- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2013

Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin is right to contend that the top issue demanding congressional investigation is the failure by the Obama administration to deploy military aid in an effort to save the lives of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012 (“Congress asking the wrong questions on Benghazi,” Dec. 25).

The answer to Gen. Boykin’s question should be apparent. No military forces were deployed in a rescue attempt because the White House, probably the president himself, decided not to dispatch available military resources. The question, then, is why didn’t the president take the necessary military action to rescue the besieged Americans? Here, the White House can only offer excuses, the main one being that there was not enough time for armed military forces to have arrived in order to have make a difference. That excuse and all of the others proffered by the White House simply don’t cut it.

Fighter jets could have been over the target in less than one hour after the terrorist assault began. Marines in Tripoli could have been in Benghazi in less than four hours. Fully equipped special forces just 400 miles from Benghazi were available at a base in Sicily. Finally, there was a military surveillance drone over the consulate for most of the battle, including the seventh hour when the terrorists were setting up a mortar unit used to kill the former Navy SEALs. Had that drone been armed with laser-guided missiles, it could have knocked out that mortar site, because Tyrone Woods had a laser that he used to illuminate the target.

In the end, Mr. Obama, sadly, thought more of his political skin than he did of the lives of the besieged Americans.

HARRISON E. MCCANDLISH

Alexandria, Va.