Streetwise Professor

October 30, 2012

An Anonymous Denial on Benghazi That Fails the Smell Test, But Passes the BS Test With Flying Colors

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 8:37 pm

An anonymous senior defense official in the Pentagon has denied that DoD rejected requests for military assistance from those under attack in Benghazi:

“The Pentagon took action by moving personnel and assets in the region shortly after it learned of the attack on the Benghazi consulate,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There was no request made for military intervention in Benghazi. To be successful, such an operation, if requested, would have required solid information about what was happening on the ground. Such clarity just wasn’t available as the attack was unfolding.”

Three comments/questions.

First, why is this coming from an anonymous source?  Why don’t Panetta or Dempsey-or Obama-make this statement in public?  If they can back that up, why don’t they say it publicly?

Second, this stretches credulity to a breaking point.  “There was no request.”  Does this anonymous individual expect us to believe that two CIA agents who were also ex-SEALs, while defending a US government facility and numerous civilian employees against an attack by a much larger force equipped with heavy weapons would not make a request?  They just figured: “Well, we’re on our own.  Might as well not even bother asking for help.”

Spare me.  They would have been requesting help loud and clear and often.

I just find it completely incredible that they didn’t ask for help.  Assuming that they did, for the Pentagon not to receive the request, someone in the communications chain between those in Benghazi and the Pentagon would have had to have decided not to pass on the request, or there would have had to have been a communications breakdown.  I also consider these alternatives highly unlikely.

Thus, I consider it virtually impossible that there was no request.

Third, note the repetition of the “we needed more information, more clarity” theme that Panetta advanced as a military principle last week.  It’s no more plausible now that it was then.  It’s also a weasel formulation: we didn’t get a request, but if we did, we wouldn’t have responded anyways.

I called BS on this “principle” last week, and I’m not alone.  From Blackfive:

Got an email from the retired former Delta operator in the Benghazi post.  And yes, he mis-spells the SecDef’s name on purpose.

This is about doctrine, specifically the Obama Administration’s doctrine, and how it doesn’t work in the real world:

Leon Penetta is Either a Dumbass or a Liar

The Secretaryof Defense, in his most determined way, continues to try to protect the President from the fiasco in Benghazi.  So desperate to shield the President he announced what will be forever remembered as the Penetta Doctrine:

“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

Of course, in the circles that I ran with, it will be forever labeled “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine”.

Exactly. But that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.  And they will for the next 7 days.  At least.

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  1. This whole episode turns my stomach! This Administration’s actions over Benghazi is nothing less than dishonorable, and I’m quite sure that means nothing to Obama and Penetta, but it should to any soldier. I like to think General Ham tried to do the right think based on the article below.

    Nonetheless, it seems President Obama’s “let’s not piss off the wrong people, so stand down” doctrine comes into play often, as the parents of the killed SEAL, among others, in last year’s downed chopper attested on the Hannity show three weeks ago.

    Obama’s rules-of-engagement have enclosed a noose around our warriors’ throats. This same kind of thinking got our tails whipped in Vietnam when we were clearly the superior force in all facets. Let the military do what is supposed to do: protect our country and assets by removing all threats–decisively–and do so with whatever force it takes and all the while without worrying about what other regimes think,period.

    On the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers flight, I was in graduate school. I attended a small airshow at the Stillwater, OK airport. I met a WWII B-17 pilot named Truman Smith, bought his signed memoirs book (“The Wrong Stuff….”) about the 35 missions he flew over France and Germany. The crux of the book was this: As a military force in any skirmish, firefight, battle, war, or whatever, we (the United States military) have to be the “baddest,” “nastiest,” “do-whatever-it-takes,” “bad-guys” to win and accomplish our agenda.

    This doctrine must be followed, or the enemys will converge upon us. Jimmy Carter learned the hard way, if he really ever learned, and President Obama never will learn because he has other agendas and doesn’t care about our nation’s sovereignty. The other side of the spectrum: Presidents Reagan and George W.

    See the stark difference?

    Comment by Freddie — October 31, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  2. Important link to Blackfive. I hadn’t been there in a while.

    Comment by David Hoopes — November 1, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  3. Have you ruled out dumb-ass and liar?

    Comment by Sotos — November 1, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

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