Stand Down Obama and Biden, Stand Down
Normally, I have no difficulty writing this column. I see it as a way to provide busy readers a coherent narrative of the best of the week's most important news -- largely as reported by the alternative media and ignored by its richer, fatter and lazier media opposition.
This week is sadly different. The latest news coming out about the murder of our ambassador and three other brave Americans in Ben Ghazi is so horrifying and shocking I can take no pleasure in writing about it. It's still largely unreported by the legacy media. Fox News has been a leader and there's been some coverage at CNN by Anderson Cooper, but PBS and the alphabets have been doing their best to keep from you the incompetence, treachery and outrageous behavior of the President, Vice President, Secretaries of State and Defense.
Luckily, their "firewall" -- blaming the tragedy on a hapless producer of a video trailer, the CIA, and lower level State Department officials -- seem (as one might have predicted, and I did), to result in numerous leaks to the press, undercutting that pack of lies.
In summary fashion, here's what we learned last week:
- The security situation in Ben Ghazi had been growing steadily worse.
- Ambassador Stevens had requested additional security and had indicated he feared for his life.
- The request for additional security was rejected and, in fact, a significant portion of the existing U.S. guard force was removed before 9/11 when any reasonable person would have anticipated they'd be most needed.
Along with those facts here's what we learned this week from Jennifer Griffin at Fox News
[A]n urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. [snip]
Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. 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. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators[.]
In the simplest of terms, we knew there was general danger and had made inadequate security arrangements. When those arrangements failed (as they were almost certain to) we had a number of opportunities to protect the Ambassador and others -- nearby military support, assistance from a nearby Spectre gunship and from teams stationed 2 hours away at Sigonella Air Base, All of this help was denied as coldly as the earlier requests for additional security and 4 Americans were murdered, giving our enemies an unwarranted victory .
The Spectre gunship (AC-130U) alone would seem to have done the trick:
There were two AC-130Us deployed to Libya in March as part of Operation Unified Protector.
The AC-130U is a very effective third-generation fire-support aircraft, capable of continuous and extremely accurate fire onto multiple targets. It has been used numerous times in Iraq and Afghanistan to save pinned-down allied forces, and has even been credited with the surrender of the Taliban city of Konduz
It was purpose-built for a select number of specific mission types, including point-defense against enemy attack. It was literally built for the kind of mission it could have engaged in over Benghazi, if the Administration had let it fire. As the excerpt above clearly shows, we had assets on the ground "painting" the targets with the laser.
An AC-130U flies in a counter-clockwise "pivot turn" around the target, with the weapons all aimed out the left side of the aircraft.
There are two state-of-the-art fire-control systems (FCSs) in a AC-130U, using television sensors, infrared sensors and synthetic aperture strike radar. These fire control systems can see through the dark of night, clouds, and smoke.
The two FCSs on the AC-130U control a 25mm gatling gun for area suppression, a precision 40mm cannon, and a 105mm cannon which can engage hard targets.
What this means is that we have the forces in the air and on the ground to have stopped the attack at any point, eliminating the terrorists, and saving American lives.
While the administration still is dancing around about the issue of the video trailer, Defense Secretary Panetta offered up this really unpersuasive defense for the order of nearby aid to "stand down" and the refusal to call in support from Sigonella or the Spectre gunship:
But the basic principle here... is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on.
Should there be a fire at his home or a holdup as he walks the street, I hope Panetta doesn't run into rescue personnel who share that view. In any event, the point was inapplicable on the facts. There was, as the Fox report makes clear, more than sufficient information upon which to act.
Bgates says it best:
There's a basic principle here, and 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
There was real-time information about what was taking place. American citizens at the scene observed what was going on and passed along an executive summary which summarized current conditions, extrapolated existing trends into the future and suggested an action plan, roughly: "They are shooting at us, and you need to send help or we are all going to die." [snip]
Dem rules for jet use: Armed assault on US embassy? Wait and gather more info. Need to get Sen Brown to DC to pass stimulus? GOGOGO!
These reports are troublesome enough, but they were to be capped before week's end by the account given by Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods one of the Special forces men murdered in this assault:
He said the President was cold and appeared unsympathetic at the ceremony at which the bodies of the slain were returned. Secretary Clinton whispered that the administration was going to have the producer of the film trailer arrested, showing she was still playing the lying game and, at the same time, demonstrating the administration's utter disregard for the Free Speech guarantees of the Constitution. But that wasn't the worst of it. The rock bottom of sleaziness was the question asked by the Vice President:
"Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?"
Stand Down, Obama and your administration. All of you. Stand Down. You've failed to carry out your responsibilities of office. You treated American lives, including that of an ambassador -- the official representative of your country -- with utter disregard for their safety. You've lied to us about this tragedy so many times and in so many ways you can no longer credibly lead. You're crass and vulgar and without regard for truth, law or common decency and deserve to be drummed out of office.