The Corner

60 Minutes Benghazi Report: ‘Tough Thing to Understand’ Why No Military Rescue Attempt; Former Gitmo Detainee Planned Attack

60 Minutes took on Benghazi tonight in a wrenching report by correspondent Lara Logan. She reported that a Gitmo releasee was a major figure in the attack:

We’ve learned that this man, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and long-time al-Qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to Osama bin Laden go back more than 15 years. He’s believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.

Fox News had previously reported that U.S. intelligence sources suspected Qumu had a central role in the attack, but the report had been denied by an Obama-administration national-security official

In an emotional exchange with former Libya deputy chief of mission Gregory Hicks, Logan sympathized with his dismay that no help was on the way during the attack:

We have learned there were two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they’ve since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross — two of the military’s highest honors. The Americans who rushed to help that night went without asking for permission and the lingering question is why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya — something Greg Hicks realized wasn’t going to happen just an hour into the attack.

Lara Logan: You have this conversation with the defense attache. You ask him what military assets are on their way. And he says–

Greg Hicks: Effectively, they’re not. And I — for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn’t believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, “Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”

Lara Logan: That’s a tough thing to understand. Why?

Greg Hicks: It just is. We — for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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