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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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

I don’t think it had anything to do with him being gay. It’s just what arabs like to do, and guys can’t do it if they don’t like it.

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

“Someone high up in the administration,” Lyons writes, “let our people get killed” — and he wants some answers immediately as to whom:

he’s right and we demand answers and now.

ted c on October 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM

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.

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

AesopFan on October 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

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

The why is actually very simple, failure to obey a lawfully given order by the POTUS is not an option. There is no evidence so far to indicate that General Ham was relieved of his command, since he is in fact still in command of AFRICOM. Gen Rodriguez has not taken over command of AFRICOM and will not do so until confirmed by congress.

If any order was given to General Ham to stand down, all evidence available to date indicates that General Ham obeyed that order. The evidence also seems to suggest that if indeed General Ham was given that order, and obeyed it, that doing so disgusted him to the point of him tendering his resignation as a consequence of that order.

Please understand, refusing a direct and lawfully given order by the POTUS constitutes an act of treason.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 12:58 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

Stevens was gay. Fact. As for SOP, it is actually SOP for muslim men to show dominance over victims. I guess you missed reports earlier this year of journalists asking Afghans why is it that they punish men and boys via sodomy when Kuran prohibits homosexuality. They were at loss to explain nor even understand this question since to them sodomy as punishment is normal everyday occurance. It is also normal that you attain manhood in many muslim countries of ex-USSR by sodomizing a donkey (I kid you not). Not news to me in any way after living in USSR. Our folklore is littered with jokes on the subject and they are treated (the jokes) as nothing out of hand. Islam is one screwed up cult, all I can tell you.

Russians pointed out that we are arming islamists (Al Qaeda primarily) in Syria. Yes, I know you will tell me its Russians and all that, but they do have a point. Where do the arms come from, thin air? I understand its tough to believe that Hussein was running guns to Al Qaeda and yes, I understand your points above, but when one thing falls into place after another, like lego pieces, it is difficult to deny the facts. Russians say we run guns through Turkey? Check and check, via a ship with arms going from Benghazi to Turkey and Stevens for no reason being in Benghazi that day and meeting with a Turkish attache right prior to attack. Stevens was the oink to Hussein.

Yes, Hussein SEEMS to be screwing up everything he touches, but take a better look at his “failures”. They seem to be “failures” to most, but they are “wild successes” if you assume that Hussein is DELIBERATELY destroying USA, step by step. If you assume that his actions are DELIBERATE, then tell me where exactly has he “failed”? ObamaCare? Food stamps? ObamaPhones? Banks forced to redo mortgages for people who could not afford said mortages in the first place? Unions greatly enriched at the expense of not only legal bond holders, but American tax payers (GM/Chrysler). Unlimited money graft via huge money transfers to “green companies”, who quickly close shop and vanish, to the tune of roughly $100 BILLION by now and counting, after all why even work when you are gifted so much money that you and your grand kids will not have to work again, EVER. Radicals/Islam allowed to take over ME and as much as possible locally. Not only allowed, but given the money and arms to do so. On OUR DIME.

Let me know what else has Hussein “failed” at. While most think he is stupid, all I can say is that we’ve all been had. Not only did the idiot do his best to destroy as much of USA as he can in the shortest period of time (it took Stalin and Co. about 10 years to do what Hussein managed in less than 4), but now he will live out his days in luxury on our dime. And laugh at us some more…

Some failures, I say…

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

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

Video has been removed from Youtube…

oldleprechaun on October 30, 2012 at 1:00 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’m saying that Ham might not have been the one in contact with the guys on the ground. I’m saying that Ham might not have been the one in contact with SecState assigned assets. I’m saying that Ham might not have been the one in contact with the Libyan militias that were trying to help.

I’m saying that Ham might have been deferring to Washington regarding the full tactical picture. That might be why he wouldn’t have pushed for insertion of his assets.

