Free Markets, Free People

Benghazi – OK, this is serious and it’s bad

Leon Panetta wants to dismiss all of this as “Monday morning quarterbacking”. I beg to differ.

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

If true, and there is a shred of evidence to support this, this is malfeasance of the worst type. You have an ambassador in danger in an unsecured location that is basically indefensible and is calling for help and those who could help are told to “stand down?”


Of course two of the former SEALs disregarded that order and went.

But according to Fox it wasn’t just the CIA Annex that was told to “stand down”. The CIA Annex then came under attack:

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound.

The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

So we have a 4 hour gun battle going on at an obviously sensitive installation, we have drones on site, F/A 18s an hour away, a C-130 Spectre gun ship about an hour and a half away and they’re denied support?


A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.


Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”

Let’s try this again … you had your people under attack, you had drones on site, you had a spec ops guy on the roof lasing the mortar team and Panetta claims they “didn’t know what was going on?”

That says a hell of a lot more about Panetta and Obama than anyone else.  Anyone worth their salt goes for over kill, not “wait and see” in a situation like that. Situations like this are why you have contingency plans and units designated as Quick Reaction Forces (QRF).  You can always recall your forces.  And, if you give even a stinking whit about force protection you go in and secure the area and personnel who were under attack anyway.

That should be SOP and, as you can tell, they had the forces available to do that.   Panetta is full of exactly what Obama accused Romney of.

This is a farce.  A deadly farce that was mishandled from the get go.

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over.

Anyone know what this is considered in the military?  A groundless assumption.  We don’t operate off groundless assumptions.  We react and do what is necessary based on reality and in order to secure our personnel and facilities.  And, what “U.S. officials” are arguing is a steaming pile of BS and anyone with an ounce of sense knows that.

And what did their utter and incomprehensible incompetence cause?  Death.  Death to OUR people, that’s what:

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex.

But you know, the Prez was late for a date in Las Vegas, so … no time for that sort of nonsense.


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100 Responses to Benghazi – OK, this is serious and it’s bad

  • Wow. The roof just came off, if true.

    • The roof came off of what? Aside from Fox and the British Media who’s really gonna report it?

      • Good question – I wonder if CBS will touch it.   Eventually they can’t keep it covered, and they have to make a conscious decision to destroy themselves to keep Big Ears in power.  I’m wondering if the preference cascade isn’t going to get to them too.
        The wheels are coming off little Baracky’s bus, they have to be seeing that.

        • Romney’s grand standing just got in the way of the Administration defusing this smoothly.

          That’s all I know. 

        • Romney ought to use a list of media outlets that reported on Benghazi when approving White House credentials.
          NYT NO, NBC NO, …

      • Canadian press is picking up a lot of slack.

    • Actually, that is one of the most sickening aspects of this entire affair.
      This scandal consists of several chunks of scandal, which is why its proving hard to cover up/go away.

      • Layers upon layers of scandal.
        And PLENTY to go around, too!  State, regime directly, CIA…  Plenty of screw-ups everywhere you look.

  • It’s also probably political for you to discuss it.  Wouldn’t want that either.
    Do these top level cats REALLY think the people on the bottom of this CF are just going to sit back and not make noise?   They’re shoveling shit from on high onto a whole lot of people who are probably good at their jobs.   It only takes a couple to decide enough is enough.
    How many will take the leap to try and make sure these asshats aren’t their bosses in 2 months?  How many are going to look at this and say “it’s for the good of the country” when they know the only thing going on is back smoke blowing and bullskirting to make sure Big Ears keeps his job, “for the good of Obama”.

    That…if founded…is something somebody will have to answer for.
    As Mark Steyn has noted, a super-power is not a spectator in world events.  Especially where its people under fire are concerned.
    IF we have the means and the men, but not the will to let them do what they are equipped, trained, and fully prepared to do we are screwed.

    • “Least hypothesis” at this point is that Obama is a very indecisive man.

      He likes to tout the Osama killing, but there are reports that he dithered twice before going ahead. And that’s the only incident in which he has even a plausible claim of being decisive.

      I’m not even sure he decided to seriously run for president. I think it’s quite possible that his mental model was more along the lines of “I probably can’t win, but a losing presidential run will raise my profile and maybe open up some options later, so there’s no risk.”

      For Benghazi, his indecisiveness and extreme risk aversion were, I think, the foundation of the way things turned out. Then, once it had gone down badly, he panicked and told his staff to come up with something, anything, that would absolve the administration of any responsibility. I’m also guessing the proximity of the election drove that panic. 

