- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
Defense Dept. had live video of attack in Benghazi
No drone feed to White House
Live video from a drone flying over the U.S. Consulate during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, was monitored at a Defense Department facility, but was not fed to the White House, senior officials say.
The Obama administration has declined to respond to media requests for details about who was watching the live video, but a senior defense official told The Washington Times that “the surveillance aircraft captured footage of events on the ground” and “it wasn’t available that night at the White House.”
The officials said the “overhead footage was available at a DOD location,” and they declined to comment further.
Questions about the drone video have largely gotten lost amid the raucous political theater that has arisen in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and State Department officer Sean Smith were slain.
Some close observers of the Benghazi attack’s aftermath are hoping that details about the video will emerge when the findings of the State Department's Accountability Review Board investigation into the attacks are eventually made public.
The review board has conducted its work in secrecy, and its findings and recommendations are expected to draw heavily from classified intelligence about the attack.
On Friday, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would testify publicly about the findings, but gave no date for her appearance.
The State Department this week suggested that the review board findings may be imminent. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday that when Mrs. Clinton announced the board’s members in late September, she “asked them to try to meet a 60- to 65-day timeline.”
That would mean the findings could be released during the coming days. “I don’t have any reason to think that we’re off base there, but obviously we want them to do it, do it right,” Mrs. Nuland said.
Various video footage
The digital camera aboard what defense officials have described as an “unarmed surveillance” drone, meanwhile, was one of several that recorded portions of the Benghazi attack.
Closed-circuit security cameras fixed to the consulate’s outer security walls also captured images.
A senior State Department official said during an Oct. 9 background briefing that one camera “on the main gate” of the Benghazi diplomatic mission showed “a large number of men, armed men, flowing into the compound” at about 9:40 p.m. on Sept. 11 — the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Footage from that camera is thought to be what Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, the Obama administration’s top intelligence official, has shown to lawmakers on Capitol Hill during two recent classified briefings about the Benghazi attack.
“It was very difficult to watch,” Rep. Thomas J. Rooney, Florida Republican and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Dec. 5 after one of the briefings. “That is U.S. sovereign territory, and for people to just walk in like a street mob and light the embassy on fire it just made you feel extremely helpless.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- Rival Palestinian's unity deal a blow to struggling Mideast peace process
- Biden arrives to aid Ukraine; pro-Russians refuse to leave
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. fears Afghan services may be cut as corruption sharply reduces customs taxes
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014