A SEALs moment

SEALs Poster dissed by FaceBook

SEALS Poster dissed by FaceBook

The original story is on Breitbart:


Though I ran into it here and followed the link in it. (Sonofsoylentgreen is a bit beyond R rated… FFN and Language) Have to say I agree with the sentiment. The article at Breitbart says that NOW FaceBook is saying it was a mistake. Yeah, after enough heat they start to catch a clue.

There wasn’t any risk I was ever going to have a Facebook account (it’s a time sink and privacy selling data sucking site) but with the kind of attitude that would diss the SEALs, well, got not use for them at all. One can only hope folks will “abandon FaceBook in droves”…

The updated Breitbart article says:

by AWR Hawkins 30 Oct 2012

UPDATE: Facebook Manager Andrew Noyes emailed the following to Breitbart News this morning: We wanted to follow up on the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) article published on Breitbart.com last night. I assure you that removing the image was not an act of censorship on our part. This was an error and we apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.

Over the weekend, Facebook took down a message by the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) which highlighted the fact that Obama denied backup to the forces being overrun in Benghazi.

An error? AN error? AN ERROR?? That’s sounds like a bald faced ass cover to me. Yeah, they screwed up, big time, but the “error” was in doing what they wanted to do and getting called out on it. There is only one reason to pull that poster. ‘Obamamania’ caused not wanting to have bad things said about their Sugar Daddy. Well guess what, buckos, Real Men died because someone in the Obamanation was too focused on a political STORY to think about little things like “Duty, Honor, Country” and maybe there are some things in life more important than grasping after the power that you are to dim witted to use properly. If was an A-1 First Class Screw Up, and the Commander In Chief was in charge. Get The Foit Over It.

Back to the article:

I spoke with Larry Ward, president of Political Media, Inc — the media company that handles SOS postings and media production. Ward was the one who personally put the Navy SEAL meme up, and the one who received the warning from Facebook and an eventual 24 hour suspension from Facebook because Ward put the meme back up after Facebook told him to take it down.

You can hit the link for a large quote of what Larry Ward said. Basically they took the ‘warning’ that they had violated FaceBook “Rights and responsibilities” and added it to the picture and reposted. (It’s a Baaadd idea to annoy the SEALs…)

Along with the re-posted meme, Ward put a link to the Facebook “feedback comment” inbox so visitors to the SOS page could send a message to Facebook if they were as outraged over the meme being jerked down as he was.

IMHO, a nice bit of “journalistic Judo” ;-) Or perhaps Aikido… proper use of an opponents energy and actions against themselves…

So, in support of that notion, I would encourage anyone with a web site / blog who supports the SEALs to put up a copy of that little poster… I have a smallish low res version here. If anyone finds a larger res version, let me know. Until then, feel free to link this one.

The article ends with:

Ward said Facebook pulled the re-posted meme down within 7 or 8 hours and suspended the SOS account for 24 hours.

In other words, Facebook put the Navy SEALS in timeout in order to shield Obama.

How low can you go?

So lets get this straight:

Facebook didn’t just pull it down ONCE. They pulled it down TWICE and put a 24 hour suspension on the entire account. That is not an “error”, that is a deliberate act, confirmed over days, with plenty of time to contemplate.

Sure, when the heat got hot enough they decided to go for the butt cover of calling it an “error”. Is is really getting caught with the hand in the cookie jar (or more accurately, caught doing book burning of language they didn’t like).

Facebook? Just say no.

SEALs: Anything you need, any day, any time. If I have it, or can do it, I’m in.

(I may be old and not have much, but who knows, maybe somebody needs a geek who looks like a fat tourist ;-) Or even just a place to put up a poster… )

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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64 Responses to A SEALs moment

  1. Petrossa says:

    From what i understood it wasn’t Obama who called the seals, he was informed later. Being his usual self he was procrastinating which pissed off the military who decided to just go for it and put Obama with a fait accompli.

  2. Petrossa says:

    Here: http://socyberty.com/issues/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/

    Seems very likely to me but obviously one can’t know for sure. It fits in with his overall stuttering approach to on the spot decisionmaking.

  3. David says:

    This mini scandal with facebook is somewhat ironic. Obama and cohorts made up a story to protect their image, and got caught. Facebook, lied here to protect their image. BTW, the evidence against Obama is far stronger then the evidence against Faceboook here. Here is a good timeline of the Libya incident…

    E.M. you are the best overview anaylsist I have seen, and I would be grateful for you to do your usuall spot on detailed examination of this incident. My summary of the three scandals (before, during and after) is as follows… (Any criticism or additions are welcome.)

    There were at least two requests for additional security prior to 9-11-12. The British embassy was closed after their ambassador was attacked. The area was a known hot spot for the growing (even the NY times admits this now) influence of radical Islam.(even the NY times admits this now, which is contrary to the Obama administrations constant presentation that radical Islam was on the run and the MB was mostly secular.) Instead of meeting the request for additional security, security was reduced just prior to the 9/11/01 anniversary, a known time for increased Islamic violence. Part of the Ambassador’s mission in Lybia was to try to get arms, which we had supplied, back from the Islamist that many had gone to. (The NY times broke the cover on this, but it has been ignored since.) Additionally there is evidence that their was a planned movement of arms to rebels in Syria, again likely sending arms to elements of radical Islam.

    There was at least one drone overhead giving a live feed to our intelligence, including the situation room at the Whitehouse. There was live communication with the people on the ground in Lybia. It was known that there was no protest or riot taking place. The drone proved it and it is S.O.P. for any riot out side an embassy to be immediately reported to intelligence. The first e-mail, sent to the State Department, Pentagon, the FBI, the White House Situation Room and the office of the Director of National Intelligence with a subject line of “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack,” sent at 4:05 PM about 25 minutes after the attack began, describes an assault on the compound by 20 armed people. “The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack,” the email states. “Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.” The next e-mail sent at 4:54 PM states that the shooting has stopped and the compound was cleared, adding that a response team was “onsite attempting to locate COM personnel. We are not yet clear if the response team was the two seals that disobeyed orders to stand down, and responded to the attack, but it was these two “seals’ who rescued the people there, including removing one dead body, and fled to the CIA safe house several blocks away. The were ambushed several times (indicating a very planned attack with safeguards to make certain no one got out) on this short drive but successful made it to the safe house. It was there that they came under fire for about five more hours. They requested air support to take out the mortar fire. They had its location and a laser on it, which could have guided air firepower to strategically take it out. They were refused any and all aid. They died hours after help could have arrived, their blood all over the machine gun they were using to defend. ( Remember, this was seen in real time by the white house.) Also , over seven hours after the attack began, ambassador Stevens was found alive. He could have been rescued. The third e-mail updates officials that Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the Benghazi attack on Face book and Twitter, and has threatened to attack the Tripoli embassy.
    During the attack Obama was appraised of the situation. Marc Thiessen provides a shocker in his Washington Post column: the day after America’s embassy in Cairo was assaulted and the consulate in Benghazi, the president once again skipped his intelligence briefing, choosing instead to fly off to Las Vegas to fundraiser. (This was after he went to bed in the middle of the attack) Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, has since said that no one in the CIA told American forces in the area to stand down. (This indicates that the decision to stand down came from above him.)

    After the attack the Obama administration, for two weeks, insisted this was protest over a terrible video which got out of control, an unplanned spontaneous crowd reaction to a video. Obama backed this story numerous times, his only known reference to it being “terrorist” was a generic reference to any such act being terror. Obama’s spokesman stated, “We have NO indication that this was a planned terrorist attack” Susan Rice went to five talk shows, at each one reinforcing this perspective. Hillary Clinton supported this narrative. A viewpoint which ALL of them KNEW was not true, a lie. Obama classified the Fort Hood murder as “workplace violence”, instead of terrorism. They all lied. They all knew that this “crowd gone wild over a u-tube video” story, was complete B.S. (How does anyone justify saying there was no political motivation in presenting this knowingly false narrative to the world?)

    Since those attacks, President Obama has criticized Mitt Romney for “shooting first and aiming later” by speaking about an international situation – a statement that is doubly galling considering the fact that Obama himself, rather than learn about facts and threats, blew off his own intel briefing the morning after the attack to go to the fundraise in Las Vegas, and for two weeks spun a knowingly false narrative

  4. Ian W says:

    It is difficult to have respect for anyone who puts their political campaign and career above the lives of others. Especially when the people who died were working for the same politicians who abandoned them to their fate. This is so contrary to American tradition one wonders how this inaction could even be contemplated.

    People should remember this inaction by this ‘Administration’ whenever they sing the first verse of The Star Spangled Banner.

  5. BobN says:

    This is way worse than Watergate ever was. Watergate was about a cover up over a silly break in. In this case brave men died.
    Obama should be impeached!
    The lack of Main Stream Media reporting is nothing short of criminal.

  6. R. de Haan says:

    Everything is politics now, including the original AXIS PLAN from WWII to create One Europe for Europeans (The Germans called it the Third Reich), today it’s called the EU. Only this time the Brits stand aside and the US has come under influence of the same fascist power politics. War anyone? http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83303

  7. Tom Bakewell says:

    No one wants to point out that the responsability for security of embassies and diplomats lies with the host country. Period. If we’d put in ‘assets’ without Libyan permission technically it would have been an invasion. Not that paying attention to such niceties is a trait the US, or some other countries are known for. Diplomacy is not always about looking forward to high tea at the Swiss embassy because their chocolate eclairs are the best in town. Like all I mourn the loss of lives. But it should be acknowledged that diplomacy, like underground mining can be a risky calling.

  8. philjourdan says:

    @BobN – Yea, Nixon was brought down due to a coverup. Obama wants to make sure he is guilty of the crime and the coverup.

    No one died during Watergate.

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    Check out the SMOKING GUN cable (Fox News) this morning.

    Classified cable sent to Hillary Clinton’s office less than a month before deadly attack warned Benghazi consulate could not be defended against ‘coordinated attack,’ and that Al Qaeda had training camps nearby.

    Note: this was weeks before the attack.

    The Obama Administration shall go down in history as one of the worst, if not the worst, episodes in US governance. If folks were not dying (see Seals poster) Pres. B. O. would be a bad joke.

  10. adolfogiurfa says:

    @R.de Haan: War games are not a joke for those who engage in them, only for those who control the joysticks.

  11. R. de Haan says:

    @Adolfo, “War games are not a joke for those who engage in them, only for those who control the joysticks”

    That’s wht the Cold war ended.
    Facebook shows that wars today are fought in many ways. The masses pay the price no matter of the outcome. Engagement is inevitable.

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    Sounds about right, but would be nice to have confirmation. Obama steps in to take credit for good things after the fact, but avoids deciding to take risks at any / all turns; especially if it might ‘offend’ muslims.

    @Tom Bakewell:

    That may work in western countries, but not now. Clearly I’d make a lousy diplomat as I’d just say “I’m defending American soil in OUR Embassy. Get over it.” If we can invade countries for other attacks, we can invade them to defend or evacuate our embassy. It would not take much of a ‘cover story’ either. “Libya, still recovering from their civil war, needed our help in providing security, so we were happy to assist…” Remember Grenada?

    @John F. Hultquist:

    That the protection detail was removed from country knowing that security was bad and getting worse makes me wonder if this was stupidity, or another ‘gun walking’ episode of trying to make some bad thing happen to get some ‘twisted’ benefit from it. No evidence, just idle speculation (based on it taking more stupid than I can imagine to do what was done).


    The way you take down a much larger animal is to ‘walk it down’. Humans are very efficient at a light jog. Horses are not. They need to consume resources and feed. Horses can outrun us easily, but are too dumb to do that (and typically too fearful to attack, where they can also kill us with superior size and hooves.) Yet, by constantly having small ‘attacks’… by having constant ‘threat’, a person can keep the horse moving. Never enough to run fully away, but enough that it can not ‘do its business’. Eventually the horse is ‘spent’ and you can just walk up and put a spear in its heart.

    That is what the Jihadists are trying to do to the west. Slow, persistent, encroaching with occasional attacks. Never enough to stimulate an all out counter-attack. Always enough to prevent “business as usual”. Sapping the superior size and strength. Wearing down the adversary. Gaining control of more resources and territory.

    Collectively, the west needs to recognize this and either ‘contain the threat’ or do a full on counter attack. Preferable would be to have an Islamic Reformation and get them to “play well with others”, but as their culture is firmly anchored in this behaviour, don’t expect it any time soon…


    Looks to me like you have it pretty much right. Not sure what I could add to it. There’s a bit of detail in the compound where two defenders were in one building, some staff in another, and the Ambassador and and armed guard in a third (with a ‘safe room’; and a couple of other folks part of the time ). The attackers entered that building, saw a guy with a gun on the other side of the metal bars of the ‘safe room’ and could not get in, so went outside. Fuel was poured in and around the building and it was set on fire.

    Frankly, the “safe room” looked more like “Jail Bars”. I’ve seen better safe rooms in hurricane country or the back yards of “paranoids” worried about atomic bombs in the ’60s. How you can have a “safe room” that is open to gunfire between the bars, chemical, biological, and gas flow; and not with an independent air supply and ‘several hour’ burn through fire walls and doors is beyond me.

    In our Cray facility, the building was divided down the middle by a ‘tunnel’ so visitors could be conducted to a large display window into the computer room That “tunnel” had large metal clad electrical ‘drop’ doors. (Magnets held the door open. On loss of power or fire alarm or by hand, they would ‘drop closed’ – that was actually swinging closed.) The “tunnel” was about 8 feet wide, had a pitched “roof” to about 12 feet, and was about 40 feet long. It connected to the front lobby at one end, and the Cray viewing area (with a back door exit) at the other. Local fire codes required it have a 3 hour burn through non-flammable surface. It was framed in metal “2x4s” and had two layers of sheetrock, then clad with imported Italian tile. (Hey, this was Apple… things have to look COOL! ;-) In any fire, staff could leave their desks and enter the “tunnel” and stay there for minimum of 3 hours. Lock the doors, it would stop many kinds of ‘angry guys’…. Three hour fire protection was kind of silly, really, since it had a giant ‘exit’ at each end. One presumes they were worried about someone driving a truck full of gasoline into both ends of the building….

    In any case, that’s what local building code required of our facility, given that we only had two exits from the building and they had this visitors tunnel between them. We had 4 double ‘drop doors’ (8 total doors) into it, and then 3 sets of ‘drop doors’ in it to close off the ends and middle so a fire at one end would not get to the ‘tunnel’. IMHO, folks could have poured kerosene, Diesel, gasoline whatever over the entire floor space outside the ‘tunnel’ and folks would have been safe inside. (As the building exterior walls were preformed concrete rebar – locally called ’tilt up fall down’ due to the nature of construction in earthquake country ;-) the only flammables were desks, furnishings, papers. ALL internal partitions were metal 2 x 4 with sheetrock over them and fireproof.

    Now compare the facility with the Ambassador in it. Loads of flammables inside. “Safe room” without separate ventilation / fire barrier (or escape route…) and frankly more like a personal jail than any “safe room” I’d design.

    So my first complaint would go to the designers of the facility itself. Why not have a small ‘bomb shelter’ under the floor with an escape tunnel to an ‘undisclosed location’ (perhaps the floor of the guard shack out back?). Whole place built with concrete rebar construction ( I was ‘shopping’ for a house in hurricane / tornado company and found several builders making homes that way – one advertizes with a truck on the roof ;-) and with automatic electric drop down METAL window covers (available to Cat 4 proof IIRC). Basically, with one push of a button the whole place turns into a bunker and with a decent safe room buried in the dirt where fire can’t get to it, sealed against water and gas, and with an escape tunnel).

    Make the facade as “pleasing” as you like. Make the look and feel inviting. But in any Muslim country, make that sucker a bunker with lipstick on it. Heck, the armored car they used stood up to more arms fire than did the buildings and ‘safe room’….

    Then political wonks doing stupid can take a day (or maybe two…) to figure out what to do and have the news cycle start warming their lizard brains and nobody needs to die.

    On to the Political Cycle. That one starts a long time ago with repeated requests for more security. It’s very clear that the State Department (and thus Obama and Hillary) wanted things to “Look like we’re all friends” rather than deal with the reality on the ground. Broken vision leads to broken results. We can never “be friends” with Islamists as the Koran forbids taking Infidels to be friends. We can be a short term ally if that advances their cause, or we can be subjugated and paying special tax, or we can be placated if the majority while ‘sojourners’ move in and get to a majority. That’s what their book tells them to do, and the book is the only truth. So “State” had a borken view of what to do, and did it. Everything else is consequence.

    Then the cover-up. The events that happened in response to the “film” were coordinated over a continental scale. They focused on our embassies. (Don’t forget the lady in Egypt who got raped…) The same excuse of the film was trotted out in each of them. The reality is that the ‘film’ had been out for months. It wasn’t just ‘discovered’ on Sept 11… It was a ploy. A foil used to rouse the rabble. So one of two things: Either “State” bought into the agit-prop ploy (and are thus clueless ‘useful idiots’ themselves) or they knew it was a ploy but ran with it as a cover story to try and ‘stay friends’ (and are thus lying weasels – no offense intended to real weasels…) I’ll leave it to them to decide between ‘useful idiot’ and ‘lying weasel’…

    I can accept the general public (like me) going with the ‘cover story’ for a day or three as it was the only thing being four-walled in the news. But State had on the ground reports and overhead cameras… The line of ‘We needed information before jumping to conclusions’ was more bogus fud fog (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt – FUD Factor used to confuse folks). They Knew.

    Clearly the decision NOT to fire on the mortar position was made so that they could say “We are still friends with Libya” instead of having “Yet Another Muslim Country Drone Attack”. A political decision. Was that “worth it”? I’m no politician, so can’t judge that properly. Personally, I’d have gone with the Marine Anthem. “To the shores of Tripoli”… I’d have used this as an opportunity to let the world know “Attack a US Embassy, expect explosives on your head” and issued a public order on global TV that a drone or three be stationed on permanent orbit ‘near’ any embassy of the US where there was ANY level of concern with standing orders to “fire if the embassy hits the ‘being attacked’ button – no higher authority being needed.” There is a lot of truth to “peace through strength”.

    I’ve been subject to a lot of ‘bully attacks’ in my life. Took me way too long to tell Mom she was wrong and recognize that Dad was right. Only way to end them is ‘go down fighting’. Doesn’t matter if you get the worst of it, as long as they hurt for good long while. The “Alpha Dominance” drive exists in most folks (more in men than in women, but not by a lot). When a pack of animals comes at you, the way you stop it is by neutering the Alpha Dog and taking a big chunk out of his hide. Talk is useless. So I’d have ordered a Great Big Stick be immediately applied to any and all attackers. ANYONE inside the walls of the compound becomes dust and cinders if not our folks. Don’t care if they are 10 year old kids or women with babes in arms. Ought to only need do it once (or twice if they are slow learners). It is the “Greatest good for the greatest number” as it will save many more lives in the long run. Then advertize that there is “top cover” for ALL American embassies.

    It’s easier to be peaceable with superior firepower…

    What the Obama Admin tried to do was “exactly wrong”. They tried to be “friends” with the Bullies by kind words and ‘turning the other cheek’. All that does is get you laughed at and two busted cheeks. It’s an aspect our our general culture that is just stupid, wrong, and widely believed. Be nice to a polar bear and you are called “Bear poo”… (in a day or two…) Every so often some idiot learns this the hard way. (One, recently, wanted to ‘be one with the big cat’ at the zoo. They got him out, minus a ‘lite snack’ of one of his feet…) It is an ERROR to think that people are not the same as bears and big cats. We are all ‘top predators’ and behave similarly. (Bears are even omnivores like we are and can be civil for some time… unless POed or too hungry…) Treat the crowd as you would treat the bear. Go heavily armed, do NOT show weakness and run away, and make a lot of noise. Then shoot it if it attacks. That is what works.

    BTW, I’d have had the whole embassy compound “rigged” with things like electrified patches of ground, objects, whatever and large “bear spray dispensers” so anyone inside the walls would decide to be somewhere else… You KNOW any embassy in a Muslim country will eventually be attacked, so might as well make a decent fort out of it.

    Oh, and I’ve have had a detachment of Marines landing via helicopter at any US Embassy in the REGION once things started warming up. Attack one, ALL get a load of troops. Don’t want a load of Marines showing up? Easy. We can leave, or you can ALL play nice. Admit you are party to the “slow war” and we’ll pack up and leave. Otherwise y’all play nice. Otherwise, we “fix it”…

    Finally, when anything “bad” happens, Obama “distances himself”. It’s from the school of “only say good things” and “don’t stay around negative people”. Fine when campaigning. Lousy for a commander in chief. In that context, it is just running away and hiding. Watch. Every time ‘some bad thing’ happens, he runs away to a ‘happy place’… He’s a community organizer, not a leader. Real leaders run toward the bad situation and fix it… his instincts are all back-assward for this job.

    I’m not sure I can add much more than that without doing some research.

  13. Ian W says:

    “Real leaders run toward the bad situation and fix it… his instincts are all back-assward for this job. I’m not sure I can add much more than that without doing some research”.

    “In enterprise of martial kind,
    When there was any fighting,
    He led his regiment from behind
    (He found it less exciting).
    But when away his regiment ran,
    His place was at the fore,”

    ‘The Duke of Plazatoro in “The Gondoliers” by Gilbert and Sullivan

  14. BobN says:

    The whole Benghazi affair seems like stupid people making stupid decisions. I hope that is the case, while you can’t fix stupid, it is easily replaced and life goes on. I have deeper fears that we are only seeing the surface and more sinister things are afoot. Maybe a Muslim agenda by our president! Cray you say, possibly, but life is a set of puzzle pieces, he who fits them together first, just may survive.
    I believe their is a concerted effort to make America a Muslim Country and many things are being done and being put in place. A typical example is this post.
    While nothing is proven, it stinks and I suspect the worst. I look at all the Somali groups Obama has brought in, just look at the vote in Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee. During the Bush years you couldn’t even get into the US is you were Somali, it was a terrorist country, now we import them by the thousands as refuges. Benghazi is just an example of a wrong thinking agenda.