That might be why he was relying on Washington to request his assets. He might not have been aggressively pushing for insertion.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Then why remove/replace him?? if he did what Washington wanted of him, which is exactly to do nothing.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I think that Amb. Stevens sexual orientation was why the administration chose him for the mission. Keep in mind that Hillbuzz is populated for the most part by gays and you can see why it is their theory. Again, I have a ton of doubt about this theory and the gun running theory but if Obama hides the truth he can’t be surprised with what the vacuum is filled with.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

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

Because legally he cannot. He could testify under oath IF congress subpoenas him, but he cannot volunteer that information without violating the Uniform Military Code of Justice. (that’s what I have been told anyways)

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Then why remove/replace him?? if he did what Washington wanted of him, which is exactly to do nothing.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM

All currently available evidence indicates that General Ham’s retirement is voluntary, not involuntary. 3 years early to be sure, but not forced upon him. It looks as if General Ham’s retirement is out of disgust rather than him being relieved of command.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:06 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

But if he is given a direct order from POTUS to stand down and NOT TALK wouldn’t that constitute an act of treason or warrant a court marshal for not obeying orders? Couldn’t he be stripped of a life time of service including his retirement if he becomes a whistle blower?

It looks to me that at the very least, our military was ready to deploy and only the commander in chief could have stopped them! The truth WILL come out eventually and the evidence points directly to POTUS!

texgal on October 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

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.

Hey blink, any comment?

Akzed on October 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Due to my limited life experiences and endless optimism, I tend to be very Pollyanna about these things. I do buy into the “fundamental” changes that The Won views as the model U.S. and it wouldn’t surprise me if in the foreign policy world he is trying to be all things to all people. The sad thing is that we will never know because of a derelict media. I pray for his defeat in November, knowing full well that we will never hear the end of him and that our continued funding of his life will be the least of my problems with him.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I’m questioning whether General Ham was pushing for insertion and then told to stand down – especially given the paraphrasing of what General Ham said.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

This is what I suspect as well. Unless you are prepared to commit treason and or attempt an military coup you simply do not disobey a direct and lawful order from the POTUS.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM

It’s quite possible that his comments to a Republican member of Congress caused him to be relieved as commander.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I seriously doubt that since General Ham HAS NOT been relieved of his command. General Ham IS STILL in command of ARFICOM and will remain in command until his replacement Gen Rodriguez is confirmed by congress.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Just to clarify something …

Admiral James “Ace” Lyons … you may not remember who he is or maybe never even heard of him.

This is the guy who, in 1981, sneaked an entire U.S. Navy Battlegroup in the Barents Sea (the Soviet Union’s front doorstep).

While he was in there – he jammed Soviet radars, and made mock attacks on Soviet aircraft using real time satellite imagery. It’s even alleged that he sent a few surface vessels into Soviet territorial waters just for effect. The Soviets were completely surprised and stunned into inaction. It was these kinds of bold actions that sent the Soviets a clear … “Don’t Fu*k with Uncle Sam” message that they received loud and clear.

I’m still researching – but I swear there is another Ace Lyons story out there along the lines that he had an entire Battle Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit off the coast of Iran ready and actually mobilizing at one point to invade Iran amphibiously. I can’t find the confirmation for that on the internet though. I believe I read that in “Fall from Glory – The Men who Sank the U.S. Navy” – and my copy was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

This is what I suspect as well. Unless you are prepared to commit treason and or attempt an military coup you simply do not disobey a direct and lawful order from the POTUS.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

You just called the two former Navy SEALs who disobeyed orders to save American lives … “Traitors”.

I know you didn’t mean to do that – did you? But you did.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM

As it is, it sounds more like General Ham wasn’t opposing Washington that night.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

That’s what you have to assume – until the good General opens his mouth and clears his name here personally.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I’m not seeing those claims. Feel free to provide them. Sorry, but guys that were assistant SecDef or PacFleet 25 years ago doesn’t quite cut it.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

That’s not what I referred to – and you know it.
It seems that your whole purpose here is to throw crap in the water and try to downplay the administration’s responsibility for the deaths of four Americans.
Play your MOBY games with someone else.

You claim to have first-hand knowledge of embassy protection, evacuation, etc., and claim to base what you say on that. Just when was YOUR experience?

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

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

Well you can take credit for bringing it to Hotair!! If Rush would stop talking about B.O. he could use it. Rush is great, but he gets on a theme and gets off track, LOL

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Because he made Obama look bad with what he said to a member of Congress?

Look, I have no trouble believing the Obama administration was playing politics before and during the Benghazi attack.

