Greater Krueger National Park

Greater Krueger National Park
An image from a recent trip to South Africa. Clcik on the image for more on this trip.

Welcome to Wandering Lizard's Blog

Thank you for visiting our blog. If you have not already done so, please also stop by the Wandering Lizard web site.

Monday, October 14, 2013

President Obama on Benghazi

According to press reports, President Obama has, at long last, personally written to the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the two former Seals that were killed in the Benghazi Consulate attack on 9/11/12.

"On that tragic day, I directed my national security team to do everything possible to respond to the attacks against our people and facilities in Benghazi. The United States Government considered a range of options and deployed additional military capabilities, but as our military leaders have said, the military forces needed to carry out the type of operation you describe were not close enough to have made a difference. Please know that my actions would have been the same if the attack had been against my own family. The sad truth is that attacks happened so rapidly that U.S. forces could not arrive in time to prevent the loss of our brave Americans."

Assuming that this quote is accurate, as I do, it is nothing more than a reiteration of the inadequate explanation that we have received before.  The argument that there was not enough time to get help to the Americans fighting for their lives presupposes that the President knew how long that fire fight was going to last.  No one could know that.  If his children were in Benghazi, he would have made the effort and he would not have gone to bed until he knew that they were safe.  He is a good father, but a grossly incompetent president.

If we are ever to get the truth, we will need to hear from the military officers that were in the chain of command from Washington to the field.  We will need to see the orders that were written and date time stamped, particularly the presidential "do everything possible" order.  I particularly want to know why General Ham, the officer responsible for the Benghazi region, was relieved of duty during, repeat during, the attack.  The rumor is that he was told to keep his forces in place and he responded with "screw it."  When he, subsequently started taking the steps necessary to try to save our people, he was relieved of command by a junior officer.  It may not be true, but that rumor sounds very plausible and stinks to high heaven.  I wonder why it has not been clarified by the Administration.  I wonder why General Ham has not been heard from.

I believe that Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, was instructed by the President not to let the situation get out of hand and blow up into a major military event because it might adversely impact his reelection a month or so later.  I also assume that after giving that order, Barack Obama went to bed so that he would be fresh for his electioneering junket to Las Vegas the next morning.  Because he did not speak to Panetta again that night, I presume that the President got a good night's sleep while the Americans that he put into harms way were being attacked and killed.

After Stevens, Woods, Doherty and Smith were murdered, the President publicly characterized their needless sacrifice as "bumps in the road."  This callous attitude on the part of Obama toward the men and women who serve us abroad is again reflected in recent events.  The inexcusable denial of death benefits to the families of the recently fallen in Afghanistan is absolutely infuriating.  I applaud the veterans who pulled the barricades from the War Memorial and placed them at the White House.  That symbolic gesture by Americans who have put their lives on the line to protect those of us at home expresses much more than irritation over the government shutdown.


Anonymous said...

I did not realize that General Ham was removed during the attack without explanation. Makes one wonder what the powers that be are holding over his head that he remains silent... other than rank and retirement.

Cristalen said...

The American military has a very strong reluctance to speak on political matters. Civilian control and all of that. I suspect that he has also been specifically told to keep quiet. I see nothing in his record that indicates that he is anything other than an honorable, competent respected and experienced commander. Given the vindictive nature of this Administration, it is not impossible that his retirement has been threatened, but that is idle speculation. Whatever the reason he has not spoken, I wish that we could hear his side of the story.