Joint Chiefs Chairman Testifies He Was Not Directly Involved in Failure to Prepare for Benghazi Terror Attack
Dempsey says Joint Staff discussed pre-9/11 security with White House
BY: Bill Gertz | Free Beacon
October 11, 2013
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress this week that he was not directly involved in preparations by the U.S. military and security forces to respond to possible attacks on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror strikes.
Dempsey told the House armed services subcommittee on oversight and investigations, which is investigating the failed military response to the terror attack in Benghazi, that Joint Staff officials coordinated with the White House on pre-Sept. 11 preparations, according to a congressional aide.
The closed-door testimony raised further questions among investigators looking into why the White House published a statement Sept. 10, 2012—a day before the Benghazi attack—that the United States was ready for any attacks, a committee aide said.
U.S. military forces were unable to defend or rescue scores of U.S. diplomatic and intelligence personnel who were attacked at a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a nearby Central Intelligence Agency facility on Sept. 11, 2012.
The attack by several dozen armed terrorists, some equipped with mortars, killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. Several others were wounded.
Rep. Martha Roby (R., Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee, said she questioned Dempsey about the U.S. military posture during the hearing Thursday.
“General Dempsey confirmed that while he was not personally involved in that review, elements of the Joint Staff were,” Roby said in a statement. “His description of the process leads me to conclude that while it may have allowed the White House to issue a comforting press release, it was far from the rigorous examination and preparation the security of the American people deserved.”
Dempsey repeated earlier statements that no heroic action by the military could overcome “our lack of preparedness during the horrible Benghazi attack,” Roby said.
“We simply were not postured to respond in time,” she said. “I continue to be concerned that more than a year after the attack, our posture has not improved enough to sufficiently mitigate the risks to Americans serving overseas and in harm’s way.”
Drip, drip, drip…. the ever-evolving, musical stories. It doesn’t add up. Which is it?
“Not personally involved in that review” — it got personal afterward, I suppose.