McKeon questions military operations in Benghazi attack

“I find it implausible that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Commander of U.S. Africa Command, and the Commander of U.S. European Command would have ignored a direct order from the Commander in Chief,” he said.

McKeon asked the president for a “prompt” response to questions about whether he directed the military to move assets into Libya or the authority to enter Libyan airspace, and to describe recommendations provided to top military commanders.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the intelligence was too murky to send U.S. troops into Libya to intervene.

Panetta said the attack was over too quickly for the military to “really know what was happening,” and that there was agreement from top military officials that forces could not be sent into Libya.

“The basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on, without having some real-time information about what's taking place,” Panetta said.

“And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. [Carter] Ham, [Joint Chiefs Chairman] Gen. [Martin] Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

McKeon’s letter is the latest in a wide-ranging effort in Congress to investigate the Libya attack that spans across numerous committees in the House and Senate.