Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Benghazi's Smoking Gun? Only President Can Give 'Cross-Border Authority'
PJ Media ^ | 11-2-12 | Matt Bracken

Posted on 11/02/2012 5:24:36 PM PDT by The Final Harvest

Sending additional forces into a foreign country always requires the president's approval. He was either absent, or refused "CBA".

The Benghazi debacle boils down to a single key factor — the granting or withholding of “cross-border authority.” This opinion is informed by my experience as a Navy SEAL officer who took a NavSpecWar Detachment to Beirut. Once the alarm is sent – in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi — dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission. That is the clear “red line” in this type of a crisis situation. No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory. Because of this, only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission. For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace. On the other side of the CBA coin: in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi, all the POTUS has to do is not grant cross-border authority. If he does not, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks. Ships can loiter on station, but airplanes fall out of the sky, so they must be redirected to an air base (Sigonella, in Sicily) to await the POTUS decision on granting CBA. If the decision to grant CBA never comes, the besieged diplomatic outpost in Benghazi can rely only on assets already “in country” in Libya — such as the Tripoli quick reaction force and the Predator drones. These assets can be put into action on the independent authority of the acting ambassador or CIA station chief in Tripoli. They are already “in country,” so CBA rules do not apply to them. How might this process have played out in the White House? If, at the 5:00 p.m. Oval Office meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta and Vice President Biden, President Obama said about Benghazi: “I think we should not go the military action route,” meaning that no CBA will be granted, then that is it. Case closed. Another possibility is that the president might have said: “We should do what we can to help them … but no military intervention from outside of Libya.” Those words then constitute “standing orders” all the way down the chain of command, via Panetta and General Dempsey to General Ham and the subordinate commanders who are already gearing up to rescue the besieged outpost. When that meeting took place, it may have seemed as if the consulate attack was over, so President Obama might have thought the situation would stabilize on its own from that point forward. If he then goes upstairs to the family quarters or otherwise makes himself “unavailable,” his last standing orders will continue to stand until he changes them, even if he goes to sleep until the morning of September 12. Nobody in the chain of command below President Obama can countermand his “standing orders” not to send outside military forces into Libyan air space. Nobody. Not Leon Panetta, not Hillary Clinton, not General Dempsey, and not General Ham in Stuttgart, Germany, who is in charge of the forces staging in Sigonella. Perhaps the president left “no outside military intervention, no cross-border authority” standing orders, and then made himself scarce to those below him seeking further guidance, clarification, or modified orders. Or perhaps he was in the Situation Room watching the Predator videos in live time for all seven hours. We don’t yet know where the president was hour by hour. But this is 100 percent sure: Panetta and Dempsey would have executed a rescue mission order if the president had given those orders. And like the former SEALs in Benghazi, General Ham and all of the troops under him would have been straining forward in their harnesses, ready to go into battle to save American lives. The execute orders would be given verbally to General Ham at AFRICOM in Stuttgart, but they would immediately be backed up in official message traffic for the official record. That is why cross-border authority is the King Arthur’s Sword for understanding Benghazi. The POTUS and only the POTUS can pull out that sword. We can be 100% certain that cross-border authority was never given. How do I know this? Because if CBA was granted and the rescue mission’s execute orders were handed down, irrefutable records exist today in at least a dozen involved component commands, and probably many more. No general or admiral will risk being hung out to dry for undertaking a mission-gone-wrong that the POTUS later disavows ordering, and instead blames on “loose cannons” or “rogue officers” exceeding their authority. No general or admiral will order U.S. armed forces to cross an international border on a hostile mission unless and until he is certain that the National Command Authority, in the person of the POTUS and his chain of command, has clearly and explicitly given that order: verbally at the outset, but thereafter in written orders and official messages. If they exist, they could be produced today. When it comes to granting cross-border authority, there are no presidential mumblings or musings to paraphrase or decipher. If you hear confusion over parsed statements given as an excuse for Benghazi, then you are hearing lies. I am sure that hundreds of active-duty military officers know all about the Benghazi execute orders (or the lack thereof), and I am impatiently waiting for one of them to come forward to risk his career and pension as a whistleblower. Leon Panetta is falling on his sword for President Obama with his absurd-on-its-face, “the U.S. military doesn’t do risky things”-defense of his shameful no-rescue policy. Panetta is utterly destroying his reputation. General Dempsey joins Panetta on the same sword with his tacit agreement by silence. But why? How far does loyalty extend when it comes to covering up gross dereliction of duty by the president? General Petraeus, however, has indirectly blown the whistle. He was probably “used” in some way early in the cover-up with the purported CIA intel link to the Mohammed video, and now he feels burned. So he conclusively said via his public affairs officer that the stand-down order did not come from the CIA. Well — what outranks the CIA?; only the national security team at the White House. That means President Obama, and nobody else. Petraeus is naming Obama without naming him. If that is not quite as courageous as blowing a whistle, it is far better than the disgraceful behavior of Panetta and Dempsey. We do not know the facts for certain, but we do know that the rescue mission stand-down issue revolves around the granting or withholding of cross-border authority, which belongs only to President Obama. More than one hundred gung-ho Force Recon Marines were waiting on the tarmac in Sigonella, just two hours away for the launch order that never came.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: benghazi; benghazigate; bracken; cba; crossborderauthority; kenyanbornmuzzie; libya; paragraphs; travis; waronterror

