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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What ordnance would you recommend for employment in a nominally friendly city for those mortar crews?

The same ordnance we’ve been using for the past 11 years when faced with similar tactical problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, duh.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Fast moving goal post are what blink uses best.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Are you suggesting that we did not mobilize any assets in the area once the walls of our Embassy in Cairo were breached? If so, you are implying that our entire Military, State Department, and Intelligence services simply sat and watched our US Embassy in Cairo was being invaded and later our Consulate in Benghazi besieged and burned without any kind of tactical response.

The only way that scenario could ever occur is if our forces were told to stand down while the attacks were going on. Otherwise, we would have engaged the enemy in Benghazi, and there would be far fewer terrorists left to participate in their next attack.

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

The only way that scenario could ever occur is if our forces were told to stand down while the attacks were going on.

Being fair, most of us suspect that this is exactly what happened, which is exactly why we think this current administration has a shit ton to answer for.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Blink, ChuckG the F-16′s draw and load ordnance in Aviano…they deploy to Sig and refuel..JP is JP…from there they deploy to Benghazi…now 500 lb are not my idea of crowd dispersal weapons, but it COULD be done.

If there is a second wave, that could come with tanker support for loiter…I doubt AWACS. I’d imagine that that scarce resource is tasked everywhere, but Libya. NATO has them, but you’d have to get NATO involved then, and that’s just not a starter.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM

It’s 3 a.m. in the White House. The phone rings. Benghazi consulate under attack. Can we get help to the ambassador there?

Chuckg and blink.
One says can, the other says can’t.
One is right, the other is wrong.

What are your orders, Mr. President?

spiritof61 on October 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM

They don”t have F-15, E or otherwise in Aviano, you should know that much. There are only F-16 there.

jimver on October 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I believe that one was my fault, jimver, due to my typo at 12:15. (Corrected at 1:23.) blink’s got enough hilarity going; e.g., UHF having more range than VHF, among other things. No need to hang the F-15 typo on him (other than not knowing to correct it).

Air intercept isn’t the only alert mission for Aviano. It’s probably been a while since blink was in theater.

Satellite comms have been introduced on both the F-16 and F-15 (last couple of years). Not sure if the Aviano squadrons have been retrofitted. The satcom capability went to Southwest Asia first. MIDS is satellite capable now but NATO hasn’t caught up. US assets in Aviano have a dual NATO role and probably continue to use VHF regularly.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The same ordnance we’ve been using for the past 11 years when faced with similar tactical problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, duh.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:13 PM

JDAMS and LGB’s no collateral damage there…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM

JDAMS and LGB’s no collateral damage there…

And yet we still dropped them in Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s my point. Unless you make ultra special rules for Libya where we’re not allowed to do anything that has the slightest risk of failure ever — which you might recall was one of the original complaints — there is no reason that the same US military that has fought the War on Terror is so allegedly helpless to do anything at all in Benghazi.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:20 PM

blink seems to have an answer for everything – all in defense of our military being incapable of launching a response force within a 7 hour window.

So, let’s take a step back for a minute and ask why the DOD and and State Department didn’t war game the North African / Middle East scenarios that were foreseeable in the past 18 months of significant unrest in the area. Why didn’t we have a carrier stationed off Libya and Egypt in the run-up to 9/11? Where are all the defense and counter-terrorism planners in identifying likely hot spots and drawing up plans to deal with Americans and our facilities under assault?

Instead we have verified reports that this administration wanted to impart a Mayberry image for our facilities in the region and waved off adequate ground defensive assets despite pleas from those in country.

We saw the same crap in Iraq and Afghanistan where “optics” drove ROE’s resulting in unnecessary deaths and wounding of American and allied troops. You know we are in deep crap when war-fighting and defense of our diplomatic facilities has been politicized to the point where fantasy depiction trumps the lives of Americans serving their country. Disgusting.

in_awe on October 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

And if the people we are trying to “save” happen to be killed by the ordnance? We don’t know where they are….we can see the Consulate is under assault, mayhap that it’s burning, but NOT where Stevens and his party are.

