- Posted on October 31, 2012 at 10:19am by Madeleine Morgenstern
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday a U.S. senator told him that at least two news networks have emails from the White House ordering a counterterrorism team to stand down on a rescue mission at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “They were a group in real-time trying to mobilize Marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House ‘stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action.’”
He continued, “If that’s true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that’s true and that comes out in the next day or two, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And I think that’s very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”
Gingrich said if accurate, it leaves two conclusions: that the the secretary of defense usurped the commander in chief or that Obama never gave the order.