      The video was their answer, and Rice and Cutter were instructed to pump the story. They may not have even known how badly Obama screwed the pooch; their performance would be better if they didn’t.

      If you simply assume Obama has trouble making up his mind about anything that involves risk, then his entire campaign trajectory makes sense, and so do most of his actions in office over the last four years. Well, simply laziness might play a part too, but I think the indecisiveness is the biggest factor.

      • I think you nailed it. Plus this:

        The Administration knew almost real time that the attack was a coordinated assault.  There could be those who argued that the assualt was really an attempt to get the US to launch a rescue so that the rescue force could be engaged with the MPAD AA missles and mortars that abound in Benghazi.  Such an attack would prove a major boon to the AQ forces, give them a 9/11 victory and totally call into question the ‘we got Bin Laden all terrorism is ended’ mantra.

        So, someone makes the call ‘it’s too risky, we’re not going to sacrifice other lives , these guys are on their own.’

        This being election season the video story is concocted to cover for the above call.

        • Or they wanted the Ambassador taken alive….so they could spring a ‘gutsy’ rescue on him later, you know, around, say, October 28th thru November 2nd…  Just sayin.

      • I heard that Obama held up the attack on Bin laden two or three times. I don’t know much about that, but the final mission that was a go was delayed 48 hours because he couldn’t decide. He delayed giving the go ahead for 16 hours. This naturally meant the raidwas delayed 24 hours, until the time was right, but then weather interviened and they had to wait another 24 hours.

        So a 16 hour delay in the decision resulted in a 48 hour delay of the mission.

        We had actors on the ground, and also wikileaks leaked critical info, so bin Laden could have been tipped off any day . . .

      • Supposedly, he listens to Valerie Jarrett far too much.
        Why have we not seen any tell-all books yet?
        My new theory is that it is so bad, and so damaging that people just don’t have the heart to write them. It would damage their party too much, and their reputation to boot, i.e. no more dinner party invites.
        Maybe after he is gone, they will be written.

    • Saw that and was floored! I DON’T FU(#ki&@G BELIEVE THIS!
      And all I could think is that 46+% are saying, “Well, he gave me a free cell phone!”. Gawdam whores!

      • Those people don’t know any better. If it was there son who was there, they would be angry too.

        • Sad, but true. Let’s not forget that 50% of the population has below average intelligence.

          • God damn it! I used there instead of their.
            When I was young I made fun of people for such errors and assumed they were stupid…now I know its just getting old.

  • AND if I remember correctly, one of the brass hats backing up Panetta in HIS video made a PERSONAL FLUCKING CALL to some obscure preacher to suppress a video made by an American citizen (or several).
    WTF are our military “leaders” made of now?

    • Dempsey is a disgrace.

      • This is the same BOOOB who made a statement against the former SPECOPS and spooks who came out against the Obama chest-thumping leaks that put our people in peril, saying that they should never be political.
        What was that BUT political!?!?!
        The guy is a Obama toady, and you are right.  A total disgrace.

        • I once heard that Clinton handed out ‘General-ships’ like they were going out of style.  Much like federal judge appointments.  I think an attempt at institutional change by nepotistic hiring.  Don’t weed out existing people who you disagree with.  Just overwhelm them with people that agree with you.  And their natural nepotism will perpetuate the situation. 

    • REMFs who made good maybe?

      • Not sure I understand what you are getting at here, but I hope that wasn’t a backhanded insult of military REMF’s. Since I don’t understand, I am hoping for enlightenment. Potential chest thumping reserved for later after understanding, if at all.

  • This from the same group of effing d-bags who to this day dump all over Bush for not putting on his Superman costume and single-handely flying off to defeat the 9/11 hijackers.

  • Someone needs to see where Momma Valerie Jarrett was at and whether she is the one who told everyone to “stand down”.  She’s the one who put the kabosh on taking out bin Laden 3 times when little Barry couldn’t make up his mind.  Poor buddy. This Country is in one sad state of affairs if this idiot is reelected.  It doesn’t say much about what we stand for anymore!

