Skip to comments.What About the Camp Bastion Attack?
Posted on 10/26/2012 3:26:34 AM PDT by Kaslin
Three days after the bloody 9/11 siege on our consulate in Benghazi, the Taliban waged an intricately coordinated, brutal attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. The murderous jihadists released video exactly one month ago this week showing off their training exercises in preparation for the assault. Where are the questions?
Where's the accountability? Where's the Obama administration? Where's the press? Where's the outrage?
Two heroic U.S. Marines were killed in the battle. Their names -- Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell -- have not been uttered publicly by the commander in chief. Their arrival back in the U.S., in flag-draped coffins, was not broadcast on network TV. But their brothers-in-arms did not and will not forget. And neither must we.
On September 20, John Gresham of the Defense Media Network wrote a scathing detailed breakdown of this little-noticed terrorist attack on our troops. He called it "arguably the worst day in USMC aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968." Eight irreplaceable aircraft were destroyed or put out of action by Taliban warriors dressed in U.S. combat fatigues -- amounting to "approximately 7 percent of the total flying USMC Harrier fleet," Gresham reported.
His summary is bone chilling: "A Harrier squadron commander is dead, along with another Marine. Another nine personnel have been wounded, and the nearby Marines at Camp Freedom are now without effective fixed-wing air support. The USMC's response to this disaster will be a telling report card on its leadership and organizational agility."
On September 21, the left-leaning magazine The Atlantic published an article on the Camp Bastion attack titled "The U.S. Suffered Its Worst Airpower Loss Since Vietnam Last Week and No One Really Noticed." A few right-leaning blogs raised troubling questions about preparedness and security.
"How did this band of radicals even manage to approach a highly advanced multi-national military base without being detected, much less force their way inside en masse?" asked Kim Zigfeld of the American Thinker. "How were they able to attack so quickly and efficiently that, even though nearly every one of them was killed in the effort, they were able to harm the mighty leathernecks more than they had been in half a century?"
National Review's Jonathan Foreman wondered whether Pakistan was behind the attack. "It seems likely that the special forces of a professional army planned the raid, and trained, advised and led the raiders -- that is if they did not actually take part in it. Those special forces would, of course, be those of Pakistan," Foreman posited. "This may sound shocking, but it would hardly be the first time that Pakistani special forces have operated in Afghanistan on behalf of Islamabad's allies and proxies."
President Obama has referred callously to the murders of our civilian diplomatic staff in Benghazi as "bumps in the road." Even more maddening, though, is the radio silence from the White House about what happened that day at Camp Bastion -- and what, if anything, Obama's Pentagon did between the last major attack on Bastion in March and the bloody siege in September.
Somehow, a band of 15 insurgents managed to penetrate the wire with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons on 9/14. Their destruction was of historic proportions. The attack came six months after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was the target of a failed suicide attack attempt at Bastion. The (UK) Sun reported at the time that an Afghani was believed to have made the deliberate attempt on Panetta after "he broke through defenses and drove a vehicle towards his aircraft. He then went past the perimeter surrounded by armed security and large concrete block guards. Disaster was only averted when the truck caught fire and crashed into a ditch on the runway close to where Mr. Panetta's jet had landed or was set to land."
Team Obama mocks GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney with snarky lines about bayonets and binders. The thin-skinned commander in chief exploits Seal Team Six to burnish his "leadership" cred. And the president's campaign surrogates have ceaselessly attacked their critics as "unpatriotic" for questioning this administration's commitment to national security.
But silence is complicity. The questions must be asked: Did politically correct rules of engagement hamper our troops' defenses? Who knew what and when? Who was behind the attackers? And what is being done to ensure our front-line defenders of freedom are able to defend themselves?
This needs to be brought up again. We suffered a major human and equipment loss that day in something highly coordinated and highly planned, probably at least in part because of the policy of “partnering” with the Afghanis, which has resulted in numerous troop deaths at their hands. I read that it is thought that the information about the weak point in the defenses and the layout was supplied by an Afghani who had trusted access to the base. Also, letting them build a “farm” , which was actually the base from which the Taliban launched the attack, right near the base was utterly foolish.
This needs examination and hearings, in my opinion. But instead it has disappeared.
Where are those in memorial pictures of servicemen killed overseas that we used to see every night on the network news? I haven’t seen any of the nightly newscast close with that segment since I don’t know 2009?
The morale of our country’s military is in the balance in this election, we have the most advanced military in the world, and yet that can be undermined by weak leadership and, more importantly, by policies DESIGNED to make America weak, the Good Lord help us if Obama is re-elected, as the son of a deceased military officer, I can’t imagine how he would feel at this point...
“Did politically correct rules of engagement hamper our troops’ defenses?”
Seems like the security at Camp Bastion/Leatherneck was set up under the same criteria as the system at Benghazi. I wonder if the jets had been elsewhere and help had been called for, would permission to fire have been given?
I sound bitter, don’t I?
“............Aaron Vaughn was one of thirty U.S. service members, including 22 members of SEAL Team Six, killed when the helicopter they were traveling in was downed on August 5, 2011, in Afghanistan. This was the largest loss of life in the history of naval special warfare. At the time of his death, Aaron left behind a two-year-old son, a two-month-old daughter, his wife, and his parents. He became a SEAL in 2004 and joined SEAL Team Six in 2010. He was one of the few SEALs to get his name on the “First Time Every Time Wall,” an honor for those SEALs who passed every test on their first try.
Aaron’s mother wanted Americans to know that he had received numerous decorations, including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. She asked American Thinker if she could “tell you about my son, since I don’t want people associating him with just a name. There was a purpose to his life. Even after becoming a SEAL, he maintained that calm, quiet spirit. He loved his family and his country, and he was humbled as well as honored to be able to serve his country. We didn’t think he would ever achieve his goal of becoming a Navy SEAL when he drastically injured his knee. Yet because he was determined, he put himself on an exercise program right out of high school to develop the muscles around his knee.”
Billy and Karen Vaughn wonder if their son had to die on that August night. They are furious with the Obama administration over the rules of engagement. Although there is nothing that can bring their son back, they are speaking out now to make sure their voice is heard. Karen told American Thinker, “Someone needs to speak out, since those soldiers are the ones being damaged the most, and they have no voice in these rules. Soldiers and their families cannot speak out, or they will face consequences. Since our son died, we feel it is our duty. Every parent that we are engaged with feels the same way.
“We have not gotten any blowback whatsoever. In fact, we get e-mails every day thanking us, and telling us their child who is in Afghanistan supports us. What we are hoping to do is to scream out loud enough so that American citizens will learn and then get on board. The policies of this administration are getting our soldiers killed.”..................
From the original article:
>>The questions must be asked: Did politically correct rules of engagement hamper our troops’ defenses?
>>Billy and Karen Vaughn wonder if their son had to die on that August night. They are furious with the Obama administration over the rules of engagement.
It has been obvious for some time that the ROEs in Afghanistan under Obama are a disaster. All you have to do is look at the casualty numbers.
It is clear we no longer have the will as a country to do what it takes to “nation build”. We should quit playing at it in Afghanistan, and decamp. Should have 10 years ago, right after taking down the Taliban.