Former Pacific Fleet chief: We need full disclosure on Benghazi — now

posted at 9:31 am on October 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Retired Admiral James A. Lyons likely pulled few punches as commander in chief of the US Pacific Fleet during his career … and he hasn’t started pulling punches now, either.  In a blistering column at The Washington Times, the former commander blasts the lack of action from the US when the administration learned our consulate in Benghazi had come under attack, writing that “courage was lacking” that might have saved at least some of the four American lives lost on September 11.  “Someone high up in the administration,” Lyons writes, “let our people get killed” — and he wants some answers immediately as to whom:

The Obama national security team, including CIADNIState Department and the Pentagon, watched and listened to the assault but did nothing to answer repeated calls for assistance. It has been reported that President Obama met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the Oval Office, presumably to see what support could be provided. After all, we had very credible military resources within striking distance. At our military base in Sigonella, Sicily, which is slightly over 400 miles from Benghazi, we had a fully equipped Special Forces unit with both transport and jet strike aircraft prepositioned. Certainly this was a force much more capable than the 22-man force from our embassy in Tripoli.

I know those Special Forces personnel were ready to leap at the opportunity. There is no doubt in my mind they would have wiped out the terrorists attackers. Also I have no doubt that Admiral William McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, would have had his local commander at Sigonella ready to launch; however, apparently he was countermanded—by whom? We need to know.

I also understand we had a C-130 gunship available, which would have quickly disposed of the terrorist attackers. This attack went on for seven hours. Our fighter jets could have been at our Benghazi mission within an hour. Our Special Forces out of Sigonella could have been there within a few hours. There is not any doubt that action on our part could have saved the lives of our two former Navy SEALs and possibly the ambassador.

Having been in a number of similar situations, I know you have to have the courage to do what’s right and take immediate action. Obviously, that courage was lacking for Benghazi. The safety of your personnel always remains paramount. With all the technology and military capability we had in theater, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only incomprehensible, it is un-American.

There has been plenty of speculation as to what Ambassador Chris Stevens was doing in Benghazi in the first place, which Lyons touches on in his column.  Even apart from that, though, this argument above is the key to the failure of the American response.  We always come to the aid of our diplomatic missions when under attack, especially with as many assets in the area as we had at the time.  It’s worth noting that we intervened militarily in Libya in the first place to prevent a massacre of civilians by Moammar Qaddafi in Benghazi — and now we’re supposed to believe that we couldn’t coordinate a military response to an attack in that same city on our own consulate in seven hours?

Here’s another curiosity, too.  General Carter Han, who commanded AFRICOM on September 11th, had already been rotated back home.  Now we find out he’s leaving the Army altogether:

General Carter F. Ham, the Combatant Commander of Africa Command (AFRICOM) and a key figure in the Benghazi-gate controversy, is leaving the Army. On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had announced that General Ham would be succeeded at AFRICOM by General David Rodriguez. Later speculation tied this decision to the fallout from the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. However on Monday October 29 a defense official told The Washington Times that “the decision [to leave AFRICOM] was made by General Ham. He ably served the nation for nearly forty years and retires after a distinguished career.” Previously all that was known was that General Ham would be rotating out of AFRICOM at some future date, but not that he was leaving the service. General Ham is a few years short of the mandatory retirement age of 64, but it is not unusual for someone of that rank to retire after serving in such a significant command.

James Robbins notes that the White House insisted that Ham took part in the decision not to supply assistance to the consulate, but Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz that no one had asked him about it. Ham’s retirement could mean that the Pentagon had some sort of disciplinary action pending against him over the incident (also the subject of much speculation, but little in the way of direct sourcing), or it could have a different meaning altogether.  It would be inappropriate for Ham to criticize his Commander in Chief while still in uniform, although he could go to Congress to report any perceived malfeasance at any time.


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Oboobi is offended that an admiral would question what went down in Bhengazi.

AH_C on October 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM

My favorite theory (reads conspiracy at this point) is supposedly from Hillbuzz, that Amb.Stevens was suppose to be kidnapped and exchanged for the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the current resident of our prison system.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Supposed to be kidnaped – with our leaders knoweldge and nodding to the whole thing, so that they can later on justify the prisonners exchange?

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

“Demented racist Admiral touts conspiracy theory against Lord Bark, has known links to Hezbollah Tea Party and Jerry Sandusky”

/Chris Matthews

CorporatePiggy on October 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Oboobi is offended that an admiral would question what went down in Bhengazi.

AH_C on October 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Looking forward to his offence when Gen Ham retires and start talking about it all….

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:44 AM

If Obama gets re-elected then NOTHING will ever come of Benghazi. It will be swept under the rug with the help of the state-run media. He must go!

If we are ever to get answers for these brave men who lost their lives and their families, everyone must do whatever they can (donate, call,work friends and family) to remove this coward from office!

Rockshine on October 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM

We always come to the aid of our diplomatic missions when under attack, especially with as many assets in the area as we had at the time.

I always thought so too, but now, is it possible that what happened at Benghazi is merely the first time the ROE that our military men and women are being forced to comply with have truly had the light of day shed upon them? Was the lack of a response to this attack exactly the same as what our soldiers are being forced to deal with on any battlefield?
There is an article here that speaks directly to the Battle of Ganjgal in 2009…where 5 Americans were killed because they were denied artillery support under the Rules of Engagement…and also a letter from a soldier serving in Afghanistan. “The soldiers of the U.S. never engage the enemy unless we know that we have will always have the tactical advantage in defending ourselves, that advantage is the use of close air support and air weapons team. To take those weapons away from us is to level the playing field for the enemy and thus exposing our soldiers to more danger… The very presence of aircraft over our foot patrols has also saved lives and now our chain of command is being told by our political leadership that this is now not allowed.”
Is Benghazi just a small example of how our military personnel are being abandoned while engaged in battle?

lynncgb on October 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM

“Demented racist Admiral touts conspiracy theory against Lord Bark, has known links to Hezbollah Tea Party and Jerry Sandusky”

/Chris Matthews

CorporatePiggy on October 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Pitch perfect Matthews :)… Have you been studied the character in question for a long time or is he that predictable :)..

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

It would be inappropriate for Ham to criticize his Commander in Chief while still in uniform, although he could go to Congress to report any perceived malfeasance at any time.

Remember, Democrats love whistleblowers…Let’s see what they think of the good general.

RedSoxNation on October 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Flag officers have the responsibility and the right to register their disagreement with policy and outcomes. If their disagreement is profound, they have a duty to resign their office and register fully their protest with the American people so it shall be known.

I agree that there needs to be full disclosure on the Benghazi debacle and the Admiral is correct–it is unAmerican to leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy. It is no wonder that Doherty and Woods ran to the sound of the guns……it is who they are.

ted c on October 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Can you military types define “flag officer” for us plebes?