  • Alright, I am going to put on my tiny devil’s advocate hat here and do some musing.
    1) They may have thought the CIA annex would not be attacked, and that’s where the real goodies were, so sending guys over could have caused that profile to be raised. (Supposedly the annex only came under attack when a car drove to the annex from the consulate.
    2) There are enough AQ militia that adding more men to the area could have escalated badly. See Black Hawk Down.
    3) We are gun running from Benghzai to the Syrian rebels and we don’t any focus on the area. (I don’t see this as a real reason to not get our guys out, though, except if you are scared it could bite you politically.)
    The fact that we have had people come out about this makes me think the above are probably not viable.
    Obama should have FIRED Lamb. That would look pro-active. Is it impossible to do that, or does she know something too…like how the president made an oopsie.

  • One more thing. If Obama squeaks back into office, I predict he will have plummeting approval ratings soon and be extremely weak.
    Its going to come out eventually that he made a very bad decision and people will not be in a forgiving mood.

  • Also, to claim that no one was prepared for problems in Libya is belied by the fact that we had special forces in Italy.
    When I was thinking about this previously, I was surprised that the Marine FAST team was based in Spain – pretty far away from Libya, but even farther away from other middle eastern countries. I specially thought to myself “You’d think they’d base these guys in Italy.”
    Well, I’m an armchair idiot, and our military had already thought of that and done something about it. They also had drones in the air, etc. They may not have had enough guys right with the ambassador, but they had some decent assets in the neighborhood. Someone had been thinking about this more than State had.

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Well, the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened.”

    In a week of MANY lies, THAT may be the corker.

    • The crux of this can’t be lost.  This wasn’t incompetency wrt to handling the attack.  It was PR driven decision to keep up the falsehood that we didn’t help the wrong people take power.

      • That should have been a top level reply. hmm…

      • Yep. Obama could have come out with an explanation why they didn’t go in, and would have taken heat, but he’d have his reasons. Its the dissembling that pisses me off.

    • You just have to run it through the lefty translator. It means ““Well, the election should have nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. If it did, it might hurt us, and we’re so good and pure and have such perfect intentions that it’s not fair to make us face up to the actual results of our actions and decisions. So give us a pass on this, for the greater good.”

      Or, to put it through the Belushi translator: “Our planes ran out of gas. They had a flat tire. The radio was broken. Our back up marines were busy with an old friend that came in from out of town. IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!”

      • Sorta like…

        Four dead Americans never fed a hungry child…

        (Although in some places…)

  • A couple of things seem to be filtering out of “the fog of war”…
    1. POTUS knew about the attack on the consulate virtually immediately, knew who was doing it, etc.  This would have been flash traffic that would be hand-carried to POTUS on receipt, long before the emails.  (Anybody with information counter to this, please post it).
    2. CIA denies being the source for any “stand-down” order or denial of aid.  Nobody seems to be denying that the “stand-down” or denial stories are valid.
    3. Nobody has denied the “laser painting” account.  IF someone with a working brain was painting a target, they were expecting munitions from somewhere.  What were they looking for, and from what asset?
    4. The Panetta BS about a dearth of intel is a transparent lie, factoring in that we had CIA guys on the ground, with com gear apparently, at least one drone aloft, emails being up-dated, CCTV, etc.
    5. While a VERY high-level person (near cabinet-level status) is missing in an attack on a US consulate, Obama went to bed.  Leaving who in charge?  What orders were written that PM and the next day?  Where are they?
    6. The factions in the CIA seem to be the gnomes in the woodwork in the cover-up.  CIA on the ground says one thing; “analysts” at Langley are the source of the “movie” BS, according to some accounts.  Who favors “analysts” over the guys who are reporting in real time?

    • If Benghazi has so many enemy militias that we are scared to send guys in, why were we there in the first place, and why was the security team sent to Iraq, and why did they send in 8 security guys from Tripoli?
      And we actually had militia allies – its not like we are dropping guys into the Kremlin.
      Also, your point on the Ambassador being high level is forgotten or not understood by many. He’s considered a “4 star” equivalent and he is the personal representative of the president and reports to the president, not State.
      Regardless, its been six weeks. They know exactly who said what, but they have put off answers for six weeks tells you something.
      Breakdown of Scandal:
      1) Lack of security and bizarre actions like sending the team to Iraq. That team was on DOD payroll and not on State’s budget, but they still sent them away. This in itself is probably someone at state getting fired.
      2) Not sending forces to help defend the Consulate. Sending a tiny force to defend the Annex. Having actual air assets but not using them. I can understand some queasiness about sending ground forces to Benghazi who might not know the area – you are risking Blackhawk Down. The brass may in fact have run the numbers from that scenario – what if the rescuers get bogged down and besieged? Who rescues the rescuers? Fair enough – but not using the AC130 is just dumb. Its very accurate. And everyone will be understanding of collateral damage as you are defending yourself. The area around the consulate is pretty sparse anyways. Couldn’t find the annex on Google maps, but I doubt it was downtown next to a mosque and a school. I this was all to the scandal, it could possible be defended due to fog of war, etc.
      3) Attempting to pin it on the video. Including telling the father of one of the dead that they would get the video guy, KNOWING that there had been no protest. Horrible, Hillary, horrible. A generic statement of “getting the perps” would be fine – why tell the father about the video guy like that? He’s not the media. You don’t need to spin him.
      4) Actually sending cops to the video guy’s house and “arresting” him. Horrible on so many levels.
      Did I miss any?
      I’m not sure where Vegas fits in.