  15. Heretic says:

    Posting: +1
    Comment: +2

  16. BobN says:

    As a further example of my previous post, where more things are affoot than it seems on the surface, here is a link that pulls things together quite well.
    I believe our government has picked the wrong side.

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    @BobN; you are correct as to the appearance of wrong sidedness by the western nations in their dealings with the Muslim world. This will soon end and the Muslims will be driven back into their deserts. As long as they follow the sword they can not be allowed to live with civilized men. The 12th Imam walks with Jesus and will teach them the ways of peace. Until that happens they can not be trusted.
    First, They will be drenched in blood, mostly by their own hands, until they tire of it and cry out for it to end. Then they will be ready for the message of the 12th Imam. Their own prophecies call for this. They must destroy THEIR world to gain the promised solution. We just need to isolate them until they are ready to receive the lesson. EMSmith is correct, bloody their noses a few times and they will avoid you. Muslim ruled places are a dismal place to live for all but the elite few. They can not exist long with a modern western style civilization just over the fence. If they immigrate to the west THEY MUST adopt western ways. WE MUST NOT ADAPT TO THEIRS. pg

  18. pouncer says:

    I remind all that the guy who posted the anti-prophet video to YouTube and met (literally) brown shirted government officials knocking at his door at (almost literally) midnight and was taken away — is still in custody. An American ambassador died at the frontier — and Free Speech is under attack in what we thought were secure areas. I have no love for scumbuckets posting crap on the intertubes for idiots — but dammit in the country I grew up in everybody had a right to be wrong, and prove it. Where is the civil rights team that lawyered for the Nazi’s marching in Skokie? Where are the lawyers who fought for the right to burn an American Flag? The celebrities who foist shit and piss off on the museum-going public as if it were art; and demand strippers be supported as dancers, and encourage rappers to perform in public schools — are where, exactly, in support of a film-maker on the government’s blacklist? A free man’s speech punished for a LIE about the riot that DIDN’T happen because he yelled “fire” in a crowded movieplex where so many other idiots were yelling so much other junk that nobody heard him.

    All this, by the way, in a country where the US military was sent in without a declaration of war, or an authorization of military force, or a notice to Congress for a 90-day exigent circumstance, or any other comformance with constitutional or statutory balance of powers regarding such force.

  19. Ian W says:

    Tom Bakewell

    Strange – the US Embassy in London has a fully armed guard force. Inside these diplomatic missions is US soil so a defense force would only be seen as a problem to naive Chicago schooled politicians and PR persons – like Jarret and Axelrod.- or whoever was currently pulling the strings of the Manchurian marionette.

  20. gallopingcamel says:

    As most of the folks here understand it is the cover up that gets you and clearly this cover up is much worse than Watergate. Brave men died after being denied support.

    The big difference between Watergate and Bengazigate is that few in the “Main Stream Media” will go after a Democratic president. If Obama wins a second term (and that does not look like a slam dunk any more) it will be a tainted presidency dogged by this scandal. How long will it take the blogosphere, “Talk Radio”, the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal to emulate the Washington Post, Time Magazine and the New York Times of Watergate fame?

  21. Dave says:

    I’ve heard that Stephens met with the Turkish Ambassador before the attack started. If so, what for? Speculation is that he was trying to track down arms that we had allowed to get into the wrong hands, which is perhaps also why he was killed. Why was the CIA “down the road” anyway? Interesting that Director Petraeus (who I have up to now had a great deal of respect for) has not made any comments. If Sec Clinton is taking responsibility, what is the result? Nothing has happened. Why is POTUS so fearful of calling an OBVIOUS terrorist incident for what it is? Ft. Hood also comes to mind. Workplace violence??? The dereliction of duty and the willingness of others to cover for the rampant incompetence is unnerving to say the least. Why has the media not interviewed any of the 30 others who have been reported to have been at the site when the fighting started? Obvious questions and answers that should still be asked and answered by those who were in charge.

  22. Petrossa says:

    Congress, same difference

  23. Petrossa says:

    One more, just for the heck:
    To return to office a narcissistic amateur who seeks to ride this nation’s economy and international esteem to oblivion, like Slim Pickens riding the nuclear bomb to its target at the end of the movie “Dr. Strangelove,” would be disastrous.

  24. John Robertson says:

    Its sickening me as the story unfolds, as a canadian I am cheering for your military,some of us know we hide behind your strength,your Democrats are very similar to our Liberals and the old joke up here, how do we know a liberal is lying,has punchline of “Their lips are moving”.
    But I am still astounded by populations that reward lying slime bags with re-election, our province of Ontario has done this for decades, they are also bankrupt.And the votes for the most blatant liars comes from the cities,is this the dumbing down effect most commonly heard as, Food comes from supermarket,Water from tap,Electricity from receptacle and Gas from pump.?
    I regard today as the best of all times in recorded history, we have never had it so good. But is the soft almost mystical beliefs of appeasement politics simply that of people who have never faced starvation,war and chaos?
    Bullies respect only greater force than what they can muster and project their motives onto their opponents, if they were rational they would chose not to bully. Hence all attempts to reason with bullies are seen as weakness, by the bully.
    Of course we have a new style bully running amuck, the entitled parasite, we provided for them in the past, so now we owe them.Strange how some things never change.
    Hope you elect a new president on monday our freedom may depend on it.
    How does your constitution allow the assassination of an american citizen by presidential decree without charges or trial? I have been wondering this since your president had that fellow in Yemen killed by drone attack,Alwaki?? he was a US citizen yet no-one said boo.Now he apparently was a traitor and a terrorist but surely as a citizen he had rights? Or is your constitution applied selectively depending upon who holds power? Longwinded OK but I keep thinking if GW Bush had ordered this he would have caught all kinds of hell from your liberals.

  25. p.g.sharrow says:

    I have been watching this from the start. This report from fox is close to a fit to all the known facts;


    It appears that Penetta and the joint chiefs vetoed the rescue attempt as they felt that it was a trap to lure in more troops and told the former Seals,”private contractors” to stand down but they went anyway. The military/CIA had aerial surveillance of the site from before the start of the attack. Sometimes things go very, bad very fast and Penetta backed out at the last minuet. I think he remembers what happened in Somalia and didn’t want to risk it.

    This appears to to have been baited with a promised exchange, of shoulder fired antiaircraft missiles for weapons and supplies to be shipped to the Syrian rebels, that was set up by the Turkish ambassador.

    Stevens and his team were carrying out a CIA mission in the middle of “Muslim friends” (enemies) and lost the bet. pg

  26. Ian W says:

    I don’t really see how a Specter gun ship taking out the mortars that were laser designated by the ex-Seals under attack would have led to the same result as in Somalia. The small defense team would have been able to call down very heavy fire. If the Specter stayed at a reasonable height it would have been a little less accurate (as if that matters with the kind of lay down the Specter has) but out of range of most MANPADs – which may have been their other concern. Even armed drones could have been used (and I rather think that they were armed).

    However, the entire affair indicates multi-level naivete. Strategically, instigating /the Arab spring’, (no doubt triggered by Bill Ayers’ Gaza convoys from Turkey) by removing support from Egypt then watching the firestorm spread. Rather than democracy it has led to the Fabian dynamic where in chaos anyone promising order is seen as an improvement. So we see the Muslim Brotherhood pushing for the return of the Caliphate (note the previous Caliphate was of course led by Turkey) and the ‘Brotherhood’ appears to have support from Al Qaeda armed militants as their hard line troops providing the Brotherhood plausible deniability. Into this mix we see Iran pouring gasoline onto the fire. Then at a lower level, the administration decided to help the Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda along and arm the Libyan opposition to take out Qaddafi they seem to have had some childish notion that they would have these arms given back when Libya turned into the land of milk and honey without Qaddafi – they did not appear to realize that some countries are only containable by rather nasty people. So Qaddafi was replaced by a regime that has little control over the Al Qaeda groups now armed by the US and UK with among other things MANPADS. (Does this sound eerily familiar to Afghanistan yet? Guess where Al Qaeda was first set up and how. The CIA has done it again!!)
    So now an unarmed ambassador in an undefended consulate is expected to negotiate the return of those arms with the help of Turkey… (Turkey again? Strange that why Turkey? Oh yes the Caliphate) The Ambassador is unarmed and only has a couple of bodyguards as – ‘who would attack us we are playing nice? We are friendly, look how we bow to everyone …… So you send your unarmed ambassador into a country that is led by people being _strong_ to survive, who can only show they are strong by the weapons they have got from your government — to ask those people to give the weapons back? Drop your weapons!! only works if _you_ have weapons bigger and nastier aimed at the person you are talking to.

    So now it all goes completely pear shaped – and the ambassador is under attack by Al Qaeda …. NO! NO! he CANNOT be under attack by Al Qaeda – they all gave up and went home when *I* killed Bin Laden! You mustn’t have a battle with Al Qaeda this close to *my* re-election!! That will remove the one bright spot *I* can talk about. How *I* single-handedly defeated Al Qaeda!!
    Meanwhile one level down instead of saying to the military response teams – “Here is the situation – what is the best way out?” – we get ” if we send in helicopters and special forces it will be Somalia all over again….and they’ve got our MANPADS…. so let’s just watch” a non-military, political hide-under-the-desk response to what is a relatively basic military problem.

    To sum up – the Benghazi attack has demonstrated the total lack of understanding of the middle-east at all levels. This ‘Administration’ is responsible for the unraveling of stability in the Arab world and the spread of militant fundamentalist Islam and the resurgence of Al Qaeda; who not only have they not defeated, they have actually re-armed! They have also demonstrated that they cannot handle rapidly moving situations and prefer Americans to die rather than upset their re-election chances.

  27. David says:

    E.M. and all, thanks for additional info. Concerning the question of incompetance combined with political misdirection, verses the hiding of a gun-runner fast and furious on steroids scandal of sending weapons to radical Islamist in Syria, well I do not see these possible choices as orthogonal. They can and may, all be true. The gun runner option was indeed broke by, of all organizations, the New York times! But I think they have since dropped it with no follow up.
    That Obama and Clapper are working with and suporting the MB is without question true, and idiotic, if you wish to protect US interests. http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/oped_view.asp?opedID=2177 (I find ZOA op-eds well written and referenced)

    Sad and galling to say, but while Clapper may be a use less idiot, Obama cannot be naive concerning Islamic extremism, It just does not make any sense. As other have said, this may well be deeper and more dangerous then we know. I do not know what I need to know to make a firm conclusion. But it appears that “effectively” if not purposefully, Obama is supporting radical Islamist in general, and the MB in particular, and perhaps attempting to influence Russia, (with promises of future (2nd term more flexible) abandoment of Europe, in exchange for letting Syria go extremist) If Egypt and Syria go with unfettered islamic extremism, and the Islamist can make any kind of temporary truce between factions, Israel is in big trouble. Putin however appears to be taking a very hard line, going so far as to warn that WWIII will start in Syria.

