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Opinion

General: 'We may have been able to' save Benghazi victims, but State Department never asked for help

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Air Force,September 11 Terrorist Attacks,Benghazi,Terrorism,State Department,Libya,Jason Chaffetz

A retired Air Force general who served as the deputy director of intelligence for U.S. forces in Africa said that the military "may have" been able to save the four Americans killed in the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attacks, but they deferred to the State Department, which never asked for a rescue.

"We may have been able to, but we'll never know," retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell, former Deputy Director for Intelligence for the U.S. African Command, replied when asked if U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and the other three Americans killed in Benghazi could have been saved.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, also asked Lovell why the U.S. military never deployed military assets from Europe to Libya. Lovell blamed the State Department.

"Basically, there was a lot of looking to the State Department for what it was that they wanted and the deference to the Libyan people and the sense of deference to the desires of the State Department in terms of what they would like to have," he said.

"Did they ever tell you to go save the people in Benghazi?" Chaffetz asked.

"Not to my knowledge, sir," Lovell said.

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