    • Rags is spot on.
      Obama sent these guys into a very dangerous environment, ignoring the threats because acknowledging it would have exposed the democrat narrative that al Qaeda had been defeated.
      We had air assets (AC-130 or armed Predator) overhead Benghazi.  Why else would the SEALs illuminate the mortar position?
      Letting these guys die was collateral damage in Obama’s campaign.  Like Fast & Furious, it had to be done.

  • I ray Romney wins this, because I want Hill and Baracky and various lackys dragged in front of the House to explain this. I want Hill’s future career destroyed, and I want Baracky tarnished.

    • I hate to challenge that totally understandable hope, but… I don’t think any such thing will ever happen. Romney will most likely decide that, “for the good of the country” Obama’s actions will not be subjected to scrutiny, and Congress will go along.

      Romney the businessman will not want any distractions from getting his agenda (whatever it is) enacted. He’s part of the establishment political class, and there are certain things you just don’t do, with one of them being overtly targeting other members of the political class, even those so far left that dictators and communists endorse them for re-election.

      Our biggest problem with the GOP right now is that they are not ready for the fight to destroy the left. Those poltroons are oblivious to the fact that the left decided decades ago to destroy them, if it were possible. They still see the smiling faces of Pelosi et. al. and refuse to see the true nature of their opponents. Until they do, we don’t have a chance of seeing the reversals at the federal level we need to avoid financial Armageddon.

      • I like the sentiment, but not the analysis, Billy.
        One, we don’t destroy the Left while it is popularly supported in much of the nation.
        Two, if we are successful at clawing our way back from financial ruin, it has to be with SOME Deemocrat participation, even if we assume a majority in both houses and the POTUS on our side (so to speak).
        Three, it may…probably will…take all Romney can find to realize the goal in (2).  There won’t be enough to go all scorched earth on Obama AND reform entitlements, I submit.  This will be a case of picking our battles.

        • Picking our battles is fine – I just want some of them picked, rather than the “roll over and play dead” strategy we have now from the GOP.

          My point is this: as long as the GOP is playing tiddlywinks while the Democratic left is knife fighting, no progress will be made. The current crop of GOPers, including Romney, seem intent on continuing their game of tiddlywinks. If they trim around the edges, playing small ball on entitlements, then they lose in the long term. They set up for a reaction against them, just as there was a reaction against Bush. 

          If the GOP is not prepared to raise some hell in getting what they want, then they forfeit the definition of their own policies to Democrat operatives with bylines. In fact, a good place to start showing they are not going to roll over and play dead is to push back, Gingrich style, against the media.

          It’s pretty obvious Mitt isn’t going to do that. If being tackled during a touchdown run by Crowley coming off the bench isn’t enough for him to push back against his de facto political opponents in the media, I don’t think anything well. He’ll still be doing the moderate “why can’t we all get along” schtick, just like Bush did, while the left is setting him up for every crime against humanity they can imagine. Even if he were to win two terms, he wouldn’t be able to do anything of consequence, and the clock is ticking away the time we have to do that.

          • It’s pretty obvious Mitt isn’t going to do that.

            Not just at the moment, no.  Getting in the driver’s seat is the name of the game.
            After that, we will ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLlllllllllllllllll expect some ruckus, and we will push if we don’t see it.

          • Well, I remember 2000. I remember GOP partisans over at Free Republic going on about “Just wait until we control the White House and both Houses of Congress. Then you’ll see some action, you betcha!” And what we actually got was a bigger spending administration than Clinton.