I’m questioning whether General Ham was pushing for insertion and then told to stand down – especially given the paraphrasing of what General Ham said.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

The thing is that both Gen Demspey (although he touched on it only lightly) and Gen Ham are now on record as saying that the forces were available, but did not get used. Whatever that means, was he told to stand own or what exactly?? The Panetta story is that there was a lack of intel, but there was actually plenty of intel from the consulate that had been there and even in declassified documents provided assessments of the Islamist militias, from the two ex SEALS in the fight and other consulate personnel. And during a rescue operation, intel is always going to be limited anyways.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Remember that General Rodriguez was not General Ham’s deputy — General Rodriguez was (and until the change of command, still is) Commander-In-Chief Forces Command.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Forces_Command

Also, going from Forces Command to Africa Command is, while technically a lateral step (they are both 4-star theater command billets), in reality a downgrade in prestige; Forces Command is the #1 shiny spot among theater commands, the place they put you if you’re on the inside track for Chief of Staff.

Why would a guy in that kind of slot be rotating out to replace Africa Command… several months early?

Chuckg on October 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Except that General Ham may have been getting aggressive with JCS and SecDef that night. He may have been yelling that the indecisiveness was bull5hit or something. Threats of being relieved or something may have been used to reel him in.

However, if this had happened then I think General Ham’s comments would have been conveyed as having been more definitive with respect to being ordered to stand down.

As it is, it sounds more like General Ham wasn’t opposing Washington that night.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I’m pretty sure that kind of stuff only happens in movies. American military personal are seriously professional people, the further up the chain of command you go, the greater the degree of self control those people have, they don’t lose their tempers or fly off the handle.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Please understand, refusing a direct and lawfully given order by the POTUS constitutes an act of treason.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Oh, I fully understand that, trust me on that. But same as with Petraus going along with Hussein that day and insisting on TV feed 3 days later that it was the video that led to spontaneous attack, I am more than disgusted with their actions. A true commander would disobey the order and offer to resign as soon as lives were saved. Face the court martial and describe in every detail WHY you did what you did. That team in stand-by, whose orders do you think they would follow if they had been asked that minute, Hussein’s or Gen. Ham’s? I am 99.9% sure I know the answer.

As is, if what we hear pans out, all of these guys’ names will forever be ONLY mentioned with the FAILURE IN BENGHAZI. I know they will for me. As a long time military that would not be acceptable to ME. I guess these guys see nothing wrong with their actions, though.

You know why Cuba missile crisis ended as it did? Russian sub commander refused to fire a nuclear missile and clearly disobeyed an order. And unlike someone in military here disobeying that order meant only one and one thing only: You and your entire family were pretty much done, forever, in USSR, you in far away work camp in coldest place on Earth and your family completely cut off from work, higher education, benefits, etc.

I only wish we had men with balls in charge of our military. Fat chance of that, I see.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

the greater the degree of self control those people have, they don’t lose their tempers or fly off the handle.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I refuse to see how “self-control” is a noble trait when Americans are being cut down in cold blood and nothing is being done about it.

If that’s “maturity” and “level-headedness” – you can keep it.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I’m pretty sure that kind of stuff only happens in movies. American military personal are seriously professional people, the further up the chain of command you go, the greater the degree of self control those people have, they don’t lose their tempers or fly off the handle.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

By this “genius” remarks the past few days it is obvious that badly researched movies is all he bases his “thoughts” on.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Thanks for clearing that up. The only thing is I don’t think it’s being reported that General Ham “resigned”, but rather that he is retiring. Although I didn’t see any date listed in the W. Times article.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I refuse to see how “self-control” is a noble trait when Americans are being cut down in cold blood and nothing is being done about it.

If that’s “maturity” and “level-headedness” – you can keep it.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

And I simply can’t imagine someone at that high level of command screaming. Disagreement can be expressed in many ways.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

A true commander would disobey the order and offer to resign as soon as lives were saved. Face the court martial and describe in every detail WHY you did what you did. That team in stand-by, whose orders do you think they would follow if they had been asked that minute, Hussein’s or Gen. Ham’s? I am 99.9% sure I know the answer.

I only wish we had men with balls in charge of our military. Fat chance of that, I see.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Exactly right my friend! Say you “F-You” to the CINC and launch the troops – and take the fallout.

Let’s see – I’m being placed on trial for TREASON and disobeying direct orders for defending American soil and rescuing Americans under attack?

If that’s treason – then GUILTY AS CHARGED!