  28. David says:

    BTW E. M. your comments on the lack of common sense in regard to the “safe room’ are well recieved, and I guess it is difficult to overestimate incompetence. Look at FEMA, with a practically unlimited budget, having years to plan and many days of the storm aproaching, well over a week of warning to begin moving assets to the regions likely to be hit worst. Lets see, Food, water, clothing, shelter, fuel, generators, communication, unlimited budget, and still somehow a failure in all of the above for over three days to some areas. What is it about Government?

  29. p.g.sharrow says:

    @David asks;”What is it about Government”
    By legal definition People that have government jobs are mentally incompetent. Nether they or any agency they work for can be held responsible for their actions. pg

  30. bruce says:

    My sister made a point that has some merit. With a vast population of young men learned for only one thing, hate of the west, what sense is maintaining a visual target such as a diplomatic mission.

    If you agree that the population is anti west you will accept that it does not take much to inflame that population when those men have no other job or hobby. The only remedy would be as impossible as it is easy to hope for. That would be forty years of functioning capitalism. I don’t see that happening.
    It appears the current attempt at reinventing the american perception by our government is effectively to feed the calmer wolves in the zoo. Hearts and minds victories with wolves might work over the course of centuries with a select few but it means tough times for the shepherd.

  31. Petrossa says:

    “I have been watching this from the start. This report from fox is close to a fit to all the known facts;”

    Seems a complete whitewash to me with the CIA taking the fall for The One. BS story from beginning to end.

  32. Ron C. says:

    This is an attempted “Swift Boat” like the one that worked against Kerry. Not going to work this time though.

    [Reply: How is it a ‘Swift Boat’ to point out the facts. That Obama called on the Seals, and they delivered. That the Seals called for help, and were abandoned. Further, that Facebook DID wimp out and take the poster down is not a opinion, it is a fact. -E.M.Smith]

  33. p.g.sharrow says:

    This was a Department of State screw up and the Department of Defense refused to jump into the trap that was being set. The Obamanation has an empty suit in charge.
    Is that simple enough. pg

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W:

    Cute song / poem ;-)


    Just “from the heart” is all… but thanks.


    There’s a simple “bit of stupid” that is being acted upon. The noble, but wrong, idea that if we mix a bunch of folks together they will learn to get along with each other. It’s easier to get along with folks antithetical to your beliefs if done from a distance and under different governments. But “Separate but equal” is now ‘fighting words’…

    The other part is where some ‘sinister’ comes in. The Muslim World is dysfunctional at a basic core level. Non-productive. Largely is lives on oil money, some tourism (rapidly evaporating in Egypt and Indonesia / Bali) and handouts. Not a lot of manufactures and exports (outside Indonesia and Malaysia that are asian outliers). Yet they have very high population growth rates. This WILL explode. IMHO, the powers that be have decided to ‘defuse’ this via migration of muslims to non-muslim countries. This ignores the ‘end game’ where those target countries end up in the same demographic trap and spiral into stagnation / decay. Yet the lure of ‘cheap imported labor’ is something they can not resist. Coupled with “loyal new voting block” and some parties are rabid over more immigration. Nobody looking more than one move down the board.

    So some Muslims are very skilled engineers and doctors and all. Works well for a while. But look what happens once at 51% of the population. Political Islam takes over and you get a new Lebanon or Syria. (Or Libya or Egypt or Iraq or Iran or…)

    You can see this same idea being peddled from Australia to Canada and the USA to the EU. Immigration good. Islam as “Christianity lite”… It’s a brain fart of the highest order, yet global.

    IMHO, Obama is semi-indoctrinated into the “Islam is Good and like Christianity soft of” from his childhood in Indonesia. He “got along” and thinks the USA can do the same. Doesn’t realize that what works for a kid is not what works for nations. Kow-tow and kiss ass don’t cut it.

    @P.G. & Pouncer:

    Good points.

    I do find it amusing, in a sad kind of way, that the POTUS and D.of.State were Sooo worried about sending a few Marines into a place they had just bombed and armed against the constitution of this country…

    As to ‘where are the defenders of freedom of speech?’, well, you see, this was ‘the wrong kind of speech.’ 8-}

    @Ian W:

    They were worried about ‘optics’, not truth or legalities…


    If Obama wins, expect 4 years of stagnation. There’s a large part of the USA that will just “go Galt” and / or quit contributing. Heck, pick up a case of rum, start drinking. End of the month, go sign up for “Disability” (as alcoholism is an approved disability) and kick back for 4 years. Only downside is you have to go on a bender or two every time a ‘cure’ is near ;-)

    Basically, if it doesn’t get fixed, then the only solution is to break it by “going with the flow”…


    The election. It’s all about the “optics”. Things have to ‘look good’ until after Tuesday.

    Obama has a narrative. We’re all Friends Now. Can’t have anything that goes against that…

    @John Robertson:

    My Aunt (and her kids) was up in Nova Scotia somewhere (along with a few other relatives). Love the place. She emigrated after W.W.II and is now long gone, but the family lives on.

    So why do folks vote that way? “The Power of Stupid”. (and greed).

    One ‘story’ is “If you work hard, fight megacorportations and entrenched power structures, you might be able to slightly improve the lot of your children”; the other story is “vote for me, I’ll give you stuff (and screw the evil bastard entrenched powers)”. The reality is that they will take “stuff” from your right pocket, keep 20%, and give you back the rest; but the alternative doesn’t look all that good either, now does it?

    Basically, sloth and greed mated with some stupidity are a strong force; work hard and struggle against giant powers is a weak attractor.

    What we really need is “excise the powerful from politics” and “level playing field for all”; but he libertarian message doesn’t cater well to either the powerful, or the dependent…

    BTW, our government stopped paying any attention to the Constitution a century ago… Money made of gold and silver? States Rights? LIMITED Federal government? Enumerated powers? The list goes on and on…

    @Ian W:

    That narrative looks about right to me. Thinking “political all the way” and not military at all.

    Clueless about the true nature of Radical Islam.


    It makes more sense if you think of Obama as “World President of the USA”. He is NOT working for US interests, but for “The World”, as envisioned by the loony side of global left.

    In that world view, things that ‘take the US down a notch’ are good. Things that have the USA expend blood and treasure for ‘the greater good’ are ‘a good thing’. Things that are stupid form a USA POV but helpful to “The EU” or “Global Islam” or the “UN Agenda” are all good.

    Seen in that light as the “US President for the rest of the world”, it makes sense….

    He was just learning that Radical Islam doesn’t play well with others, that’s all…

    Per FEMA et al:

    They are just not oriented toward being effective and firmly embrace that one ought to ‘never let a disaster go to waste’. WHY prevent a disaster if you can capitalize on it instead?

    Same thing can happen in companies, too. I’ve been in a group that had nearly perfectly running services. EVERY year, we were ‘on the chopping block’ and had to get our internal ‘customers’ to step up and defend us. Eventually we lost and were laid off. THEN things broke, and someone ELSE got rewards for “fixing it”. My boss did manage to get it into my head that running things well was NOT enough, we needed to be seen as valuable by having visibility on ‘crisis kept away’, somehow.

    But government has it far worse.

    So my “crisis kits” could be assembled for maybe $200 for very good one. Prepackaged and all. A large number of them distributed in one day from military trucks and choppers. EVERYONE could be in a “self rescue” environment over night with light, food, water, shelter. For nearly nothing in comparison for what is spent now to do less. Why isn’t it done? Who makes political points out of “You need to be prepared for self reliance and self rescue. We’ll give you a basic kit, then it is up to you.”




    Look at all the cars sitting all over New Jersey and NY. A $10 kit per person and every one of them becomes a ‘shelter’ with lighting for at least a week even if the motor won’t go. A month or two if you can run the motor a few minutes a day to charge the battery. Another $30 or so adds a stove and fuel, space blankets and ‘honey bucket’. Add $20 or on top of that for food and water packets. All up under $100.

    So why doesn’t FEMA have such an ‘example kit’ that they do “show and tell” in every high school of the nation? Explaining to folks their DUTY to prepare for “self rescue” and how this will help? Why doesn’t every high school in the nation have a ‘disaster day’ where the students to a ‘sleep over’ using just such a kit in a ‘shelter in place’ drill? Isn’t that more valuable than learning how to put condoms on bananas?

    Why indeed… Because “PC Stupid” is more valued by our Political Elite than practical skills.


    Well put… but I’d add that hand feeding WILD wolves in THEIR turf is, um, ‘not bright’ ;-)


    I, too, have that “something is right here” feeling; but can’t point at what…

    I do have the feeling that the C.I.A. is being told what to say to ‘take the heat’, as is State. The reality is likely somewhere in that mix, but only 1/2 seen and that part with mud smeared over it…


    Interesting point… Wonder how much “inter agency politics” was at play…

  35. Ron C. says:

    E.M. I have great respect for your scientific analyses because you base them on the facts. Here you are only seeing what you want to see. There was no stand down order–the whole thing is a cynical attempt to manipulate the election results.

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ron C.:

    So you want it as a logical syllogism?


    Attack lasted for hours.
    Video and audio feeds real time were going to D.C.
    An order was given to an ex-Seal not to engage. He engaged anyway.
    The security was being ramped down, not up. ( I saw an interview with the leader of the security detail that was pulled out, against his explicit advice to stay.)
    There was at least one drone overhead.
    There was laser designation of the mortar site.
    Someone chose not to send reenforcements, nor counter battery fire on the mortars.
    Intel for weeks in advance of the event said something was up and security was decaying.
    The physical site prep was way under what was needed.
    There was no ‘angry crowd’ of citizens.
    There was a heavily armed assault force of young males.
    There were plenty of US and “friendly” forces within an hour or two.
    There were many attacks on other delegations and on the US delegation in prior weeks.
    The ‘under attack’ button was pushed at the start of the attack clock.


    Plenty of warning existed that things were bad and getting worse. (Including cables from the diplomat that died).
    Decisions were clearly made NOT to take action on that information.

    At the time of the attack, decisions were made NOT to render support (since none arrived, it’s a given.)

    There was time for the folks from the Annex to arrive, and depart, and take mortar fire, and die. That was plenty of time for support to arrive (as drones were overhead, fighters can scram in less than an hour, and we’ve got forces all over Europe and the Mediterranean).

    No order was given to render support, nor take out the mortars, nor supply air cover, nor land troops (as none arrived and no support fire happened). Therefor a decision was made NOT to render such aid. By whom is unclear, but as State and Obama are “in charge”, then they are “to blame”; be it by commission or omission.

    Obama and State BOTH issued many times over many days and well after the fact statements that this was in response to the video, even though they had audio and video and prior knowledge via diplomatic cables that this was not an angry mob; therefor “they knew” and were covering.

    So what do you call it when someone who is in charge knows what the situation is, actively exacerbates it instead of supplying added security, pulls the security detail against the guidance of the head of the detail (heard that via video strait from him… not second hand) and then when the SHTF moment comes, supplies no support, no counter battery fire, no extraction team, no nothing?