            Somehow with the GOP, it’s always jam tomorrow but no jam today. So, if they get the driver’s seat again, and we get the same general wimpy, semi-socialist result we got last time, are you going to give up on them?

          • And you gaze over the expanse of the political landscape shows you no new players?
            No shift?

          • Of course I see new players. What I don’t yet see is a new game. The old game with some new players isn’t going to make much difference.

          • So, the TEA Party revolution means nada?

          • TEA Party absolutely means nada until they actually start rolling back size, intrusiveness, debt, etc of the federal government.

            I’m convinced that some of them want to. There are clearly sincere players who do want to.

            But there were some of those in 1994 too, and we know how that all turned out. The Beltway Collective is already busy assimilating those who were elected in 2010. Count on it – there will be losses. People who got elected talking the small government game, but after spending a few years in DC, they somehow always find an excuse not to do anything of consequence. Symbolic stuff sure, but nothing that fundamentally changes the course of government.

            Give the TEA Party guys four to six years in DC, and they’ll be just like Bill Frist – elected in 1994 on a very limited government platform, beating a Democratic hack career politician… and turning into the canonical establishment big-government Republican by 2000, and becoming the Senate Majority Leader pushing through Bush’s big programs a few years later.

            That’s why it’s important to seize the moment and be bold. If those pre-disposed towards rolling back government don’t see some progress, they’ll be easy meat for assimilation. In a couple of years, it will be business as usual until the next debt bomb explodes.

            And, yeah, I think that’s exactly what will happen under Romney if he is elected. One by one, or in small groups, he’ll usher them into the Oval Office, and explain how he feels their pain, and he’s behind their principles 110%… but not right now. Got to stem the bleeding, get Americans back to work, yada, yada, yada. Can’t rock the boat, don’t want to spend political capital on big change. Sure, sure, we’ve got to reform Social Security and Medicare, but we have to take it in slow steps so we are not seen as meanies, ad nauseum. Jam tomorrow, but no jam today.

            Then he’ll get blasted by the Jurassic Media, who will inflate anything he does that isn’t basically socialist into the worst thing anybody could do. Those guys already have Bush’s scalp; after pimping for their defeated boy-god, they have no credibility left to defend, so they’ll work overtime to blame everything bad on Romney and anything good that happens will be just random chance or to the credit of leftist Democrats.

            The solution to that problem is boldness, hitting back twice as hard, openly declaring the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, and making changes that matter instead of changes intended to minimize pushback. You actually Romney will lead that charge? Huh.

          • So, Billy, why not just open your wrists and take a nice, warm bath?

          • Rags, it’s the US government that seems determined to commit suicide, not me. And the GOP seems happy to go along for the ride. I just calls ’em as I sees ’em.

            I also know something that makes me a lot less concerned about the long term. The wealth of this nation is not in its financial system, and certainly not in its government. It’s in its people and resources. Human capital, factories, land, and so forth. Unless that is degraded, a meltdown of the current setup is not the end of the world, just something to get past.

            Now, if our elites, including the GOP, are determined to draw it out until our human capital, our factories, and other assets are degraded, then recovery would be a lot harder. That’s why I condemn the GOP’s timidity. Even if they succeed in putting off the reckoning, it just means the reckoning will be worse, and harder to recover from, when it finally comes.

          • But…according to your positions…there is no hope of changing anything: unless, of course, you labor under a delusion that power will be different in different hands.
            First, there simply is no Libertarian power.  Second, power would do the same to them if there WERE a Libertarian power base (imnho).  You do not change power by changing people, but you CAN change power by dissipating it.  I have hopes we can, and soon.
            As to wealth, you are saying the same thing that Adam Smith said, and proved.