All you folks with a knife in your teeth, might want to read Robert’s Ridge, for a nice little explanation of “Fog of War”.

I’ll bet you that if you were listening in, at either the drone control site or at any site motioning the drone you’d have had a goodly number of stories, none of which turn out to be true…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

What are your orders, Mr. President?

spiritof61 on October 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Get them out NOW. Find an effing way.

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 2:20 PM

A 1-hour readiness is a huge commitment that needs to be made regardless of aircraft age.

True, and relevant only as it clears up some tangentcies.

The other questions remain.

Arbalest on October 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Get them out NOW. Find an effing way.

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Fire up AF-1. Who’s in?

dogsoldier on October 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

And yet we still dropped them in Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s my point.

Within fairly strict ROE’s and NOT in cities, by-and-large…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Yes, yes, worry about the Lybians first.

Yes, yes, find excuses first.

No go is the frist decision choice, so no go it was.

But for the grace of God go any one of U.S. should B. Obama and these can’t do it crowd get the call from U.S. any where any time.

Same old commie Democrat party LBJ bombing pause crap.

Give them time to re-load and or re-group.

Should have hit the ground near the attack point as soon as possible and chased these assholes down to the last man and killed every last one of them.

Most likely they where runing round drunk on the kill and would have been easy to find via the heat signal from their camps.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

And if the people we are trying to “save” happen to be killed by the ordnance?

Strawman again. We are talking about delivering fire vs. mortar crews in the open that have already been located/spotted by Predator drone, and you’re talking about saturation bombing the entire embassy compound.

Again, you completely ignore what people are saying and substitute your own, much stupider version.

Its like talking to a wall.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Within fairly strict ROE’s and NOT in cities, by-and-large…

Won’t that be a friggin’ surprise to the Marines at Fallujah. I guess they just imagined those JDAMs.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Obviously, you’ve never been involved with coordinating the use of air assets.

Something’s definitely obvious about one of us, all right.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM

test

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM

failed

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Again, to all: the US military’s principal constraint on 9/11/12 was the lack of prior acknowledgment by the Obama administration that the situation in Libya would probably create a crisis like the Benghazi attack. JFKY and blink are correct in their point that you can’t just throw together what is essentially an urban CAS mission on the fly. Forget the Libyans: the possibility of hitting your own guys is too great.

The alternatives were to (a) prevent the need for such a mission entirely by fortifying the US mission compounds and providing them heavy security, or (b) plan such a mission and put designated assets in place.

Staging the F-16s through Sig is perfectly possible, and if USAFE were handed the task, that’s what they’d do. Given the time constraints of the attack already in progress, the most that could have been accomplished was getting some aircraft overhead with the ability to drop 500-pounders and fire Mavericks. In a situation with the attackers launching RPGs, you wouldn’t necessarily want to come in low to use the 20-Mike Mike. The attackers could have had MANPADs too.

But the mission could only have been very narrow in scope, and with US personnel still pinned down inside the compound, no strike-fighter jock I’ve ever known would want to start pumping ordnance into the perimeter without a fire controller on the ground in direct comms. That function wasn’t being filled — which again maps back to the administration’s failure to take the threat situation seriously.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM

But the mission could only have been very narrow in scope, and with US personnel still pinned down inside the compound, no strike-fighter jock I’ve ever known would want to start pumping ordnance into the perimeter without a fire controller on the ground in direct comms.

IIRC, the mortars were firing from outside the compound… IOW, outside that ‘perimeter’.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM

From the beginning, I’ve been trying to warn Hot Air commenters from jumping to conclusions.

You know this is true.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Yet you are the one is making assumptions, planes engines being worked on, forces called but called back…and we quoted actual people who have been in charge, our conclusions based on some intel.