    True, it is not possible from that data to disambiguate between Royal Cluster Foit of Stupidity and Deliberate Political Choice. Don’t see where that matters at all, though. Rampant Stupid vs Self Centered Political Brain Fart is not a very pleasing choice…

    Negative Space Analysis:

    What ought to have been there, but was not, if the Pres was informed and making decisions supportive of the Seals “on the ground”:

    1) Added security in a decaying situation.
    2) Active listening skills to the folks on the ground. (The guy leading it was on TV and said he was over ridden and ordered to leave.)
    3) Support of the embassy staff when the SHTF started. (No evidence of any effort at all of support material or forces).
    4) Extraction effort of any kind.
    5) Air asset observation of any kind. (No report of ‘overflights’ or air ordnance on Al Jazeera or any other news, in the region or outside of it.. Video from the attack on Al Jazeera showing folks ‘sauntering’ along with embassy in flames in the background. Etc. Not running from air assaults or ‘incoming’.)
    6) No ‘crowds in the streets’ angry over U.S. Aggression in terms of troop landings or air power. Nothing on any news suggestive of any ‘support action’. The folks on the ground there saw nothing.

    There’s only one way all that stuff fits together. D.C. knew the assault was under way. Folks in Libya at the Embassy knew they were being put in a very bad way, well in advance, and D.C. continued actions against their advice and explicit requests and in the light of ongoing assaults on “western groups and facilities” to downgrade security and support. When the SHTF happened, D.C. chose to provide zero support and ordered one of the ex-Seals not to render aid to the Embassy (his Dad was on T.V. and said so. I did not get an accurate quote on how he knew (cell call or 2nd hand or…) but was clearly a credible witness. NO claim that his statement was not correct has been issued, BTW.) Clearly D.C. was wanting to let one group be whacked and not ‘escalate by rendering aid’ even within country.

    That all adds up to “folks in trouble hung out to dry die."

    Obama is Commander In Chief, so this is his albatross. He can choose from:

    1) Out of the loop, clueless.
    2) Inexperience and stupidity leading to bad choices.
    3) Deliberate orders for political expediency or "gun runner" motivations.
    4) Secret Situation of greater value.

    Personally, I see no data for #4, but by definition those things are secret. Worse, I can't even think up a scenario where it would justify the known facts (and I've got a pretty good imagination).

    I can easily see #1, what with skipping briefings and all.

    I can also easily see #2, what with his world experience being that of a community organizer.

    Number 3 fits the known style of the President in that we have a history of decisions in that mould. From the gun running episode, to the way he likes to duck out when anything bad is in the news.

    Personally, I'd rank #3 as most likely, then 1 and 2 in a dead heat for second, but back a ways. Number 4 is at best a distant last and a 'hope'.

    So the 'preponderance of the evidence' lands this tar baby in the hands of the President as a FUBAR by high levels of his staff, or by him personally.

    Now, some SEALs make a poster. This posting was largely about Facebook, not The POTUS/TOTUS, and the facts on Facebook are clear as well. (Documented above). A take down, twice. Now that does not depend on the validity of the assertion in the poster. It is a distinct act. And a despicable one. Period. It is “prior restraint” of political speech. Pretty horrid behaviour on the part of Facebook.

    Note that none of this is WHAT I WANT TO SEE. What I want to see is polite civil discourse between intelligent adults. I never get what I want to see. So your assertion that I’m just seeing “what I want to see” is simply flat out wrong. I don’t like and don’t want to see a President who’s a screw up and turkey. I don’t like and don’t want to see our folks in the field being abandoned. I don’t like and don’t want to see rampant stupid on the part of high ranking officials in government agencies. It is my profound disappointment at not getting to see what I want to see (responsible intelligent management) that stands out.

    BTW, I voted for Obama in the California Primary. I had fond memories of my College Liberal days then and cast an “Anyone But Clinton” ABC vote as I was dog tired of the Bush/Clinton/Bush alternation and didn’t want a two family dynasty swap. Besides, he had this cool “hope and change” slogan and I thought maybe he really would shake up D.C., cut the stupid expenditures and kill some of the crony funded agencies. Yeah, He’d swing a “liberal Axe” but cutting ANY agencies would be a feature. So I voted for him.

    In the Presidential election, I voted for ‘the other guy’ largely because my vote makes no difference in California in the main election. The State will be for the Democrat every time anyway, so my vote is only going to be symbolic, at best. Frankly, I don’t remember exactly who I voted for, but I think it was the Libertarian candidate.

    So it’s not like I’m in love with the Republicans.. and want to see what they push…

    Someone, anyone, needs to cut the size of government. ANY of it. EITHER ideological side. What we are getting now is the sum of both ideologies. Worst of both worlds.

    So what do I “want to see”? Simple; responsible intelligent management ramping down the incredible waste in D.C. I had hoped that Obama would do some of that. Instead we got a massive increase in D.C. power and $16 Trillion of debt. It doesn’t make me happy to think that he’s a military and foreign affairs screwup as well. But that’s where the facts on the ground (or now, in the ground…) lead. By omission, commission, or obsession, it doesn’t matter.

    So “swift boating”? No way. He screwed this pooch all on his own. He thought he could go bragging that “Al Qaeda is on the run” and NOT get ‘blow back’? A professional would have known not to brag on his winning while the hand is still being dealt… First time I heard that campaign pitch I thought “He has marked himself and his administration for a revenge hit”. That he’s bungled the response to it when it happened in an attempt to maintain the ‘narrative’ is entirely inside his style profile, and has nothing to do with me, or “what I want to see”.

    The “outing” of Seal Team Six was another clear example of “rampant stupid”. Put all those folks, and all their families, on a kill list. They were secret for a reason… Right down the line he shows incompetence in that kind of military / strategic thinking; while making clearly calculated political choices.

    Nothing to do with me at all… nor what “I want to see”… as I want to see him succeed and not get people killed…

  37. Petrossa says:

    Somewhat hard to read with the strikeout, but personally i go for #2 since all his geopolitical choices are of the same ‘quality’. Throwing Israel under a bus an suck up to the dictators and theocrats is blatantly stupid, it caused the ‘arab disaster’ useful idiots call a spring.

    People are now dying by the 1000’s as and will continue to do so as a direct consequence. Also by backing Israel into a corner of self preservation is so mindboggingly stupid it leaves one wonder were his real affiliations lie.

    Many more are going to die as a consequence.

    The guy needs to be indicted for crimes to humanity.

  38. E.M.Smith says:


    Sorry about the excessive ‘strike’ … it was supposed to be just one word, but WordPress decided to ‘fix’ the close strike marker and turn it into meta chars… Sigh…

    I’ve ‘fixed the fix’ now…

  39. Petrossa says:

    To me it reinforces #2. Coverup stupidity.

  40. Ron C. says:

    While G.W. Bush was President eleven embassy attacks caused injuries and loss of life. How do you rate him?
    Even Geraldo Rivera sees through this smear job, and he also works for Fox News. It’s the silly season, not the time for filling in unknowns with our fears and suspicions. It was a tragedy, but Benghazi was not Pearl Harbour, no matter how much the right wants it to be.

  41. Ian W says:

    @Ron C.
    Ron – can you give _one_ example where George Bush sat and watched an attack for several hours and nothing was done despite having the capability to do something?
    Benghazi was not a terrorist attack like a roadside bomb – it was a planned assault that intelligence had already warned about that the White House was told about as soon as it started and then they watched it proceed on a live feed for over seven hours – and did nothing. So give a matching example Ron.

  42. Ron C. says:

    Benghazi: There was no stand down order, no gunship in the area that was prevented from acting, no live feed to the white house. These are products of Lou Dobbs fevered mind, with which he has tortured the relatives of the brave people who rescued the survivors.

    The point about G.W. is that sometimes the bad guys land a punch, despite our best efforts. You and others here want to believe that the efforts in Libya were inadequate. The problem is that the US has to defend everywhere, while an enemy can focus on a soft target and on occasion succeed.

    The rush to judgment in this case is to swing votes in the election. You and others dismiss out of hand statements and detailed timelines from CIA officials, because you believe what Lou Dobbs says. In the week leading up to the election? Really?

    C’mon, man!

  43. Ian W says:

    There was a UA (drone) over the site providing a live feed. There were other NATO assets in the area that could also have provided support. I have not even listened to Lou Dobbs.

    The reports that the security was too low were made WEEKS before the attack even by the now dead ambassador. Telling of Al Qaeda black flags being flown over many buildings, The response from your much vaunted administration was to remove security not increase it.

    I mistrust any administration that for 5 weeks continues to blame a 4th rate you tube video that no-one had heard of despite knowing that there was no mob this was an attack by well armed terrorists and even if they didn’t have their drones they could have watched it on Al Jazeera.

    In the week leading up to the election? Really?”
    And yes the reason that they really really wanted it assumed to be a Muslim mob riot because of a film was that Obama has spent a lot of time saying how he has put Al Qaeda on the back foot by authorizing the killing of bin Laden. So having an attack in ‘liberated peaceful Libya’ by Al Qaeda on the anniversary of 9/11 was really really not what was wanted as that destroyed the two ‘high points’ of the election Libya is far from a peaceful country and is being run by US armed bands many or them Al Qaeda supporters (the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood). Yet democrats have even edited in more time of how Obama ran things into the film of bin Laden being killed to show how he has knocked out Al Qaeda. But now he cannot say a thing about it because Al Qaeda have proved that they are still in business even to people slow on the uptake. Terrorist organizations are like the Hydra – cut off one head and it grows two more. . So yes _particularly_ in the final weeks prior to an election the news will be sat on and obfuscated.

    On the real 9/11 the USAF had armed fighters in the air before Flight 93 crashed. Inside an hour from a peacetime Air Force that really finds it difficult to arm up. So in the Mediterranean there are many armed aircraft some we know about others we don’t – not only US but other NATO counties as well; and yet it is not possible to provide _any_ air support in seven hours? That electioneering trip to Las Vegas must have been really compelling.

  44. Ron C. says:

    Armed drones were not in the area, Special Operations teams couldn’t get there in time, and airstrikes without intelligence about targets posed a huge risk of killing Americans and civilians.
    A drone did arrive at the scene hours after the attack, but there was no live feed TO THE WHITE HOUSE.

    As to why Libyan security arrangements failed, and who trusted in them, this must be addressed after due diligence. But to say, as you seem to, that the administration didn’t care and didn’t do what they could at the time is bogus and insulting.

  45. Ian W says:

    Interesting that the sources I have read/seen reporting were that the live feed from the UA that was circling overhead was available to all with authority/clearance to view it. This audience included the Situation Room at the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon.

    Airstrikes would have been called in by the CIA whose people had laser designators – and as was said before there was no ‘mob’ this was an attacking group. On a large compound not a building in the middle of a town,

    The fact remains that NO air-power was called in despite it being a seven hour fire fight and there were several NATO forces close by.

    The Administration was faced with a difficult decision and didn’t have time for a focus group to be set up. So sat there and watched things go from bad to worse and eventually from worse to lost. Apparently someone was relying on a ground force of ‘friendly’ politically correct Libyans who _surprise_ turned up just when it was too late.

