So he knows nothing about what happened, yet he would have done the same thing? And yes, we did have a ready force, that was available, and there was information from the ground from the men who were begging for help.
In a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks in Libya and addressed U.S. involvement in Syria, Iraq and North Korea.
Gates told host Bob Schieffer on CBS’s “Face the Nation” there was no time to reach the Americans under attack in Benghazi – and had he been in the job at the time, “my decision would have been just as theirs were.”
“I would not have approved sending a single aircraft over Benghazi in those circumstances,” Gates said, due to fears of surface to air missiles.
“Getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible,” he said.
Gates decried the “cartoonish impression” people have of the military’s capabilities to be dispatched in a moment’s notice, adding that the U.S. does not have a ready force standing by in the Middle East.
Although Gates said he has not been formally briefed on the attacks or spoken with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about them, Gates said he does not believe there is any evidence of an attempted cover-up of the Benghazi aftermath in order to protect Clinton’s political future.
“I wouldn’t want to try and be somebody…trying to convince her to say something she did not think was true,” he said.