A general who did that would be a national hero – not a jailbird.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM

the greater the degree of self control those people have, they don’t lose their tempers or fly off the handle.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I refuse to see how “self-control” is a noble trait when Americans are being cut down in cold blood and nothing is being done about it.

If that’s “maturity” and “level-headedness” – you can keep it.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

We agree on something – sometimes “I was only following orders” just DOES NOT cut it.

kim roy on October 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

If Gen. Ham is back here in the U.S., suffice it to say, smoke signals should be rising all around him. He may still be nominally listed as the Cdr of AFRICOM, but if he is back in the U.S. processing out of service, that is in name only. It would be highly unusual for a commander to leave his post prior to the change of command, and almost unheard of for him not to be on hand for a change of command ceremony. He needs to be interviewed, yesterday. I strongly suspect that he will have much light to shed on events during the Benghazi firefight.

Wolf Howling on October 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

You just called the two former Navy SEALs who disobeyed orders to save American lives … “Traitors”.

I know you didn’t mean to do that – did you? But you did.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM

No I did not, you are misunderstanding me.

a) they were “FORMER SEALS” not active duty.

b) any stand down order they would have received would not have come directly from the POTUS.

c) the UMCJ has a clause in it that allows a military individual to refuse to obey any order “THEY” have reason to believe is illegal, and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were not active duty service personal.

Being in combat and refusing an order you believe is illegal and immoral is one thing, physically being in the same room with the POTUS and refusing a direct order that you know is cowardly but otherwise legal is an entirely different thing.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I’m pretty sure that kind of stuff only happens in movies. American military personal are seriously professional people, the further up the chain of command you go, the greater the degree of self control those people have, they don’t lose their tempers or fly off the handle.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

The further up in the chain of command you go, the more political they are. What does elf-control has to do with anything, that’s just human reaction, it is normal, am sure Panetta wouldn’t be put off by a general swearing at him, it’s human nature to react in an unorthodox manner under pressure. But it has everything to do with politics. And generals in those positions are political puppets, period.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were not active duty service personal.
SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

they were on the CIA payroll, so they were indeed part of a chain of command, you might not know how exactly it works, but just the fact that they were not active duty doesn’t mean they weren’t bound by orders.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Folks–the “stand down” order was a legal order. It was a bad order, an incorrect order, an order that reeked of cowardice and dereliction, but it was perfectly legal.Disobeying it would not be treason but it would be “failure to obey a lawful order,” perhaps “insubordination,” both court-martial offenses.

Let the facts continue to trickle out. Obama cares about only one thing, retaining his job, and he is losing with every passing day and leak.

7 Days to go.
Remember Benghazi.

spiritof61 on October 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

the greater the degree of self control those people have, they don’t lose their tempers or fly off the handle.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I refuse to see how “self-control” is a noble trait when Americans are being cut down in cold blood and nothing is being done about it.

If that’s “maturity” and “level-headedness” – you can keep it.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

There is and never has been anything easy about knowingly sending people to their deaths. If you think that isn’t exactly what is happening each and every single time a military commander orders troops to engage a hostile force then you are fooling yourself.

The question is not and never was, did General Ham have the self control to make just such a decision without getting emotionally out of control, because I guarantee you he did. The question is, what exactly did the POTUS order him to do.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Being in combat and refusing an order you believe is illegal and immoral is one thing, physically being in the same room with the POTUS and refusing a direct order that you know is cowardly but otherwise legal is an entirely different thing.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

You might want to bone up on your “refusing and order” assessment.

No where in military doctrine does it say you can obey a direct if you don’t have any problem with. It says “obey”. Secondly, how do you know if an order is immoral or illegal? Consider the armed drone operators; they see a target enter a building, the order comes to fire a weapon at that building. Is it immoral or illegal to obey that message? Does the operator know if there are any “innocent” persons in that building?

You don’t get to pick and choose which orders are illegal or immoral (Btw, the term is “lawful”). If they turn out to be so, then you’re clear. If you fail to obey an unlawful order, you had better be able to convince a Courtsmartial that you had all the requisite knowledge and information to declare it “unlawful”. It does not matter if it was or not.

