CBS News: Why didn’t we send the military to rescue Benghazi personnel?

posted at 9:21 am on October 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

By now we’ve gotten the basic details of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi — no thanks to the White House, which tried to pass it off as a “spontaneous demonstration” that “spun out of control” for more than a week after the attack. Not too many people may have understood that the attack lasted for seven hours, however — and that American military assets were in easy reach.  The last two Americans who died had managed to survive six hours into the attack.

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson asked the obvious question yesterday: If we could fly an unarmed drone over the consulate while it was under attack, why didn’t we send the military in to rescue our people?

Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours. The assault was launched by an armed mob of dozens that torched buildings and used rocket propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.

This question comes at a most opportune time. CBS News’ Bob Schieffer will moderate tonight’s presidential debate on foreign policy between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and the Benghazi terrorist attack will almost certainly arise as a topic. What are the odds that the CBS News host brings up this biting CBS News report on what we might have done to stop the attack in Benghazi?

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My God. Let’s assume this was not Panetta and Dempsey’s analysis, and assume it is only the White House spin of same:

A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

Can you even imagine the dead soul one must have to think “Well, how long can we wait to go in before someone accusing us of sandbagging it?”

The statement itself isn’t “We looked at the best options, and this was the best possible one.” It isn’t, “We looked at the options and unfortunately it was just under 24 hours.”

At the START OF THE ATTACK, mind you, according to the reporter. That presents this really neat picture of Dempsey and Panetta congratulating themselves that they had come up with an option, all while actually watching their brethren run for their lives in fear and terror, that would get there within a bureaucratic, risk-assessment based timeframe. “Hooray! High five for us! We’re so competent. Now, where’s the popcorn?”

Is that what you’re trying to portray, White House Official?

And CBS…why is it only Republican lawmakers who are interested in this? Do you dismiss the patriotism and pain and anger of all Americans?

winoceros on October 22, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Here is a link t a story detailing what actually happened on the ground during the attack as seen by the various security guards…Note the bit about 8 marines flown in and then left to dither until they finally were allowed to proceed.

There is more detail in this story than in all the posts on this topic so far.

JIMV on October 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Veni, Vidi, Exii

opaobie on October 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Sharyl Attkisson is one of the few asking the hard questions in the MSM. She’s the one who broke the story on the Fast & Furious gun scandal IIRC. A lone gunman of sorts at CBS actually practicing journalism.

Yakko77 on October 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Let’s just do this with a level head.

JetBoy on October 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I agree with everything you’ve stated there – that’s a very mature post you’ve made.

Everyone always rushes to the conspiracy theories – when this is perfectly explainable by other means such as incompetence, poor communication, etc.

Personally, my belief is that Obambi and Hilary would not have deliberatly risked the lives of embassy personnel – but … in fact, they just didn’t have an appreciation for the impact their decisions made here. It’s pretty clear to me they had blinders on.

I think this administration just believes that GOD, or some supernatural power will protect them from bad decisions and things will always work out in the end.

Someone wasn’t thinking here. But it’s absolute foolishness to go running off here and claiming that Obama and Hilary wanted this to happen … or knew it could happen but deliberately chose to disregard the facts.

HondaV65 on October 22, 2012 at 4:59 PM

A policy of appeasement is a seen by Islamicists as policy of weakness. A posture of weakness invites attacks.
We were attacked because we are perceived as being weak.
Our lack of response only strengthens that perception.

ariel on October 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Send your comments along to Debbie Wasserman Schultz. You are certainly clear but I think she would call you a cowboy.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Hi blink, nice to see you here.

I would say that B-52 are 50 years old and I can take you to various places where their presence takes the “is” out of a certain religion’s name and it results in the “Silence of the lambs”.

I made that up and I will probably get my head loped off for it. And air force person found it hilarious. Actually, the spouse of an Air Force person.

IlikedAUH2O on October 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM

HondaV65 on October 22, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Shut your mouth!

I didn’t even think the administration was that messed up.

With those traits, we could have a narcissistic Pollyanna with a messianic complex. Like the guy who ran Jonestown.

And this guy is dealing with China, Russia and Iran?


IlikedAUH2O on October 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Some of you keep making excuses for Obama, the State Department,
the CIA, the military not having the proper equipment, not being in the right location, not having the right planes, trains or
automobiles, etc.