    More importantly and most illuminating was that they then spent the next weeks LYING about what happened or refusing to answer.. Regardless, of what you or I say that cover up to try to keep it obfuscated until after the election is inexcusable.

    My view of what they did wrong.
    ==The design of the ‘safe room’ for the ambassador made it a perfect trap rather than a safe room with an escape plan.
    ==They had intelligence of growing problems yet deliberately made the soft target of the consulate and the ambassador even softer. When they should have had, and could easily have had, a small detachment of army or marines in place.
    ==They had warnings of a potential attack yet still left the ambassador in place with minimum security – Obama has more security on a drive through DC than the ambassador did in hostile Benghazi
    ==They had no contingency plan for what would happen if the ambassador was attacked. (There is probably in DOD a contingency plan for attacking Canada and Mexico – it is inexcusable that someone did not have one for defense of the ambassador in Benghazi immediately to hand.)
    ==When they got notification of the attack – they could have used a contingency plan but in its absence they should have brought any and all assets that MIGHT be able to assist as close as possible and standby to get involved. This was not done apart from moving people in Italy but at a relaxed pace. They should have contacted all the NATO forces who were also there armed and in the area. They didn’t do anything but watch
    == They have a counter terrorist specialist committee – this was not alerted — they should have created an ad-hoc military response tactical team – in 2 hours a team like that would have had a rescue plan in place and the assets could have been there by then to use.
    ==A Specter gunship, an F-15 an Osprey with heavy machine guns on its tail ramp- anything could have attacked the laser designated areas the consulate was not a building in a town it was a large compound – just the obvious presence of heavier firepower might have held things until the Libyan forces eventually arrived.

    Its not like Nevada is a state that will go to the GOP – one would have thought that the President could have retained some interest in the fate of his ambassador and staff. Or was it the lack of a TV crew in the situation room made it less important?

  46. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ron C:

    Argue with the Lt. Col. that there was no drone observing:


    Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said Saturday he has sources saying President Barack Obama was in the room at the White House watching the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya unfold.

    Two unarmed U.S. drones were dispatched to the consulate and recorded the final hours of the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

    “This was in the middle of the business day in Washington, so everybody at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, everybody was watching this go down,” Shaffer said on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” “According to my sources, yes, [Obama] was one of those in the White House Situation Room in real-time watching this.”

    Or is he part of this conspiracy too?

    Or you can argue with the lawyer:


    October 22, 2012
    “The White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and numerous military headquarters monitored the entire battle in real time via the phone calls from Benghazi and video from a drone overhead.”
    “Our diplomats fought for seven hours without any aid from outside the country.”

    Four Americans died while the Obama national-security team and our military passively watched and listened. The administration is being criticized for ignoring security needs before the attack and for falsely attributing the assault to a mob. But the most severe failure has gone unnoticed: namely, a failure to aid the living.

    Posted by Ann Althouse at 12:01 PM

    The transcript of a bit of testimony is in the side bar of this video:

    There was never enough security U.S. mission in Benghazi — this was the testimony of the former head of security in Libya. Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood told lawmakers in Washington that security was drawn down in Benghazi ahead of the attack that killed four Americans including the ambassador. SOUNDBITE: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood saying: “The security in Benghazi was a struggle and remained a struggle throughout my time there. The situation remained uncertain and reports from some Libyans indicated it was getting worse. Diplomatic security remained weak. In April, there was only one U.S. diplomatic security agent stationed there. The RSO (regional security officer) struggled to obtain additional personnel there (in Benghazi), but was never able to attain the numbers he felt comfortable with.” Wood served as the Site Security Team (SST) commander in Libya from February 12 to August 14, until just about a month before the attack Another former U.S. security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, told the committee that he twice asked his State Department superiors for more security agents for but he received no response. SOUNDBITE: Former U.S. Security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom saying: “In the spring of 2012, we noted an increasing number of attacks and incidents which appeared to target foreign affiliated organizations… We reiterated our request at all levels of government for a consistent, armed, host nation security force to support the mission.” The hearing is Congress’ first public examination of what went wrong at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi.

    We know the embassy hit the hot button ‘under attack signal’ and we know that they had been denied security requests for weeks to months. We also know there was a C.I.A. office there and that it had been an active war zone just prior. Do you really want to try defending the POV that we had no drones watching things? The damn things are everywhere. Heck, even a squad can carry a small sized man portable one for ‘over the hill’ look see.

    And we knew the air space there “very well”:


    Woodward First Woman to Command U.S. Air Attack in Libya ‘No-Fly’ Mission
    By Peter S. Green – Mar 28, 2011 9:01 PM PT
    In the 11 days since, U.S. and coalition aircraft have flown more than 1,400 sorties. They have bombed Muammar Qaddafi’s air defenses and helped push Qaddafi’s army back from the edge of Benghazi in eastern Libya to his hometown of Sirte, 570 kilometers (340 miles) to the west. Only one allied plane, a Boeing Co. (BA) F-15E, was lost — to equipment failure. Both fliers in the jet ejected and were rescued.

    So about a year ago we were running 1,400 sorties, and now you think we don’t even have a drone looking at the place? An nobody can get there from Ramstein anymore? Riiight….

    How far away were the carriers?


    Enterprise was headed from the Red Sea to Gibraltar:

    27Aug-08Oct012, Arabian Sea
    08Oct-11Oct2012, Red Sea
    transited the Suez Canal, and entered the 6th Fleet AOR
    13Oct-15Oct2012, Med
    15Oct2012, Strait of Messina
    anchored off the coast of Naples, Italy
    20Oct-22Oct2012, Med
    23Oct2012, Strait of Gibraltar

    So on 9-11 was in the Arabian Sea. Close. Very close. Certainly close enough to send air assets and a light tanker to keep it on station for a while. Flight time about an hour or two (as is Germany).

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    09Aug-29Aug2012, North Arabian Sea
    30Aug2012, Strait of Hormuz
    31Aug-03Sep2012, Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Bahrain
    04Sep-25Sep2012, Persian Gulf
    26Sep-18Oct2012, North Arabian Sea

    Persian gulf. So about an hour+ out.

    Lots of air assets ‘in the region’, so no logistical reason not to use them.

    We’ve got the “arab spring” going on all over the region, with a war just winding down and the post war insurgency happening, in Libya and Egypt, and you REALLY think there were no drones over the area?

    This article claims that no requests for aid were declined, so in ‘your camp’:


    CIA officials on the ground in Libya dispatched security forces to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi within 25 minutes and made other key decisions about how to respond to the waves of attacks on U.S. installations on Sept. 11, a senior American intelligence official said on Thursday.

    Officials in Washington monitored events through message traffic and a hovering U.S. military drone
    but did not interfere with or reject requests for help from officials in the line of fire, the official said.

    The information emerged as officials made available on Thursday a timeline chronicling the U.S. response to the Benghazi attacks in which Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other American officials died. The material appears to refute claims by critics that officials in Washington delayed sending help to the besieged personnel.

    The handling of the attack by the Obama administration and CIA has come under sharp criticism by supporters of Republican challenger Mitt Romney during the campaign ahead of the presidential election on Nov. 6.

    So even :the defenders of the action taken (or not taken…) admit drone monitoring was underway.

    I do note the parsing of words, though, that “CIA officials on the ground” dispatched the assets… that’s the CIA guys saying (per his Dad interviewed on TV) say they were going in against orders. Essentially they confirm they sat back and watched and did nothing.

    And per the “not wise to bomb in confusion”, we had a guy with a laser designator on the mortar site. Fire a smart bomb from 20 miles away and it will hit the right spot.

    With the quantity of assets in the Med. and nearby, that not a single bit of US ordnance went off is criminal, IMHO. Denial of it does not make it any better. Sitting back and watching it while doing nothing is worse.

  47. Ron C. says:

    Ian W.
    Which is it: Obama was carelessly in Nevada campaigning, or he was carelessly watching tv in the situation room? Let’s at least get the rumor one way or the other.
    Who said the CIA had laser designators? The LA Times says not.

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and there’s Marine Ready Groups that are on essentially perpetual deployment to the Med.


    There does not appear to be a standardized expansion for the “MARG” acronym. USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), USS Nashville (LPD-13), and USS Pensacola (LSD-38) departed from homeport at Norfolk, VA on 22 March 1995 and returned to Norfolk Naval Station and Little Creek Amphibious Base on 22 September 1995. In official US Navy news reports, the deployment was designated both Marine Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) 95-2] and Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) 2-95.

    The group is most generally known by the name of the LHA or LHD lead ship. In at a few instances the group has been designated by an acronym derived from this name — the Essex Amphibious Ready Group is also known as “EARG” — though this practice does not seem widely followed. The Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, which relieved the Bataan ARG 03 March 2000, was also referred to as the “WASPARG” in some reports. In contrast to Mediterranean deployments, Western Pacific deployments do not appear to generally have unique numerical designators, though a few exceptions, such as Western Pacific 2-97, are noted in news coverage.

    In the early 1990s the US Navy Middle East Force was greatly expanded from a few surface combatant ships to include the presence of an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group and a Marine Amphibious Ready Group throughout most of the year.
    During the late 1990s, on average the US had a standard presence in the Persian Gulf of carrier there three-quarters of a year [one carrier there for nine months], and one Marine Amphibious Ready Group there for six months.


    Normally two to three ARGs are forward deployed: one in the Mediterraean Sea/Persian Gulf–Indian Ocean area, and one or two in the western Pacific Ocean area. The other ships of the ARG are either working up to deploy, in transit, or in overhaul. One ARG/MEU, known as Task Force 76/Expeditionary Strike Group 7, is forward based in Sasebo and Okinawa, Japan.

    And a fair number of other “assets” are laying about the Med. region…

  49. E.M.Smith says:

    Like this “little” base:


    Among the aircraft that fly from this island base are U.S. Air Force C-130, C-17 and C-5 airlifters, KC-135 and KC-10 tankers and U.S. Navy P-3 Orions, C-2 Greyhounds C-130s, and C-9B Skytrain IIs and C-40A Clippers. It is one of the most frequently used stops for U.S. airlift aircraft bound from the continental United States to Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean.

    NAS Sigonella has the best claim to be hub of U.S. naval air operations in the Mediterranean. The base command is landlord to more than 40 other U.S. units. Among the largest are a rotating P-3C patrol squadron; a Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station; and a U.S. Naval Hospital. The hospital was built in 1992. Previously, there was only a clinic and the closest U.S. Naval Hospital was at Naples. Sigonella is home to more than 4,000 troops, civilian personnel, and family members.

    NAS Sigonella is the Navy’s second largest security command, second only to that located at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. NAS Sigonella also has a large support of security personnel from NR NSF Sigonella, a Navy Reserve command based out of NOSC Detroit at Selfridge ANGB, Michigan.

    Note that C-130 aircraft can be gun ships… though don’t know if one was ‘in the area’.