BobMbx on October 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

My purpose here is to properly direct the criticisms of the administration regarding Benghazi. I think the focus needs to the part that politics played in withholding proper security and asking the questions regarding decisions not to provide support after the attack started.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Here is what I don’t get and to me this is the most most contradictory thing in Panetta story. Help was actually sent to Benghazi, from Tripoli that night, but it was not military assistance. Who were the 8 guys sent from Tripoli working for? It is logical to assume they were CIA agents or on their payroll. In the State Department briefing of Oct. 9th, they describe the Tripoli contingent like this (I know, pretty vague):

‘As the night goes on, a team of reinforcements from Embassy Tripoli arrives by chartered aircraft at Benghazi airport and makes its way to the compound’.

So what we have here is the first huge contradiction between Panetta and the military and the CIA. Someone sent those guys from Tripoli, but it was not the military. Why was it ok to send 8 lightly armed American guys from Tripoli into harm’s way to rescue 30+ people in Benghazi, but not ok to send a heavily armed special forces contingent who have trained for just such a scenario?

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were not active duty service personal.
SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

they were on the CIA payroll, so they were indeed part of a chain of command, you might not know how exactly it works, but just the fact that they were not active duty doesn’t mean they weren’t bound by orders.

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

I think I have a pretty good idea of what being on the CIA’s payroll means. Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were contract employes. Not employed directly as CIA operatives. This means a great deal of latitude in the means they employed to achieve the results the CIA was paying them to affect.

Everyone in the State Department in Libya knew who they were, and who employed them, but their connection to the official chain of command was not as direct as you seem to think.

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

You’re an idiot, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the SMACK DOWN you received from hawkdriver the other day.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

HILLARIOUS! Smack down, whatever. As you keep on seeing your posts are full of crap, you hiding out behind Hawk’c skirt do not make any more valid than they were over the weekend. Keep on posting your idiocy.

You’re not in gumby territory, but you’re that far off.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:50 PM

According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria.

I haven’t looked at pages 1 and 2, but has this paragraph been discussed? Because this looks like treason to me—aiding our enemies.

He also calls this the “Benghazi Betrayal and Cover-up,” which is far more apt than sticking “gate” on the end of it. The shortened form, Benghazi Betrayal, works for me far better than any awkward mashed-together word.

INC on October 30, 2012 at 1:51 PM

So what we have here is the first huge contradiction between Panetta and the military and the CIA. Someone sent those guys from Tripoli, but it was not the military. Why was it ok to send 8 lightly armed American guys from Tripoli into harm’s way to rescue 30+ people in Benghazi, but not ok to send a heavily armed special forces contingent who have trained for just such a scenario?

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Some reports I’ve seen stated that MARINES were involved in the rescue of 30+ at the consulate, with 2 marines killed in battle that ensued.

If your info is correct, then what we know from CIA and Petraus requires some serious correction as Petraus himself stated 3 days later, on TV, that CIA had little info and the attack was in response to the web video. Can we again hear from Petraus now? Will we?

Why does it take 7 weeks to get some simple answers?

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

As an officer gets promoted, the higher his rank, the more “political” he becomes… This is especially true for officers making two, three or four star rank. While lowere rank promotions are also put before the Congress…it is mostly a rubber stamp. Two star and above positions are appointed and confirmed by Congress sometimes after hearings.

If Ham or any other Pentagon military officer is the fall guy for what goes down over this…Consider this before you blindly defend him. (Sleeping with dogs…fleas…etc) Jus sayin’

SwabJockey on October 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM

According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria.

I haven’t looked at pages 1 and 2, but has this paragraph been discussed? Because this looks like treason to me—aiding our enemies.

He also calls this the “Benghazi Betrayal and Cover-up,” which is far more apt than sticking “gate” on the end of it. The shortened form, Benghazi Betrayal, works for me far better than any awkward mashed-together word.

INC on October 30, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I keep pointing out that this was the real reason Benghazi even happened and most here say this is not. Russians have been pointing out that this has and is taking place, and in this I tend to believe their sources.

Stevens was deemed loose end that needs to be tied up when the Benghazi shipped sailed off.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:59 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.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Are you claiming that a C-17 is loaded with people 24/7?
blink on October 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No, lil fella. The people do not sit on the plane waiting for the call.

They are in alert quarters, and the planes are loaded and ready.