And, you never answered the real charge, we gave up territory, and never came back to claim it…we relinquished secret information…you are the one who concluded we ran out of time, time we didn’t know we had.

It’s not just the bodies, that’s bad enough, but we also have been talking about losing valuable information, surrendering territory, thinks that are not “conclusions” but fact…and you just seem to overlook.

As I stated, you made a poor analysis, it happens, but you doubled down with foolish imaginary scenarios of specific planes having their engines down, or imaginary forces called out, then called back…pal, having dead bodies, after a six hour battle, and having our territory taken under force and not putting up a resistance is fact…your fantasy’s of what could have happened is just that a fantasy to protect your lame argument that we were helpless and ran out of time…I have no idea how you determine “time” when you are talking about sovereign territory taken by force, and us for days/weeks, not having the “time”.

I guess three weeks isn’t enough time in your world…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM

So, to continue this Obama path.

1. Ask if it is ok to protect American fighting men under attack.

2. Make excuses for days on end.

3. Change the subject.

4. Blame others.

5. Take no action when it was possible, ie not in the first 4 to 6 hours when it possible could have done some real time good. Yet not in the 9th hour or the 12th hour, or day or days or weeks. End up with it clear any action will be only if it helps get votes for Obama.

6. Send out taling heads and talking posters to misdirect.

7. Never use the many good men and assets possible and lusting to go.

8. Point long commie do nothing boney fingers at others and hide on silly ass late night talk shows.

9. Never at fault in his life, Democrats never wrong in the history of the U.S..

10. Lies do not win.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Strawman again. We are talking about delivering fire vs. mortar crews in the open that have already been located/spotted by Predator drone, and you’re talking about saturation bombing the entire embassy compound.

Again, you completely ignore what people are saying and substitute your own, much stupider version.

Its like talking to a wall.

Oh so, you KNEW where the Ambassador was, at this point?

Why didn’t you say so?

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

The complaint of ‘where the HELL was the follow-up?’ is a separate one from ‘where the hell was the immediate response?’, but yes, its a separate and damning thing against the administration that they left the consulate compound unattended for three weeks afterwards.

Remember all that pious noise about ‘we must wait for the FBI to investigate?’ A crime scene three weeks cold and trampled by everybody and his brother’s camel isn’t exactly “optimal”, Mr. President. If you had concerns about the safety of the FBI agents in Benghazi on D+2 or D+3, why not send another FAST team with them? They could drive from Tripoli in that amount of time.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

You mean Fallujah, where we told the civilians to leave for several weeks before we attacked?

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Oh so, you KNEW where the Ambassador was, at this point?

Seeing as how we’re talking about a span of time potentially covering five hours, your usage of ‘this point’ is disengenuous.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

You mean Fallujah, where we told the civilians to leave for several weeks before we attacked?

And where they didn’t leave and we knew they hadn’t left and we attacked anyway?

Yet again, you keep making arguments that try to rely on your audience’s ignorance.

Seriously, neither you nor blink have tried to be remotely honest anytime in the past several pages.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Again, you completely ignore what people are saying and substitute your own, much stupider version.

Its like talking to a wall.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

And again…after the deaths of these brave souls, their was the information and compound they were protecting, all with potential vital secret information…regardless (and I don’t mean that as not being important) of the outcome of the personal killed, their was still another component, our territory and it’s vital existence…both as a strategic and as a political entity that needed to be retained and taken back…and yes, taken back by force to show that we do not relinquish what is ours so easily.

They took over our territory, killed our representatives, and we never, never, presented any military presence…not on iota, either during or after the take down of our Embassy.

That is the piece of puzzle that all of you defenders of “run away” are not accepting or taking note…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Seeing as how we’re talking about a span of time potentially covering five hours, your usage of ‘this point’ is disengenuous.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

And yet here you are making the very argument, even though your own statement undercuts your point, doesn’t it?

The drone came on station AFTER the attack started…

And then your F-16′s show up even later, but you know where the Ambassador is? At any point?