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

It would be inappropriate for Ham to criticize his Commander in Chief while still in uniform, although he could go to Congress to report any perceived malfeasance at any time.
Remember, Democrats love whistleblowers…Let’s see what they think of the good general.

RedSoxNation on October 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I wish he went to Congress, just to keep thhe investigation alive…then he can retire and speak some more….

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Disgusting. I’m ashamed for our country and grieved for these men and their families. May justice be served soon.

JAM on October 30, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Not to trivialize this, but I see this becoming the plot of a future Vince Flynn or Brad Thor novel, and I’m sure they will facilitate the “powers that be” getting their just desserts. If only real life could imitate fiction in those cases.

Nutstuyu on October 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Can you military types define “flag officer” for us plebes?

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation’s armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark where the officer exercises command.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_officer

Nutstuyu on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Can you military types define “flag officer” for us plebes?

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

They are senior officers (commissioned that is) in the Navy, usually admirals.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

He has become that predictable. The gallon of scotch he drinks before going on air always ensures a reliably measured performance. :)

CorporatePiggy on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Has there been a pool on who gave the orders to stand down? My money is on Valerie Jarrett, while The O went to bed. Any takers, guys?

exliberal on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Not just C-130′s… were ANY elements of the 6th Fleet off-shore that could have delivered ordnance on target if they could have gotten coordinates? One or two Surface to Surface Missiles would have been more timely than a C-130 with flight time measured in only a few minutes. A couple of miles inland is very doable…

And if there were no elements of the 6th Fleet there, then WHY weren’t they there? Libya is not stable, we have personnel there and they need protecting and a ship off-shore is relatively inconspicuous for such things.

This whole affair stinks to high heaven.

ajacksonian on October 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I arrived at my first command, C/1/11 1stMARDIV in April of 1987. My unit, an 8-gun battery of M105A1′s was preparing for the normal deployment at sea called a WestPAC.

There were several “first time” elements to this 6-month PAC; for example, this was the first time LCAC’s were deployed (LCAC’s 2, 3, & 4 were onboard the ship to which I was attached, the USS Germantown, LSD42, which was also on it’s first deployment), and the HMMWV (Hummer) was on it’s first overseas deployment. But operationally, we were the first (I believe) MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) on the west coast to be fully JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) capable. There were specific JSOC units since Vietnam, but qualifying and entire MEU was new, and in direct response to the rescue operation at Grenada and the Achille Lauro. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgtkey0811/4656473452/in/set-72157622337421247/lightbox/

The point here is that as far back as 1987, the Marine Corps was training all deployed units in the area of special operations, specifically hostage rescue and interdiction, in the event a situation arose that at at-sea unit would be the nearest and quickest to respond. No one ever said that we would have definitive intelligence before going in. We trained for all conditions. Fog of war is to be dealt with, not run from.

Panetta’s statement was cowardly, and surely he knew it. He gave aid and comfort to the enemy by saying effectively, ‘all you need to to do is confuse us, and we’ll remain at bay’. We’ve further emboldened them by limiting our response since then to half-a-day’s worth of FBI interviews.

You can bet there are more people in uniform angry about this situation than Admiral Lyons.

BKeyser on October 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Has there been a pool on who gave the orders to stand down? My money is on Valerie Jarrett, while The O went to bed. Any takers, guys?

exliberal on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Is it legal to wish for the a$$a$$ination of Jarrett, seeing as how nothing seems to be happening to those threatening Romney on Twitter?

Nutstuyu on October 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Has there been a pool on who gave the orders to stand down? My money is on Valerie Jarrett, while The O went to bed. Any takers, guys?

exliberal on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Hmmm, thats a 50/50 between her and axeldope….

kcd on October 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

cozmo,

OK wait on that, your choice.

How about Biran Terry?

1. Chose , did Obama, Holder, Ms Sis, FBI boss, DEA boss all of them not know what the hell the ATF was doing running guns to Mexican drug cartels without the Mexican Govt. knowing shit about it?
Or did they know and order it.

Answer one, they are all wothless as can be and should not be in office.

Answer two, they OK’d the gun running and their paid informant working for the DEA killed Brian Terry with a gun they knowingly put in the hands of mad dog killers.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

The conspiracy theory about a hostage trade sounds kind of wild and out there.

It’s like saying that we would deliberately arm Drug Lords in Mexico or something, which is just ridiculous.

CorporatePiggy on October 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM

James Robbins notes that the White House insisted that Ham took part in the decision not to supply assistance to the consulate, but Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz that no one had asked him about it.

I hate to quibble, but in the Era of Obfuscation that blossomed fully with ‘… depends on what the meaning of “is” is ….’ “asked” is not the same as “told”, and “take action” is different from “don’t take action.”

I don’t doubt Ham answered accurately and not evasively, since I believe Chaffetz asked a particular question and Ham answered it precisely which is also narrowly. That doesn’t mean a different question wouldn’t have elicited a much more enlightening response from Ham. And this point also applies to Robbins’ comment, in so far as Robbins’ remark does not conflict with what Chaffetz has said.

What bothers me about what did or didn’t happen along the decision-making process is my thinking that what did not occur — definite action to rescue those at the consulate — hasn’t resulted in resignations by any officers in the military. Considering the evidence leaked to/dug up by various reporters (as opposed to the scant evidence the Administration has reported) to date, I would have thought there would be some.

This lack of resignations is the only thing causing me to reserve judgment on both the cowardice of all those involved, and the level to which political machinations were significant to either the response or the cover-up. If, indeed, reaction to the attack is filled with these components, my respect and trust in the higher echelons of corps of military officers to do the right thing is severely degraded.

Dusty on October 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM

A lot of people want the full bucket of truth about Benghazi poured, or pried out of the Great Prevaricator.

Will we ever get it?

From a chief executive who has the most mysterious past, and of which nothing has been released?

Let’s get rid of this schmuck and get back to the normal lying politicians we really deserve.

dockywocky on October 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM

If (when) Obama looses the election, and it comes out that he issued the stand down order, refused to send help, and lied with the intent to cover it up, what happens to him? Will there be any consequences, a trial even? This seems unprecedented.

texgal on October 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Can you military types define “flag officer” for us plebes?

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

They wear 1 through 4 stars on their shoulders. General’s in the Air Force, Marines and Army. Admirals in the Navy.

chemman on October 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Yes, that’s their theory, it was planned but went terribly wrong during the battle and ultimate suffocation. The odd thing is that this was mentioned in a thread long before the revelations about the two SEALS being told not to go in. At first I just thought the idea was interesting but I have to admit that the more that comes out the more foil I am adding to my hat. It’s going to be fabulous.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Choices you provide = More stink bait.

If you want an opinion, ask for it.

There is as much yet to be known about F&F as Libya.

Something that will take a new attorney general.

cozmo on October 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Regarding General Han, it appears he was relieved of duty already on 9/11 when he intended to disregard the order to stand down.