They even do it that way at Pope Field at Ft.Bragg which (along with Simmons and Mackall) supports “rapid contingency deployment” operations for the specops units.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

If Ham or any other Pentagon military officer is the fall guy for what goes down over this…Consider this before you blindly defend him. (Sleeping with dogs…fleas…etc) Jus sayin’

SwabJockey on October 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Not sure if anyone here is trying to defend Ham, nor any other military commander mentioned so far in this fiasco. Playing “what if” games mostly at this point since there are either “no report” as in Chafetz’s TV interview last Friday or “some report” mentioned as “Ham’s resignation”. What’s mostly frustrating is that no one is talking at this point, 7 weeks after the attack. GOP leadership is doing nothing, as usual.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

FWIW,

This is the oath of office made when commissioned on 26 May 1971.

“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

I’ve yet to find any mention of obeying any order or a treasons act.

wukong on October 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

No, lil fella. The people do not sit on the plane waiting for the call.

They are in alert quarters, and the planes are loaded and ready.

They even do it that way at Pope Field at Ft.Bragg which (along with Simmons and Mackall) supports “rapid contingency deployment” operations for the specops units.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Careful there, this MOBY idiot has Hawk’s blessing to spout crap here. As he pointed out above, “people here know him” and this serves as his cred to him. Everything this MOBY posted on Sunday was contradictory to what retired Ge, Scales said on Greta and Hawk was upset that I did not spend hours posting on each and every point this MOBY spouted, thus “Hawk destroyed me” per their claims. Whatever…

Not sure what is worse, gumby who provides at least some entertainment, or MOBYs like this one who hide behind other posters’ skirts as their claim to legitimacy.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM

“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

I’ve yet to find any mention of obeying any order or a treasons act.

wukong on October 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Thank you for posting this. As is, default standing order is to defend USA interests and that means rescue mission. Only an explicit order to stand down can override that and this order can only come from POTUS?

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

OT: Rassmussen just said that for the first time those who think that Hussein will win falls below 50%, to a new low of 48%. And he says this is significant.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Are any of these propositions inaccurate?

1. The Anti-Qaddafi forces we helped to power were and are in significant part composed of jihadists, i.e. our enemies (that is, the ones we are fighting in The War Formerly Known as The Global War on Terror).

2. Therefore, Operation Kinetic Odyssey Princess Dawn, in getting rid of one tyrant, helped our enemy in Libya and throughout the Middle East.

3. Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi to coordinate transfers of arms to jihadists fighting to overthrow the dictator in Syria. The presumed end result of their successful revolt would be a situation similar to Libya–i.e., another Jihadist success and help to our enemies (see 1 above).

4. The ambassador’s security on 9/11/12 was utterly inadequate, putting his life and the lives of his staff at high risk.

5. The attack on the “facility” was reported immediately and followed minute-by-minute by Obama and cabinet officials. Obama decided to overrule urgent requests to intervene militarily and ordered a stand-down.

6. The killing of Stevens has constituted a major victory for the enemy.

7. The entire episode has been covered up, lied about, obfuscated, and spun by the Administration from the start.

spiritof61 on October 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

“Someone high up in the administration,” Lyons writes, “let our people get killed” — and he wants some answers immediately as to whom:

Exactly how to handle this. Don’t make accusations you can’t prove, but demand answers to the reasonable question, “How could you let this happen?”

tom on October 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Understand one thing if you don’t understand anything else…
No special forces personnel would take the time to PAINT a target if he thought NO ONE WAS COMING!

Get it???

He was on the roof to spot the enemy! Then Paint the target on the enemy for others to take the enemy out!

This whole thing makes me sick!

Delsa on October 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

My purpose here is to properly direct the criticisms of the administration regarding Benghazi. I think the focus needs to the part that politics played in withholding proper security and asking the questions regarding decisions not to provide support after the attack started.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Well, thank you for your consideration.

However, I don’t believe I need anyone to help me “properly direct the criticisms of the administration regarding Benghazi.”

If I find that I need help properly directing my criticism, I’ll be sure to call on you.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Hey blink, were you not here on Sunday claiming that NO assest where moved at all? You and JFKY where doing the whole shebang on it.

Care to comment on your obvious B.S. that you where spewing on Sunday?

D-fusit on October 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Come on, since when does disagreeing with you make someone a Moby? The fact remains that we know nothing.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM

And I bet their launch time is at least one hour.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 2:09 PM

You demand proof and links from me and from others…yet we are to take your assertions based on what you “bet”?
Ain’t gonna flush.