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM

And yet here you are making the very argument, even though your own statement undercuts your point, doesn’t it?

The drone came on station AFTER the attack started…

Hoping we don’t remember the attack was around six hours long?

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

The complaint of ‘where the HELL was the follow-up?’ is a separate one from ‘where the hell was the immediate response?’, but yes, its a separate and damning thing against the administration that they left the consulate compound unattended for three weeks afterwards.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

No, it all flows together, time is of the essence, their is no “follow up” when territory is breached, it’s part of the “save”…we go to save what we can…hopefully lives, if not lives than information, if not information, than the assets…it should have started at the time of the first breach…we get their and save what we can. No one knows, no one had a clue how long we could hold out…and six hours is a long time.

Any delay in that could have given them a chance…but if not, than in 8, 12, 20 hours information was still their that was valuable…as proven by the journalist.

We dropped the ball…the Monday quarterbacking of saving lives may not be true, or may be…but it is definitely fact that we could have saved valuable assets from falling into the wrong hands.

And many of you think that’s just fine…if we couldn’t get their to save lives (and who knew what that timeline was?), it wasn’t worth retaining our territory.

Remind me not to suggest you guard our borders…once past you will just say it’s too late, might as well let them stay…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

And where they didn’t leave and we knew they hadn’t left and we attacked anyway?

Yet again, you keep making arguments that try to rely on your audience’s ignorance.

Seriously, neither you nor blink have tried to be remotely honest anytime in the past several pages.

Benghazi=Fallujah in your plan? The point is we gave the noncombatants weeks to leave Fallujah…unlike Benghazi, in your plan…

Your problem is you don’t like those pesky details of your plan that keep tripping you up…

Like where IS Amb. Stevens, now?

And how many civilian casualties are you willing to inflict?

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Are you suggesting that assets were definitively mobilized for Cario? If so, then which ones?

blink on October 22, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Teh c-130′s with only two engines working….HAHAHAHHAHA!!!

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

And ChuckG I love your sides argument…notice we’ve gone from “Send the Marines/SEALS” to “Send the F-16′s”…Ground troops are longer to deploy, but more precise…you’ve found a prompt tool, but one that is rather blunt….

Keep on.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM

LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, B. Obama same same.

If Al Gore or John F. Kerry had been elected the same thing.

Put American fighting men out in harms way, get them out in the open and set up and then , bombing pause, cut and run and never fight like commie Carter, take the wrong side like Clinton, join with glee the Muslim Brotherhood as in B. Hussain Obama case.
Wack job thinking with Gore and pure treason with Kerry.

Some choice.

More cut and run never stand and fight commie know nothing Democrats will just get more good American fighting men killed for no good reason.

These mad dog islamic ones of terror will kill and attempt to kill U.S. up and until we kill them first.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Like where IS Amb. Stevens, now?

If its after the guys on the radio lost contact with him, then he’s missing and presumed dead in a fire. If that’s wrong and he’s captured by the insurgents already, then he’s almost certainly dead anyway. The effective probability of him being staked out directly over the mortars as a live human shield; virtually nil. I will now concentrate on supporting the survivors I know are still alive and fighting.

And if you say ‘no, you must want until you are absolutely sure!’, then you will out yourself 200% certainly as someone never actually involved in any military planning ever. Because when the hell is ANYTHING ever completely certain?

And how many civilian casualties are you willing to inflict?

As few as possible, but I will not let that deter me from attempting to deliver close air support.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:55 PM

And how many civilian casualties are you willing to inflict?

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I guess none to protect our territory, you have made that clear…if someone wants our embassy’s, just give it to them.

Why even have armed guards at any embassy? What is the use, since any breach could mean civilian casualties…we have 2 or 4 (can’t remember which) compliments to protect our embassy in France…and none on 9/11 in a hotbed of protests…

Why even have them guarded?