Benghazi + Obama = Coward-in-Chief.

Danny on October 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM

looses

meant “loses”

texgal on October 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Stand-Down Order In Benghazi Attack Still A Mystery
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102912-631261-benghazi-stand-down-order-goes-unexplained.htm

Benghazi: The president says the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed, but, as in 1980 at another embassy, it should — just as it matters who gave the order to stand down.

As we’ve written, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has falsely said we didn’t have real-time intelligence of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. The administration has also suggested it was the CIA that put the brakes on any attempt at relief or rescue.

Someone did, and the question is who?

We know that the mortars firing at the roof of the CIA annex, where former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were still fighting six hours into the attack, were “painted” with a laser targeting device as the two repeatedly requested backup support from an AC-130 Specter gunship.
Gen. Ham is said to have told the Pentagon he had a rapid response team ready and was told to stand down. Ham then reportedly said screw it, he was going to send help and was promptly told he was being relieved of his command.

Coincidence or cover-up?

In an interview with Denver News 9 reporter Kyle Clark on Friday, President Obama dodged the question of whether cries for help were ignored and who gave the orders, saying only: “The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened.”

Oh, yes it does, Mr. President, just as it did in 1980.

You are the commander in chief, and the American people want to know what you did when the phone was ringing at 3 a.m. and why no help was sent.

Southern by choice22 on October 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Years ago I had a retired Air Force radio operator tell me that during the Yom Kipper war they intercepted signals from Soviet aircraft heading to the Middle East. His lieutenant called the Pentagon to report it and later said to his surprise he was talking directly to Nixon in five minutes. An hour later they heard the Soviet aircraft turn around. If true the communications have always been direct to the top if important enough.

BullShooterAsInElk on October 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Col. Hunt raised a lot of the questions and answered them on a Boston Radio show long before the media would pay any attention.

I remember him saying that when the assault happened, that those involved debrief and list the things that went wrong so they don’t happen again. Of course, our heros there are dead but there were others involved that night, and he said they communicate and document what went wrong.

I know that we don’t want to reveal secrets to our enemies, but for that reason, the available facts should have been released to journalists long long ago before there was any chance to speculate. We got to hear all the details of the attack on Osama Bin Laden within a short time, plus whatever was needed to spike the ball or make a campaign film for airing the Sunday before the election. Surely all of the facts are not covert. I am sick of Obama games, and the lackey media parroting after him.

Fleuries on October 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I keep seeing that Obama supposedly said something to the effect of, “do everything we can to help those folks”, now I’m not looking for specifics here but doesn’t that sound like a pretty haphazard “order”?

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Er… allow me to clarify the comment above. The following is taken from the same link. Decide for yourself:

General Ham was already bucking the narrative President Obama was trying to establish. Obama wanted to go into the election trying to make Libya a success story…which it was not.

The stories that are now coming out;

Gen Ham was fired 30 seconds after deciding to intervene in Benghazi: I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.

“(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 told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
The Scuttlebutt;

The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham’s place as the head of Africon.
That is true to some extent. Stripes confirmed that General Ham will be replaced by General Rodiguez but no explanation was given:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Lt. Gen. John Paxton to succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Thursday.
Both appointments must be confirmed by the Senate.
Rodriguez is the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command and has served in a “variety of key leadership roles on the battlefield,” Panetta said.
He’s “a proven leader” who oversaw coalition and Afghan forces during the surge in Afghanistan, and “was the key architect of the successful campaign plan that we are now implementing,” Panetta said.
It also seems an Admiral in charge of a battle group in the Mediterranean Sea will also be relieved for “inappropriate judgement”;

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy said Saturday it is replacing the admiral in command of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Middle East, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into undisclosed allegations of inappropriate judgment.
I find both these stories very odd since I am a former military member. I have never seen an Admiral of an entire battle Group relieved of his command in my 10 years experience. I have seen Commanders, but never Admirals.

UPDATE: Via Las Vegas Sun

The top U.S. military officer is denying reports that Army Gen. Carter Ham’s planned departure as head of U.S. Africa Command is linked to the Sept. 11 attack in Libya.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey issued a written statement Monday calling speculation about the reasons for Ham’s move “absolutely false.”
Hmmm…. Is General Dempsey acting in the capacity of a careerist or a Patriot? I think both General Dempsey, Leon Panetta and General Ham need to give a press conference togethor. Usually with something as questionable as this, you have the youngest officer state it, then the next highest (General Dempsey) and finally the senior in command which would be Leon Panetta.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz only stated that General Ham confirmed no orders were given. He did not state whether he gave the orders or whether himself, Panetta or General Dempsey came up with a consensus to stand down.

On average a General stays in the Area of Operation 2 or more years. General Ham became Commander of Africa on March 9th, 2011 so it is quite possible he did meet his schedule rotation… just in the knick of time. Wonder where he is heading now?

UPDATE: This is the first story that I have seen which actually states General Carter Ham was fired for disobeying orders “not to assist the US personnel in Benghazi on the night of September 11.”
The founder of the site claims to have 25 years of Intelligence experience. Perhaps the readers can confirm this story. There might be a possiblility that this site is picking up on all the information already flying around the blogosphere and added to it the story.

VIA Gerard Direct

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced on Sunday that General Carter Ham Commander of GOC Africa Command (Africom), headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. (U.S. Africa Command is one of six unified geographic commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure.) for refusing to obey orders not to assist the US personnel in Benghazi on the night of September 11. Army General David Rodriguez has been appointed by President Obama to become replace him.
One of their partners is the “Center For Security Policy”

UPDATE: According to Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz who sits on two Homeland Security subcommitees confirms that General Ham confirmed forces were available was given “No” orders to use them. Some bloggers feel this removes the rumor that General Ham was relieved of command because he wanted to disobey an order to “Stand Down”.

I disagree… This only confirms that “No” orders were given from the top (i.e. POTUS or Panetta) to save the Ambassador and the former SEALs

Via FrontPage Mag

We’re not dealing with anonymous sources here. This comes from an interview with Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz who sits on two Homeland Security subcommittees relaying the responses from General Carter Ham heading up the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) who had direct responsibility for the situation.

General Ham told Chaffetz that the forces were available, but that no order to use them was given. Defense Secretary Panetta had claimed that the refusal to use force had come from him, General Dempsey and General Ham.

General Ham appears to have broken with that story and is taking no responsibility for the decision not to bail out the consulate and the Navy SEALS.

UPDATE Via Conservative Commune

Friday and Saturday, the news leaked out that Tyrone Woods was found dead, slumped over his ammo-exhausted machine gun on top of the Annex, where he and Glen Doherty had fought against 150 or so al-Qaeda affiliated Ansar al-Sharia militants who followed them from the embassy, waiting for Libyan forces to arrive and relieve them and the other US personnel stationed there, along with those they’d saved from the embassy complex. Rumor has it that the two former SEALs had killed 60 of those militants in the firefight.