    So the “hub of U.S. Naval Operations” is just about 500 miles off shore of Libya… and has 4,000 troops et.al. there. As Osprey can do a couple of hundred MPH, that’s a couple of hours (less for things with jet engines and guns…)

    The notion that we could not get (something with bang) to the area in time is a bad joke.,

    Oh, and per “looking at the ground”, it has an interesting connection:


    Alliance Ground Surveillance is a NATO programme to acquire an airborne ground surveillance capability.

    The Main Operating Base will be located at Sigonella Air Base, Italy.
    See also

    Unmanned aerial vehicle

    So NATO wants some of the “ground surveillance” ability we have, and wants to put it where we are. Guess who will be providing a lot of that hardware. And where it might be based…


    The Sixth Fleet is the United States Navy’s operational fleet and staff of United States Naval Forces Europe. The Sixth Fleet is headquartered at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy. The officially stated mission of the Sixth Fleet in 2011 is that it ‘conducts the full range of Maritime Operations and Theater Security Cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other parties in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.‘ The commander of the Sixth Fleet is Vice Admiral Frank Craig Pandolfe.

    So the whole Sixth Fleet is based in the water just next door…

    Do you REALLY want to stake out the position that we could not get 20 armed guys from Italy / Sicily to Libya in under 8 hours? ( I’d expect we could do it in under 4 if they were in bed when the call came in.)

    And frankly, if we can’t, that’s a worse indictment of ‘readiness’ in the region especially given that it was 9-11 and the Arab Spring with civil wars was breaking out all over the place.

    But you keep on digging that hole you’ve picked out…

    Task Force 61, Amphibious Assault Force

    Task Force 61 was the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group. It is composed of approximately three amphibious ships and their embarked landing craft. From these ships, United States Marine ground forces can move ashore by sea and air in amphibious assault or emergency evacuation missions. Once ashore, the ships of Task Force 61 logistically support the ground forces, until the objective of the landing has been accomplished, and the Marine Forces return to the ships.

    As of 2011, according to official NavEur/NavAf Public Affairs sources, Task Force 61 will normally be the commander of the deployed Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and will exercise operational control of all units assigned to TF61 operating in the USEUCOM or USAFRICOM AOR.

    Task Force 62, Landing Force (Marine Expeditionary Unit)

    Task Force 62 is the combat-ready ground force composed of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of approximately 1,900 Marines. Transported in Task Force 61 ships, the MEU is equipped with armor, artillery, and transport helicopters that enable it to conduct operations ashore, or evacuate civilians from troubled areas. This MEU is usually from II MEF on the East Coast.

    As of 2011, according to official Public Affairs sources, Task Force 62 will normally be the commander of the deployed Ambhibious Ready Group (ARG) and will exercise operational control of all units assigned to TF61 operating in the USEUCOM or USAFRICOM AOR.

    BTW, the laser designation statement came from the Dad of one of those killed in the attack. His son was the one who chose to disobey orders and go on a rescue run to the ambassador’s compound. I did not catch exactly how he came to know this (did his son give him a cell phone call when deciding to go against orders? or was it a survivor of the event talking to him?) so it is second hand. But the guy was very level headed. Quietly grieved, but calm and measured.

    The impression I got (once I started listening close and realized what the talking heads on TV were talking about) was that he had talked with one of the guys who was with his son when he died. I.e. one of the survivors of the attack on the “Annex”. It was plainly stated that they had laser designation on the mortar origination site, but were denied any supporting fire.

    As just about every Special Ops group in the US has laser designators, I’d be more surprised if they did NOT have one.

    I watched the interview with the Dad live on TV. No ‘editors’ involved.

    BTW, wherever Obama is, he has communications. So it doesn’t matter if he and AF-1 were in Nevada, or he was in the White House. It’s all the “situation room” when a SHTF moment comes.

    The thing about being “in charge” is that you are in charge, no matter where you are…

    But if you want to make it a choice between “In charge and delegating while blowing it off” vs “in charge and watching while blowing it off”, go right ahead…

  50. Ian W says:

    Ron C. says:
    5 November 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Ian W.
    Which is it: Obama was carelessly in Nevada campaigning, or he was carelessly watching tv in the situation room? Let’s at least get the rumor one way or the other.

    Watching until it got boring – then departed to go get ready for Nevada.

  51. Ron C. says:

    I appreciate very much your ability to sort through the confirmation biases of climate scientists.

    With respect, on this topic, your own bias is showing. Not surprising, perhaps, since there is sketchy information concerning an ongoing security situation. You insist on believing stuff that is denied by CIA officials; hey, that’s your right, this is all opinion when the facts are not yet in. You trust the rumors coming out of the right wing echo chamber, I do not.

    You can have the last word; thanks for the interchange

  52. E.M.Smith says:


    I am reporting what was said by folks in a close position to know. My “bias” was to believe it was all about the movie. Even did a posting on that. Only later, when “things didn’t fit” and we had direct video from folks showing it was not as presented did I change my position.

    So in terms of “bias”, my bias was to BELIEVE the POTUS and attribute causality to the movie AS HE SAID SO. That’s history now, though. Facts showed otherwise.

    I do note in passing your shift to “attack the messenger” instead of inspecting the message…

    Per “CIA Officials”: So you would trust professional liars who’s JOB is to indulge in public deception? Interesting…. ( I say that having had a C.I.A. job application in hand and fully filled out at one point. One signature, mine, away from ready to send in… I’d still be willing to work for them; but do not think for a moment that the job does not involve saluting up the chain of command, lying for effect outward, and doing it all with a strait face.)

    Me? I’ll trust the ‘back channels’ talking to the Dad of a dead comrade and a retired Lt. Col. Also what is publicly known about “assets” in the area and capabilities. Hardware and installations are known, and can not lie. Agency heads must lie to hold the job.

    So I saw VIDEO of the attack from the attackers POV (aired on Al Jazeera). I saw a live interview with the Dad of a dead agency guy / ex-SEAL unedited. I saw post event film at the site from other news agencies. These are not my “bias”. They are data.

    You asserted we couldn’t get there in time. I show a load of assets all inside an hour or two (in the context of a 7 hour or so event).

    You asserted there wasn’t live monitoring. I show confirmation of live monitoring from several folks via several channels including one ‘from your side’.

    You asserted there was no ‘stand down’ order. I point toward the Dad of the guy who said he was going against orders to do the rescue and died in the process.

    So that’s my “bias”? Really? To point at data sources and logical conclusions?

    So you assert “it’s about me”….

    Well, clue time: It is NOT about ME. It’s about some ex-SEALs and Americans left to die without support. That they died is a fact. That there was no support is a fact. That it’s on film is a fact. That folks close to those involved support that POV is a fact. That Obama flew off to a fund raiser after doing nothing to support them is a fact. That they KNEW is a fact, and that they were told for weeks in advance that it was a bad situation headed to worse is a fact. That they PULLED the aux security detail is a fact (direct from the mouth of the man who was in charge of it stated on video). NONE of that involves ME in the slightest. So here’s the clue: do not make it about ME, because I am completely irrelevant to the facts and the results.

    BTW, I watch Mosaic and Al Jazeera on Link TV. That’s the LEFT wing echo-chamber… Better video out of the Middle East and better “on the ground” coverage faster in conflict areas there.

    Then again, since you don’t have any facts on your side, I guess you go with what you’ve got… and a political agency spox…

  53. agimarc says:

    There’s more to the lack of military response than what currently appears. CINC AFRICOM, General Ham is no longer CINC and is incomminicado. Rumor out of the military speculates that he was launching military response, was told to stand down and refused. He was then relieved and replaced. The only fact I can find on this is that he is no longer CINC AFRICOM. Links when I get more info. Cheers –


  54. E.M.Smith says:

    For completion, I also got decent coverage of events early on from CNN. They still have some of the fastest and best early coverage. Left leaning, but not too badly on ‘breaking news’.

    Later, one of the better ‘timelines’ was done by Fox:



    By Greg Palcot:


    Prior to joining FNC, Greg was an anchor, reporter, and producer internationally and in the U.S for programs airing on PBS, Financial News Network (now CNBC), WABC and CBS, following epic stories, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the death of Princess Diana.

    Palkot is a three-time Emmy award-winner for reporting, news coverage, and feature stories. He’s also received recognition from the Associated Press, United Press International, and the International Film and Television Awards.

    Yeah, those darned Fox news guys, steeped in the Right Wing Echo Chamber of PBS and NBC…

    Getting Emmy Awards and being lauded by those right wing Associated Press and UPI folks… and the International Film and TV Awards folks…

    FWIW, I trusted Palcot before he moved to Fox and have seen no reason to change. Hannity goes on clear right wing rants, Geraldo Rivera not so much…

    BTW, I used to watch more BBC, but they had a dramatic reduction in news content and clear rise of bias / propaganda in the last decade or so; so they are now a ‘sometimes thing’.

    My “regulars” in the “jump loop” are, in order: CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox News, Link (Al Jazeera / Mosaic) alternating with PBS news shows depending on who is on at any given hour.

    So I’d score my “echo chamber” news flow as:

    CNN – slightly left, good fast news but biased (often in subtle ways) on slow cycle things.

    CNBC – slightly biased left on political news, mostly clean on financial coverage.

    FoxB – slightly biased right wing on political news, very good on financial coverage, strong right bias on ‘opinion and op ed’ segments.

    Fox – biased right, but with representative left presenters, on most news. Tends to want the two sides to argue and tends to present both sides in the process, but with a right wing guy ‘in charge’ / anchor. Some exceptions (like “The Five with Bob Beckle and a more neutral mix on the set) and Juan Williams (another PBS escapee).

    Link – Hard Core Left. We’re talking radical left wing Michal Moore Praise and Occupy Everything all the way. Has a pro-Islam and pro-Arab bias as well. ( I think they have significant Middle East funding but that’s just a suspicion on my part). Al Jazeera is slightly left leaning and Mosaic is a mix of a half dozen (rotating) news shows from the Middle East so varies.

    The BBC and PBS are both “somewhat left” but reasonable most of the time. Just not enough “information to happy talk” ratio for my tastes. Still watch them sometimes when I’m not feeling like a lot of concentration ;-)

    Oh, and sometimes I watch Bloomberg (but it’s gone down hill since Bloomberg was elected in New York) and CNBC-World (after U.S. markets close, I swap to it for Australia, Asia, and Europe centric financial and political news). Both somewhat left leaning on non-financial things, but not too bad. Nice perspective on things from CNBCW (that last night was going on about how much Europe preferred Obama, in that cute “don’t really understand how Americans can like that other guy” kind of way ;-)

    Now maybe someone can come up with a more “Fair and balanced” new mix than that, but it’s all I can make work on the satellite TV. Time on each varies depending on what they are covering. Breaking news, I’m more on CNN. Political speeches (like the debates) I’m usually on CSPAN as they don’t comment on things ;-) while for financial things it’s more CNBC. Fox is interesting for their “opinion” shows (especially like The Five and their female anchors who bring a non-White-guy-in-a-suit view of things. (Less “left wing feminist talking points” and more “Women’s view points widely represented”) CNBCW for anything happening in Europe or the non-US perspective on things in the USA (BBC also good for that). Al Jazeera for anything in the Middle East / Muslim world.and as counter point to the USA centric POV on the others and the Christian West POV on all the others…

    Tried to watch MSNBC but just couldn’t take the Hate Whitey and Men ambiance. It’s just too negative angry for me. Tried to watch “local news” but just don’t care about who had their BBQ burn the house down or what police check point is catching whom.

