Three Times

That’s how many times the embattled people in the consulate and safe house were denied help.

And what’s worse, there was an AC-130 orbiting, but the administration refused to allow it to fire. This is starting to look like manslaughter.

Too bad there’s not a Republican in the White House. If there were, maybe someone other than Fox News would be covering this stuff.

[Update a few minutes later]

It’s not Blackhawk down again. “It’s worse. Recall that the major problem in BD was the UN commander was unwilling to risk casualties to protect forward US positions and troops in the city. This is the US unwilling to protect its own. It’s like we have the UN for an administration or something.”

Or something.

36 thoughts on “Three Times

  1. Gregg

    There’s a guy talking on Rush right now that is describing the flow of information from a Flash Traffic – more like an IM than email. He is saying the forces were ready to go – no need to pull them out of bars – and that the Prez MUST be told what is going on immediately, and that all this happens instantaneously.

    So understand that when the administration talks about EMAILS, they are dissembling…Flash Traffic is instantaneous (well almost, due to satellite delays).

  2. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

    Someone with a military background may be able to answer this: if they were painting the mortar team with a laser, but were unable to hit it with a heavy machine gun, does that mean the mortar team was 2-3 km away?

    1. Gregg

      No. It could mean that there was no line of sight. That’s the forte of a mortar – that it is a high trajectory round. So the mortar round can reach the good guys, but a machine gun would not be able to return fire as it’s a flat trajectory piece (relatively speaking).

        1. Gregg

          Good point. Still no guarantees that an MG can hit the mortar – you can lase the building they are in, or near, but not hit the mortarmen if there are walls in between.

        2. wodun

          Could have been prevented by cover fire but able to place the laser?

          There was only a couple of people so they would have problems covering all the angles.

          1. Gregg

            right. if the mortarmen had any defilade at all the MG couldn’t touch them. Still could lase the location or close enough to make it count.

            To think that those guys assumed help would be on the way….that they trusted that they would be backed up…

            but not by this Prez

    2. ken anthony

      What it means is they could have hit the morters, not with the MG, but with many other assets in the area. They were not allowed! Which puts the responsibility directly at the top of the chain of command.

  3. Gregg

    This whole thing….including these new revelations, makes my head explode and makes me choke up at the same time.

    As I wrote in the other thread, the two ex-seals rode to the sounds of the guns…now I hear it was against orders. Permission for them to go was refused twice. They decided to go anyways. We are so gddmmed lucky to have men like these as citizens.

    Can’t wait for Gerrib to show up here….

  4. wodun

    Who is going to say that ex-seals cant direct air support, especially when they had the tools they needed to do it?

    This certainly was a chaotic situation but the more information we get the worse it looks. One of the “quick reaction teams” that the administration appears to be taking credit for were actually people who disobeyed orders and went to the aid of the consulate staff.

    Another group of six showed up from Tripoli but why only send six and why not give them air support?

    It can no longer be claimed there was a fog of war when there were two drones overhead and real time communications with consulate staff.

    Seals on the ground and drones over head. This is what our troops do every day. They should have set the military loose.

  5. Gregg

    So what do we have here…..

    the administration:

    Was asked several times to NOT reduce the protection forces when they were sked to be reduced

    denied numerous requests for increases in protection for months leading up to Sept. 11

    Denied permission to the Seals to go help the Ambassador

    Refused to beef up forces in the area after multiple attacks on the Consulate itself…..in the run-up to 9/11

    Refused support the instant they knew there was trouble.

    And if there really was an AC-130 circling the area, denied permission to open fire….

    Refused support during the second action…..

    and lied about it all.

    This is just a shameful day for the US and this administration. But there should be endless pride for the courage and actions of the dearly departed.

      1. cthulhu

        It is possible that they were RQ-4B Global Hawks from Sigonella, in which case they can’t be armed (the GH has never been armed, by deliberate Pentagon policy – since it has such long endurance and range, they don’t want to give countries an excuse to prevent it from transiting national airspace). RQ-4Bs out of Sigonella have been used for surveillance over Libya since the start of that conflict.

      2. Gregg

        Wodun,

        According to Col. David Hunt, there were two drones. The first one was unarmed. The second one that came later was armed.

        1. Will McLean

          That would be the Col. David Hunt that retired from the Army in the last millenium, but now bills himself as a Fox news personality and motivational speaker?

