◼ CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG). - Sharyl Attkisson/CBS News
"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."
Information shared with CBS News from top counterterrorism sources in the government and military reveal keen frustration over the U.S. response on Sept. 11, the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a coordinated attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
The circumstances of the attack, including the intelligence and security situation there, will be the subject of a Senate Intelligence Committee closed hearing on Nov. 15, with additional hearings to follow....
Absent coordination from Counterterrorism Security Group, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official says the response to the crisis became more confused. The official says the FBI received a call during the attack representing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and requesting agents be deployed. But he and his colleagues agreed the agents "would not make any difference without security and other enablers to get them in the country and synch their efforts with military and diplomatic efforts to maximize their success."
Another senior counter terrorism official says a hostage rescue team was alternately asked to get ready and then stand down throughout the night, as officials seemed unable to make up their minds.
◼ Special ops halted from responding to Benghazi attacks, U.S. diplomat says - Ernesto Londoño/Washington Post
...The account is certain to reignite a debate over whether the Obama administration has been sufficiently forthcoming in its public accounting of the events and missteps that resulted in the first death of a U.S. ambassador in the line of duty in a generation.
When it was all over and the jets had not been scrambled and the troops not dispatched, an American lieutenant colonel in Tripoli who commanded the four-man special ops team told Hicks he was sorry his men had been held back.
“I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than someone in the military,” the officer told Hicks, according to the diplomat’s account. Hicks called that “a nice compliment.”...
◼ The hearing will explore why the State Department never activated its Foreign Emergency Support Team. - USA Today