RUSH: There's very little reporting on the Benghazi hearings yesterday. That was Panetta. We had the audio sound bites of Leon Panetta.
Was he defense or CIA at the time? (interruption) Was he defense then or CIA? (interruption) Okay. He said Obama told him at 5:15, while the attacks in Benghazi were just underway (impression), "Do whatever you gotta do to save American life," and that's the last they heard of him. He was unreachable. Where did he go? It came out in the hearings that Obama never called back to check on Benghazi.
After 5:15 when he told Panetta, "Do whatever you have to do," he split. He never called to check to see how it was going, and nobody could reach him. I remember at the time, last fall, it was the question. "Yeah, where was he?" and there were all kinds of possibilities. One of the most popular suggestions -- and it's just a wild guess -- is he was out playing basketball and didn't want to be interrupted. Other people have other ideas. But he was not engaged.
RUSH: I'm being overrun with e-mails from people about what Obama did after the briefing from Panetta on Benghazi. Everybody's saying he went to Las Vegas. If I'm not mistaken, he did that the next day. I don't think he flew to Las Vegas that night. We would have known where he was if he'd gone there. But there's a gap of seven or eight hours, maybe longer, where we don't know where Obama was.
He was totally disengaged after 5:15 of the day the Benghazi attacks were taking place. This is when Leon Panetta said that the president told him, "Do what you have to do." There were no specifics in the orders. There were no particular commands. There was just, "Do what you gotta do," and then he left, and he didn't check in to see how things were going. The Situation Room was not... Well, if it was activated, Obama wasn't there. They don't know where he was.
I don't know that anybody made an effort to find him and couldn't, but he was not available, and he didn't call to check. It was the next day he went to Vegas for the fundraiser. We know that because we saw him get on the airplane and we saw it land and we saw him do the fundraiser. But there was a period of time during the Benghazi attacks that he can't be accounted for. Nobody knows where POTUS was, and that's always been the question.
"Why wasn't he engaged? Why wasn't he involved? Why didn't it come down to Hillary and Panetta?" They cannot give specific orders, and neither can the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff give specific military orders. If the president saying, "Well, do whatever you need to do," that doesn't cut it. Let's say hypothetically that the president said, "Look, do what you need to do to save lives," and somebody sends a fleet of C-130s with a bunch of laser-guided bombs and drops 'em on the target.
All hell would break loose because that order wasn't given. That command was not issued. The people Obama instructed to do whatever is necessary don't have that power, I'm pretty sure. Axelrod is claiming that Obama was focused on Benghazi all this time, and was in constant contact with his top national security people. Back on November 4th, Axelrod was on Fox News Sunday, and he told Chris Wallace, "When word of the attack campaign, the president was meeting with his top national security folks.
"He was talking to them well into the night. He was in touch with them during the day, and the next day as well." We now know that's not true. On November 4th, Axelrod was wrong. Axelrod told Chris Wallace something that was not right. He was not in constant contact. He was not talking to them well into the night, not according to Panetta. Panetta testified under oath yesterday that Obama never checked back in with him after telling him what to do.
Here's Simon in San Diego. Simon, I'm glad you called. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Thank you very much, sir. I believe everything you say, and I love your show.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Yes.
CALLER: So, anyway, my deadbeat dad, since Obama is I guess my stepfather is gonna give me everything, what I wanted to talk about was it sounds like with Panetta, the military had no response. There was nothing it could do. So it was like Obama said do whatever you have to do, and Panetta said there's nothing we can do --
RUSH: I'm not sure what your point is here, but legally there was nothing Panetta could do with those orders.
CALLER: No, what I'm saying is there was nothing laid on to support the operations in Benghazi. So there was no aircraft ready --
RUSH: There were C-130s. There were support teams available as near as Italy. They could have had in 90 minutes, they coulda had C-130s and so forth, they coulda had air assets in the region over the consulate within an hour and a half from our bases in Italy. That's why we have bases all over the world. Are you saying that Panetta's mind-set was, "Ah, there's nothing we can do."
CALLER: Well, I'll float this one up 'cause I'm not sure if Panetta was in Clinton's staff when Somalia was going on, and in Somalia with Black Hawk Down -- I just saw the movie, I didn't read the book -- it was like Washington, DC, and the Pentagon are like, "You know what, you boys went in with what you had and you're gonna just have to fight your way out. There's nothing we can do to support you."
RUSH: No, no, no, no. Let me set the record straight on that. What happened was the Somalia operation was originally started because the New York Times published a photo on the front page of a young boy who was very hungry with a fly buzzing around his face. And George Bush was president, not Bill Clinton. And that picture, there wasn't any cable news to speak of yet, that picture, the American people demanded that we feed that kid. So we sent the military over to feed the starving in Somalia. When we got there, we ran into a buzz saw run by a warlord named Mohammed Aideed Sahib Skyhook, and they were hungry there 'cause he was stealing all the food from everybody.
They had plenty of food, just that he was stealing it for his buddies and selling it in the open market. So we went in and thought these guys are a bunch of chumps, we'll be able to fix this inside of a couple weeks and get back out. Well, Mohammed Aideed Sahib Skyhook fought back and a bunch of Army Rangers were killed and paraded nude through the streets of downtown Mogadishu. And that's when we said, "Oh, my God, get out." Les Aspin was the defense secretary, not Panetta, and Clinton made the call just to get out of there. We don't need this kind of grief. We're not gonna fight back. These are poor minority black people, the American people are not gonna fire. We got out of there, and that's what led bin Laden to conclude that we could be had because we would give up. We didn't have the will to carry out our missions.