Don’t you get it? There are no excuses. Four of our citizens
were killed because our government screwed up either accidentally
through their incompetence or on purpose to protect Obama

There is no other answer. And I hope and pray that Romney wins
and has the internal fortitude to clean house in every government

And I hope he doesn’t listen to the likes of the appeasers who
post here, making excuses, excuses, excuses, when there should be
no excuses accepted.

Amjean on October 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Somebody just linked me to blogger AllenG and his series of posts concerning the document dump that was laid on Congress earlier this week.

Document dump here:

Blog posts analyzing it start here:

Still reading my way through this myself. It concentrates on before the attack, and the repeated denials of the ambassador’s security requests.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM

There’s no link to part 4 from part 3.

Direct link to part 4:

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 6:02 PM

No links for parts 5 and 6 either:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Note that by this point, Ambassador Stevens was sending his requests directly to the Secretary of State (SECSTATE) and “WASHDC”, unidentified… but, um, if the Secretary herself is one of the addressees, its quite likely that the other addressee is the White House.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 6:05 PM

On the issues of the US Embassy in Libya. The attack may or may not have been spontaneous. The attack may or may not been by al Queda. The attack may or may not been because of a movie that may or may not been made by a person that no one has ever seen . After all the misdirection and spins have come and gone what remains are a few salient points.

1. An Embassy is recognized universally as Sovereign territory of that country.
2. The attack lasted over 7 hours.
3. The Ambassador and three others were slowly roasted to death.
4. The Department of State watched it live for over 7 hours
5. The Department Defense watched it live for over 7 hours
6. The CIA watched it live for over 7 hours.
7. These people were in communications with the Embassy people until there last gasp of breath.

These people could have done something, there was time to do something. They all chose to do NOTHIG. General Petraeus has disgraced himself, his uniform and his oath as an officer he left men behind to die. Leon Panetta has disgraced his other wise sterling career and Hillary Clinton has forfeit any right to a presidential race in 2016, or did someone tell them to do NOTHING.

There is only one person in our government that has the power and position to stopped them, only one person that could have stopped the FBI from going in later. That person is……….agh agh they got me with a plutonium pellet.

jpcpt03 on October 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM

ROS-LEHTINEN: Obama still trying to sweet-talk Iran out of building the bomb

Weak foreign policy poses serious threat
Fri Oct 19 2012
By Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Just a few days ago, Mansour J. Arbabsiar pleaded guilty to working with Iran’s Quds force to carry out an attack on U.S. soil and assassinate a foreign diplomat stationed in Washington. Earlier this month, Hezbollah, a terrorist proxy of the Iranian regime, reportedly launched an Iranian-supplied drone that penetrated Israel’s airspace before being shot down. Late last month, the Iranian navy launched four missiles as a show of force and its capacity to shut down access to the Persian Gulf. These are just a few examples of how the Iranian threat has become more dangerous since the Obama administration took office.

Unfortunately, despite its rhetoric to the contrary, the administration has not done what is necessary to effectively address the threat from Tehran. Iran’s nuclear program, particularly its ability to produce enriched uranium, has expanded exponentially since President Obama took office in 2009. Yet the president continues to embrace engagement and meaningless negotiations with Tehran while refusing to set clear red lines with respect to Iran’s nuclear program. The administration’s behavior has sent a clear message to our allies and the Iranian regime: The United States is not willing to do what it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Nonetheless, sanctions spearheaded by Congress — even with the administration fighting us every step of the way — have made an impact. Iran’s oil revenues are falling and could drop much lower as the embargo on Iranian oil expands and investment in Iran’s oil sector dries up. Economic sanctions also are inflicting increasing damage on Iran’s long-term oil-production potential. Concurrently, Iran is experiencing a currency crisis that could threaten the stability of the regime. The Iranian regime also reports that consumer prices rose more than 40 percent from spring 2010 to spring 2012. Updated data have not been published in recent months, presumably because the data show further hyperinflation. We must exploit this vulnerability. To do so, the president must make full and immediate use of the tools Congress has provided him. Sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and banking system are curtailing the foreign partnerships on which Iran’s oil industry has relied. Given these trends, it is not unreasonable to contemplate the end of oil exports from Iran, with resulting damage to government finances, foreign exchange earnings and the larger Iranian economy.