Today, administration apologists were all over the networks talking about how unhelpful and partisan it is to demand answers from the White House, who want to get the answers more than anybody . . . after the elections. Oh, wait: administration apologists were on FOX, which was the only network really to address the matter.

Danny on October 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

… although he could go to Congress to report any perceived malfeasance at any time.

That’s the problem here – he didn’t, and neither has a single other Flag Officer.

I’ll alledge, here and now, that the upper echelons of the Flag Officer community have become politically cowed by civilian politicians and they are now a bunch of cowards. I’m pretty much convinced now that any Flag Officer beyond the rank of one-star is infected with this political and moral cowardice.

Flag Officers, throughout American history – have normally been brave enough to stand up to the Commander In Chief when he was negligent. They did this knowing full well there’d be a price to pay and they were willing to pay it, both personally and professionally.

Pretty sick and GODDA*N tired of hearing Flag Officers bloviate about “honor” … “courage” … and “commitment”. I don’t know how many of them stressed to me, as a Master Chief in the Navy, how important it was to keep these values instilled in the troops – and yet, clearly it’s evident these same Flag Officers have abandoned the core values in the name of career and political expediency.

COWARDS.

Two good men DIED. They saved the lives of many Americans by DISOBEYING ORDERS and engaged the hostile forces anyway. And you tell me that the Flag Officer’s who had forces positioned to save them don’t know anything about WHY they were told to stand down.

Why haven’t these fools gone to Congress? Why aren’t they resigning en masse for their display of cowardice?

I put this now on the doorstep of Ogabe but the Flag Officers here in theater and on the JCS KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AND THEY AREN’T TALKING.

FU** THEM.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I don’t want Obama merely out of office, in a 35 million dollar Hawaiian home, planning his library. I want him tried and prosecuted for treason.

parteagirl on October 30, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Just 0bama? This administration could have its own cellblock…

affenhauer on October 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

The ironic thing is that Obama done the right thing, he would have had a profound and foreign policy and military victory all rolled up in one. And probably secured his 2nd term.

Imagine, if you will, how much the MFM would be covering this had Obama sent in those special ops forces and routed the attackers. Think there would be a difference in that scenario and how they are covering it now?

The Hammer on October 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Which begs the question… why.

Axelrod, Hillary, etc may be scumbags but they aren’t politically stupid. In what way could helping them be worse? I’ve heard it thrown around that O doesn’t want people to hear about Queda resurgence or whatever but did they really think that would be a worse story than letting an Ambassador and former SEALs die?

Politically this makes no sense, so I have to go with cowardice. Especially if the stories that the guy who has been spiking the football had to be talked into making the ‘gutsy’ call to get OBL.

(Liberals refer to this as gutsy, makes me want to vomit).

SittingDeadRed on October 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I arrived at my first command, C/1/11 1stMARDIV in April of 1987. My unit, an 8-gun battery of M105A1′s was preparing for the normal deployment at sea called a WestPAC.

There were several “first time” elements to this 6-month PAC; for example, this was the first time LCAC’s were deployed (LCAC’s 2, 3, & 4 were onboard the ship to which I was attached, the USS Germantown, LSD42, which was also on it’s first deployment), and the HMMWV (Hummer) was on it’s first overseas deployment. But operationally, we were the first (I believe) MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) on the west coast to be fully JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) capable. There were specific JSOC units since Vietnam, but qualifying and entire MEU was new, and in direct response to the rescue operation at Grenada and the Achille Lauro. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgtkey0811/4656473452/in/set-72157622337421247/lightbox/

The point here is that as far back as 1987, the Marine Corps was training all deployed units in the area of special operations, specifically hostage rescue and interdiction, in the event a situation arose that at at-sea unit would be the nearest and quickest to respond. No one ever said that we would have definitive intelligence before going in. We trained for all conditions. Fog of war is to be dealt with, not run from.

Panetta’s statement was cowardly, and surely he knew it. He gave aid and comfort to the enemy by saying effectively, ‘all you need to to do is confuse us, and we’ll remain at bay’. We’ve further emboldened them by limiting our response since then to half-a-day’s worth of FBI interviews.

You can bet there are more people in uniform angry about this situation than Admiral Lyons.

BKeyser on October 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I have a rare form of muscular dystrophy that prevents me from serving (I ran a half-marathon last Oct so I’m outwardly physically capable) because I’m not quite up to spec. So I in many ways envy guys like you, I wish I could have done that. Thank you for your service.

Anyway, that was a great post. Love getting insight like that.

Fish on October 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM

@ ted c

I heard Glenn Beck this morning on his radio show repeat your great post:

“When Obama called on the SEALs, they got Osama.
When the SEALs called on Obama, they got killed.”

He didn’t say it exactly like you did, but when I heard it I knew it was from your post. It was between 9:30-10:15 AM

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Being fair, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (who is on the Oversight Committee) has been speaking to General Ham; its one of his remarks that’s most commonly quoted on this issue. (The one where AFRICOM confirmed that teams were ready to go, but were stood down, and not by him.)

So apparently at least one general officer has indeed been communicating his misgivings to Congress. Oddly, that’s the same general officer being rotated out of AFRICOM 12-18 months ahead of schedule and retired.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Oh, my. Beck just repeated tec c’s post!! This needs to be sent to Rush.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM

So apparently at least one general officer has indeed been communicating his misgivings to Congress. Oddly, that’s the same general officer being rotated out of AFRICOM 12-18 months ahead of schedule and retired.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

We only know SOME of what he said – and we don’t know that he told everything.

He knows who gave him the order – and we still don’t know who that was.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Don’t ask me why Congress isn’t going public with this, that I can’t tell you.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

So apparently at least one general officer has indeed been communicating his misgivings to Congress. Oddly, that’s the same general officer being rotated out of AFRICOM 12-18 months ahead of schedule and retired.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

This is a video from Fox News with Jason Chaffetz about what General Ham said:

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/benghazigate-general-ham-no-order-to-protect-consulate-video/

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Of some note:

John F. Kerry’s actions as member of the U.S. Navy Reserve being in contact with the NVA/VC repersenatives in Paris France was an act of treason as it happened while U.S. fighting men where in mortal combat with said NVA/VC in Vietnam.

John F. Kerry was never punished for his acts.

In fact the upper level of the Navy, etal protected him at the time and do so to this very day.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 30, 2012 at 11:23 AM

(Liberals refer to this as gutsy, makes me want to vomit).

SittingDeadRed on October 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Me too! And of course, Biden is no better. Hes all over the country spouting about how “we” got bin laden and from what I understand, when the decision was made, he told the prez not to go in!

kcd on October 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Don’t ask me why Congress isn’t going public with this, that I can’t tell you.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

All they have to do is ask the questions? Force Obama to continue to obfuscate and lie. Let Obama do himself in if the politicians are too coward to take him on head to head!

texgal on October 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Can you military types define “flag officer” for us plebes?

