Just to be clear, the absence is from Panetta’s point of view. Which was, you know, the POV of the Secretary of Defense
(Weekly Standard) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:
Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o’clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, “up to us.”
In fact, Panetta says that the night of 9/11, he did not communicate with a single person at the White House. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Obama did not call or communicate in anyway with the defense secretary that night. There were no calls about what was going on in Benghazi. He never called to check-in.
Gee, one would think that the POTUS and the SecDef would actually communicate now and then regarding what measures could be taken to rescue Americans who were under assault from violent Islamists, alas, apparently not. Yet, Obama took time during the crisis to call Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over a non-critical issue. Furthermore
And both Panetta and Dempsey admitted in today’s hearing that they were not in touch with Clinton at all the evening of 9/11. “[W]e never received a request for support from the State Department,” Dempsey said, explaining why the American military had not made any attempt to save the endangered Americans.
Panetta did what he could to try to shield Obama, but overall the transcript shows that Obama was absent regarding contact with the SecDef. And Panetta said the same thing while being questioned by Kelly Ayotte, as well. Panetta ordered the deployment of some forces to areas around the Mediterranean, but was never asked to use those forces. Because POTUS Obama was MIA while our citizens were being assaulted.