However, incremental, a la carte implementation of sanctions limits the potential impact on the Iranian regime’s ability to pursue its dangerous activities. The effectiveness of these foreign-policy tools has been further undermined by the Obama administration’s naive view that if we keep “talking” to the Iranians and convince them to return to the negotiating table, Iran will stop its drive for nuclear capability.

The Iranians in the past have agreed repeatedly to discussions over their nuclear program, in some cases even giving the impression that a deal was in place before reneging. Thus, Tehran’s tactics have another, more fundamental purpose: Iran benefits from dragging out the negotiations as long as possible in order to provide its nuclear program extra time to keep refining uranium, getting Iran its goal of a bomb. Again, if the Iranians can convince the P5+1 countries that negotiations are leading toward an agreement, it is possible the European Union and the administration will quietly ease sanctions, as part of the “flexibility” Mr. Obama thinks he will have in his second term.

There is a growing disconnect between the president’s public rhetoric and the process by which U.S. diplomatic efforts have allowed Tehran to do the stalling that he claims he opposes.

We need an administration that will implement a coherent policy to compel the Iranian regime to abandon its nuclear program and other dangerous activities. America and our ally Israel cannot afford another four years of failed Obama administration policies on Iran, policies that will not produce a deal but only buy Tehran more time to cross the nuclear finish line.

canopfor on October 22, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Thanks for the links, Chuckg. I wouldn’t run with the idea that Ambassador Stevens directed his requests to the White House; it looks like the emails were addressed — properly — action to SECSTATE in WASHDC.

That said, it’s an interesting question what Stevens’ level of concern was, and how Obama handles his ambassadors. In terms of protocol, Stevens would be unlikely to go directly to the president on a matter like keeping a security detachment in country. He’d go to SECSTATE.

But — the US ambassador in any nation is the president’s representative, and one of the few people who can go directly to the president on a serious matter. The ambassador shows professionalism and goodwill by going through SECSTATE on all the things he’s supposed to. But if he has serious heartburn, he can take it up directly with the president, regardless of what he’s getting from State.

Did Stevens do this? Did Obama foster an environment in which he knew he could, if he needed to shoot a silver bullet? These are important questions, given the extreme diciness of Libya and our position there. It’s like the whole structure of tradition, professionalism, convention, and expectations has broken down.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Benghazi, US-NATO Sponsored Base of Operations for Al Qaeda

Late US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens documented the transformation of Benghazi into overt base of operations for Al Qaeda.

Global Research, October 21, 2012

Late US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens documented the transformation of Benghazi, Libya into overt base of operations for Al Qaeda.

“I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it.” – Senator John McCain in Benghazi, Libya April 22, 2011.

The Washington Times, in an article titled, “Ambassador Stevens warned of Islamic extremism before Benghazi attack,” reported:

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in a diplomatic cable from Libya last June, cited the apparent rise of “Islamic extremism” and the spotting of “the Al Qaeda flag” over buildings outside the city of Benghazi, where he and three other Americans were ultimately killed in an attack on Sept. 11.

The Washington Times would quote Stevens as writing:

“A number of local contacts agreed, noting that Islamic extremism appears to be on the rise in eastern Libya and that the Al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities” in a small Libyan city about 100 miles east of Benghazi.”

While all of this is depicted by the Western media as a recent revelation made only after the death of Ambassador Stevens, journalists around the world had documented and warned of the dangers of arming “pro-democracy protesters” who were clearly militant extremists, actively carrying out terrorism for at least three decades in the Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) region. These warning came just as NATO bombs began to fall on Libya in 2011, and were reiterated many times before the bombing concluded.

Video: March, 2011, shortly after NATO began bombing Libya, journalists the world over were warning that the so-called “pro-democracy” protesters the West was purportedly protecting were in fact notorious extremist groups with a 30 year history of terrorism in Libya and abroad. Dr. Webster Tarpley provided documented evidence collected from the US Army’s own West Point study, indicating the the epicenter of the so-called “revolution,” was in fact the global epicenter of Al Qaeda recruitment. It would be in this epicenter that John McCain would give his speech, and where Ambassador Stevens would later be killed.….

Geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley, in March of 2011, published a report titled, “The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq,” where a 2007 West Point study implicated Libya’s Cyrenaica region as the global epicenter for Al Qaeda recruitment. The most prominent militant group in the region was the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as an international terrorist organization.

The United Nations, in addition to labeling LIFG as a terrorist organization, designated it as being in association with Al Qaeda, a designation that was made in 2001, a decade before NATO’s military intervention.

While the Western press and State Department officials attempt to claim the extremists operating in Benghazi are merely “affiliated” with Al Qaeda, this is an understatement. LIFG is Al Qaeda, and has been officially since 2007. The West Point report titled, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” stated:

The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al‐Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al‐Qa’ida on November 3, 2007. (page 9, .pdf)

To this day, LIFG leaders are alleged to occupy the highest echelons of Al Qaeda, with the recently deceased Abu Yahya al-Libi (the Libyan) having played a role in both terror outfits. With West Point’s 2007 report and the UN’s 2001 official designation, it is clear that NATO’s decision to arm these groups was an act of unprecedented, blatant state sponsorship of terrorism. That the UN mandated NATO’s intervention, undermines entirely the “primacy of international law.”

Warning Signs Were Covered Up, Not Ignored.

While the Western press glossed over stories covering the hoisting of Al Qaeda flags described by Ambassador Stevens in his cables, the development was covered across the alternative media, including in, “John McCain: Founding Father of the Terrorist Emirate of Benghazi,” where the full implications and genesis of these prevailing extremists forces were examined in detail. Alternative analysis was quickly dismissed as “conspiracy theories,” even as Ambassador Stevens was sending his cables to Washington conveying exactly the same information.

The West did not “ignore” these warnings. It covered them up intentionally through a concerted campaign of deceit, cognitive infiltration, and ridicule. The intelligence services of Washington and London had been supplying weapons and aid to the terrorists of Benghazi for 30 years, fought along side them in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980′s, armed and unleashed them in Kosovo in the 1990′s, and willfully bolstered their numbers, armament, and operational capacity in 2011 in order to overthrow the Libyan government.

The terror emirate of Benghazi that consumed Ambassador Stevens is a monster of the West’s own willful, premeditated creation – the West fully cognizant of the implications – and a monster the West is currently still arming, funding, and supporting, this time along the Turkish-Syrian border.

US, NATO, and “International Community” to Willfully Repeat “Mistake” in Syria.

Indeed, the very terrorists that have turned Benghazi into a terror emirate, with Al Qaeda flags waving freely over government buildings, and responsible for the death of a US Ambassador, are being sent to the Turkish-Syrian border where NATO member Turkey is harboring them while the US arms them with Saudi and Qatari purchased weapons.

In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.

“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and more recently, CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants, particularly Libyans. It was admitted that:

Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.

A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.

CNN also added:

On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.

CNN’s reports provide bookends to 2011′s admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist LIFG commanders making the arrangements.

In essence, Syria has been under invasion for nearly a year by Libyan terrorists – the very same terrorists who have overrun Benghazi and killed a US ambassador, fully facilitated by NATO. In addition to these terrorists, Turkey and the United States are also arming and funding Muslim Brotherhood militants as well as fighters from US State Department-listed Ansar al-Islam.

To explain this to the public, the Western press is claiming that the weapons are inadvertently ending up in the hands of extremists, despite the CIA operating along the border allegedly steering weapons into the hands of “more secular” militants.

In June of 2012, the New York Times in an article titled, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” claimed:

A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said.

Then, apparently right under the nose of the CIA and NATO, the New York Times reported on October 14, 2012 in their article, “Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria,” that:

Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

Clearly, there are only two explanations. The CIA is inept and should be held accountable for its profound and repeated failures, or the same verified lies told by the West in regards to Libya are being repeated in Syria.

