Pre-9/11 Force Posture and Planning: On September 10, 2012 the White House issued a readout of a presidential briefing on 9/11 planning. The readout said the briefing was the culmination of “numerous meetings to review security measures in place” chaired by John Brennan. The readout also reported that the briefing included “steps taken to protect U.S. persons and facilities abroad, as well as force protection.”
When questioned about this process today, General Ham, the combatant commander responsible for one of the most volatile threat environments in the world, stated that neither he or anyone working for him was consulted as part of the Brennan 9/11 planning process.
Response to the Benghazi Attack: In his testimony, LTC Gibson clarified his responsibilities and actions during the attack. Contrary to news reports, Gibson was not ordered to “stand down” by higher command authorities in response to his understandable desire to lead a group of three other Special Forces soldiers to Benghazi. Rather, he was ordered to remain in Tripoli to defend Americans there in anticipation of possible additional attacks, and to assist the survivors as they returned from Benghazi. Gibson acknowledged that had he deployed to Benghazi he would have left Americans in Tripoli undefended. He also stated that in hindsight, he would not have been able to get to Benghazi in time to make a difference, and as it turned out his medic was needed to provide urgent assistance to survivors once they arrived in Tripoli."