Despite the Obama administration’s claims that the pressured U.S. staff in Benghazi had been helped to full potential, an Air Force whistleblower says he and comrades would have been able to make a save on that nightmarish day in 2012, according to a report by Fox News.
The whistleblower said he and his team moved swiftly to their jets, only a few hours from Benghazi, just awaiting the orders to head out—but those orders never came.
“I definitely believe that our aircraft could have taken off and got there in a timely manner, maybe three hours at the most, in order to basically at least stop that second mortar attack and have those guys running for the hills,” a man who was stationed at Aviano Air Force, Italy, during the attacks in Libya, told Fox. “And basically saved lives that day.”
In total, four Americans perished in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks. Ambassador Chris Stevens and informations officer Sean Smith were killed in the initial attack, while Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed in the second wave.
The anonymous Air Force member says their operation, which had crew members armed and ready to launch, claimed to be halted by the military due to issues with a refueling tanker—but says that wouldn’t have been a problem due to the timely and modern-day refueling system the American jets used at the time.
“I still feel a sense of fault for not being there when we were needed, we could’ve been there and that’s the worst part,” the man said in the interview. “That’s a horrible feeling to have, when you can help someone, especially when you don’t find out until later that people have died.”
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department have said that nothing more could have been done. But a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit just revealed that Department of Defense staff member immediately offered assistance to the State Department on the night of the attacks and the whistleblower said it was turned down because of political reasons.