Either way, the West, though its demonstrable actions, has forfeited its self-proclaimed authority to intervene beyond its borders, based on “international law” it willfully, openly, and repeatedly violates, selectively enforces, and otherwise manipulates to achieve its extraterritorial ambitions – and must be excluded entirely from any solution implemented to resolve the violence unfolding in Syria.

canopfor on October 22, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Chuckg, Blink, J.E.,
You all have brought up some great points about assets that are in the area that could have been used, but unless I missed it and I may have there is one you may have missed. There is always a MEU in the Med on station. They bring a full compliment and are capable of NEO and SAR/TRAP missions. This is very similar in nature to those. They are SOC qualified and this is what they are there for. Mobilization takes almost no time and they have an asset that can get troops on ground in no time(V-22). As many posters have alluded to, it really is a mute point if they aren’t called at all. Again I will say that it never works out well for the Lions when they are led by Lambs. (J.E. side note, kinda stings a bit that you would forget about the boys and girls in green hanging out with sister service on the water/ meant as a joke btw)

MarshFox on October 22, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Marshfox — It was already posted that the MEU in question was all the way on the other side of the Med, and stood down for training.

Which, y’know, when its the only unit available for crisis response, is the exact wrong time to be moving them away and putting them through a training cycle.

But hey! This country’s in the very best of hands!

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 6:57 PM

MarshFox on October 22, 2012 at 6:51 PM

MarshFox — Peleliu ARG and 15 MEU hadn’t left the East coast on 9/11/12. They’re in 5th Fleet now, but were not onsta in the Med during the attack.

USS Iwo Jima ARG/24 MEU were in 5th Fleet on 9/11/12.

Believe me, I checked. An ARG/MEU somewhere close is exactly what you want if a crisis like Benghazi blows up. But we didn’t have one there. We no longer have a full-time ARG/MEU presence in the Med. It’s typically a max of 3-4 months a year these days, with transits, port visits, and joint exercise time added together.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Same problem on this thread as the problem with the leaders of the armed forces.
To many promoted by Bill Clinton, little boy Bush, this hate America commie Democrat B. Obama.

They think that if you build schools they will be western by the end of the first school year.
When in fact the local leader takes out a mortgage on the school and buys guns to use to kill American fighting men. The little kids that should be in the school are rather being brain washed with the death cult book.
Thus when the chain of command is required to make the decision to fight the normal for them is to find a way to fund some locals to guard the place and rake off a kick back on the contract.
The C.I.A. etal are back in the drug trade for recrutes buss. just like in the Vietnam days of coke distribution for gold.

Turn the armed forces over to the enlisted men and fire all the Generals and someting will get done by dark.

Marines know how to break things, they are great at it.
But silly ones in D.C. have lost sight of how to fight to win.

If we dally around much longer and allow these evil acts to stand more and more attacks will come. Clear it is the guards who cut and ran are just a few peices of gold away from turning the guns we supply them on the U.S. State Dept. people they are hired to protect. In fact the way they cut and run, they are very responsible for the deaths also.

We will have to fight on a moments notice once more and the will to fight on a one second notice will come soon once more.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Good catch, I missed that the 26th hadn’t left yet. The rotation has been screwed up since 2001, so everything is off kilter, and with the taxi fleet getting smaller it is hard to keep the rotation anyway. One correction though, the 15th would come from the west coast, 1s are on the west, 2s are on the east. Your forgiven though, heck I should have caught the shoratge in the Med, but I am on the other side of the world right now so my eye is elsewhere. Trivial point but I was in the ARG when the old Iwo when she had the explosion aboard ship, well steam pipe malfunction is what they called it, anyway, that should tell you how far I go back and then some. J.E., thanks for what you do btw, your community has saved my hide over the years a few times, if only by extension.

MarshFox on October 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson asked the obvious question yesterday: If we could fly an unarmed drone over the consulate while it was under attack, why didn’t we send the military in to rescue our people?

Was the predator actually unarmed? CBS doesn’t say that in this piece, and I haven’t seen any other news source say that either. What they say is “unmanned”. All drones are unmanned. Would be interesting to know if this drone actually WAS armed, yet didn’t fire on the opposition.

xblade on October 22, 2012 at 8:48 PM

MarshFox on October 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Ye gods, I don’t know where my head was when I was writing that. Pel ARG is of course a West coast asset, and of course 15 MEU is out of Pendleton. You’d think someone who did three Pacific tours would avoid brain-farting on that.

Bottom line: no ARG/MEU in the Med when we needed it. And this is the force that’s only going to get smaller.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM