Everything I have read and seen so far on Benghazi is still confirming my initial thinking on the matter, going way back to my days as a NavSpecWar officer who took a SEAL det to Beirut a long time ago.
Once the alarm is sent from Benghazi, dozens of HQs are notified and are in the loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany.
Without waiting for orders, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including getting air support over Benghazi ASAP. But one thing they CANNOT DO without explicit orders from the POTUS is cross an international border. That is the big red line.
All POTUS has to do is NOT grant cross-border authority, and the entire rescue (already in progress) must stop in its tracks. Ships can loiter on station, but planes fall out of the sky, so they must be redirected to an air base (Sigonella Sicily) to await the POTUS decision on granting CBA. If it never comes, the men in Behghazi must rely only on assets already in country in Libya, such as the Tripoli QRF and the Predators.
(And possibly AC-130s that might already have been in Libya: they were last year, but their location on 9-11-2012 is unknown. If they were in country but were prevented from firing, that is another situation.)
So if at the 5 pm DC-time meeting with Panetta and Biden, Obama said, No outside military action, meaning no CBA will be granted, then THAT IS IT. Case closed.
That constitutes standing orders all the way down the chain of command via Panetta and Dempsey to Ham and the subordinate commands trying to rescue the men in Benghazi.
If Obama then goes upstairs to the family quarters to watch TV or sleep, or otherwise makes himself unavailable, then his last standing orders will stand until he changes them, even if he goes to sleep until the morning of 9-12.
Nobody in the chain of command below him can countermand his standing orders not to send military forces from outside of Libya into Libyan air space.
Personally, I think he left no outside miltary intervention, no cross-border authority standing orders, and then he went to bed. Damn him to hell.
(And to me, the most damning aspect of all is that Obama went to bed while his Ambassador was still missing and presumed kidnapped by Al Queda. Ambassador Stevens might have been on a Youtube video pleading for his life, ready to get the Nick Berg/Danny Pearl intro to jihad treatment, and Obama WENT TO BED to rest up for his much more important fund raiser in Las Vegas!)
Bumping Travis’s reply with the same reply and my comments:
Our own Travis Mcgee, a former seal officer, has been trying to clarify why there was a no go. Forget everything we have seen in movies, have seen or heard on tv about this no go op.
Below is a link to how Travis explains why there was a no go. Obozo did not approve it.
Did Obama withhold Cross-Border Authority?
Please help me. I am trying as hard as I can to get out the word about cross-border authority. I just can’t believe reporters don’t know enough to ask the right questions! It’s infuriating. Libya, as far as standing down the rescue, is 100% Obama’s show, and nobody else’s. Only he can grant CBA, not Biden, not Panetta, not Dempsey, not Hillary, and certainly not Ham in Germany.
The entire episode is explained perfectly inside the context of not granting CBA. The CIA QRF in Tripoli? No problem, send them on the local Tripoli station chief’s say-so. He merely informs up COC that he has done so. CCs them so to speak. “This is what I am doing.” Ditto if Predators were in country, no problem using them.
But the big rescue air armada streaming toward Libya right away after the alarm got to Stuttgart and Africom? That has to stop. I believe at the 5pm meeting with Panetta and Biden in the Oval Office, he said, “No outside military intervention,” on the basis that the last report was the “lull” from the consulate, at about 1030 p.m. in Benghazi, when the attack appeared to be over and the situation stabilizing.
(As a soft exception, Obama may have authorized sending an unarmed Predator from outside of Libya, but I am thinking the two Predators were already in-country, and hence available to use within no CBA granted rules.)
“No outside military intervention” equals “no cross-border authority” and that constitutes “standing orders” until POTUS changes them. Nobody else can un-decide the POTUS decree. The rescue air-armada of C-17s, C-130s and SOF helos like MH-47 Chinooks and Pavehawks cannot proceed directly to Libya without CBA being granted, so instead they are all staged at Sigonella, Sicily.
USN ships are in position to “lilypad” helos for long over-water flights. Airborne tankers are coming into position. SOF forces in Sigonella are going over their gear for different contingencies. Fuming all night as officers keep checking in with operational commanders. “Hold in place, no rescue yet. We can’t find the President, it sounds like,” say the colonels to the majors and captains. 100s of military must know about this. I keep waiting for the conclusive whistle-blowers to come forward BEFORE the election. After won’t matter, it will be for the historians.
Panetta is falling on his sword for Obama with his absurd-on-its-face, “The military doesn’t do risky things” defense of no rescue. Panetta is destroying his future reputation entirely, to save Obama. The question is why? Loyalty?
Petreaus was probably “used” in some way early, about the supposed CIA intel link to the Mohammed video, and now he feels burned. So he conclusively said via his PAO, “The stand-down order did not come from CIA.” Well, what is higher than CIA? Only White House. Obama, nobody else. Petreaus is naming Obama without naming him.
Now, as far as Obama / Huma Abedin / Valerie Jarrett etc actually wanting Ambassador Stevens dead, to terminate the end of the very dirty Libyan arms to Syrian AQ programs, I can’t speculate. Obama is not competent enough I’m thinking.
But for sure, the ambassador going to unsecure Benghazi on 9-11 of all days stinks to me of a setup. You can bet Stevens would have told the Turks, “No, 9-11 is not a good day for us,” and stayed in Tripoli behind many high and thick walls. For him to go to dangerous Benghazi on 9-11 means the Turks totally insisted, but why would they care about the meeting date, unless they were in on a hit as the Judas goat?
Alternatively, ordering Stevens to meet the Turks in Benghazi on 9-11 may have come from down OUR chain of command. Stevens seems to have been wearing two hats as ambassador and CIA arms shipper. Moving between more-secure Tripoli, the Benghazi “consulate,” and the CIA “annex.” So orders to him might come down the State or the CIA commo channels, or both. I am unclear on his job title and true position, but either the CIA or State sends him final instructions. How this works with dual-hatted ambassadors, I havent a clue.
But Stevens meeting the Turks at the unsecure Benghazi “consulate” on 9-11 stinks to me of a deliberate setup. The Turks left the meeting and probably flashed their headlights to the attack team commanders lurking in shadows. A coded text, a word on a phone, meaning, “The ambassador is there, with minimal security: proceed with the attack plan.”
But that is all pure speculation. What I know FOR SURE is that the big “stand down order” issue revolves around granting or withholding cross-border authority.
Every SOF officer and ops officer all the way up has this drummed into his head. We can make Obama respond to this question, even if reporters must shout it at him while he’s doing storm cleanup photo ops. If the reporters KNOW enough to ask the quesion. That’s why I am shouting all over the internet about CBA.
I can’t believe cross-border authority permission is not one of the top discussion points about Benghazi.
That, and who “set him up” by sending him to Beghazi to meet the Turks on 9-11, with them leaving after dark.
And of course, down the road, was the military rescue-in-progress turned back because Obama actually wanted to make sure the consulate was wiped out? Is that why the spooks at the annex were refused permission to travel the under one mile to intervene? That would connect it all together, but for now, the best focus is on Obama either granting or withholding cross-border authority for the rescue.
Feel free to repost these musings of a long-ago SOF officer anywhere you please.
17 posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:24:09 AM by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
Left wing presidents from LBJ to the current traitor, have left our military men in peril or allowed them to be captured when our military was ready to rescue them.
Think of the men on the Pueblo and Liberty with LBJ playing the role of POTUS. There have been scores of similar incidents where our left wing presidents abandoned our military personnel, who were doing their mission by failing to allow/authorize CBA.
This may be the first time that embassy personnel and other non active military were abandoned by a left wing potus.