I've been telling people this for months. I was in C-1-10 - that is my old outfit; Africa is our turf, we were always on standby to swoop in - and we did, all the time . . . S.L.
US FORCE COULD HAVE INTERVENED IN BENGHAZI, 'SPECIAL OPERATOR' TELLS FOX NEWS
American special operator with intimate knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, says that U.S. forces could have intervened in the hours-long attack, but didn’t.
This is What I Know:
Since the takedown of the US Embassy compound in Tehran in November 4, 1979, the security of US missions abroad has been a top priority of US security policy. Over the course of two decades in Special Forces, I was directly involved in this mission; there are specific protocols that during an incident such as Benghazi will drive decision-making and actionable orders.
From the moment the first reports went out from Tripoli on the situation Benghazi, a specific sequence of events takes place:
A FLASH message is generated from within the State Department to the Whitehouse Situation Room; the National Command Authority (i.e. the President, the Secretary of Defense and/or the Vice President and the Deputy Secretary of Defense) are notified.
Acknowledgement of this message by Whitehouse communications personnel immediately generates message traffic to the Department of Defense and to the appropriate theater Combatant Command - in this case AFRICOM Headquarters at Kelley Barracks, Germany.
AFRICOM immediately notifies the Commanders In-Extremis Force (CIF) – a US Army Special Forces unit task-organized for Direct Action missions.
The CIF would immediately begin an emergency planning process which continues to take place during movement toward an assembly area within vicinity of the target.
Now this is key: in order for any of the above NOT to happen (i.e. for the CIF or any assets in theater to stand down) the National Command Authority MUST issue a deliberate order.
In other words, the President of the United States and/or his surrogates, specifically directed US forces within striking distance of the situation in Benghazi, to stand down.
A bad decision was made. For whatever reason, the President and his team decided not to send available forces into Benghazi while the US Consulate and the Annex were under attack. Perhaps they feared an ambush at the Benghazi airport; it could have been anything. Hindsight is 20-20 and I am not going to Monday-morning quarterback why that decision was made. It is not illegal to make a bad decision; if it was, nobody would make any decisions at all.
There were any number of options, and no shortage of real-time, actionable intelligence available. Fast movers out of Sigonella or from one of our carriers could have flown fifty feet over the compound and sonic boomed the attackers. The Spectre AC-130 gunship would have been on station two hours into the attack, and those things are deadly accurate; they can land a 105mm shell into a dumpster. The CIF could have landed at the airport and made their way to the target, guns a-blazing if necessary.
This is Where it Gets Weird:
Upon notification the attack in Benghazi was taking place, AFRICOM Commander General Ham immediately notified the CIF unit and communicated to the Pentagon that his forces were ready to deploy.
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His alleged response was screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
On October 18 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced:
”President Barack Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Lt. Gen. John Paxton to succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.”
So far there is nothing solid to backstop this story, although it is very intriguing that Ham is immediately reassigned less than eighteen months into a three year tour. Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply gave his chain-of-command a piece of his mind about hanging Americans to dry. At the very least the CIF and whatever other forces were available could have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene.
• We know that over 6 hours elapsed form the beginning of the attack to when the CIA operators were killed by mortar fire - from a heavy mortar emplacement they had laser target designators on, and had requested air support hours earlier in neutralizing. They had also given higher HQ 8-digit coordinates on the mortars, as close as it gets in combat targeting.
From CIA: "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
Comments by Robert Scheuer, former CIA chief of Bin Laden unit HERE
A good overall Benghazi timeline HERE
Summary of all facts to date HERE