  6. Leland

    I don’t understand where the “AC-130 orbiting” comes from, and I note Glenn suggested one was overhead as well. The linked back story says 2 were at Sigonella, but it doesn’t say they were sortied. The operators on the ground in Benghazi had the target identified and lit, but I’m not sure if anything was in the air to hit the target.

    Let’s keep things simple, and not add too much, because there is plenty for Obama to answer:
    1) Why did the Obama Administration suggest the attack was due to the video despite no evidence to support this claim?
    2) What took the Obama Administration so long to acknowledge Al Qaeda’s role, when it was clear by their own flag and acceptance of guilt Al Qaeda was involved?
    3) Why did Obama not give the orders to all available forces in the theater to respond to this crisis?
    4) What is taking the Obama Administration so long to bring the attackers to justice?
    5) Why was there quick action taken to jail the video maker, who had no role in the attack?

    These are hefty questions with the first one being very close to outright lying to the American public. New insights keep the story alive, but let’s not exaggerate.

    1. George Turner

      I also didn’t seen anything clearly indicating a C-130 was overhead, and am pretty sure one wasn’t or it would’ve been noticed and mentioned by everyone who was in Benghazi, and it would’ve drawn quite a bit of AA fire, since even our drones drew enough fire to close the Benghazi airport to civilian traffic for 10 hours.

      However, one might have been in the air outside Libyan airspace, denied entry because Hillary & co. were looking for excuses to do nothing, and had called the President of Libya to request permission to enter (or more likely, to seek a denial of permission).

      If the report about Panetta is true, where he said you never send forces into a confusing situation, then that alone puts the ineptitude and incompetence of the administration in stark relief. Right now probably every general in the world is thinking, “If I have to go to war, I want to go up against Panetta! He won’t do anything until he’s absolutely certain of what’s going on, which won’t happen until he watches a three-hour special on the History Channel using computer graphics to show step-by-step how he was outmaneuvered, surrounded, and crushed while he refused take a single action because he was uncertain.”

      1. Gregg

        “However, one might have been in the air outside Libyan airspace, denied entry because Hillary & co. were looking for excuses to do nothing, and had called the President of Libya to request permission to enter (or more likely, to seek a denial of permission).”

        Agreed – much more likely – after all we didn’t ask for permission to enter Pakistani airspace when we got UBL.

  7. Chris Gerrib

    I also don’t see where an AC-130 was orbiting, or even sortied. The drones, which arrived (per the timeline provided above) were unarmed. So what we have is

    1) a statement from an unknown individual that two State Department security personnel (the ex-SEALs) were told to stand down
    2) a statement that these same security personnel could laser-designate a mortar (thus having line-of-sight) but couldn’t fire at it
    3) a statement that they were designating a target despite not having air support to do anything about the mortar

    We also read that commandos were waiting on alert somewhere in Europe but weren’t sent. What commandos where? The FAST Marine platoon was in Rota, Spain, several additional air hours from Libya.

    We also know that a relief force arrived at the safe house at 1 AM – in time to come under fire during the second attack. That’s the force that drove our surviving diplomats to the airport.

      1. Will McLean

        The Owens article is mistaken. The AC130s were deployed to Libyan *airspace* for Operation Urgent Protector in March. Of *2011*. The operation ended in October of that year. They were, however, flying out of Italy, not Libya.

  8. Chris Gerrib

    I’m going on vacation, and won’t be taking a PC, so one final question – why would Obama want the Ambassador to die? If Obama is as cynical as frequently claimed, the last thing he’d want would be to have this close to an election?

    1. Leland

      why would Obama want the Ambassador to die?

      I don’t think anyone is attributing to malice what can be chalked up to incompetence.

      However, there still remains the question, why did the Obama Administration blame the video maker for the attack? Is that incompetence or malice?

  9. jsallison

    Here’s a picture. The ambassador is captured, alive, and later the administration gets props for arranging a trade for the blind sheik. Unfortunately the lackeys exceeded their brief and let the ambassador die. I can think of a coupla more reasons why this administration might have acted the way they have in this matter, none of them what you’d call charitable.

  10. Gregg

    We are getting more and more information due to leaks from the various agencies.

    This is what happens when you throw State and the CIA under the bus as Biden did in the VP debate.

    As for Gerrib’s drive by, this will answer some of his questions:

    (From Jennifer Griffin’s Fox report)

    “A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

    According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

    Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers.