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

And ChuckG I love your sides argument…notice we’ve gone from “Send the Marines/SEALS” to “Send the F-16′s”…

F-15E’s or 18-E’s, actually. I was, after all, the one who specifically pointed out that the F-16s don’t have the range to deliver a full combat load to Benghazi and return. (Hell, they don’t have the range to deliver it from Sig, let alone Aviano; they’d have to swap out most of their load for drop tanks).

But hey, let’s not let any inconvenient facts get in the way of your holy mission to straw man the living shit out of anybody who dares suggest that the administration’s response to this crisis was anything less than “optimal”.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

“Preventing calamities is one of the most important and least appreciated functions of government. When an evil is averted – perhaps as a result of insight, intensive effort, and administrative skill – the result is that nothing happens. It is easy, after the fact, for critics to ignore or deprecate the accomplishment. Political opponents may scoff at the effort as unnecessary, citing the absence of disaster as proof that the problem could not have been very serious to begin with.” –P. 523 Douglas Feith, War and Decisions

Unfortunately, the Administration didn’t get to the first part, “prevent calamity”, for whatever its reasons. Likely it was “thought” that either the outcome would not be too bad or that it would not occur and was a result of overly sensitive underlings. They were wrong. Now the Administration has to cover its back trail so that it can say that the calamity was not its fault.

Maybe, but the President is responsible for all his administration does or does not do. It would be his responsibility even if it were not his fault. Unless there was direct culpable negligence or extreme bad judgement, I think the public would accept and not blame him as much (bad things do happen even to the best of people) than if he followed the course of action post calamity that he has done.

Russ808 on October 22, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Kick Obama out on his useless assets.

profitsbeard on October 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

As for why we’re talking about fast-movers — it is possible (if not at all likely) that ground special operations assets were not available at Sig to load, so, we cannot do more than say ‘If they were not there to send, we need to know why not’. Going any further than that requires talking about exactly where a special missions unit really was and when, which is knowledge we don’t have and wouldn’t be allowed to talk about if we did.

OTOH, with as huge a margin as five hours to play with, its much much harder to argue why they couldn’t send planes.

So, we talk about planes — not because we have no argument elsewhere, but because out of the several possible arguments we have, planes is one of the more clear-cut.

‘Concentrate effort where its most useful’ does not mean ‘We got nothing else’, after all.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Surely you will stipulate that the mission changed after the building was infiltrated. The assets that had been repositioned might not have been appropriate for the changed mission and the risk tolerance associated with the new mission.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM

No, you and I have a different view of when our sovereign territory is attacked…when our embassy’s are attacked, it is our duty, the duty of America, to go in and take back that compound and raise the American flag…we may abandon it later…but we do not run from a bunch of thugs and hide in Vegas.

That’s where you and I differ…I feel it’s valuable to protect what is ours, and to reclaim what is stolen from us…you don’t care, and Obama doesn’t care, neither of you see the long term affects…

Just go back to the U.S Cole…that directly, that non response, led directly to the 9/11 Twin Towers attack…they knew we talked loudly and carried no stick…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Because the Ambassador told the State Dept ops center where he was, and the State Dept ops center intimately knew the details of this compound, and the State Dept Ops center relayed the info to the WHMO, and the WHMO relayed the info to EUCOM, and EUCOM relayed the info to the UAV ops center, and the UAV ops center was able to figure out what building was being described after all of this game of telephone going on, etc., etc., etc…..

Blink apparently is in the US military on a parallel timeline that has never invented things like tactical datalinks and GPS.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:02 PM

It’s not a foolish imaginary scenario for aircraft to be undergoing maintenance which doesn’t allow them to be mission capable for greater than 6 hours.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I am laughing at your statement that the c-130′s didn’t fly because maybe they had a couple of engines being worked on…yeah, all of the c-130′s in that specific area, that day, those hours, just happened to all have engines being worked on…I was making fun, laughing at your incredible, ridiculousness, desperate attempt at trying to defend your lame argument…but hey,they could have all have had engine problems, maybe all the pilots had the flu, or I know, everything was ready, but the fuel was contaminated and they had to polish it first…yeah, that’s it, contaminated fuel, it could have happened you know…
It doesn’t matter, hours, days, weeks, we still had no military actions…even after fuel and engines were replaced and the pilots were healthy…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

What you read and see herein is why team leaders do not keep some people on the team.

