Here’s the TV Pool Report verbatim on Defense Secretary Panetta’s comments about Benghazi, spoken today in session with reporters aboard his flight to Perth, Australia:
“One of the things that we are doing right now is we are involved in an assessment btwn DOD and the state department to look at the embassies in that region and what additional steps need to be taken in order to ensure the security of our embassies. So we do need to look at how we can A, improve security and 2, be able to effectively respond if there are any threats.
With regards to Benghazi itself, I think this has been pointed out, we moved very quickly to deploy the forces that we thought were important to deal w/ the threats in the region. We deployed those forces as quickly as we could. But the problem w/ Benghazi itself is the events there were happening on rapid pace, that attack was largely over by the time of response.”
Q – more troops?
“The fact is, we had them deployed to the key areas that we needed to have them move from. And you know, we have so many bases in the area, obviously siganella was one of those bases, but Roda as well as other bases in the region. The fundamental fact is this: in order for us to be able to move quickly –we have to have some advance notice that something is going to happen and in this case we didn’t have that. When we were informed the attack was already happening, and to be able to respond quickly when an attack is already going on, just make it very difficult to be able to move as quickly as we would have wanted to.”
As tweeted by Mark Knoller, pool reporter.