Panetta: There Was Not Enough Time To Get To Benghazi


CHUCK TODD: What more can be done from your perspective on the Pentagon’s role in securing our embassies? We just had a near suicide attack, if you will, suicide bomber, embassy in Ankara, Turkey just last week. What can be done more that isn’t being done now?

LEON PANETTA: Well, the important things to do are first of all you’ve got to build up the host company-- the host country capacity. In the end, these embassies do depend on host country, the details that provide security so you’ve got to have-- you’ve-- you’ve got to try to develop that.

TODD: Not-- this shouldn’t be more marines? This shouldn’t be more-- more..,

MR. PANETTA: No, no. That’s, you know-- let me get through the rest of the points.

TODD: Okay. All right. Sorry.

MR. PANETTA: The second is you got to harden these embassies as much as possible. And the third is that we’ve been working with the State Department to-- to determine whether additional marines ought to be assigned to that area. And in the end, then, you know, the final alternative is our ability to respond in having our troops in a position where they can respond quickly. But I have to tell you, a lot of that still is dependent on whether intelligence tells us that we’ve got a big problem and gives us enough warning so that we can get to the place so that we can respond.

TODD: Did you have enough time to get there in time? You didn’t have enough warning (Unintelligible) Benghazi?

MR. PANETTA: No, we did not.

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