There were statements made that indicate either protocols had been broken or lies are being told.
While everyone is concerned about the talking points over the excuse of a video as cause for a demostration, there are protocols that were in place that involve the Secretary of State, the Department of Defense and the President.
The players were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and of course President Obama.
Through a September 14th, 2012 e-mail it was stated that threats and attacks had been carried out against other foreign intrests.
So it would stand to reason that the U.S. consulate may come under the same attack.
However, unfortunately an attack occured with timelines outlined by the Department of Defense here.
And an evacuation of the consulate took place.
By 1:40 a.m. EDT Sept. 12, the first wave of Americans left Benghazi for Tripoli by airplane, with the second wave, including the bodies of the fallen, following at 4 a.m. A C-17 aircraft, under Africom direction, flew the evacuees from Tripoli to Germany later that day, the official said.
As the timeline makes clear, the official said, the evacuation took place before the FAST platoons or special operations forces arrived, although all were converging on Libya -- noting repeatedly that DOD leaders lacked a clear picture of enemy, civilian and American positions in the area.
In testimony to Senator Ayotte, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated the following:
Panetta said to Senator Kelly Ayotte, that President Obama left operational details for Benghazi 'up to us' - implying that the situation was under the control of Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
'Did you have any further communications with him that night?' Senator Ayotte asked.
'No,' Panetta replied.
'Did you have any other further communications? Did he ever call you that night to say how are things going, what’s going on, where’s the consulate?' she followed-up with.
'No,' Panetta said in response. 'But we were aware as we were getting information about what was taking place there, particularly when we got information that the ambassador, his life had been lost, we were aware that that information went to the White House.'
The protocols of an evacuation plan of non-Department of Defense personel are found here.
Accordingly, there are protocols assigned to the Secretary of Defense, Health and Human Services and the Secretary of State when there is a threat against civilian personel as was in the case in the attack against the Benghazi consulate.(1) Executive Order (EO) 12656 (Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities) assigns specific responsibilities to various federal agencies during national security emergencies, to include overseas evacuations and subsequent repatriation operations.(a.) Sec. 1301. Under the direction of the President and in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense (SECDEF) and Health and Human Services (HHS), the Secretary of State (SECSTATE) is responsible for the protection or evacuation of all U.S. citizens abroad, including DoD noncombatants. This authority does not extend to military personnel of the Armed Forces, including Defense Attache Systems and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) personnel assigned to the Embassy, unless otherwise agreed. DoD is also primarily responsible for the protection and evacuation of U.S. citizen noncombatants at the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo, Cuba.(b.) Sec 801. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the heads of Federal departments and agencies, is responsible for providing assistance to U.S. citizens or others evacuated from overseas areas, including DoD noncombatants. Their plan relies on state and local government to carry out the operational responsibilities of repatriation.(c.) Sec 502. SECDEF shall advise and assist the SECSTATE and the heads of other federal Departments and Agencies, as appropriate, in planning for the protection, evacuation, and repatriation of U.S. citizens in overseas areas.
(emphasis added)a. Concept of Operation.(1) At the onset of a crisis situation in an overseas country, Department of State (DoS) will hold senior level interagency meetings with DoD and other Federal Agencies to discuss the potential evacuation. If it appears that DoD will assist in the evacuation, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) will authorize and direct the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) to issue an appropriate warning order to the supported Combatant Commander. The Secretary of State’s formal request, when approved by the President, will generate the Execute Order directing NEO. If CONUS has been declared the safe haven, the magnitude of the operation and composition of evacuees (DoD, AMCITs, host nation personnel, TCNs, etc.) will determine DoD’s involvement in the repatriation operation.(2) During an evacuation when an official Repatriation Site is established, availability of air and/or surface transportation will be determined by the DoS and/or USTRANSCOM in coordination with the supported Combatant Commander upon receipt of the warning order. The actual number of evacuees arriving in CONUS (to include Alaska and/or Hawaii) will vary daily, based on transportation scheduling in coordination with the overseas theater.(3) HQDA, G-1 will coordinate and direct the repatriation operation as well as the assistance provided to other eligible DoD families who are unable to enter the subject country due to the stop movement order.(4) CDR FORSCOM and CDR USPACOM, as the executing agents, will assist the designated Repatriation Site(s) during the execution of the repatriation operation as ordered by HQDA, G-1. They will provide assistance to the Repatriation Site in their planning and coordination efforts with other DoD agencies, the Military Services, Federal, state and local agencies as required.(5) The individual Military Services/DoD Agencies will provide necessary support to effectively receive and process respective families, both evacuees who enter through designated Repatriation Sites (see Annex O) and also eligible families who are unable to process through these sites (stop movement personnel or those who come out via commercial air). Under HQDA oversight, the Services/DoD Agencies will assume follow-on responsibility for their respective family members throughout the family’s safe haven period (see Annex D; JFTR, Volume 1,Chapter 6; JTR Vol 2, Part A, Appendix 1 and Entitlements Messages).(6) Evacuations also may occur when no repatriation site is established.
The responsibilty in the execution of an evacuation of the consulate rests on the shoulders of the president. The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was responsible to make a request for an evacuation and the president would sign an evacuation executive order.
It seems Panetta was not being truthful on how involved the president was in the decision making process.
What takes place when there is an actual attack of a consulate?
Editor's note: The previous question will be answered in the next update.