Why The Ambassador Died

“Ambassador Stevens didn’t die because the White House had a bad night. He died because the White House has bungled North Africa. Would that it were all that they’ve bungled. As I wrote earlier, get ready for the next war, regardless of what happens tomorrow.

[Update a while later]

Actually, it’s not the next war. It’s just the next battle in the current ongoing world war.

23 thoughts on “Why The Ambassador Died

  1. Chris Gerrib

    Rand – so now you admit that there weren’t forces that were told to stand down? Because that’s what your article states, but it’s not what you’ve been saying for weeks.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      You apparently have trouble with reading comprehension, but that’s nothing new. All I’ve been saying for weeks was that if there were forces available, and they weren’t sent in, it was reprehensible.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        Like hell! In this post dated Saturday you state “president who looks so cool in a bomber jacket declined to answer his beleaguered diplomats’ calls for help – even though he had aircraft and Special Forces in the region. ” (emphasis mine).

        Your ability to suddenly change positions and deny your previous position is positively Orwellian.

        1. ken anthony

          What part of telling stories did you not understand? The military acts on a situation before the president tells them to stand down. But beyond a certain point they are required to get permission. They did not get that permission.

          We are a superpower. This word has a meaning (no it’s not connected in any way to the saturday morning cartoons you watch.)

          It basically means that there is not a spot on the earth where we are unable to project power should we choose to. We always have assets within reach of everywhere. Time to target is the only question.

          So if the article says there were no forces to stand down. The article is bullshit.

        2. wodun

          From what I have read, we had 2-3 tier 1 special ops groups that could have responded plus an unknown number of air assets.

          Did Obama give the order not to help? We don’t know but we do know he didn’t give an order to help despite his claims otherwise.

          1. ken anthony

            Simply doing nothing is an order not to help. He’s CinC. He has to give certain orders or certain things do not happen. Beyond that, somebody told the Seals to stand down (otherwise how could they have disobeyed?)

          2. George Turner

            Chris, the problem with your narrative is that military personnel already leaked that General Ham, the commander of AFICOM who had responsibility for Benghazi, did order his ready counter-terrorist rescue force (CRF) into action – and was relieved of command within one minute. The general who relieved him was appointed by Obama to be the new commander of AFICOM, and General Ham’s 30-day retirement notice kicks in just after the election.

        3. Chris Gerrib

          This article said that the nearest available unit was on exercises in Croatia. The next-nearest unit was on the East Coast of the US. Both units started moving immediately. By the time either unit got in position, the consulate staff had left.

          We may be a superpower, but we have not repealed the laws of physics. It takes time to move units from Point A to Point B.

          1. ken anthony

            Yeah, the laws of physics are not violated. It’s the ‘STORIES’ that do not violate physics you have to keep an eye out for.

            We have over 650 bases scattered throughout the planet. You believe those blatant lies.

            Anybody saying we didn’t have assets near ARE LYING OR IGNORANT.

          2. ken anthony

            The fact that we regularly rotate personnel in and out of all our embassies and consulates tells you they are lying. Logistics isn’t just something UPS does.

          3. Chris Gerrib

            Ken Anthony – Here’s the problem – several rooms full of generals and admirals and their staffs were involved in this decision. If there were units ready to go that were told to stand down, how come none of these officers have leaked that “Unit X was ready to go?” For that matter, how come none of the soldiers / sailors in Unit X said “we were ready but Obama didn’t call?”

            Either one believes that hundreds of military personnel are willing to take the fall for Obama or that there was no unit close enough and/or at a high enough readiness status to respond in time.

          4. wodun

            Chris I don’t think you are right but if you were, it is not a good defense of Obama’s leadership that we didn’t have any military protection or capabilities to respond to a crisis in a country that Obama unilaterally went to war with just a few months earlier, has many terrorist groups, there were several prior attacks, and numerous requests for additional security.

            Any way you slice it, Obama made some big mistakes that lead to the needless deaths of four Americans.

          5. Karl Hallowell

            General Ham was not relieved of command.

            Sorry, Chris, that story doesn’t give us the right information. Keep in mind that General Ham could have been relieved of command and then reinstated temporarily for appearances to be forced out later (to be implemented in spring 2013 safely after the election).

            What we do know is that there’s some interesting rumors out there, as one would expect if someone in “several rooms full of generals and admirals and their staffs” had leaked actual details of what happened. Then the announcement that General Ham leaves that post right after elections are over. As one would expect, if an embarrassment was to be shooed out in a low profile way.

            And if you think that doesn’t make sense? Welcome to my opinion of the Obama administration.

      2. George Turner

        CIA forces who were on the ground contradict the claims made by the CIA’s spokesmen in Washington, and say they were in fact ordered to stand down.

        The Brits are still wondering why we never called them, since they had ample forces in Benghazi. The truth is, Obama is just uncomfortable calling on white folks for help.

  2. ken anthony

    It is well past time that American leadership (What???) get their story straight. We are at war with a so called religion. We had better get used to the idea and deal with it (internal and external.)

  3. Leland

    Funny Gerrib demands Rand admit to saying something he didn’t. Yet, Gerrib has yet to admit that there was real time video feed of the activities going on in Benghazi (not for the initial attack, but on location within 2 hours). Gerrib kept insisting it was a spontaneous attack even after the President, in the debate, began backpeddling on that claim.

    Here’s the thing, I’m not ready to believe their was forces deployed that were told to stand down. I already stated I didn’t believe there was an AC-130 overhead, and I don’t know how many were in theater. But one thing is certain, Ambassador Stevens requested additional forces many days before the attack, yet none of any value were nearby.

    Now we have the NYT creating stories attacking certain aspects of the concerns regarding the Benghazi decision making. These articles do their best to suggest Republicans/Fox News is lying. That’s fine. But what these articles tell me is the Obama Administration completely ignored the warnings and request for support that came weeks and months before the attack.

    Further, there is still no answer as to why the video was blamed for the attack.

    I’m unimpressed with the attacks on a blogger for asking questions with no concern for the decisions of Administration that failed to protect an Ambassador. And an Administration that stated and acted on jailing a US citizen for creating a video that had nothing to do with the incident.

    1. Chris Gerrib

      Two hours after the initial attack means the drone was watching as nothing was happening.

      I never said that the attack wasn’t planned. I said that, while the attack was ongoing, it’s hard if not impossible to tell if it’s planned or the work of an armed mob.

      The video was clearly a hit job paid for by somebody with the intent to cause trouble. Did it cause the Benghazi attack? Don’t know. It sure seemed to cause the Cairo riots, and since the two events were going on at the same time, logic would suggest they might be at least related.

      I’m reluctant to say this, but obviously the security concerns expressed by our embassy in Tripoli weren’t considered serious enough by the people making the request to prevent Stevens from traveling from the secure embassy to the consulate. In short, if he didn’t think it (incorrectly) that it was safe to go to Benghazi, he wouldn’t have went.

  4. Leland

    I never said that the attack wasn’t planned.

    Right. The word you used was spontaneous, which means the same thing.

    The video was clearly a hit job paid for by somebody with the intent to cause trouble.

    There is nothing clear about it. As for it causing the Cairo riots, those spontaneous mobs just happened to hoist the AQ flag over the US embassy.

    if he didn’t think it (incorrectly) that it was safe to go to Benghazi, he wouldn’t have went.

    That claim is dispicable.

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