          • I think Mitt may be able to bring a businessman’s sensibility to the problems. We may not like this, being impatient people who want to see “real results and fast” but the way he has run his campaign – with a strategy, I think we should give him some room.
            There are so many important issues. So many that he will need to be like a triage doctor. Note that rescue capital is similar, in that you probably have to focus on a few big things to stabilize before you can consider longer term issues, i.e. stitch up the gunshot wound before working on the cancer.
            So, I think he will do his tax reform based on capping deductions because that’s easy and fast and special interests will find it hard to complain because technically their deductions aren’t touched. This will lower taxes, though, without spending being touched at that point, and will freak us out, as we are used to this sort of activity by politicians. Maybe he will have something up his sleeve – like when he and Ryan just demolished the Mediscare attacks. This is where I think Romney excels at planning – they had thought that stuff through.
            At the same time he will do the easy stuff on gas and oil. I think it will help a lot more than people imagine, and it will come on stream in later years of his presidency. Always good to have any pain in the beginning.
            Same with EPA regs. He will not abolish the EPA, he will just freeze regs or roll them back.
            Then comes the budgets and that will be very tough. This also depends on his coattails. (Assuming he wins…God please.)
            Now, I personally would do a big bang tax reform of getting rid of the corporate income tax at some point. Don’t mess around with lowering by 1%. Do something big. Raise taxes to offset is fine. He knows this stuff cold since he was an investor. He’s probably been thinking about this for years.
            After that, there may not be much more to do in the first term – the political capital could be gone. Factor in some Supreme Court pics and foreign policy. I hope he will leave Iran alone. I think Iran with nukes is not as scary as the US attempting to invade Iran to stop them.
            If the economy does get better and he has more room to do long term reforms, I would start with school vouchers. We need better education value for our money, and we need to weaken the teacher’s union, and the propaganda in schools. Vouchers can help achieve all three goals over time.
            Ooops – forgot Obamacare and Dodd-Frank…jesus there is a lot of mess to clean up. I would replace Obamacare with a series of reform bills that are simple, and retain some of the more populist aspects where possible…yeah, its not free market, but people have a sense of fairness about this stuff and sometimes insurance companies are douches.
            Dodd-Frank…I have no idea. Two 2,000 page bills to re-tool. Damn. He’ll never get to school vouchers.

      • The Republicans will never go on the offensive because anyone on the Right that sticks their head up to accomplish anything gets attacked by the Media.  And being the cloth that politicians are usually cut from, they have something that can be used against them readily available.  If not, they’ll make it up.
        The Left does not get this treatment.
        That is THE problem.  All problems come back to this.

        • Congressman Issa and Chaivetz (sp dubious) have been all over this.  Even McAnus has been making noise.  There is still a lot to see.

    • You dream so small. If there was a stand down order given, I want
      1. Find out who was responsible for that order
      2. Try same for treason
      3. If convicted, execute same
      The milk of forgiveness flows freely through my veins, right ofter vengeance has been wreaked.

  • “There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”
    Monday morning quarterbacking? Sure. so what? That doesn’t mean it is wrong.  How else do you judge the ability of commanders? The military has even institutionalized it, it’s called “Lessons learned” and was, when I was a lad, a part of every after action report. I am also pretty sure Panetta has done his share of it, if memory serves. It is, in short, BS.
    “you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”
    Absolute frickin’ nonsense. In my limited experience, and I am sure McQ will concur, when you are part of a quick reaction force (QRF) the emphasis is on Quick. Someone gets into a little trouble and calls for help, you get moving first, and do your best to clarify the situation as best you can on your way in. Nobody ever knows for sure what is going on, which is why Moltke(?) said that no plan survives contact with the enemy. The Normandy invasion, for example, was planned and researched for over a year, and there were still surprises. That’s why Eisenhower prepared a message to be released in case of failure.
    I am rather curious why, with all these elite forces prepared for quick deployment at a moment’s notice, no one in the chain of command released them. Everybody seems to have passed the buck, without even starting to get them moving. As McQ said, you can always recall them. It would not be the first time US forces were sent into action then recalled. I am not saying I am surprised, just curious as to what their excuses are.

    • The most charitable explanation would be fear of another Blackhawk Down incident.
      Note that they did send marines from Tripoli over though. So if you are already sending some guys why not send more?

      • Charity is for those in need, and that doesn’t mean in need of an excuse for not doing what they have been trained and paid to do. If they are so fearful, they need to go into another line of work.

  • So, the question, for me, is not just who gave the order to stand down.  Since this debacle took place over a fairly long period of time, the question should also be, who *didn’t* give the order to help, and why. Sins of omission can be just as vile as sins of comission.

    • Its been weeks, Is it safe to say that they KNOW exactly what happened?

      • That depends on your definition of exactly. We will probably never know exactly, since we have a lack of witnesses to every detail. Do we know enough? Yes.

        • I meant within our own chain of command. We know that, I assume, and knew it within say 3 days of the attack.

          • It at least goes to Panetta. My guess it was Obama (via politically calculating Valarie Jarrett) who made the eventual call.

          • I don’t see how it can be short-stopped at Panetta, McQ.  Either Pres. Not Optimal knew, or there is something very, very wrong in his cabinet.