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

A flag officer is any commissioned officer who rates a flag to signify his presence in a command. Normally Navy (mostly) in description. But say you received correspondence from an Army 4 Star, the stationary would also have a red flag with 4 stars on it. His flag would be up in garrison when he was at his command.

hawkdriver on October 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I don’t want Obama merely out of office, in a 35 million dollar Hawaiian home, planning his library.
I want him tried and prosecuted for treason.

parteagirl on October 30, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Yes. Strongly agree like you wouldn’t believe.

Citizens demand accountability of my local CBS affiliate WTSP about Benghazi.

http://youtu.be/0LTNGtajq_k

We need to make this go viral folks. Maybe others across the country will pick up the mantle.

Flora Duh on October 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Kudos. We need to treat the legacy media like our enemy. They are a direct threat to our country.

d1carter on October 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Yes. Pass it on. Obama will be gone soon. But the MSM is still going to be around and they are even now crafting their post-Obama agenda, consisting of another series of lies, obfuscations and made-up crises to divert attention from Benghazi. Don’t allow them to get away with it. Keep the pressure on and treat them as the threat they are.

PatriotGal2257 on October 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM

The Gen Ham retirement isn’t unusual. Generals at the 3 and 4 star rank have to be appointed to one of the limited number of postions for officers at those ranks. You can’t just hang around until retirement age. So, he either gets another COCOM, becomes Chief of Staff of the Army, Chairman or Vice Chairman of the JCS or a very limited number of other jobs. Bottom line, without appointment to another 4 Star job he has no other option but to retire.

SoonerMarine on October 30, 2012 at 9:53 AM

General Ham’s tour of duty as CO AFRICOM was not up until MAY 2013.
Announcing his immediate retirement seven months before his tour is over IS highly unusual (barring dire health problems).

General officers do not just walk out on an assignment like that – even though it may be the last assignment of their career – unless it is in protest against some action by the government or because of a demand made by their superior officers or the president (or some threat).

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I’m with HondaV65 here, how far down do you have to go to get to the cowards. Apparently one level.

Ham was willing to buck orders to go save them, but Rodriguez doesn’t?

Something stinks, even beyond Ham being relieved of command.
Perhaps that why ‘Flag’ levels haven’t pushed too much. eh?

orbitalair on October 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM

We already knew that Obama was un-American. He may be an American citizen, but he despises the United States and our way of life.

talkingpoints on October 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Will Admiral James A. Lyons be one any of the Sunday morning talk shows or will they all be talking about the great job that our commander-in-chief has done in handling hurricane Sandy? My guess the latter is more likely.

SC.Charlie on October 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I just listened to Chaffetz’s Fox News interview. He doesn’t say that General Ham claims that he was told to stand down. He says that General Ham said that he was not requested to send the assets into Libya. Maybe Chaffetz didn’t accurately convey what General Ham told him, but that doesn’t sound like Ham was pushing to send assets in.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Keep in mind that some of the conversation may have been off the record to protect Gen. Ham.

What came through quite clearly is that assets were available, had proximity but he had no request to deploy them.

Mitsouko on October 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I would guess that Ham is retiring so he is free to talk.

As for the press. They will be attacking Romney from dawn, November 7th.

gh on October 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I’m with HondaV65 here, how far down do you have to go to get to the cowards. Apparently one level.

Ham was willing to buck orders to go save them, but Rodriguez doesn’t?

Something stinks, even beyond Ham being relieved of command.
Perhaps that why ‘Flag’ levels haven’t pushed too much. eh?

orbitalair on October 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I still don’t trust these reports that Ham was willing to disobey orders.

And, here’s the problem. Ogabe could STILL win this election (in fact, I’m voting for him but that’s another story). However, ALL AMERICANS need to know what the hell happened in Benghazi before they cast a vote.

Ogabe and the others don’t surprise me – neither does the MSM.

But at this point, the GOP house and the Flag Officers have become “enablers”.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM

General Ham’s tour of duty as CO AFRICOM was not up until MAY 2013.
Announcing his immediate retirement seven months before his tour is over IS highly unusual (barring dire health problems).

General officers do not just walk out on an assignment like that – even though it may be the last assignment of their career – unless it is in protest against some action by the government or because of a demand made by their superior officers or the president (or some threat). – Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I am almost ready for a military coup of some type over the Benghazi debacle. Let those who know start talking/leaking, quickly.

SC.Charlie on October 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM

What came through quite clearly is that assets were available, had proximity but he had no request to deploy them.

Mitsouko on October 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

What’s exactly his ROE in the case that he knows that Americans are under attack but no one has given him permission to render assistance?

1. He calls someone above him and requests permission to render assistance – they either give it to him or don’t.

or …

2. He doesn’t need permission and the fact that Americans are under attack give him the authority to intervene if the attack is within his AOR.

If it’s “2″ – then the good General is guilty of battlefield cowardise.

If it’s “1″ – he called someone and they had to have told him “NO”.

the last possibility is that he froze up and didn’t think he needed to do anything – but I think that’s unlikely.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Panetta’s pathetic “not enough information” to assist/save the lives of Americans under fire is not only pathetic, it’s miserably disgusting.

Lourdes on October 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Panetta is a lying sack of crap! The AFRICOM CIF (commander’s in-extremis force) is always prepped, primed packed and ready to go on a minute’s notice. The can be in the air within minutes of getting a “Go”.
The intel that they had was real-time video feeds from the consulate, real-time video feeds from two Predators (which may have been armed); and, most importantly, they had two highly trained and experienced special operators ON THE GROUND AT THE SITE feeding them real-time intel on the situation. Dwight Eisenhower would have loved to have had that kind of intel at Normandy.
The CIF is almost always deployed with less than optimal intel on their objective. One time, CIF AFRICOM went in and hit a target with no more intel than hand drawn maps of the objective!

PANETTA IS A LIAR!

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Was Benghazi Attack on U.S. Consulate an Inside Job?
Oct 29, 2012 1:00 AM EDT
One man gives his harrowing account of the attack on the U.S. Ambassador.

“ … the pieces are fitting together slowly and the picture is emerging but is still not complete and might not be for months.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/28/was-benghazi-attack-on-u-s-consulate-an-inside-job.html

An “inside job” alright …
Inside the White House! How convenient for El Presidente ZerØ.
This old M-2 gunner wishes HE had been there.
Ø’Vomit is a BSing coward.
Let LOOSE the Dogs of War!
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

And, CIF AFRICOM is pretty much the “personal quick reaction force” of Gen. Ham – and he could send it any place within his area of responsibility at any time (and he had done so before); and Gen. Ham had evidently already given CIF the Go to head to Benghazi, because they had left their base in Germany and were at NAS Sigonella when they were told to stand down.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Time to make a choice.

