UPDATE: There is now a report that General Ham is stating that they had forces ready but were never ordered to go to the assistance of the besieged US officers in Benghazi
UPDATE #2- From Captain’s Journal, another blog, comes this:
First of all, recall that General Rodriguez is the one whom I called out almost five years ago for spewing the silly propaganda that the Taliban were too weakened to launch a spring offensive, and also the one who wanted to micromanage a Marine Air Ground Task Force in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Less than six hours before Marines commenced a major helicopter-borne assault in the town of Marjah, Rodriguez’s headquarters issued an order requiring that his operations center clear any airstrike that was on a housing compound in the area but not sought in self-defense. This is rules of engagement of the flavor Rodriguez.
If General Rodriguez is in fact taking over the Africa command, I’m not impressed with Panetta’s decision. Then again, I think Panetta is a weasel and his excuse-making cowardly, so I’m not surprised by the decision.
I would advise anyone who is puzzled by the conflicting stories to read, Dakota Meyers book, “Into the Fire.”
General Ham appears to have broken with that story and is taking no responsibility for the decision not to bail out the consulate and the Navy SEALS. There have been rumors that General Ham has been fired or forced out. There is no way to confirm them at this point until they come from more reliable sources.
There are now strong indications he was fired. The deputy who “apprehended ” him is his successor. This suggests the path to command in Obama’s army.
More on General Ham. This might suggest why he was unwilling to leave the US contractors to their fate.
During his time in Iraq General Ham suffered Posttraumatic stress disorder, caused from attending the aftermath of a suicide bombing. He didn’t want another such scene on his conscience.
UPDATE #3-An explanation for the failure of more disclosure in the Benghazi scandal was presented today (10/29) in an article in the Washington Times.
Bloomberg News reported on October 17 that Attorney General Eric Holder “prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined, including law-and-order Republicans John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.”
“There’s a problem with prosecutions that don’t distinguish between bad people — people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money — and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions,” said Abbe Lowell, attorney for Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst charged under the Act, to Bloomberg News.
The Espionage Act, bans unlawful disclosure of national security information to individuals not authorized to get it. The act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 and has been used to prosecute double agents like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen.
Bloomberg News cites the particular case of Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst who was charged under the act. He worked as a contract analyst specializing in North Korea. Kim was questioned by law enforcement officials in September of 2009 after making contact with Fox News reporter Jim Rosen about North Korea’s nuclear weapon’s program. Eleven months later he was indicted by a grand jury for revealing classified information and making false statements
Obama is prosecuting intelligence people who leak to news organizations. Whistleblowers, in other words. Leftist outlets are already attacking Fox News as disclosing top secret information.
With all of this in mind, do not be surprised if a flood of individuals who have pertinent information begin to step up to the plate and talk about what happened on September 11, 2012 if Mitt Romney wins the presidency.
There is a growing body of information about what happened in Benghazi but it has not appeared in the major media thus far. The NY Times and Washington Post seem to be covering for Obama by completely ignoring this story. Most of those who follow current events on the internet rather than in big city newspapers or television “news” are aware of most of the details.
On September 11, 2012 the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked at approximately 9:40 PM local time by a large number of heavily armed terrorists. The US ambassador was present and had bid goodnight to the Turkish ambassador at about 8 PM local time. Washington DC is 6 hours west of Benghazi so the attack came at 3:40 PM Washington time.
Here is a timeline of the attack.
There was no demonstration in front of the consulate that night. In spite of this fact, quickly apparent to the State Department which was in contact with the personnel at the consulate and the CIA “annex” that night from the first shots fired, the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State, proposed a story about demonstrations in response to “an anti-Muslim video” that was in fact a You Tube video which was 14 minutes long. The creator of this video, an Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Los Angeles, was arrested on dubious grounds of a “probation violation” and the arrest was widely publicized by the administration. His initial court date is scheduled for AFTER the election.
On Sunday September 16, 5 days after the attack, UN Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday news programs to repeat the administration’s story.
by Dr. Joseph Sternberg, Scientific Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 1971-1974
Why was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice sent around to the Sunday talk shows to tell a (false) story?
Susan Rice has no responsibility for the protection of embassies, nor for U.S. policy towards Libya. She was not directly involved in the development of intelligence of events in Libya. But how did the events in Libya affect what she was responsible for at the UN? Why would the White House think that she was the right person to promote the story they were trying to sell?
President Obama has had two foreign affairs priorities. One was to defeat Al Qaeda. The second was to improve relations with the Muslim world, which has taken the form of developing close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Susan Rice is directly involved in the second of these objectives in her role as UN Ambassador. She is also the second black UN ambassador that the US has had.
It may also be the case that the Secretary of State did not wish to associate herself with this story, in spite of the fact that she made a ridiculous TV ad in Pakistan pushing the story and apologizing for the video. She also made an ill-advised statement to the father of one of the murdered former SEALs as his body was returned to the US. “”She did not appear to be one bit sincere at all,” Woods said, recalling that Clinton told him they were going to have the person who made the anti-Islam YouTube video “arrested and prosecuted.””
The political left has has been strident in its defense of Ambassador Rice.
The CIA’s collective judgment on Saturday the 15th, when Rice taped her interviews, was that the protests earlier in the week in Cairo — which had been inspired by the video — had also inspired protests in Benghazi. Later, extremist elements hijacked those protests to storm the consulate. The CIA subsequently backed off its belief that there had been protests in Benghazi, but that only happened later. On Saturday, the CIA told Rice there had been protests, and that’s what she said on TV.
The evidence to this day suggests that, in fact, the YouTube video did play a role in the attacks. It’s simply not true that Rice invented or exaggerated about that.
The CIA and State Department knew that there had been no protest in Benghazi. A CIA spokesman said that there had been a demonstration that “evolved into an attack. “The briefing points, obtained by the AP, added: “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations” but did not mention eyewitness accounts that blamed militants alone.”
The New York Times, to its credit, published a story with most of the facts on October 15 but has been silent since then.
The story has become more complex as more information appears about the firefight between the two ex-SEALs who were there as security contractors for the CIA station, not the ambassador, and the attackers.
The news is starting to creep into major newspapers.
Citing “sources who were on the ground” in Benghazi, Libya, Fox News is reporting that an urgent request for military help during last month’s terrorist attack on the US consulate there “was denied by the CIA chain of command.”
The attack, on the anniversary of 9/11, killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy personnel, including two former Navy SEALs working as security contractors.
Among other things reported in some detail, Fox asserts that a Special Operations team had been moved to US military facilities in Sigonella, Italy — approximately two hours away — but were never told to deploy.
“The fighting at the CIA annex [in Benghazi] 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.”
There are allegations that armed drones were present and even that an AC130 gunship was overhead.
“Secretary of State Clinton has said the responsibility was hers. But there has been no assertion that the State Department overruled the Pentagon out of concern about the sovereignty of Libyan air space. Instead, it appears passive groupthink prevailed, with the assumption being that a spontaneous mob would quickly run out of steam.”
This from Bing West, a well known writer and former Marine. After attempts to blame the CIA for refusing to help the besieged, a statement widely attributed to CIA Director David Petraeus, was issued.
CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood denied to Fox the claims that requests for support were turned down.
“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi,” she said. “Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.
This statement is widely considered to be a shot across Obama’s bow by Petraeus, who has said nothing in public so far. As the facts emerge, in spite of the NY Times and others, it will be harder to cover up this story.
There may have been an AC 130 gunship overhead during the firefight. One of the ex-SEALs had illuminated the mortar team that was attacking the annex. An experienced combatant would not do that unless he assumed that the gunship was able to fire at the illuminated target. The attackers were capable of following the laser beam back to the SEALs who were killed by a mortar shell later.
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — 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.
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
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 rescue team 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.
They got other Americans evacuated and returned to the annex.
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.
This information is creeping into the legacy media .
CBS News) On the night of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, a team of American military commandos was sent from Europe to an airfield at Sigonella, in Sicily, Italy, putting them at least an hour’s flight away from Benghazi, CBS News has learned.
The team, known as the Commander’s In-extremis Force, was designed specifically for quick reaction to unforeseen emergencies. But U.S. officials say it did not arrive in Sicily until after the attack was over.
Even if the team had been ready in time, confusion about what was happening on the ground in Benghazi — and State Department concerns about violating Libyan sovereignty — made a military rescue mission impractical, the officials say.
Which officials ?
Who ordered them to “stand down”?
Who ordered the AC 130 nor to fire ?
Who ordered the CIF rescue team to stay put and not to respond ?
Was it Leon Panetta ?
The U.S. military did not quickly intervene during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month because military leaders did not have adequate intelligence information and felt they should not put American forces at risk, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
In his most extensive comments to date on the unfolding controversy surrounding the attack in Benghazi, Panetta said U.S. forces were on heightened alert because of the anniversary of 9/11 and prepared to respond. But, he said, the attack happened over a few hours and was over before the U.S. had the chance to know what was really happening.
Really ? With real time video feed from the security cameras at the consulate and real time communications with the two former SEALs who were fighting off an attack by hundreds ?
“And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
Panetta was referring to Gen. Carter Ham, the head of U.S. Africa Command, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It’s interesting that Panetta brought up Carter Ham as as he was then relieved of his command, a year early and without explanation
On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward.
Oh really ?
I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.
“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
I’m sure here is more to come. Remember the Watergate scandal did not really erupt until after the 1972 election, which Nixon won.
One last addition. When the murdered US contractors’ bodies were returned to the US, VP Joe Biden madean incredibly insensitive and crude remark to the father of one slain SEAL.
Joe Biden to Father of Former Navy SEAL Killed in Benghazi: ‘Did Your Son Always Have Balls the Size of Cue Balls?’
Aside from its crude and offensive nature, this comment suggests that Biden knows more about the firefight than the administration is admitting. They all watched these men die while they blocked aid from going to their assistance. It must have been inconvenient to have these men fight for seven hours before they were finally killed. No doubt Obama wanted a quick end to the battle and the story.
The Alamo and Benghazi. Those who would stay were asked to step across the line. “And across the line stepped 179.” This time was only two but they took 60 enemies with them.
Eventually, these two courageous men were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers brought against them, an enemy force numbering between 100 to 200 attackers which came in two waves. But the stunning part of the story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force. Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction. emphasis mine
The names of these men should live in our history. If Romney is elected, they may.