  • But none of this explains why they kept blaming that dumb/silly YouTube video.
    The only explanation is that since Romney had attacked the Cairo embassy for apologizing for the YouTube video, they felt they could continue to blame Romeny if they framed the narrative of Benghazi as being caused by the same video.

    • Perhaps in their minds it would be easier to handle the entire embassy protest issue if the Benghazi attack was lumped in with the other protests. One simple theme to rule them all.
      Say you plan to run ads. You are worried about Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt. You are considering a deal about the Blind Sheikh maybe,or you want to show how we are not anti-Islam. Or maybe you just don’t want weeks of images of embassies being invaded before the election.
      So, you roll with the video, and you arrest the guy, and make speeches and run ads in Pakistan, hoping it damps everything down before the election. Maybe you want to show you can “calm” the Arab Street.
      Maybe you already have plans based on the Egypt protests of that day, and then at night word comes of an attack on our embassy.
      Charitably, maybe when they are briefing you, its only the consulate under attack, and it looks like a bunch of locals with AK-47s have stormed the consulate. That could look spontaneous. Keep in mind the mortar fire comes later, at the Annex.
      In fact, maybe the Libyan militias did get inspired by the Egyptian protests. Storming a weakly guarded building with AKs and RPGs doesn’t require that much planning. We had unarmed Libyans and a few guys with pistols.
      So, maybe they lumped them together – violent protests at embassies over video…what’s our narrative?
      I could see doing that with partial information. Keep it simple, stupid. And once you go with it, why change? The media isn’t bothering you at first. They might know the truth is more nuanced then what they are spinning, but is there really that much difference between “angry mob storms consulate and kills ambassador” and “AQ attacks consulate and kills ambassador?” Maybe they sold themselves that there wasn’t much difference.

    • Also, one advantage for the youtube video is that the creator was in the USA and easily accessed by the media. Digging around Benghazi is hard – rushing to surround the video shooters house in LA is easy. The administration would know the media’s proclivities and said “look! squirrel!”
      And to be fair, that video was part of Egypt’s protests. Its not as if its totally unimportant.

      • But so was the Osama ball-spiking by Pres. Not Optimal…!!!  That was a chant in Egypt, something about how they’re all Osama now.
        Not only did nobody go and arrest Joe Biden or Pres. Not Optimal, they produced a slick Hollywood movie to air days before our election flacking ObaRambo.
        Seeming contradiction…???

        • I suspect President McCain would have done some ball spiking as well. The fact is that jihadis don’t need much to rile them up, and they already know that Osama is dead and who did it. The underlying assumption is that if we kept quiet on Osama’s death the Arab Street would be docile or something. They have TV stations that will find something to get them angry – OMG women are buying cucumbers or whatever.

      • There was a claim by the administration that the assault was too overwhelming to counter, and therefore any aid would not help anyway. This is an admission that the administration thinks they knew enough about the attack, as it was in progress,  to make real-time life and death decisions.

        • It is called being “risk averse”. I call it cowardice.

          • According to the Panetta doctrine, the very essence of what makes a surprise attack a surprise attack likely precludes any commitment of U.S. forces to repel it. The message to our diplomats and troops: You’re on your own. The message to terrorists: As long as you keep your attacks minimally confusing, you win.
            That’s outrageous.

            Yes.  It.  IS.
            It is also, as McQ says, cowardly.  We become firemen knowing that our job entails entering burning buildings.  We become cops knowing we will routinely face people we don’t know, with who-knows-what in their pockets and in their minds.
            Panetta had a lot more info than a beat cop making a stop after an armed robbery.

          • Its possible to make a convoluted argument that allowing the Consulate to go down was a calculated loss – don’t reinforce failure as they say. Its also possible that they felt sending people from the Annex would expose it. But then when you have the Annex under attack, and you don’t fire with your air assets? No, that doesn’t cut it.

          • But the Consulate, with the Ambassador there, wasn’t a calculated loss nor was it an acceptable loss. It was something they should have done their damndest to stop. The annex just compounded the failure.

        • Yes, that was the “Marine detachment wouldn’t have helped” story.