We are a nation of fighters who take a stand and fight, from PFC to 5 Star Generals and the Commander in Chief.

or

We will/may have become a nation of “but what if” this or that as others fight on out numbered and cut off.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

“With all the technology and military capability we had in theatre, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only incomprehensible, It’s UN-American!”
Wow, Admiral Lyons! Tell it like it is!

This was a Betrayal, in no uncertain terms. How on earth can you call yourself American… check that. How on earth can you call yourself human and leave those men out their to DIE, when you have all those assets, at hand? Dereliction of Duty is such an understatement, it is just ridiculous! Way too many people have Military background, to blow that kind of smoke up peoples butts.
Addendum on the fight against the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Perhaps some in the high levels of command don’t understand (or forgot when they started wearing shoulder boards) that some of us in the low levels have permanent orders to stand up, and don’t need to be told to do so? Hence their confusion, they didn’t tell anyone to stand up, and were surprised that people were doing so?

htom on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

2. He doesn’t need permission and the fact that Americans are under attack give him the authority to intervene if the attack is within his AOR.

That is exactly how it goes down. An attack on an ambassador frees the theater commander to deploy his quick-reaction forces on his own initiative. The only thing that could have stopped him would be orders from above.

This is exactly why we are reading ‘I was ordered to stand down’ into his ‘There were no requests’ statement; because we know that if he was truly left to his own initiative, he wouldn’t even need a request. Ergo, he was overruled.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Yes, that’s their theory, it was planned but went terribly wrong during the battle and ultimate suffocation. The odd thing is that this was mentioned in a thread long before the revelations about the two SEALS being told not to go in. At first I just thought the idea was interesting but I have to admit that the more that comes out the more foil I am adding to my hat. It’s going to be fabulous.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

What would be more valuable to Hussein, trading for a blind sheikh or making sure that his gun running to Al Qaeda, arranged by Stevens, is kept under covers? Same Al Qaeda Hussein keeps proclaiming is on the run while not only successfully waging war in Libya and now Syria, but gaining lots of ground in the process. Armed with sophisticated weapons, weapons they have tough time buying on open market, easily and willingly supplied by the sitting resident in WH, FREE OF CHARGE on USA taxpayer’s dime.

Stevens HAD TO DIE. That was the idea. Ship with arms departed Benghazi, Turkish counterpart through whose territory the weapons then would pass once unloaded in Turkey off the Benghazi ship, left the consulate 40 minutes prior to attack. Stevens was in Benghazi for specific reasons, meeting with Turks that day was for a reason as well.

Had Stevens been a designated “kidnappee” he would not be sodomized brutally in the process. This one fact should negate the kidnapping theory, IMO. Stevens was the hit, as ordered by same heads who then ordered our military to stand down.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

This is exactly why we are reading ‘I was ordered to stand down’ into his ‘There were no requests’ statement; because we know that if he was truly left to his own initiative, he wouldn’t even need a request. Ergo, he was overruled.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

And yet both Issa and Chafetz said absolutely nothing on the subject, thus after Chafetz visited Benghazi 2 weeks along with Gen. Ham. Something’s not right with this entire picture especially when Gen. Ham is retiring and has nothing to fear from Hussein.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Flora Duh on October 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Flora, I just tried to watch that video and the message says the video has been removed by the User.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Why haven’t these fools gone to Congress? Why aren’t they resigning en masse for their display of cowardice?

I put this now on the doorstep of Ogabe but the Flag Officers here in theater and on the JCS KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AND THEY AREN’T TALKING.

FU** THEM.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

And f…you!! You can now go and vote for the boy king knowing all this. You’re a bloody idiot.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

@ ted c

I heard Glenn Beck this morning on his radio show repeat your great post:

“When Obama called on the SEALs, they got Osama.
When the SEALs called on Obama, they got killed.”

He didn’t say it exactly like you did, but when I heard it I knew it was from your post. It was between 9:30-10:15 AM

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM

wow, I’m glad that he used it but I can tell you for sure that i copied it from someone else. It is not mine. I can take zero credit.

ted c on October 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Solaratov

No official confirmmatiion, however this is interesting:

“AFRICOM is based in Stuttgart at Kelley Barracks. EUCOM is based at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart. It was EUCOM’s CIF that was sent to Sicily in preparation to be deployed to Benghazi.

So, this is another lie of omission. While AFRICOM still doesn’t have a CIF, EUCOM–right next door to AFRICOM–does, and they sent it to Sicily but it was ordered to not go in.

Also, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) has a CIF, and SOCEUR is based in Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, too. And I’m hearing that two CIFs were indeed deployed to Sicily. The second was almost certainly from SOCEUR.”

So, saying AFRICOM doesn’t have its own CIF yet is a non sequitur. There were two CIFs available from the same source: Stuttgart.”

Blackfive Commenter Duck Bank

luckybogey on October 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM

A most perplexing question remains. So why would the best trained soldiers in the world, US Navy SEAL’s, expose themselves in the open illuminating a target with, an invisible to the eye targeting laser? They had to have been told that air support was ready to acquire the target, hence their illumination effort.

Air assets had to already have been in the area and ready to fire and that had to have been conveyed to our guys there. Perhaps it was as minimal as an armed drone, but a last second decision was made in Washington to scrub the mission.

stuartm80127 on October 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM

This letter was at Blackfive…….
Duck Bank said…

Fox News essentially confirms that there was an AC-130 Spectre gunship on scene at Benghazi.

“Upon returning to the CIA annex with survivors, Griffin said one of the soldiers got on the radio and asked, frantically, at midnight: ‘Where the blank is the Spectre?’”

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/father-of-seal-slain-in-benghazi-attack-demands-answers-as-grisly-details-emerge/

Notice that the soldier said “the Spectre,” not “a Spectre.”

Combine this with the fact that Tyrone Woods was painting a target with a ground laser designator, and the logical conclusion is that an AC-130 Spectre gunship was on scene but was denied permission to fire. No SOCOM commander would order a gunship to not engage the enemy when American forces are under attack. The order had to come from Panetta at the behest of the president.

An even worse scenario: The men at the CIA annex were promised a Spectre by SOCOM but it either never took off or was ordered back. Again, such orders would come only from Panetta or Obama.

There’s the possibility that Woods was painting the target for an armed Predator drone, but that still doesn’t answer why the Spectre–which was at the very least promised–didn’t show up, and it still means that the aerial platform did not fire. So, Tyrone Woods was promised a Spectre that either didn’t show up or appeared and was then ordered to not fire. A second possibility is that when the Spectre didn’t arrive, Woods was told that an armed Predator or Reaper already on scene would use a Hellfire missile. It didn’t fire, either.

