The Navy has released a map showing the locations of its fleet positions near Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 — when terrorists killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The unclassified map — which was obtained by a retired Air Force veteran investigating the attacks through a public records request and published online by the group Judicial Watch — shows that there were dozens of vessels in the region during the attacks.
On the day of the attacks, the Navy had two aircraft carriers, four amphibious ships, 13 destroyers, three cruisers, a dozen small Navy boats and a command ship, Judicial Watch noted in its analysis of the map.
The veteran who obtained the map — Air Force Lt. Col. Randall R. Schmidt — has used the map to argue that destroyers could have responded to the attack.
“The point is there were enough forces to respond,” Schmidt said.
But the military has maintained that they were not equipped to adequately respond.
During a May 21 hearing on the military’s role in the attacks convened by the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Darryl Roberson, the vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained that the military had no realistic options available.
“It is not like a fire station,” Roberson said of the military during the May hearing. “We don’t have assets to respond like a fire call, jump down the pole and respond for any American that is under fire anywhere in the world.”
See the map: