General Ham told Chaffetz that the forces were available, but that no order to use them was given. Defense Secretary Panetta had claimed that the refusal to use force had come from him, General Dempsey and General Ham. 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.
Too grasshopper and all those who defend the malfeasance of the entire Obama Administration, I just want to say...pay attention to the details of what is coming out from whistle blowers. CIA, Africom Generals, SEDEF, State Department...etc. Just out today...General Ham, Africom OIC was fired immediately by Obama (thru Panetta, the SECDEF) for telling the huddle in the situation room via sattelite, during the seven hour attacks; Obama, Panetta, and Biden (who lied directly during the VP Debate saying, "We did not know....") to FOAD (___k off and die), That he (Gen. Ham), was going to help out inspite of orders which he considered to be illegal orders, "To stand down" from POTUS (Obama). The sobering message Obama got just before the first debate was very likely one that said, "The jigs up! FOX News is all overe the cover-up story and it can not possibly succeed. And this explains his preoccupation with something other than the debate. Addmittedly speculation on my part. And yes...I am a vet. (Vietnam), fighter pilot, test pilot, and carreer AF guy... so do the usual Lib (idiot) thing to discredit and demogogue me.
False Military Doctrine And The Benghazi Assault
BY HERSCHEL SMITH 20 hours, 41 minutes ago
This Washington Times blog post adds yet another wrinkle to the assault by enemy military forces on our consulate in Benghazi. Take careful note of what is apparently official, and also what is not.
Is an American General losing his job for trying to save the Americans besieged in Benghazi? This is the latest potential wrinkle in the growing scandal surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that left four men dead and President Obama scrambling for a coherent 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. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, ”the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.
However on October 26, “Ambassador” posted the following RUMINT on TigerDroppings (h/t Jim Hoft): 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. quote: “(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. The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham’s place as the head of Africom. This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. But so far there is nothing solid to back it up. Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army’s ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.
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. The notion that we don’t send our forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on is patently absurd and false. Simply said, it’s a lie. We deploy Army Rangers to take control of air fields and landing zones in potentially hostile environments, for which we do not know all of the desired information; we deploy Marine infantry into situations of potentially unknown threats all of the time all over the globe; each and every time a patrol left the outpost at the Korengal in Afghanistan, they were deploying into potentially deadly situations without specific and detailed knowledge of the situation. The counterinsurgency and state-building doctrine that has taken possession of the very souls of our military elite states unequivocally that our forces should be willing to sustain risk – of a potentially unknown quantity and quality – in order to protect the population. But when it comes to protecting our own forces such as those deployed in Benghazi, the excuse is made that we didn’t have enough intelligence.
Finally, as the final nail in the coffin of this ridiculous prevarication, we deploy Marine Scout Snipers and Force Recon all of the time into situations of completely unknown risk, danger and hazard in order to gather intelligence and lay the groundwork for the Marine infantry. If we really needed more information on Benghazi, we could have deployed reconnaissance forces. Thus has one general been given his walking papers, a system apparatchik been promoted, and yet another lie been woven into the horrible web of lies concerning Benghazi. This is false doctrine being willingly preached by the Secretary of Defense as an attempt to cover the administration. Make no mistake about it. Is there any level to which they will not stoop?
UPDATE #1: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention! UPDATE #2: At NRO’s Corner, David French observes: His “basic principle” is simply false. We deploy forces all the time in our theaters of war without good real-time information. All. The. Time. If we didn’t, far more men would die. The fog of war never fully clears, and our solution has been to typically go in with sufficient force to deal with virtually any reasonable contingency. But the truly revealing part of the response is here: “General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” To military ears those are not the words of a man who made a decision; those are the words of a man who made a recommendation. A decision-maker follows his strong feeling with an order: to stand down or decline the request for help. A recommender passes his feeling up the chain of command — in this case, to the president of the United States. The State Department answered the call with what force it had. The military did not. Either we did not have assets to answer (and that would be a different kind of scandal) or someone made the decision to — in effect — hang up on the 3:00 a.m. caller. Who made that call and why? The military already knows. So should the American people.
UPDATE #3: CJCS denies: The top U.S. military officer is denying reports that Army Gen. Carter Ham’s planned departure as head of U.S. Africa Command is linked to the Sept. 11 attack in Libya. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey issued a written statement Monday calling speculation about the reasons for Ham’s move “absolutely false.” Well, Mr. Dempsey, I don’t believe you. It’s sad that it has come to that, no? As for something being absolutely false, Panetta’s claim (see above) remains so.
The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside. The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. "His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. "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.”
If true, Ham has apparently decided he wants no part of the responsibility for the decision not to help those in harm's way. He is not alone. As the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol revealed late Friday, a spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: ”No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate."
Obama himself is stonewalling. During a Friday interview in Denver, the president revealed he was determined to postpone any revelation about Benghazi until after the election. "The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” said Obama in answer to questions about possible denials of aid, and whether it’s fair that Americans will have to wait until after the election to find out the results of an investigation. On Saturday, Obama upped the ante, telling ”Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough that “if we find out there was a big breakdown and somebody didn't do their job, they'll be held accountable. Ultimately as Commander-in-Chief I am responsible and I don't shy away from that responsibility.” Several sources have come up with explosive answers accounting for the administration's reticence.
Leon Penetta is Either a Dumba-- or a Liar
The Secretary of Defense, in his most determined way, continues to try to protect the President from the fiasco in Benghazi. So desperate to shield the President he announced what will be forever remembered as the Penetta Doctrine:
“(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.” Of course, in the circles that I ran with, it will be forever labeled “The Dumbest Sh-- I Ever Heard Doctrine”. To be fair to Leon, however, his audience for this ridiculous statement was not members of the military and especially not for those in the Special Operations arena who immediately recognized that the entire statement is not a doctrine at all. It is horsesh--, nothing more. The “The Dumbest Sh-- I Ever Heard Doctrine” was targeted toward civilians. Read the doctrine carefully. On the surface it makes a case for Force Protection being an overriding element of critical decision making and it should be and it makes sense. The Secretary of Defense wants to ensure the safety of our troops and understands the value of “real-time information”. Okay, makes sense, good job Leon, end of story, right?
A couple of points however need to be made.
Why else would they leave them to hang in the wind?