Two more considerations: The pulse repetition frequency code of the laser target designator and laser-guided munitions (the Hellfire missile on a Predator, for example) must be compatible, and the ground laser designators run on batteries. For the first consideration, Woods would’ve had to talk to any Predator or Reaper operator to make sure his designator was compatible with the missiles. For the second consideration, he wouldn’t have turned on his ground laser designator and used up his battery power unless an air strike was imminent.

Prior to Tyrone Woods painting a target, he had to have been in contact with someone for quite a long time in order to work out all the technical aspects of an air strike. Panetta and Obama would’ve been listening to all that.

Some people say that Woods may have been marking the target for a future air strike, maybe even one he knew would be carried out after his death. That doesn’t make sense because it was a mortar team. They would’ve picked up their weapons and taken off long before a faraway aircraft showed up hours later. He would only have been painting the target if he thought an air strike was imminent.

Finally, on the Lars Larson radio show, Charles Woods–Tyrone’s father–said that he was told by the military at that there was a “C-something or other… that could’ve come above that and completely carpeted the area and prevented it from happening.”

http://soundcloud.com/thelarslarsonshow/charles-woods-father-of-former

He makes the statement at 13:18. He’s clearly describing an AC-130, and Lars Larson does say “130″ softly.

It seems pretty definite that Woods synched up with an aerial platform, thinking an air strike was about to be carried out, and then someone ordered the aerial platform to not engage. This order came only after Woods painted the target. Whoever gave the order waited until Woods had exposed his position, and then he–Panetta and/or Obama–told the pilot of the aerial platform to not fire.

Whoever told the aerial platform to not fire knew that Woods would soon be killed. Whoever gave the order would have heard the conversation between Woods and the pilot of the aerial platform, so the order giver must have heard Woods shouting on the radio, “Why aren’t you firing? Fire! What are you waiting for? Hurry!”

And then Woods was killed because the attackers used their cell phones or night-vision goggles to pinpoint Woods’ position, and they dropped a mortar on him.

We’re witnessing history here. We’ve never had a more criminal, treasonous, loathsome administration.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

This is exactly why we are reading ‘I was ordered to stand down’ into his ‘There were no requests’ statement; because we know that if he was truly left to his own initiative, he wouldn’t even need a request. Ergo, he was overruled.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

And yet both Issa and Chafetz said absolutely nothing on the subject, thus after Chafetz visited Benghazi 2 weeks along with Gen. Ham. Something’s not right with this entire picture especially when Gen. Ham is retiring and has nothing to fear from Hussein.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

If he retires, he can talk. Period. He has nothing to fear from Hussein. I don’t understand either how Chafetz didn’t know (or did he) that Gen Ham was on the go when they met, as a result of whatever hapened on Sep 11. Do you think it’s possible that the general didn’t tell Chafetz about his impending demise?? And why didn’t he?

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Announcing his immediate retirement seven months before his tour is over IS highly unusual (barring dire health problems).

General officers do not just walk out on an assignment like that – even though it may be the last assignment of their career – unless it is in protest against some action by the government or because of a demand made by their superior officers or the president (or some threat).

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

And its not just Gen. Ham. ME Fleet Admiral was relieved of his command as well in the same time window, for “inappropriate decision”. One high commander, eh, one could say, Maybe, but 2 at the same time and so close to Benghazi attack and investigation, what are the chances of that?

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Something’s not right with this entire picture especially when Gen. Ham is retiring and has nothing to fear from Hussein.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Until he is actually retired, he can’t say too much. The nomination of Rodriguez(?) to replace him must be approved by the Senate. I haven’t read anywhere where General Ham has be relieved of his current duty tho. It’s sort of confusing.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Solaratov

No official confirmmatiion, however this is interesting:

“AFRICOM is based in Stuttgart at Kelley Barracks. EUCOM is based at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart. It was EUCOM’s CIF that was sent to Sicily in preparation to be deployed to Benghazi.

So, this is another lie of omission. While AFRICOM still doesn’t have a CIF, EUCOM–right next door to AFRICOM–does, and they sent it to Sicily but it was ordered to not go in.

Also, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) has a CIF, and SOCEUR is based in Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, too. And I’m hearing that two CIFs were indeed deployed to Sicily. The second was almost certainly from SOCEUR.”

So, saying AFRICOM doesn’t have its own CIF yet is a non sequitur. There were two CIFs available from the same source: Stuttgart.”

Blackfive Commenter Duck Bank

luckybogey on October 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Most interesting.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM

And, CIF AFRICOM is pretty much the “personal quick reaction force” of Gen. Ham – and he could send it any place within his area of responsibility at any time (and he had done so before); and Gen. Ham had evidently already given CIF the Go to head to Benghazi, because they had left their base in Germany and were at NAS Sigonella when they were told to stand down.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

It appears that resources were available in Italy, but for some reason the usual command structure around them was not in place:

As U.S. Africa Command waited for any order to rescue Americans on Sept. 11 at the besieged consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, it was missing a key unit that the Pentagon gives every regional four-star commander — an emergency strike force.

Just another question to be asked, -why was this structure not in place in the hottest command on Earth on the anniversary of 9/11.

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

According to the theory, it is SOP for the terrorists to sodomize the men the capture, which is supposedly why Amb. Stevens was chosen for the job, because he was gay. I don’t know if the rumor he was sodomized was true or if he was in fact gay. The gun running story and the theory reportedly from Hillbuzz both seem a touch far fetched, since I believe Obama could FUBAR the mundane with spectacular results. Maybe the stories will get so wild that he will be forced to come out with the truth.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM

This is exactly why we are reading ‘I was ordered to stand down’ into his ‘There were no requests’ statement; because we know that if he was truly left to his own initiative, he wouldn’t even need a request. Ergo, he was overruled.

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I’ve also read that a 4 Star General with his command answers only to the Secretary of Defense or the POTUS. I’m not military but just read those sites and that is what has been explained by those that know.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

If he retires, he can talk. Period. He has nothing to fear from Hussein. I don’t understand either how Chafetz didn’t know (or did he) that Gen Ham was on the go when they met, as a result of whatever hapened on Sep 11. Do you think it’s possible that the general didn’t tell Chafetz about his impending demise?? And why didn’t he?

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Not sure how to read all of this yet. Chafetz seems like a straight shooter and made that trip to Benghazi for a reason. Most likely Gen. Ham was there for a reason as well. But I still can’t understand Chafetz’s appearance on Hannety last Friday, which got me on this slope, Chafetz mentioned absolutely nothing about Ham save for “Ham said he was not asked for help”. This phrasing can mean nothing and exactly that, or it cam mean he offered and was denied. Or…

Also, if it is known now that Gen. Ham resigned why isn’t he saying anything, nothing can happen to him at this point. His reasons for resignation should be known ASAP, its not every day that such a highly decorated commander resigns, we should know why. And I still have no idea why Gen Rodriguez took over AFRICOM and told to relieve Ham of command on the spot and OBEYED THE ORDER. An honorable commander would not, IMO.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I will challenge this claim and guess that their alert time is at least one hour. Feel free to provide evidence that it’s “minutes…”

blink on October 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM

How long does it take to warm up the engines on a C-17? That’s how long it takes the CIF to get off the ground.

