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According to SOS and many small journals, Facebook censored a meme stating that President Obama refused to save the lives of former Navy SEALs in Benghazi. The meme simply stated, “When Obama called the SEALs, they got bin Laden. When the SEALs called Obama, they got denied.” The meme spread virally throughout Facebook’s network and within in 24 hours almost 30,000 people shared and hundreds of thousands viewed the meme.

Their page is all patriotic and the meme links to a site that merely presents a donation form, so I'm not sold on their credibility. Also, dissing the big chief is not-done.

According to this video, simple air support could have saved them, but I don't think Obama has to personally approve that for every battle. Then again, top AFRICOM Leader General Carter Ham reportedly never got orders to save them. Despite that video description stating that "Barack Obama releaved General Carter Ham from his post at AFRICOM on October 18.", the USAFRICOM site still says General Carter F. Ham is commander.

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Not sure if this is answerable as there tend to be details involved with such things that are likely still classified and may be for the foreseeable future which may or may not support or discredit the claim. –  rjzii Nov 1 '12 at 1:32
    
While this meme is powerful and perhaps accurate on the facts, there could have been a legitimate reason for deciding not to throw more US Lives away from what may have been considered a doomed mission. That the seals were willing to take the risks does not mean that our Commander in Chief should be reckless with their lives. I think it will take 6 months to untangle this mess maybe longer... but by then the election will be over so people are trying to leverage the potential embarrassment at the expense of the office of the president and our soldiers. –  Chad Nov 1 '12 at 14:34
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The idea that a tactical decision in a fight like this is made by the US president seems very far fetched. It's just not his role to make a call about whether to sent air support to a particular fight. –  Christian Nov 1 '12 at 23:50
    
I think this question would be improved if the part about the censoring of the facebook meme would be removed. It's best to focus on one claim. –  Christian Nov 1 '12 at 23:51
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Keep in mind, the President is not involved in day to day operations of the State Department as many of these memes portray. This is political hackery at best. –  Larian LeQuella Nov 2 '12 at 14:13

1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

No.

According to the timeline posted by The Washington Post. The times listed are Benghazi time (EET, UTC+2) on the night of Sept. 11 and the morning of Sept. 12:

  • 21:40 - The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi calls the nearest CIA base for help
  • 22:04 - A six-person rescue squad leaves towards the embassy
  • 22:10 - The squad negotiates with heavily armed militias located few blocks from the embassy; 3 Libyans join the party
  • 22:25 - The team engages the attackers at the consulate
  • 22:40 - The safe room containing Ambassador Christopher Stevens is unreachable
  • 23:11 - An unarmed drone arrives over the compound to provide aerial reconnaissance
  • 23:30 - CIA officers depart under fire and reach the annex six minutes later
  • 23:56-01:01 - The CIA annex is attacked
  • 01:15-04:30 - CIA reinforcements are stalled by bureaucracy at Benghazi airport
  • 05:04 - CIA reinforcements arrive at the annex
  • 05:15-05:26 - A new assault claims the lives of Woods and Doherty
  • 06:00 - The Libyan army arrives and evacuates the Americans

A rescue team was assembled, dispatched, and within sight of the embassy in 30 minutes. So calls for help were not ignored. Within an hour of the SEALs being killed, the entire rescue team, reinforcements, and the bodies of the dead (including 2 former seals; 1 from the original rescue team and one from the reinforcements; the ambassador, and his aid) had been evac'ed from Libya.

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@Chad: A claim I have seen on FOX News (at least three different programs) is that the squad that staged the rescue did so against explicit orders and at the sole discretion of its team lead, but I have no idea where this information comes from and the Post article doesn't appear to mention it; have you seen any other references to this detail? –  Michael Edenfield Nov 5 '12 at 1:13
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@MichaelEdenfield - Feel free to post your own answer. I prefer to let the facts speak for themselves when they do so clearly like this. There was no time for the president to deny reinforcements the attack lasted 9 minutes and the entire group was at the airport in less than an hour. It would have taken longer than that to get reinforcements in country. –  Chad Nov 5 '12 at 1:52
    
@Chad It wasn't an answer, it was a question; I have no idea if this extra claim from Fox is true or not but it seems relevant to know if there was an explicit order from somewhere not to send assistance, so I was looking for clarification one way or the other. –  Michael Edenfield Nov 5 '12 at 1:58
    
@MichaelEdenfield - The attack that killed the seals lasted 9 minutes from initial engagement to the attackers withdrawing. I suspect they withdrew because the Libyan army was en route but that is just a guess. But there was no time to get reinforcements from Qatar(probably the closest base) even if they were already loaded on choppers they had a 2 hour flight. Even seals were at least 45 minutes out if they were ready to go(i doubt they were) By then the team had already evaced. –  Chad Nov 5 '12 at 2:05
    
@nico: normal time 22:10, US military fancy way: 2210 ;-) –  vartec Nov 5 '12 at 10:05

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