Chief leave the Whitehouse, derelict of his duties, and where did he go?
Other immediate notifications from the Flash Call went to General Carter Ham of Africom and Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette of Eurocom, both in Germany with commanders ready to deploy.
When an ambassador is in danger, or missing, the default procedure is an immediate rescue. Once the alarm was sent from Benghazi, dozens of headquarters were informed, and proceeded immediately to the rescue. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they plan and execute rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the President; that is to cross an international border on a hostile mission, also called CBA (cross border authority). For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace. If the POTUS does not give the OK, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks.
General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
A Quick Reaction Force was dispatched by helicopter from Tripoli to Benghazi because it had no international border to cross.
But the air armada commanded by General Ham of AFRICOM, with its C-17s or C-130s, its Special Operations Forces in MH-47 Chinooks or Pave Hawks, could not cross the border to Libya without authorization to do so. No general, even 4-star, can grant this permission. The helicopters, the gunships, the armed drones — the whole armada — had to land and “hold” at Sigonella, Italy, about an hour away, and ships had to stop in international waters. Two Special Forces units were at Sigonella that time, including Delta Force, who was training in Europe.
Admiral James Lyons says that the U.S. could have sent F-16 aircraft over that could have been there within a matter of an hour or two. “Making a low pass gets their attention”.
The Commander in Chief, overseeing our military, who is the only person who can issue a CBA, chose not to respond. Why is the question?