    I think there’s some others I sometimes catch, but can’t remember them right now as they are more “iffy” and only a sometimes thing…

    BTW, for “internet news” I typically just type in some key words and see what shows up. More variety that way. I often go out of my way to “scroll down” to unusual sources ( like Russian, Indian, Chinese news, etc.)

    Don’t see how that can be called a ‘right wing echo chamber’, but attacks “to the person” are often devoid of actual content anyway. Why I so strongly discourage them.

    I actively seek out divergent news from radically opposed POV sources. When CNN is burying news about an Obama FUBAR, FOX will be showcasing it. When FOX is putting Lipstick on a Pig of a Republican FUBAR, CNN will be showcasing it. When BOTH are myopic with a US Centric POV, then CNBCW and Al Jazeera (and sometimes the BBC) provide an external view of the silly navel gazing.

    It’s the contrast between the different coverages that I pay most attention to, not the actual coverage content. Take the recent “Poll Parade”. CNN is all lovey on Obama by a couple of points. FOX has some folks showing how that can be quite wrong. The reality is most likely between the two at a ‘nail biter’ either way.

    Oh, and when any of them have 3 or more folks talking at once or talking over each other, I hit the “jump” button and move on to the next one… Rarely watch any one channel for any one show all the way through. Though Link / Al Jazeera / Mosaic are on a timer so automatically tune to them and watch all the way through. They don’t have talk-over segments ;-)

    So that’s my “Bias” in news sources…

  55. E.M.Smith says:


    From the wiki page:

    On October 18, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.

    Interesting and somewhat ambiguous timing…. A month “after the event”…

    Biased source, but gives “the story” that’s the subject to be checked:


    AFRICOM GENERAL CARTER HAM –Unconfirmed Reports ask, Was Ham Relieved of Command Minutes Before Ordering Benghazi Rescue?

    By: jamesmpratt (Diary) | October 27th, 2012 at 07:35 PM

    Everyday the mainstream media ignores this story and the string of either lies or incompetence out of the Washington continues, the suggestion of coverup grows.

    As I write this Rush Limbaugh is speaking about the expectation former SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty had of air assets coming to their rescue at the CIA Annex in Benghazi. And why wouldn’t they? They were under attack. It was American property and lives were at stake and… they probably had NEVER BEEN LET DOWN before.

    Word from Spec Ops insiders is that Tyrone Woods was ”painting the target” with a laser, meaning they believed that they were backed up by the syncing of the C130 or drone on station overhead. They expected that by revealing their position with the laser on the enemy mortar crew a laser guided missile would be on its way to defend them. Instead?

    The same terrorist mortar crew they illuminated ultimately killed them.

    If you are outraged as I am at the compounding of the lies we are hearing from Washington, you can make a difference by sharing this post and any others addressing the Benghazi attacks.

    QUESTION: Is it reasonable to think that the General commanding AFRICOM might disobey three ”Stand Down” orders from Washington to save his people?

    I would like to believe such honor still exists.

    So we have the wiki saying Ham is on the way out, but not that it happened on 9-11 and we have folks tossing rumors.

    Interesting story, but needs some kind of confirmation that likely will be hard to come by. Often the retirement status depends on not breeching orders, and if ordered to “keep secret” a national defense action involving C.I.A. assets, he would have a hard time confirming it.

    Likely only “source” will be junior officers ‘in the know’ who watched it unfold. They are unlikely to talk until a new Commander In Chief is above them or they are ready to retire…

    Also see: http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=8383&lang=0

    In comments there is an official denial:


    Obama Nominates Rodriguez as Next Africa Command Chief
    By Jim Garamone
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct 19, 2012 — President Obama has nominated Army General David M. Rodriguez to succeed Army General Carter F. Ham as the commander of U.S. Africa Command, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said, October 18, 2012.

    U.S. Africa Command is the newest combatant command, and its headquarters is in Stuttgart, Germany. The command encompasses all of Africa and its adjacent waters except for Egypt.

    The Senate must confirm Rodriguez, who currently is commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    “He has served in a variety of key leadership roles on the battlefield,” Panetta said in announcing the nomination. Rodriguez was the first commander of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, the corps-level command in Afghanistan. He was the commander during the surge into Afghanistan, “and was a key architect of the successful campaign plan that we are now implementing,” Panetta said.

    Ham has served as the Africa Command chief since March 2011. “Under his leadership, Africom has played a very central role in some very important missions,” the secretary said. “From the NATO campaign in Libya that led to the fall of Gadhafi to successful counterterrorism efforts in Somalia [and] Yemen to efforts we are now involved in in Nigeria and Mali and elsewhere, General Ham has really brought Africom into a very pivotal role in that challenging region.”

    The nation is “deeply grateful for his outstanding service,” he said.

    Panetta also announced the nomination of Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. to receive his fourth star and serve as the next assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. He would succeed Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., whom the president has nominated to command coalition and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Paxton is commander of Marine Corps Forces Command, Marine Fleet Force Atlantic and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe. Paxton and Dunford also must be confirmed for their jobs by the Senate.

    Source: U.S. Department of Defense
    On 10/31/2012, LJOLY in Unspecified said:
    When is the expected change of command coming?

    On 10/30/2012 11:08:46 AM, AFRICOM PAO in Stuttgart, Germany said:
    Thank you for all the comments and questions. We are aware of the rumors surrounding General Ham’s upcoming departure, and the assumptions are false. General Carter F. Ham is currently the commander of U.S. Africa Command. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s announced intention on October 18 to nominate Army General David M. Rodriguez to succeed General Ham followed leadership succession deliberations that took place well before the incident of 9/11/12.

    General Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed this issue: “The speculation that General Carter Ham is departing Africa Command (AFRICOM) due to events in Benghazi, Libya, on 11 September 2012 is absolutely false. General Ham’s departure is part of routine succession planning that has been on going since July. He continues to serve in AFRICOM with my complete confidence.”

    You can read more here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/29/dempsey-hits-rumors-about-africom-chiefs-departure/

    On 10/30/2012 1:18:11 AM, Joe Schaefer in Universal City TX said:
    What will be the future status of the command? Is there a plan to absorb it within the European Command?

    On 10/28/2012 9:04:15 PM, Ricardo in U.S.A. said:
    Was General Ham relieved of his command because of his attempt to help the Americans in the Benghazi massacre?

    On 10/28/2012 6:10:00 PM, Marion in Cincinnati said:
    I would like to know the reason Pres. Obama has for replacing Gen. Hamm. Thank You and Gen Hamm.

    On 10/28/2012 4:29:55 PM, walt in washington said:
    This change of command seems more of a dismissal of General Ham than a promotion for General Rodriguez. What lies ahead in the future for General Ham? Could this change be related to what has recently happened in Libya? Any military action that was to be immediately taken regarding the Benghazi incident would have been passed through General Ham. Perhaps his thoughts, recommendations and plan of action did not agree with his higher authorities?

    On 10/28/2012 4:16:59 PM, Tim in Georgia said:
    First let me say thank you to you Gen. Carter F. Ham for your service to your country. I also want to thank everyone under your command for their service as well. I have a great deal of respect for all of our military and their families who also make sacrifices. My sincerest sympathies and respect goes out to the families of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. And the families of Chris Stevens and Sean Smith.

    I have a question that I know will most likely not be answered here many in the States have voiced concern that the your replacement as the commander of U.S. Africa Command is related in some way to the events of September 11, 2012. Are you being replaced as a result of an event or incident that occurred on September 11, 2012 or the aftermath that has followed since?

    Thank you for your service,
    Thank you for your time,

    On 10/28/2012 12:46:44 PM, Jeff in Lilburn Georgia, U.S.A. said:
    I have been hearing that General Carter F Ham was replaced by General David M Rodriguez due to General Carter F Ham having made a move to help those in Benghazi who were under attack. Can someone please confirm or deny this rumor please? I am not a reporter, I am just a concerned citizen. You can reply to my email which I have freely given.
    Thank You.
    Jeff Benton.

    So looks to me like an unconfirmed, officially denied, rumor. Unless and until someone comes up with proof, this one needs to be kept in the “rumor mill” bucket.

  56. agimarc says:

    EM – Here’s the latest I have found. Its still a week old, dated around 10/28 but appears to be related to the same sorts of rumors you and I have both found. Afraid this one is going to have to play out a while. Interesting thought: should be a fun hearing when Obama (or Romney) submits Rodriguez’ name as the next CINC AFRICOM. Rodriquez was the deputy who reportedly relieved Ham and was submitted by Panetta as his replacement.

    I was going to use the “Trust but verify” bucket. Can move it to the “rumor mill” bucket if you’d like, though they may be different labels for the same bloody thing. Cheers –


  57. Tony Hansen says:

    Ron C says…’But to say, as you seem to, that the administration didn’t care and didn’t do what they could at the time is bogus and insulting.

    Insulting is an interesting word to use.
    It has come up in another response I have just read on a linked site.
    No support was given and people were killed.
    But somewhere else, somebody else is insulted.
    Who was insulted ?
    Why would they be insulted?

  58. Ian W says:

    In comments there is an official denial:


    There is a saying in the UK civil service: “Never believe anything until it is officially denied”

    (Later used in the comedy “Yes Minister”)

  59. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W:

    Oh, how I loved “Yes Minister” ;-)

    FWIW, on Fox News tonight they are running a clip from some local news station (Denver I think) that point blank asks the POTUS if there was a call for help from Bengazi that was denied. Had to ask it twice.

    Got a stammer or two, then a dodge of ~”Well, we are trying to find out what happened”…

    Just Amazing.

    He didn’t say “No, we were sending whatever they wanted”.
    He didn’t say “Yes, we have over riding issues”.
    He didn’t say “Not that I know of, but we are digging into it.”

    The “negative space” of what was said just shouts….

    Yet, it is still possible that he really was so out of the loop and clueless about what was going on that now, a couple of months later, he has no clue…


    Were I POTUS and we’d lost an Ambassador and 2 Seals, by a month later we’d have had face to face meetings with ALL the survivors and each person up the management food chain to the General of the region and the head of the C.I.A. and Diplomatic Corps. I’d have had a ‘fireside chat’ and told the nation what had gone wrong, and who was going to take the pain for it.

    So we’re still left with a choice of “Clueless out of the loop” vs “political butt cover” vs “bad decision making be delegated responsible parties”. I.E. clueless, personal incompetence, political games, or delegated incompetence. Not seeing much room for “Competent and in touch as commander in chief”…

    I’d have been happier if he’d just said “It was a screw up and someone will be fired. I’m finding out whom that will be.”

  60. philjourdan says:

    We KNOW Obama lied about it – the newly released CBS tapes prove that. So I guess it comes down to who are you going to believe – a known liar, or those with no reason to lie.

  61. adolfogiurfa says:

    Glenn Beck´s latest new about this:

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