So, another giant shoe drops (and it's from CBS, by the way):
"The CSG is the one group that's supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies," a high-ranking government official told CBS News. "They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon."
As to why the Counterterrorism Security Group was not convened, National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor told CBS News "From the moment the President was briefed on the Benghazi attack, the response effort was handled by the most senior national security officials in governments. Members of the CSG were of course involved in these meetings and discussions to support their bosses."
The CIA rushed security operatives to an American diplomatic compound in Libya within 25 minutes after it had come under attack and played a more central role in the effort to fend off a night-long siege than has been publicly acknowledged, U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday.
The agency mobilized the evacuation effort, took control of an unarmed U.S. military drone to map possible escape routes, dispatched an emergency security team from Tripoli, the capital, and chartered aircraft that ultimately carried surviving U.S. personnel to safety on Sept. 12, U.S. officials said.
Begun the Inter-Agency Wars have.
The Daily Beast's Eli Lake–who deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Benghazi–reported today that the State Department did not ask for military backup while the U.S. consulate was under attack on 9/11. That, together with other denials collected already, suggests that President Barack Obama decided, early on, there would be no intervention as long as the attack did not spread beyond the consulate or safe house.
UPDATEx5: NPR with the whitewash, telling us how there was simply no way to relieve the embassy, not saying why, after all the begging for help; saying the Quick Response Team prevented more deaths, not noting the role the two dead SEALs played by disobeying orders and relieving the compound. Interestingly, they note that Gen. Carter Ham happened to be in DC and at the White House, delivered orders for military intervention. No mention of his having been relieved of command.
UPDATEx6: David Ignatius says "CIA Errors, But No Evidence of Conspiracy." Well, just who the hell is claiming there's a CIA conspiracy? We're not talking a conspiracy, you moron; we're talking gross incompetence, not on the part of the CIA but of the State Department and Obama administration, and a cover-up. [via @TheAnchoress]
Ignatius is trying to pin this on CIA, in the service of an administration that gave State kumbayaers their head while ignoring the CIA whenever they could.
UPDATEx7: Now the New York Times joins in. [also via @TheAnchoress]