    ………….
    Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. “

  11. Gregg

    This is the transcript of the caller, who I mentioned earlier, who identified himself “…. I’m a retired lieutenant colonel special operations planner for 15 years -…”

    Some excerpts (with the URl below):

    “the personal security detail for the ambassador notified the communications room in Tripoli who then, on the top secret side, sent a message to the White House Situation Room that the ambassador was in peril, okay? And they did that by code word and it would have been within minutes of the attack commencing. …

    The White House Situation Room has a list of what’s called Essential Elements of Friendly Information. That’s the military’s acronym for it, but they would have a similar thing, a critical information list. Certain things go right to the person that’s standing next to the president, both military and civilian leadership. So he would have known within minutes or it’s supposed to be informed within minutes because an ambassador is a four-star equivalent, very high, very important person, you know, represents the president and essentially is the president’s — you know, is the surrogate of the president in that country. So the White House cannot deny that the president knew immediately….

    ……Well, there’s three networks, Rush. The e-mails that have been released are unclassified e-mails. On the top secret side, a flash traffic message from the embassy Tripoli to the White House Situation Room, it’s like an IM. I mean, it’s immediately responded to. You have to acknowledge receipt of it. Okay? So it’s immediate. It gets to the person, the watch officer sitting there, boom, flashes on his screen, he has to acknowledge receipt. And then there’s a protocol for who he then sends it to. He physically turns to someone, the senior guy on watch, “This is a critical element of information. POTUS needs to hear this,” and that’s what would have happened.
    …………
    Flash traffic is digital from station to station.
    …………
    Basically in the absence of permissions, okay, you have standing orders. And one of the standing orders to geographic combatant commander is to observe life of American citizens –
    ……….
    And he’s a four-star, you know, he’s in Germany. AFRICOM headquarters is in Germany, and their op-center would have been monitoring this in real time, ’cause it’s part of their geographic responsibility. And they would have been going through the different permutations of courses of action of who can get there the quickest. Now, in their geographic area they have Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, which is in Djibouti. I served there when it was the Joint Special Operations Task Force Crisis Response Element, and we have responsibility for all of CENTCOM and AFRICOM in Africa because at the time there was no AFRICOM.
    ……..
    Now, at the lieutenant colonel level, at the colonel level of the In-Extremis Force of all these different headquarters, State Department, everybody was saying, “Let’s go! Let’s get boots on the ground and kick these people’s asses and get our people.” But who makes those decisions? It’s POTUS, V POTUS, State, and Def. And they had a five o’clock Eastern time meeting, and they said no. You know, we’re willing to have the consulate overruled and the embassy overrun..”

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/10/26/are_some_in_the_chain_of_command_still_haunted_by_carter_s_failed_rescue_in_1979

  12. Gregg

    If you read Bob Owens’ article you might get the impression that an AC-130 was overhead.:

    “The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship,…”

    But in the next sentence, he suggests they were at Signorella, and later on suggests that 2 were in Libya:

    “The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. ……
    There were two AC-130Us deployed to Libya in March as part of Operation Unified Protector.”

    Worst case, they were on the ground in Signorella. That means the gunships could have been on target in 2 hours. As the two ex-Seals died in the last hour of a 7 hour battle, there was plenty of time to get the -130′s on station, and save their lives. Same is true for any F-18′s within several hundred miles.

    But our Glorious, perfect-pants-crease, sophisticated ingestor of intelligence, no need to attend security briefing, Dear Leader chose not to send help.

    CBS news web page? Storm Sandy

    ABCnews.com? Storm Sandy; Prez begs of answer questions about Benghazi; what did we learn from Romney’s ’91 testimony;

    NBCnews.com? Storm Sandy; suspects indicted over $1m casino thefts; ‘Fiscal cliff’ warnings may be overblown; Romney seizes Obama’s attack line

    One can see why the agency people who want to avenge being thrown under the bus would go to Fox.

  13. ken anthony

    I just read a comment that makes a huge point. Benghazi was not a terrorist attack. Terrorism has a meaning that should not be confused with acts of war. The attack on a consulate was an act of war.

    1. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

      A war crime to be precise. That makes the perpetrators both valid military targets and subject to prosecution.

  14. Josh Reiter

    Ambassador Stevens died for political reasons. He was more worried about how our presence would inflame the Arab citizens rather than how it would serve to protect our citizens. The attack on the consulate didn’t fit the narrative of the campaign: that Al Qaeda was defeated and on the run; that Obama got us out of one war and withdrawing from another; and that our standing in the Middle East was improved. Obama didn’t act because his mind was working on how to sweep this under the rug and desperately preserve his campaign narrative. Just a bump in the road you see.

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