Clinton and Panetta Never Talked During Benghazi Terror Attacks

Terence P. Jeffrey | February 7, 2013 | 2:20pm EST
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (AP Photo)

( - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified today in the Senate Armed Services Committee that he never talked to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked U.S. government personnel at two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

The facilities that the terrorists attacked were operated by the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Two of Clinton's State Department employees--Amb. Chris Stevens and Information Management Officer Sean Smith--were killed in the attacks that Panetta and Clinton never spoke about that day. Two former Navy SEALs who worked for the CIA, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were also killed.

During the time that Panetta and Clinton did not speak to each other on Sept. 11, five State Department Diplomatic Security officers in Benghazi risked their lives to try to extricate Amb. Steven and IMO Smith from a burning building torched by the terrorists. Then, along with CIA security personnel, they fought the Benghazi terrorists as those terrorists launched a repeated series of attacks that did not finally terminate until more than seven hours after they had started.

Panetta had said earlier in his testimony that President Obama had told him and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a 5:00 p.m. meeting that day to do whatever they could to protect the Americans in Benghazi.

But after that half-hour-long meeting, Obama never talked to Panetta and Dempsey again on Sept. 11--although the attacks in Benghazi did not finally stop until about six hours after their meeting ended.

Although Secretary of State Clinton did not talk to Defense Secretary Panetta during the Benghazi terror attacks, she did put out a public statement during the 10:00 p.m. hour Washington, D.C. time linking the attacks to "inflammatory material posted on the Internet."

The State Department released that statement by Clinton before Woods and Doherty were killed in Benghazi.

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