1 posted on 11/02/2012 5:24:36 PM PDT by The Final Harvest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt

Owwww!! My eyes! LOL I hate when that happens!


2 posted on 11/02/2012 5:29:26 PM PDT by GRRRRR (He'll NEVER be my President, FUBO! Treason is the Reason! Impeach the Kenyan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt

If for some horrible reason that the American people do not get this info before the election, and should this man be elected, how do we go about organizing for a call to IMPEACH him?


3 posted on 11/02/2012 5:37:05 PM PDT by PrayAndVoteConservesInLibsOut (PRAYING FOR AMERICA EVERY DAY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt; Travis McGee

Original, legibly-formatted post here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2953720/posts


4 posted on 11/02/2012 5:40:20 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt

<p>

Paragraphs are your friends.


5 posted on 11/02/2012 5:40:23 PM PDT by Bon mots (Abu Ghraib: 47 Times on the front page of the NY Times | Benghazi: 2 Times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Head; All

The Benghazi debacle boils down to a single key factor — the granting or withholding of “cross-border authority.” This opinion is informed by my experience as a Navy SEAL officer who took a NavSpecWar Detachment to Beirut.

Once the alarm is sent – in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi — dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.

That is the clear “red line” in this type of a crisis situation.

No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory. Because of this, only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission. For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace.

On the other side of the CBA coin: in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi, all the POTUS has to do is not grant cross-border authority. If he does not, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks.

Ships can loiter on station, but airplanes fall out of the sky, so they must be redirected to an air base (Sigonella, in Sicily) to await the POTUS decision on granting CBA. If the decision to grant CBA never comes, the besieged diplomatic outpost in Benghazi can rely only on assets already “in country” in Libya — such as the Tripoli quick reaction force and the Predator drones. These assets can be put into action on the independent authority of the acting ambassador or CIA station chief in Tripoli. They are already “in country,” so CBA rules do not apply to them.

How might this process have played out in the White House?

If, at the 5:00 p.m. Oval Office meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta and Vice President Biden, President Obama said about Benghazi: “I think we should not go the military action route,” meaning that no CBA will be granted, then that is it. Case closed. Another possibility is that the president might have said: “We should do what we can to help them … but no military intervention from outside of Libya.” Those words then constitute “standing orders” all the way down the chain of command, via Panetta and General Dempsey to General Ham and the subordinate commanders who are already gearing up to rescue the besieged outpost.

When that meeting took place, it may have seemed as if the consulate attack was over, so President Obama might have thought the situation would stabilize on its own from that point forward. If he then goes upstairs to the family quarters or otherwise makes himself “unavailable,” his last standing orders will continue to stand until he changes them, even if he goes to sleep until the morning of September 12.

Nobody in the chain of command below President Obama can countermand his “standing orders” not to send outside military forces into Libyan air space. Nobody. Not Leon Panetta, not Hillary Clinton, not General Dempsey, and not General Ham in Stuttgart, Germany, who is in charge of the forces staging in Sigonella.

Perhaps the president left “no outside military intervention, no cross-border authority” standing orders, and then made himself scarce to those below him seeking further guidance, clarification, or modified orders. Or perhaps he was in the Situation Room watching the Predator videos in live time for all seven hours. We don’t yet know where the president was hour by hour.

But this is 100 percent sure: Panetta and Dempsey would have executed a rescue mission order if the president had given those orders.

And like the former SEALs in Benghazi, General Ham and all of the troops under him would have been straining forward in their harnesses, ready to go into battle to save American lives.

The execute orders would be given verbally to General Ham at AFRICOM in Stuttgart, but they would immediately be backed up in official message traffic for the official record. That is why cross-border authority is the King Arthur’s Sword for understanding Benghazi. The POTUS and only the POTUS can pull out that sword.

We can be 100% certain that cross-border authority was never given. How do I know this? Because if CBA was granted and the rescue mission’s execute orders were handed down, irrefutable records exist today in at least a dozen involved component commands, and probably many more. No general or admiral will risk being hung out to dry for undertaking a mission-gone-wrong that the POTUS later disavows ordering, and instead blames on “loose cannons” or “rogue officers” exceeding their authority. No general or admiral will order U.S. armed forces to cross an international border on a hostile mission unless and until he is certain that the National Command Authority, in the person of the POTUS and his chain of command, has clearly and explicitly given that order: verbally at the outset, but thereafter in written orders and official messages. If they exist, they could be produced today.