Just not up to carrying their share of the load in close when it is bad.

Choices.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Here’s the real deal. 6 hours is a flash of time in order to get things done – especially in the middle of the night.

blink on October 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM

You are still ignoring the obvious…the compound and it’s “secrets” were still their after 6-12-18-24-36-72 hours…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

What’s telling is that you think that 6 hours is a long time to understand a situation, plan an operation, coordinate an operation

We’re back to that alternate universe you live in where contingency plans don’t exist and everything has to be done from scratch?

Wow. You must live in the timeline with the slowest, most inept, most risk-averse military ever known. F Troop probably has more balls.

Here’s the problem. Right now you’re posting on planet Earth, not wherever you’re talking about.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Well actually ChuckG, at some point, in fact the Amb. left the Consulate and exfiltrated to a safe house…and so when that happened we don’t know….so yeah we really don’t know where he is, probably even when the drone showed up…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM

It doesn’t matter, hours, days, weeks, we still had no military actions…even after fuel and engines were replaced and the pilots were healthy…

right2bright on October 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I think Susan Rice said all of their windshields were really dirty and there was no operational Windex in the Med region.

Or their tires were a tad low and every pressure gauge in NATO was on loan to Belgium.

Or…

profitsbeard on October 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Well actually ChuckG, at some point, in fact the Amb. left the Consulate and exfiltrated to a safe house…and so when that happened we don’t know…

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765612806/Timeline-of-events-comments-surrounding-Benghazi.html?pg=1

According to this, the Ambassador was missing and presumed dead at the original compound, and the evacuation to the secondary compound was done by the survivors of the attack. It’s the secondary compound that was under mortar attack several hours later.

So, wow, my close air support guy doesn’t even have to worry about the ambassador. Not only is he already missing/presumed dead before I’m even wheels-up, his last known location is over a mile from where I’m delivering close air support to.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Wow. You must live in the timeline with the slowest, most inept, most risk-averse military ever known. F Troop probably has more balls.

Here’s the problem. Right now you’re posting on planet Earth, not wherever you’re talking about.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Reduced to name calling….

Your “plan” scramble F-16′s from Aviano.
Stage thru Sigonella.
Arrive over Benghazi.
Deliver ordnance onto area around or on consulate.

And this plan does what to actually help the Ambassador? Who you haven’t the foggiest notion of where he is?

Have I summed it up, correctly?

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

blink on October 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Six hours is plenty of time for even difficult things if you have a plan and designated assets. Those things were lacking in this case.

For the general readers: if you want an immediate or near-immediate military reaction, you need to have forces on alert. If the reaction is to be useful, the forces on alert need to be useful for the mission that’s developing.

It’s ensuring that condition that takes forethought — intelligence, analysis, responsible policy — and planning. There was none in the case of US mission security in Libya.

But there should have been. That’s not Monday-morning quarterbacking of an ambiguous situation. Another president would not have faced the Benghazi attack, because he would have taken the proper precautions months beforehand. The original decision to take the threat in Libya lightly is the problem.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Ass Kissing is not a good way to prevent attacks.

B. Obamas ass kissing is even seen as fake by the islamic ones of terror.

Having a Joint Chiefs of Staff made up of ass kissers is not a way to win a war aginst ones of terror.

Building schools does not slow guns from flowing in from Russia then being used to kill American fighting men.

Putting nice guys like Abm Stevens in kill zone and walking away is just like what Obama did to the poor Mexicans he set up with his gun running to Mexico.