  • <b> As for the man on the rooftop, laser painting the mortar nest, consider this from the quite knowledgeable caller to Rush’s show, on <i>why he would be painting the target at all</i> if there were no AC-130 overhead, and if the two drones were, in fact, unarmed.</b>
    <strong> </strong>

    • There seems to be enough back ground confirmation of the presence of the AC-130 that some outlets are running with it as fact.
      Does make sense that a guy who knows WTF he’s doing with a laser designator isn’t going to be painting things at random for no reason.   He sure isn’t just doing it on random hope that there might be something overhead.
      These asshats can only keep the information down for long, and this barge is about to spring more leaks.
      I suppose it’s all part of some vast right wing conspiracy to make Barack look bad.

  • Point I meant to make, too; could the firings or reassignments of the two top brass mean that they had, in fact, tried sending help in defiance of jugheads’ orders?
    On that link, go to the very bottom of the entire article, and you’ll find the direct link in the line reading ‘read the rest here’. It’s a sobering amount of information the caller left hanging in the air, and I would not doubt for a moment that, if his higher-ups can figure out who he is, his ass is fried.

  • You must use a reverse of the old rule to never assume malice where incompetence will suffice.
    With Obama you should always assume malice. He was not hesitant, to deny military assets to the crew left at the consulate and the annex.
    There are two powerful facts to be considered together here. The second is the denial of help. The first is the denial of adequate security to Stevens in one of the most dangerous place in the world but instead actually taking away one of his crack ex-special forces teams security teams just weeks before the attack. Put those facts together please, and start thinking off the graph.
    Never assume the normative framework of good faith with these people. These calls were made in the White House by Obama and Jarrett. They have always had the ball on Libya. Stevens knew better than anyone that the glorious “liberation” of Libya from Qaddafi had resulted in al-Qaeda having a base in Libya and he made the mistake of sending cables back to the State Department saying that the wheels were coming off, starting back in June. He was denied more security; had existing crack specialist team taken away. Was denied help when under attack. Don’t assume any incompetence or hesitancy. This was done with cold intent.

    • Good God, they don’t even know such a word or concept exists except to mock the idea.

    SOMEBODY seems to be lying.  Either Door 1, or Door 2.  You can’t open both

  • I’ve had a very informative 12 hours or so reading the various opinons put forth by what I assume are the regular commenters on this board. And I have to say this much (& only half jokingly;) you guys are all pretty intelligent, and you’d better hope this regime does not go looking for your ISPs. You’re almost like a brain trust, and I’m sure that Big Sister would lump you in with the worst terrorists extant on earth today, in a heartbeat. Of course, that may be a badge of honor coming from that cadre of villainy.

    • Thanks for taking that long to give us a look. I did the same thing about eight years ago, and never left.

      As for risk, we’ve been doing this a long time, and we’re still here. Besides, I think most of use subscribe to the philosophy Charlton Heston set forth here.

      • This sounds like the place to be, then. Not to jump right to another subject, but something has been picking at my brain for a few hours now, and I need to know if you folks have knowledge of this. I read a blog by a New Zealander named Trevor Loudon, the blog is New Zeal, and on it is a 30 minute or so video outlining in very great detail, the pedigree of this ‘president’ of ours. Loudon is the author of the book Brock O’Boma and the Enemies Within (misspelling is my idea, for several reasons). The thing is, Mr Loudon sounds like more of an American, more of a patriot than many of the people who were fortunate enough to be born here, and who don’t appreciate that fact. And Trevor is concerned, no, frightened for our prospects, and he readily admits, his own country’s by extension, and therein lies the crux of this; the amount of information he shares in the video by way of background to show where the true loyalties lie with our highest leaders in America.
        Some of what this video deals with is known to me, but a lot of what he was talking about was new to me, and as he was going on with names that meant nothing to me, suddenly up pops Panetta’s name in conjunction with a red neighbor of his from decades back, and there’s really too much to go into here and now.
        Would you share this video around with your circle here? This information needs dissemination and fast.
        Thanks..Neill Augustine

  • The information I heard today was thatGeneral [Carter] 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.

  • Supposedly now Obama is “taking responsibility.”
    This is like en employee who won’t explain some questionable actions until they get their 4 year contract renewed.
    That ain’t taking responsibility.

    • It was a pure narcissist’s “admission”.
      “Somebody screwed up on my watch.  I take responsibility (look at me…how noble and responsible), and when I find who did this, they will pay (’cause it wasn’t me, heaven knows).”

      • Right after we ‘get the guys who killed the Ambassador”.    It’s not about retribution for harm to the US, it’s about retribution for making his life complicated.

      • Just like Clinton ‘taking responsibility’ for Janet Reno’s little mistake.