Look at this from the interview of Hicks:
Q : They didn’t miss the flight. They were told not to board the flight.
A: They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it. So, anyway, and yeah. I still remember Colonel Gibson, he said, “I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military.” A nice compliment.
Q: Now, at this point, are you having communications with Washington?
A: I was in communications with Washington all night long. I was reporting all night long what was happening to Washington by telephone.
Q: When these Special Forces folks were told essentially to stand down, what was your next move? Did you have a recourse? Were you able to call Washington? Were you able to call anyone at this point to get that decision reversed?
A: No, because the flight was — the flight was leaving. And, you know, if they missed — you know, if the vehicles didn’t leave when they leave, they would miss the flight time at the airport. And the airport — you know, we were going all the way to Mitiga. The C-130 is at Mitiga, which is all the way on the other side of Tripoli.
Q: What was the rationale that you were given that they couldn’t go, ultimately?
A: I guess they just didn’t have the right authority from the right people.
Think about this — they had to know this order to stand down might get out and how it would look if it did, yet they were willing to take that risk. Why? Was it all politics or was it something more sinister?