You don’t know what you’re talking about…yet you continue to throw sh!t in the game.
Sounds MOBYesque to me.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM

You might want to bone up on your “refusing and order” assessment.

No where in military doctrine does it say you can obey a direct if you don’t have any problem with. It says “obey”. Secondly, how do you know if an order is immoral or illegal? Consider the armed drone operators; they see a target enter a building, the order comes to fire a weapon at that building. Is it immoral or illegal to obey that message? Does the operator know if there are any “innocent” persons in that building?

You don’t get to pick and choose which orders are illegal or immoral (Btw, the term is “lawful”). If they turn out to be so, then you’re clear. If you fail to obey an unlawful order, you had better be able to convince a Courtsmartial that you had all the requisite knowledge and information to declare it “unlawful”. It does not matter if it was or not.

BobMbx on October 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Sorry Bob, while I am aware that the correct military terminology is lawful or unlawful, my application of illegal stemmed from the fact that I was specifically referring to Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who were not active members of the United State Military and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the UMJC.

Read a few more of my posts on the subject and you will see that the case I have been presenting is that for US Military personal, i.e. those under the jurisdiction of the UMJC, disobeying a lawful order is not as simple a matter as most people here seem to think it is.

As to the disobey of unlawful orders, I will posit this UMJC ruling on the subject.

(Article 138 UCMJ). … “The justification for acts done pursuant to orders does not exist if the order was of such a nature that a man of ordinary sense and understanding would know it to be illegal.” (Court of Military Appeals,. US v. Keenan)

SWalker on October 30, 2012 at 2:29 PM

This has been thoroughly discussed. His “apparent” “understanding” may very well be coming from the assumptions generated by the claims that a laser designator was being actively utilized. blink on October 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I mean, how would an admiral, a nobody like the commander of our Pacific fleet, have any idea what naval assets are where?

Akzed on October 30, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Some failures, I say…

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I totally agree. Everything you listed is correct. Can you imagine what is still hidden? But this onion is getting peeled and we’ll see the entire rotten core soon.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Come on, since when does disagreeing with you make someone a Moby? The fact remains that we know nothing.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Problem is that I am not the only one taking notice. He spouted nothing but lies on Sunday, I called him on it, and then cavalry showed up in his defense while not offering anything factual save for “we had dinner recently”. OH, OK. Since I decided it is not worth my time to easily refute all of his BS (and take a look above, I am not the only one calling him on obvious BS) it was decided that I lost the “argument”. Hilarious in many ways. I’ll take Gen. Scales expertise over the MOBY here any day of the week, just intuition on my part who has more cred.

I suggested back on Sunday that he brush up on simple facts and info before he posts here and well, my advice went wooosh by him, just as all the info did. Like I said, at least the likes of gumby provide entertainment.

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Thank you for speaking up, Admiral. Appreciated.

tuffy on October 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I totally agree. Everything you listed is correct. Can you imagine what is still hidden? But this onion is getting peeled and we’ll see the entire rotten core soon.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

My main issue is that our military, guys who are supposed to have our back and CHOSE to the job willingly, are keeping quiet for so long. Who do they serve, usurper in WH or American people?

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is that you?

D-fusit on October 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I don’t believe I need anyone to help me “properly direct the criticisms of the administration regarding Benghazi.”

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I know that you don’t believe this, but you are wrong. For the past several days you have supported those jumping to conclusions that might not be accurate. If definitive claims being made by conservatives prove to be inaccurate, then that provides Obama with excessive political cover.

The MSM media headline would most certainly be, “Republican Claims about Benghazi Proven False.”

The headline will NOT be, “The Gist of Republican Claims about Benghazi Prove True.”

blink on October 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Get bent, you condescending little snot.

[When Ed or AP posts that you've been appointed "Official Director of Criticisms", I'll pay attention to you. Until then, FO.]

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

There is just no way around it. Thirty some Americans were deliberately left to be murdered. The mightiest, and most expensive, military ever on Earth and no one lifted a pinky finger to help them except the two former Navy Seals who died while saving most of the rest of the Americans.

