According to the Washington Post, in the closing days of the campaign, the CIA is now claiming that they sent relief for the besieged employees at the Benghazi consulate;
The CIA rushed security operatives to an American diplomatic compound in Libya within 25 minutes of its coming under attack and played a more central role in the effort to fend off a night-long siege than has been acknowledged publicly, 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 American personnel to safety, U.S. officials said.
The Associated Press saw the same report;
The intelligence officials told reporters Thursday that when the CIA annex received a call about the assault, about half a dozen members of a CIA security team tried to get heavy weapons and other assistance from the Libyans. But when the Libyans failed to respond, the security team, which routinely carries small arms, went ahead with the rescue attempt. The officials said that at no point was the team told to wait.
Instead, they said the often outmanned and outgunned team members made all the key decisions on the ground, with no second-guessing from senior officials monitoring the situation from afar.
But they add this quixotic line;
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide intelligence information publicly.
I just think it’s strange that this information is coming out now, a week after Fox News reports that folks on the ground were ordered to stand down. The whole thing is more confusing than it was before. It wasn’t the CIA that Fox charged had been told to stand down, it was the two now-deceased former SEALs. It sounds like a whole misinformation campaighn designed to confuse the public.
Today, Fox News says that the State Department didn’t send in their rapid response team;
Top State Department officials decided not to send an interagency rapid response unit designed to respond to terrorist attacks known as a FEST team, a Foreign Emergency Support Team. This team from the State Department and CIA has a military Joint Special Operations Command element to it and has been routinely deployed to assist in investigations, for instance, after the USS Cole bombing and the bombings at the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
That team, these counterterrorism officials argue, could have helped the FBI gain access to the site in Benghazi faster than the 24 days that it eventually needed.
I guess everyone is going to believe what they want about this.