The level of uter evil has no bounds.

We the People of the U.S.A. made this mistake and we must take the blame and make the correction vote day.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM

So, wow, my close air support guy doesn’t even have to worry about the ambassador. Not only is he already missing/presumed dead before I’m even wheels-up, his last known location is over a mile from where I’m delivering close air support to.

So what’s the POINT of the mission, then? After all this argument, you just say…”Oh the Amb is dead, and the Consulate ahs been evacuated. So, I can bomb.”

Why bomb at all then?

We’re NOT rescuing anyone are we now…seemingly the whole POINT of the exercise.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Have I summed it up, correctly?

Nope. I was the guy against F-16s from Aviano. I had the much longer-ranged F-15E’s from the much closer airbase.

Furthermore, instead of “Deliver ordnance onto area around or on consulate.”, it was “Deliver ordnance on hostile mortar crews as spotted for me by Predator drone operator”. Since ISTR that using Predators as forward observers for air attacks is something we already know how to do.

So, basically, your ‘sum up’ was deliberately misleading on every significant point, despite having already been corrected at least twice over on every significant point in prior posts. You’ve done nothing but assemble every conceivable straw man and beat the hell out of them.

No point in talking to you any further.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM

So what’s the POINT of the mission, then? After all this argument, you just say…”Oh the Amb is dead, and the Consulate ahs been evacuated. So, I can bomb.”

Why bomb at all then?

Because other people who are still alive are being bombarded with mortars, you idiot.

What’s this? Only the Ambassador himself has a life worth saving? Just abandon everybody else?

I reiterate my decision formed in my prior post (the only reason I’m replying to this one is you put it up before my reply went up) — there is no point in discussing anything further with you.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Hyper Fast Goal Post.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

U.S. reinforcements, however, were on the way. Around 2 a.m., eight Marines sent from the embassy in Tripoli landed at the Benghazi airport. But Libyan officials there initially prevented them from pushing ahead with their rescue mission. “[The Americans] wanted all eight to go to the annex,” said Faruq, a leader of the Libyan Shield Brigade, one of numerous local brigades and tasked that night with coordinating the arrival of the Marines. “But we were told to only allow two.”

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/10/21/the-other-911-libyan-guards-recount-what-happened-in-benghazi/#ixzz2A3c9panY

*WOW* the troop option is sure working well…

But as soon as the Marines solved one problem, they encountered another — they had only GPS coordinates and no address for the annex, which was supposed to be hush-hush in any case. “We couldn’t arrange our forces to go to a place we didn’t know about,”

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/10/21/the-other-911-libyan-guards-recount-what-happened-in-benghazi/#ixzz2A3cKjNrZ

That d@mn pesky coordination issue…but I’m sure these were just the F Troop incompetents and I’m sure if ONLY a General had yelled at them, they’d have gotten thru…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Chuckg, I agree with almost everything here.

Well, blink, despite all our other points of disagreement, I’ll take it. At least we can both agree that the Administration’s security posture on Libya prior to the attack was fucking pitiful.

Seriously, when every allied embassy in the area, your own security people, and your own ambassador are all saying ‘Security situation going to crap; either reinforce us heavily or pull us out of here!’ for weeks/months beforehand, and you do neither, that by itself is an irredeemable screwup.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Chuckg, I agree with almost everything here.

Well, blink, despite all our other points of disagreement, I’ll take it. At least we can both agree that the Administration’s security posture on Libya prior to the attack was pitiful.

Seriously, when every allied embassy in the area, your own security people, and your own ambassador are all saying ‘Security situation going to crap; either reinforce us heavily or pull us out of here!’ for weeks/months beforehand, and you do neither, that by itself is an irredeemable screwup.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

“Sgt. Jerry Michael Shriver” Vietnam, SOG,
Cut off nva and and vc incircled. 12 man team.

“Ok put the rounds on my position, I have them surrounded from the inside.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Because other people who are still alive are being bombarded with mortars, you idiot.