And the “minutes” comes from people in Delta and in CIF. Argue with them.

You’re spending an inordinate amount of time trying to say that a rescue op couldn’t have succeeded – when the ‘consensus’ among those who know first-hand about such ops agree that it could have been done.
Why is that?

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Announcing his immediate retirement seven months before his tour is over IS highly unusual (barring dire health problems).

General officers do not just walk out on an assignment like that – even though it may be the last assignment of their career – unless it is in protest against some action by the government or because of a demand made by their superior officers or the president (or some threat).

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

And its not just Gen. Ham. ME Fleet Admiral was relieved of his command as well in the same time window, for “inappropriate decision”. One high commander, eh, one could say, Maybe, but 2 at the same time and so close to Benghazi attack and investigation, what are the chances of that?

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM

It’s actually three, not two. Gen. Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps (the second highest ranking officer in the US Marine Corps) will also be replaced by Gen. Paxton.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

It might be worth commenting that the radios the Seals would have been using are line of sight. Small like your cell phone. They essentially need a cell tower. Or likely in this case an aircraft of some sort overhead. If they were communicating over the horizon they were using a repeater of some sort. Which means they could be heard and communicate world wide.

BullShooterAsInElk on October 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Paxton is currently the commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., from which he also leads Fleet Marine Force Atlantic and Marine Corps Forces Europe.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I think you’re ignoring the fact that General Ham may have realized that he didn’t have the best tactical picture about what was going on. General Ham may have assumed that SecDef and JCS had a better handle on what was going on regarding coordination with Libyan militias, Marines assigned to SecState flying from Tripoli, etc. General Ham may have been deferring to their judgement with respect to requesting assets. General Ham might not have been aggressively pushing forward the way you seem to be assuming.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

REAL-TIME VIDEO FEEDS FROM THE CONSULATE…
REAL-TIME VIDEO FROM PREDATOR ABOVE THE SITE…
TWO HIGHLY TRAINED AND EXPERIENCED SPECIAL OPERATORS ON THE SITE FEEDING BLOW-BY-BLOW INTEL…..

Whoever says that they didn’t have enough intel is either a liar, a dupe, or knows absolutely nothing about such operations.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Jason Chaffetz that no one had asked him about it. Ham’s retirement could mean that the Pentagon had some sort of disciplinary action pending against him over the incident (also the subject of much speculation, but little in the way of direct sourcing), or it could have a different meaning altogether.

I wrote a sardonically mocking (which apparently most people didn’t get) piece over at my blog regarding this rumor. Given the amount of evidence (and my questioning of a number of military personal) there is simply insufficient evidence to suggest that General Ham leaving the Military at this time has anything to do with any disciplinary action regarding the Benghazi incident.

It is interesting to note that General Ham informed Jason Chaffetz that he had not been “requested” to intervene in Benghazi, the wording here is curious to say the least. What General Ham very carefully managed to not say, but did manage to rather slyly imply was, that he might in fact have been ordered to not intervene.

The rumor floating around is, that General Ham was temporarily relieved of command for refusing to stand down. I seriously and profoundly doubt that this is the case, but it would not shock or surprise me to find out that having been ordered to stand down by the POTUS himself, General Ham tendered his resignation and was informed that it would not be accepted until his replacement could be confirmed by congress.

This would explain why General Ham is leaving the Military approximately 3 years earlier than expected.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I cannot remember where I read this, but anybody speaking openly about this situation while still active duty can be charged with spying – or something similar…like Bradley Manning.

I wish I could say if this was accurate but I cannot recall the source.

Mitsouko on October 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Also, if it is known now that Gen. Ham resigned why isn’t he saying anything, nothing can happen to him at this point. His reasons for resignation should be known ASAP, its not every day that such a highly decorated commander resigns, we should know why. And I still have no idea why Gen Rodriguez took over AFRICOM and told to relieve Ham of command on the spot and OBEYED THE ORDER. An honorable commander would not, IMO.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Oh, you have no idea what they are capable of. In those ranks it’s all about politics, not about honor. I am not surprised about Rodriguez. i am though surprised about Gen Ham not taking this to the Congress. Why wait? They can’t do anything to him really? They ‘retired’ him already, they can’t take his pension from him :).

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Wasn’t Gen Ham relieved of command by his second for ignoring the order to stand down?

filetandrelease on October 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Knowing how this administration works, it’s not hard to imagine that they’d have “political officers” seeded throughout the military and the CIA. It was probably one of these that was was assigned to watch for Ham to going off the reservation, and too relieve him if he did. Same thing probably happened with the Fleet Admiral.

Tomolena1 on October 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

5 Star Generals

Aint been one in DECADES – for good reason.
America no longer declares war on anyone, A Dem POTUS will always send troops in harm’s way to protect and defend Mohammedans, NOT Americans. See: The Balkans to the shining Med/Red Sea.
We “bitter clingers” are getting angry(ier).
Yo, Slappy, go back to ChiTown and take care of the violence THERE.
(he’s useless everywhere else too)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Interesting coming from today’s NY Post…

“Charles Woods is the invisible man.

Indeed, the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods — slain this past Sept. 11 while trying to defend Ambassador Chris Stevens and others under terrorist attack at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya — was nowhere to be seen on the many Sunday morning TV talk shows.

As a matter of fact, you’d have been hard put to even hear the word “Benghazi” mentioned at all on those same programs. And when it was, it was invariably raised by Republicans — and just as quickly shot down by most of the allegedly unbiased moderators. “Charlie Woods? Who’s he?”

But he’s the fellow who’s been asking some pretty pointed questions of this administration about the circumstances surrounding his son’s murder. He doesn’t accept the excuses being offered by everyone from the president on down.

Woods’ misfortune is that his son was killed under a Democratic administration. And it’s considered neither polite nor acceptable to question the competence of Democrats — especially this Democrat.

Nor their moral superiority, either.

Now, if Woods had been Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, his publicly confronting the president would be considered a patriotic act….”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/benghazi_invisible_man_8rMYimGHR9RXR6Hbp8SXzK?utm_medium=r

workingclass artist on October 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I cannot remember where I read this, but anybody speaking openly about this situation while still active duty can be charged with spying – or something similar…like Bradley Manning.

I wish I could say if this was accurate but I cannot recall the source.

Mitsouko on October 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Generals can take the matter to the Congress though if they consider it a case of malfeseance. And no, they don’t have to retire from active dury to address te Congress.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Whoever says that they didn’t have enough intel is either a liar, a dupe, or knows absolutely nothing about such operations.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I hope you’re not referring to Teh Great Patriot Panetta?!?

/sarc

Nutstuyu on October 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM

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