Only one person, the Commander in Chief, is to be held accountable for what happened in Benghazi, and President Barack Obama has failed in his most important responsibility, Col. Oliver North told Newsmax TV.
North, who wrote the best-selling book, “American Heroes in Special Operations,” said the buck has to stop at the top.
“Not the secretary of state, not the secretary of defense,” he said. “It’s the commander in chief, the man we hired to fulfill the most important responsibility of our head of state and that is as commander in chief of the Armed Forces to make decisions that will protect and save American lives. Barack Obama failed in his most important responsibility. That’s part of the coverup of what we see took place in Benghazi on the night of September 11."
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North, who also hosts “War Stories” on the Fox News Channel said it appears that aspects of what happened in Libya's second city are apparently being covered up.
“We’ve been asking not just in the media, but, of course, in Congress what really happened on the ground in Benghazi on the night of the 11th of September,” he said. “Promises have been made about revealing everything that was known. Well, of course, that isn’t happening and it won’t until after this election. After the election, it appears that we’re going to find out a number of things. Number one, we’ll find out why was the ambassador actually there. This is, after all, not the embassy; it’s a consulate hundreds of miles from the embassy in Tripoli.”
He continued, “Why was he there? And what purpose would he have for traveling without security detail? Number two, what did the administration know and when did they know it about the attack that was clearly pre-planned on that compound in a nearby annex which was actually operated by the Central Intelligence Agency? What we do know is that four Americans were killed, some 19 others were wounded. An unknown number of locals were killed in the process.”
North said the administration tried to deceive the public as to what happened at the compound.
“What we know is that they tried to deceive us as to what it really was. They tried to portray it as a spontaneous event precipitated by a video that was up on YouTube,” he said.
“We know that’s not true because of the intercepts that have taken place and the emails that have now been exchanged, all of which we’re kind of unearthing thanks to the media doing its job for a change.
"What we also know is that those four Americans were under fire for a protracted period of time and nothing was done of any substance whatsoever while that even took place to save the lives of Americans, which I personally find to be unconscionable.”
North compared it to a situation he was involved with during the Reagan administration.
“I was involved deeply in the Achille Lauro events when Ronald Reagan had about 90 minutes maximum to make a decision as to how to capture the terrorists who had murdered Leon Klinghoffer, hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and were trying to escape with the help of Hosni Mubarak,” he said.
“Thanks to intelligence that we had from the Israelis, we were able to intercept the aircraft and, following the president’s direction, capture the terrorists in, of all places, Sigonella, Italy. All of that transpired on my birthday back in 1985.”
North went on: “This year…we had a similar situation where a president and national security council could have made a decision that may well have saved the lives of Americans and no decision was made. An event that went on for over seven hours when U.S. military help was less than an hour away at Sigonella, of all places, none of it dispatched.
"A UMV was overhead and they watched it from Washington in various command centers, like the White House Situation Room, the National Counterterrorism Center, the State Department and Lord knows how many others. Plenty of people aware of what was going on, no decision was made to help save the lives of Americans.
We ought to be outraged. That’s part of the cover up as to what’s been going on out there. Obviously, if the truth were known, it would not bode well for the commander in chief. My assessment: it’s time for us to hire a new commander in chief, one who will make those kinds of decisions very much like President Reagan.”
North, who just returned from Afghanistan, where he was embedded with troops, offered the following glimpse into the situation there.
“I’ll give you the assessment of officials who are friendly to America in Afghanistan,” he said. “I’m talking about district and provincial governors, the senior members of their military. We do have friends in Afghanistan. I was sent out there to find out the truth behind these so-called green-on-blue attacks. One, they’ve been overstated by most of our media.
"Number two, the U.S. Marines and the soldiers that I was with who are out there training the Afghan troops never stopped. They do now a better job of vetting those who are coming into the Afghan local police.
"I was out there with them all over the country for the better part of September, October, and I could tell you right now there was nobody who backed away, stopped training…withdrew. And what they’re all saying on the Afghan side particularly is that if you withdraw and leave us like you left Iraq, we are dead.
"This is a country where we need friends. Abandoning them like Iraq — they know well what happened there — and they’re saying that if you leave us like you left Iraq, we’re dead men. We need friends in that part of the world. And this is not the way to keep them.”
North said Obama and Congress have not done enough to stop the looming fiscal cliff crisis and it will have devastating consequences on defense.
“They’ve done nothing in fact, he said. “Something has to take place between hopefully November 7 and the end of the year. That’s the only time you’ve got. Otherwise, sequestration will cut another trillion dollars from our defense establishment. And I’m talking now hundreds of thousands of troops, equipment, new weapons systems; the kinds of things that we need to defend this country adequately.
"It even involves things like not modernizing America’s nuclear arsenal at a point in time when the Iranians are pressing ahead full steam to build theirs. Once again, an indication of the incompetence of this administration and their inability or unwillingness to work with Congress to save America’s military. Today, it’s the finest in the world and it’s about to be decimated.”
Another Obama term could be “disastrous” for Israelis, North said.
“If I was an Israeli, I would be going to Israel. If you’d like to join us on that trip, go to olivernorthisrael.com. We’ve got room for another 40 families to come with us,” he said.
“I want to go out there and remind everybody on this very special tour why Israel, our only real democratic ally in that part of the world, is so important to the future of this country. It is the Holy Land. It is our most important ally in that part of the world. It’s going to be a special trip to show everybody just exactly why this country is our closest ally.”
“We’re going to be going to some special places that most tours to the Holy Land don’t get to go, like Israeli military bases and bunkers and talk to senior Israeli military personnel. And, as you know, they have the most capable military out there. They need to know that the United States is standing with them.
"The second the administration abandons them, just like the Barack Obama administration has done so far, could be disastrous for them and, ultimately, for us.”
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