Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chair: Obama Talked to Them Only Once on Night of Benghazi Attack
by TERRANCE JEFFREY
February 7, 2013
Under questioning by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R.-N.H.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) in the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they spoke to President Barack Obama only once on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012, when the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya were under attack by terrorists.
Panetta and Dempsey had a pre-scheduled meeting with Obama at 5:00 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on Sept. 11. The meeting lasted about thirty minutes. After it was over, they did not hear from Obama again or anybody else at the White House.
"Did you have any further communications with him that night?" Ayotte asked Panetta.
"No," said Panetta.
"Did you have any other further communications? Did he ever call you that night to say how are things going, what's going on, where's the consulate?" asked Ayotte.