The whole damned kit and caboodle, State, Defense and CIA epically failed those in Benghazi and they epically failed America. Anyone in any of those three government entities who tried to do something to save those at Benghazi and was blocked from doing it needs to fully speak out right now or else they are after the fact co-conspirators with Bloody Hands Obama by their silence. The two former Navy Seals gave their lives. Can’t eye witnesses to this treachery give up some career advancement and come forward in some format and give testimony?

VorDaj on October 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Fleuries on October 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Those audios are very informative. I listened to this one of 9/12/12, the day after the attack.

http://audio.wrko.com/a/64657882/col-hunt-on-the-newest-libyan-revelations.htm

I’m sure the others are enlightening as well. Thanks!

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The two former Navy Seals gave their lives. Can’t eye witnesses to this treachery give up some career advancement and come forward in some format and give testimony?

VorDaj on October 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I’m just as outraged as many here are. From what I’ve read here is that Active Military has their hands tied as to what they can say. Look at the maker of the video and where he is at. However, I think a couple of members of Congress are doing behind the scenes planning and we’ll get to the truth. Right now, even if the House were to take action, we have Reid in the Senate to deal with. Hopefully, we’ll take the Senate and replace the Speaker of the House and McConnell in the Senate. We saw where F&F went, even tho it was a start. Truth can be hidden & covered up, but never forever.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM

blink on October 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

So do you believe that this is just an unfortunate incident gone terribly wrong?

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM

It would be inappropriate for Ham to criticize his Commander in Chief while still in uniform

Well being silent, and hence being a co-conspirator after the fact, about an atrocity is a lot worse than being “inappropriate”.

VorDaj on October 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM

The whole damned kit and caboodle, State, Defense and CIA epically failed those in Benghazi and they epically failed America. Anyone in any of those three government entities who tried to do something to save those at Benghazi and was blocked from doing it needs to fully speak out right now or else they are after the fact co-conspirators with Bloody Hands Obama by their silence. The two former Navy Seals gave their lives. Can’t eye witnesses to this treachery give up some career advancement and come forward in some format and give testimony?

VorDaj on October 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

It’s the bloody politics that clouds everything the higher you go in the military hierarchy/ranking, reason why we could never find out the truth, even when people are left to die deliberately…and this is disgusting…expect to find honorable people in the lower miliatry ranks, plenty, heck, probably most of them, but the higher they go politics engulf everything and cynicism aways prevails…it is a shame, but it’s how it is…

jimver on October 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

From what I’ve read here is that Active Military has their hands tied as to what they can say.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The two former Navy Seals knowingly gave their lives. Others can at least speak up. No one is going to shoot them.

VorDaj on October 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM
My main issue is that our military, guys who are supposed to have our back and CHOSE to the job willingly, are keeping quiet for so long. Who do they serve, usurper in WH or American people?

riddick on October 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I understand, but timing is very important with this. There must be some planning and get ducks in a row. Patriotic Americans will be ready to witness when the time is right.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I have no doubt that you’ll continue to ignore my good advice.

blink on October 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

As would anyone possessed of wisdom and discernment.

Solaratov on October 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

…I believe that the Obama administration knowingly misled the American people regarding the nature of the attack for political reasons…

blink on October 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.

Yes, brave Obama turned about, and gallantly he chickened out
Bravely talking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat

Bravest of the brave, Obama

Droopy on October 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM
The two former Navy Seals knowingly gave their lives. Others can at least speak up. No one is going to shoot them.

VorDaj on October 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I know, I know. But think for a minute of how much has come out already. Fox News has provided a lot. Not everyone is prepared to speak openly but at least are speaking. Fox can’t reveal their resources or we’d have nothing. I firmly believe that the truth will come out. This Benghazi attack involves other Countries as well. This isn’t just something involving Benghazi and the W.H., much more is involved. Patience isn’t easy, but required.

bluefox on October 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

the US military did not even try to come to the aid of US citizens under a nine hour long terrorist attack, while watching it on a real time video feed. No attempt was made. Forces were not even moved into the immediate area where they could be on stand-by, just in case needed or an opportunity to help arose.

As the admiral says, this in un-American. It is the job of the military to protect US citizens. It is incomprehensible and unbelievable they did not want to try. This does not sound like a decision any US military combat commander would make. There almost had to be a stand down order issued from the highest level in the government.

And yet the MSM — which is routinely nosy, skeptical, suspicious, critical, and curious — is almost completely uninterested, uncritical, and incurious.

farsighted on October 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM

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