Mission That Won't Go Away
May 12, 2014
This article was co-authored by Vista Boyland.
Senator Barrack Hussein Obama was elected to the presidency on the promise he would fundamentally change America, which he has most certainly done. But did American voters understand what he planned to change America into? I think not. After five and a half years of observing his scandal ridden administration, I still can't decide if he is our most devious president, or if he is simply our most unqualified and naïve.
Take the supercilious nature of his first foreign policy speech in Egypt, which became the catalyst for the so-called Arab Spring. Did newly elected President Obama really believe that admitting and apologizing for America's wrongs would win the hearts and minds of the Arab world? Did he really think cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) would sway them from their main objective -- establishing a new caliphate?
Whatever President Obama's objective, the Arab Spring degenerated into the Arab Winter, which leads one to speculate whether the inexperienced president and his "experienced" secretary of state, naïvely believed the MB would overthrow Middle Eastern dictators and bring peace to the region; or whether their actions were part of a bigger picture -- a Saul Alinskyesque scheme designed not only to fundamentally change America's foreign policy in such a way as to reduce her status as a world power, but also to bring her financial ruin.
Iran's Ayatollah plays Obama and his secretaries of state like a fiddle, as does Russia's Putin. North Korea, the joker in the deck of foreign nation cards, is ruled by an apparent madman, whose scientists are working with Iran's to develop and test nuclear devices that can be weaponized.
Why, one wonders, is the administration doing nothing to protect American interests? Perhaps the answer may be found in a 2010 statement Obama made when responding to a question about the downside to America's superpower status. "It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce conflicts because whether we like it or not we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them, and that ends up costing us significantly in terms of blood and treasure." In light of his nonintervention policy and across the board reductions he has made our military capabilities, it would appear that Obama's true foreign policy is downsizing our superpower status.
Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense makes a mighty effort in his book, Duty, to put a good face on President Obama and his administration but failed. In it he writes of experiencing broken White House promises, and having to deal with unqualified, young, idealistic, naïve men and women -- political animals placed on the National Security Commission and the National Security Staff -- who based their decisions solely on a political calculus. Worse still were politically driven military decisions resulting in bad consequences, and a vice president who never missed an opportunity to undermine the military commanders.
Which brings me to 2012, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and how America's bungled foreign policy contributed to the death of four Americans in Benghazi. During the 2008 Democrat primary Senator Clinton asked, "Who would you want to receive the 3 a.m. phone call?" implying she was more experienced than Senator Obama. Events indicate that neither senator could deal with a real 3 p.m. call.
A quick review of the Benghazi timeline events, as they occurred in Washington, DC (Eastern Time Zone) on September 11, 2011, helps put the resulting debacle in perspective. Equivalent time Benghazi is provided followed by BT to indicate Benghazi time.
2:30 pm: Ambassador Stevens ended his meeting with the Turkish consul general. (8:30 pm BT).
3:30 pm: Diplomatic mission compound attacked. (9:30 pm BT).
3:42 pm: Imminent Danger Notification System alarm activated (9:42 pm BT) and received by the Tripoli embassy, Pentagon, State Department, White House situation room, CIA, AFRICOM, and many other locations.
3:50 pm: Ambassador Stevens calls Gregory Hick, Chief of Mission at the Tripoli Embassy for help, "Mission under attack." (9:50 pm BT). Hicks, and Eric Nordstrom, senior Diplomatic Security Officer, remain in telephone contact with the Benghazi mission and CIA annex.
Hicks informs Mark Thompson, deputy assistant secretary of state for operations and counter terrorism located in the Department of State building in Washington, DC of the attack; and states it was a well organized attack by trained jihadis. Apparently Thompson spoke with Secretary Clinton and relayed the message.
Shortly after the attack began, a drone arrived and began broadcasting live video that was viewed in real time in: AFRICOM Headquarters in Germany, the Pentagon (including the Joint Chiefs and General Ham, Commander of AFRICOM); both the State Department situation room (Mark Thompson and staff) and the White House situation room; the CIA; and later in the Oval Office.
8 pm: Secretary Clinton called Hicks in Tripoli (2 am BT), who told her Ambassador Stevens was dead and Libya's government had confirmed the attackers were Ansar al-Sharia. This was Clinton's only conversation with Hicks, who subsequent to Steven's death was the senior US diplomat in Libya.
10 pm: Clinton released a statement saying the attack was caused by the video.
Did the military agree with Gregory Hick and Mark Thompson that the attackers were Islamic terrorists? Retired Brigadier Gen. Robert Lovell, who at the time of the attacks was the intelligence director at AFRICOM, said on FOX News, "The facts led to the conclusion of a terrorist attack." Under questioning, he also said the Internet video was "briefly discussed" on the ground but "dismissed" as a motive shortly afterward. Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell testified that CIA analysis gave low probability to the theory that the video sparked the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic compound.
Where was President Obama and what was he doing? Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor < http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report-bret-baier/blog/2014/05/01/tommy-vietor-tells-bret-dude-it-benghazi-was-two-years-ago> admitted to Fox News' Bret Baer that President Barack Obama was not in the White House situation room on the night of September 11, 2012. The Commander-in-Chief never went to the situation room to do his job while Islamic terrorists were overrunning two American facilities. Dan Pfeiffer, director of White House Communications on FOX News Sunday said, "I don't remember what room the president was in on that night. And that's a largely irrelevant fact." Can this be considered dereliction of duty? The following timeline of his schedule has been reported.
8:46 am: Observes a moment of silence to mark 11th anniversary of 9/11 attacks on the South Lawn.
9:42 am: Laid a September 11th memorial wreath at Pentagon.
2:00 pm: Arrives at Walter Reed Hospital with First Lady to visit troops.
4:05 pm: Still at Walter Reed visiting troops when informed of Benghazi attack.
4:40 pm: Departs for White House for a 5:00 p.m. to attend a prescheduled meeting in the Oval Office.
5:00 pm: Meets with Vice President Biden, Secretary of Defense Panetta, General Dempsey (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs), and the National Security Team. After watching live video of the attack, tells Panetta, "Do whatever you need to do." This was the only instruction provided by the president, who departed leaving the details to Panetta and Dempsey.
7 pm: Obama called Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss a perceived snub of the Israel prime minister.
7-10 pm: Location Unknown
10:00 pm: President Obama called Secretary Clinton's for update and then goes to bed.
So, why, given live action reports received from Libya, did the state department and White House place the blame on the Internet video, refusing to even mention the attack could have been made by Islamic terrorists? And why, nearly two years hence, has no one been apprehended for the attack. Even more troubling, why has Obama's administration been so uncooperative in getting to the truth about the real reason behind the attack.
One possible answer to these questions and more could lay in a conspiracy theory that is plausible enough warrant further investigation. Simply put, the theory proposes that the Ansar al-Sharia attack was designed to capture Ambassador Stevens and then exchange him for blind sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, the architect of and spiritual adviser to the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Perhaps the new Congressional Select Committee will find time to evaluate the theory.
While the questions and answers above are speculative, a more pressing fact remains. When Americans are under attack, no matter at home or abroad, the president's primary responsibility is to see to their safety and well-being, he must remain vigilant and at the ready to provide any and all assistance necessary to go to their defense. Since history tells us Lincoln literally lived in the situation room, eating and sleeping there, and thereby establishing a precedent for future presidents, it's reasonable to assume Obama should have done the same. Yet in spite of repeated queries as to his whereabouts following the five o'clock meeting in the Oval Office, the White House has avoided any information regarding his activities or location. That was until last week when we finally learned the president had a higher priority than rescuing Americans under fire from a hostile force in Benghazi, Libya. According to a White House visitor logs, while Americans were being slaughtered in Benghazi, the president was meeting with debate coaches in preparation for his upcoming debate with Governor Romney. A revelation that leaves no doubt that President Obama's politics and reelection took preference over the lives of his people.
There is simply no other way to look at it, because the next morning, Obama with Secretary of State Clinton at his side, said among other things deploring the violent attack, the following cleverly worded allusion to Susan Rice's forth-coming talking points, "Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the beliefs of others." Why even mention denigrating religion unless he wanted to deflect attention from the fact America had suffered another coordinated Islamic terrorist 9/11 attack?
After all hadn't he told the American public the war on terrorism was over. With the talking points seed planted, he could go to Las Vegas for a fund raising event secure in the fact that the lying talking points his staff had prepared for Susan Rice would get keep him in good standing with voters.
In closing we come to what might be the most puzzling question of all. What was the military doing during the seven hours the attack raged on, and why didn't they take action? As soon as Panetta and Dempsey returned to the Pentagon, Panetta ordered EURCOM's commander to transfer his Commanders in-Extremis Force (C-110) to General Ham. C-110 is a forty man Special Forces unit that was in Croatia. Lieutenant Colonel Gibson and his four Special Forces men at the Tripoli embassy, along with available Diplomatic Security officers, started for the airport to board an aircraft charted by the embassy to take them to Benghazi. Gibson was ordered to return to the embassy to provide security -- the first so called "stand down" order. The CIA's annex station chief ordered contract employees Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, two former SEALS, to stand down and not lead a rescue party to the diplomatic compound. An order they ignored, saving several lives. This was the second "stand down order."
Upon receipt of the Imminent Danger Notification System alarm, Military commanders placed their units on alert and waited for orders from the president to relieve the diplomatic mission and CIA annex in Benghazi. They could do no more until the president's orders were received.
Why? In reality, the answer is that only the president can authorize US military units to cross the border of a nation without the prior permission of the foreign country's government. No military aircraft not already in Libya could enter Libya's airspace without presidential cross border authority. As far as we know, no such authority was ever given by the president, and this was the real "stand down" order.
Benghazi burned and four Americans died while the secretary of state was in absentia, and America's self-absorbed president practiced debating. As to who should be held accountable for fabricating the lie blaming the attack on a "hateful video," time will tell. Until then, I now know who I don't want to get the 3 a.m. call.
But, Dude, after all this time, what difference does it make?
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