When it comes to granting cross-border authority, there are no presidential mumblings or musings to paraphrase or decipher. If you hear confusion over parsed statements given as an excuse for Benghazi, then you are hearing lies. I am sure that hundreds of active-duty military officers know all about the Benghazi execute orders (or the lack thereof), and I am impatiently waiting for one of them to come forward to risk his career and pension as a whistleblower.

Leon Panetta is falling on his sword for President Obama with his absurd-on-its-face, “the U.S. military doesn’t do risky things”-defense of his shameful no-rescue policy. Panetta is utterly destroying his reputation. General Dempsey joins Panetta on the same sword with his tacit agreement by silence. But why? How far does loyalty extend when it comes to covering up gross dereliction of duty by the president?

General Petraeus, however, has indirectly blown the whistle. He was probably “used” in some way early in the cover-up with the purported CIA intel link to the Mohammed video, and now he feels burned. So he conclusively said via his public affairs officer that the stand-down order did not come from the CIA. Well — what outranks the CIA?; only the national security team at the White House. That means President Obama, and nobody else. Petraeus is naming Obama without naming him. If that is not quite as courageous as blowing a whistle, it is far better than the disgraceful behavior of Panetta and Dempsey.

We do not know the facts for certain, but we do know that the rescue mission stand-down issue revolves around the granting or withholding of cross-border authority, which belongs only to President Obama. More than one hundred gung-ho Force Recon Marines were waiting on the tarmac in Sigonella, just two hours away for the launch order that never came.


6 posted on 11/02/2012 5:41:39 PM PDT by The Final Harvest ("America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GRRRRR

Sorry .. I’m a little rusty at posting. I hope you notice that I redid it and re-posted .. just for all you great people at FR.


7 posted on 11/02/2012 5:46:49 PM PDT by The Final Harvest ("America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: PrayAndVoteConservesInLibsOut
Photobucket
8 posted on 11/02/2012 5:48:15 PM PDT by Never on my watch (I can see November from the Chick-Fil-A drive through lane.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt

I’m afraid it’s not going to matter much. The MSM will ignore it and Obama will run out the clock. If he wins, we’ll be so screwed Libya will fade away. If he loses, dealing with the aftermath of Obama, fiscal cliff, repealing Obamacare, etc will overshadow it and no one will have the guts to go after him after he leaves office.


9 posted on 11/02/2012 6:08:00 PM PDT by bigbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PrayAndVoteConservesInLibsOut

Talk to your congress person.

Impeachment has to start in the House - is judged in the Senate.


10 posted on 11/02/2012 6:31:23 PM PDT by The Final Harvest ("America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt; Travis McGee

Way to go Matt!! By Monday you’ll be making the rounds on Fox News and the major conservative radio shows.

Your story should be popping up on Drudge any time.


11 posted on 11/02/2012 6:34:44 PM PDT by Perseverando (Gun control? It's the OBOTS who are filling up prisons for violent crimes, not the Tea Party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perseverando

I sure hope so because I sent the article to almost every program on FOX, hoping somebody will pick up on it.


12 posted on 11/02/2012 7:19:23 PM PDT by The Final Harvest ("America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: CyberAnt

That article was written by ouw own Freeper, TRavis McGee is I am not mistaken, and it is spot on.

I believe this President not only did not give an order to allow the attack...I believe he countermanded orders and preparations for that very thing...and in fact counter manded the use of weapons by the assets (probably the Preadator UAVs) that did get on station.

STAND OBAMA DOWN
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIWiBXpR0mc&feature=youtu.be


13 posted on 11/02/2012 8:42:46 PM PDT by Jeff Head
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Head

I feel exactly the same way. Lots of my family have been members of the military: cousin was an AF pilot (Ace-4 kills) during the Korean war; another cousin was career Navy - ended up as Commander of the Base at Adak, Alaska. A brother-in-law was career AF (Staff Sargeant) and his son, my nephew, was AF - audio engineer - then to Dryden - worked on drones.

I can’t imagine how devastated the families are knowing the CIC left their loved ones to die. I’m so angry about this.

And .. what does that say about the rest of the citizens of America ..?? What if there is an attack in Seattle or San Diego, will we also be abandoned ..??

I was over at www.biggovernment.com and they have an article saying that intel knew 3 hours before the attack that the terrorists were gathering weapons.

Now, I’m even madder.


14 posted on 11/02/2012 9:05:11 PM PDT by The Final Harvest ("America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson