President Obama declined to answer directly whether a CIA annex was denied  urgent requests for military assistance during the deadly attacks last month on  U.S. outposts in Libya.

The president did not give a yes-or-no answer Friday when asked pointedly  whether the Americans under attack in Benghazi, Libya, were denied requests for  help during the attack.

Fox News has also learned that a request from the CIA annex for backup was  later denied.

“The election has nothing to do with the four brave Americans getting killed  and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” the president said in TV  interview with an NBC affiliate in Colorado.

When asked again, Obama said, “The minute I found out what was going on, I gave three very clear directives — Number 1, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”

The first attack occurred at the American consulate in Benghazi, killing U.S.  Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. diplomat Sean Smith.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team that was at the CIA  annex about a mile from the consulate when it came under attack. Upon hearing  shots fired, team members asked higher-ups at the annex if they could go the  consulate. However, they were told to “stand down,” according to sources  familiar with the exchange.

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and went to the consulate,  evacuating survivors and Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack.

They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about  midnight. At that point, they called again for military support and help  because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was  denied. Woods and fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty were killed at the annex  by a mortar shell at 4 a.m.

The CIA and Defense Department have denied claims about requests for support  being rejected.

“The agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible  evening in Benghazi,” said CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood. “Moreover, no  one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need. Claims to  the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said there was not a clear enough picture of  what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” he said  Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into  harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”

Obama also said in the TV interview, as he said previously said, the  administration is going to “investigate what happened to make sure it never  happens again” and  find out who was involved in the attack so they can be  brought to justice.

“I guarantee you that everybody in the State Department, our military, CIA,  you name it, have a No.1 priority making sure that people are safe. These are  our folks. And we’re going to find out exactly what happened but what we’re also  going to do is make sure that we are identify those who carried out these  terrible attacks,” the president said.

Source: Fox News


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