What’s this? Only the Ambassador himself has a life worth saving? Just abandon everybody else?

I reiterate my decision formed in my prior post (the only reason I’m replying to this one is you put it up before my reply went up) — there is no point in discussing anything further with you.

So brilliant guy, who is in the Consulate? By this point no one…the fact that folks were still shooting in, at, and around it is meaningless…

You’re just calling down fire on someone, doing something…and by your own admission the prime target is either dead or moved.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I’m very familiar with dusting off contingency plans. What’s really fun is when you look at steps 1 and 2, and immediately realize that the contingency plan is worthless because the timelines are too long or the assets that the plans require are no longer deployed in the area.

Well, that answers the question I asked about a page ago; so, the Administration bitched the existing contingency plans by withdrawing the needed units without updating the plans?

Sounds like them.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I’m very familiar with dusting off contingency plans. What’s really fun is when you look at steps 1 and 2, and immediately realize that the contingency plan is worthless because the timelines are too long or the assets that the plans require are no longer deployed in the area.

Well, that answers the question I asked about a page ago; so, the Administration screwed up the existing contingency plans by withdrawing the needed units without updating the plans?

Sounds like them.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Seriously, when every allied embassy in the area, your own security people, and your own ambassador are all saying ‘Security situation going to crap; either reinforce us heavily or pull us out of here!’ for weeks/months beforehand, and you do neither, that by itself is an irredeemable screwup.

Well D’uh…I don’t think anyone here has ever said anything else…

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

blink,

You under-perform as an American. In my not so humble opinion.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I had the much longer-ranged F-15E’s from the much closer airbase.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I missed that, Chuckg. Which F-15Es did you refer to? The ones in Lakenheath? They’d take longer to get to Sig than the F-16s from Aviano — although of course they would have greater combat power and endurance on station, flying unrefueled from Sig.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

*rechecks*

… OK, some of my information was out of date. The only F-15s in Europe are at Lakenheath?

Damn. OK, I’ll eat a crow on that one. Even flying with nothing but fuel and on burner all the way down from Lakenheath, then replenishing with fuel and combat load at Sig, that’s still more time than I was allowing.

*nods* Thanks for the information.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

The only F-15s in Europe are at Lakenheath?

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Pathetic, isn’t it? And a squadron of them is deployed to SWA half the time.

Times changing.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

This would have eliminated the need to use Libyan locals who were likely informants,

What not loyal to US?! Who could foreseen THAT?

Again, relying on even LOYAL Libyans was not really a “plan.” They had fought so well previously in their civil war..so I’m sure that they would have been ever more useful defending someone, merely for pay.

OMG, this is not a security “plan” as a security pipe dream.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Pathetic, isn’t it? And a squadron of them is deployed to SWA half the time.

Times changing.

Looking at the results we’re getting, perhaps we need to change some back.

Oh, right. Barring a President Romney and Congress being an unprecedented miracle of legislative effiency, the sequestration cuts begin next year.

This is gonna suck.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Well, Doctor’s tell me the Life Partner is out of surgery…have fun all.

JFKY on October 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

This is gonna suck.

Chuckg on October 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Yep. Just one of many places where the present has been short-shrifted for the future. (The F-35s are coming!)

Romney says he wants to ensure a full-time carrier presence in both the Med and SWA — not sure he can do that, but speaking as a Naval officer (now ret.), I’d love to see USAF F-15Es back in southern Europe again. I’d give up a continuous carrier presence to have the Eagles back.

Of course, I’ll have to give up the continuous carrier presence anyway, as we’ll effectively be down to 9 when Enterprise decommissions. She’s in the Med today — wasn’t in September — heading home from her final deployment.

J.E. Dyer on October 22, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Will the bullshiiters jabbering about 50yr-old maritime / ASW patrol craft being of any tactical use in Benghazi, kindly STFU.

rayra on October 22, 2012 at 3:53 PM

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