National Command Authority

There were TWO stand down orders issued during the attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

Ready-to-respond special forces on the ground in Tripoli and at American military bases in Southern Europe were prepared to depart to reinforce and evacuate the remaining American citizens in Benghazi.  They were not just delayed – they were told to STAND DOWN.

Quick review of the chain of command here, because that order must come from above.  Not knowing which special forces units were ready in Southern Europe, I will speculate that they were likely DELTA teams, but it is possible that Airborne, Ranger,  or Green Beret teams were the units within range and able to respond for a critical need.

DELTA teams are part of the US Army, but fall under US Army Special Operations Command as do the Airborne, Ranger, and Green Beret units mentioned above. USSOCOM, U.S. Special Operations Command, is the joint forces command of all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps special forces units.

USASOC Command Structure

Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, Commanding General

Brig. Gen. Darsie D. Rogers, Jr., Deputy Commanding General

Major Richard Holcomb, Deputy to the Commanding General

USSOCOM Command Structure

Admiral William H. McRaven, Commanding Officer

A parallel command may be involved as well.  USAFRICOM (U.S. Africa Command) would be the theater command for any actions occurring on the African continent.  General Carter Ham, Commanding General of USAFRICOM, was relieved of his command during the events of September 11, 2012.  The specifics of his relief have to-date been concealed.

Another option was a Department of State FEST (Foreign Emergency Support Team) program.  A FEST team can depart for anywhere in the world in four hours notice per the State Department’s website.

So where am I going with this?

The military, and all response forces that could have been summoned or dispatched answer to a chain of command.  The officers in charge of these units would have relayed requests for permission to deploy forces under their command up the chain of command.

Given the nature of the incident, an ongoing terrorist attack against sovereign US soil (the consulate grounds) and American citizens, and the Ambassador to a foreign nation, whose whereabouts were unknown early on in the timetable of the attack and aftermath.

In this respect, the bureaucracy is a finely tuned machine in that information would rapidly flow up the chain of command while the commanders would relay orders to prepare their units to deploy in support of the Benghazi mission, our people on the ground, and the Ambassador who clearly relayed “We are under attack” to his Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli.  The Secretary of Defense, Vice President and President would be notified of the attack very quickly.

The National Command Authority is the term used to identify the President as Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense as the final arbiters and decision-makers in terms of activating and releasing the military might of the United States.

An attack on the consulate is tantamount to an attack on Tampa Bay, Florida and the President alone is the only person who could authorize responsive forces.  He has said that he authorized all resources to come to the aid of our people in Benghazi on that day, but the truth is inconvenient to this flat out lie.  A stand down order, of which many were issued and testified to yesterday before the House Oversight Committee, could only have been issued by the National Command Authority.  Any other source of such an order would lack the authority since the attack in question was an act of war.

Who issued the stand down orders then, the President or the Secretary of Defense?

 

 

Words and Deeds

Months back, eight months specifically, I wrote about Benghazi.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

 

On September 11th, 2012, the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was laid siege, bombarded with weapons fire, and attacked by a coordinated, deliberate assault force.  The United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed by the assault along with State Department Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

All indications at that time and after the fact indicate that an organized attack had been initiated against the consulate.  What their motivations were, their targets, and how far they

 

would have pressed the attack is unknown because of stonewalling on the part of the Obama Administration.  They intentionally obfuscated the situation by insinuating that a YouTube video was to blame for enraging muslim sensibilities.  Even weeks after the event when nearly every indicator, exchanged correspondence, and every witness was shouting that it was a military-style attack rather than a riot run out-of-control.

Regardless of the facts, the Administration pressed on with their false narrative, not because the truth was too much for the public to handle, but because at that point in time, the Presidential race was in it’s final sixty days.  President Obama’s reelection was at-risk by bad news, especially in the War on Terror, which he claimed was being won because of the death of Osama bin Laden, and the narrative that al Qaeda was badly wounded and on the run.  In early September, national polling results showed Mitt Romney beginning to pull even with President Obama.

I was not in the room so all I can do is speculate at this point.

Were these two men sacrificial lambs on the altar of a national election?

If a military rescue team was dispatched and failed, would President Obama face the same criticism President Carter faced for the failed military rescue of the American citizens and diplomatic officers held hostage in Iran in the late 1970s?

Was something insidious going on out of the consulate in Benghazi that required the response forces to be withheld from intervening?

When requests for permission to dispatch special forces units to enact a counterassault and rescue operation (express missions that SEALs, DELTA, Force Recon, and other special forces units specifically train to execute) why were orders to stand down issued not once, but twice?

Why did security personnel from our embassy in Tripoli, Libya (the same distance from Benghazi as the nearest US military base – Souda Bay Naval Base) have to violate direct orders to not intervene, commandeer an aircraft, and fly to Benghazi in order to reinforce the beleaguered survivors?

Why are the survivors’ identities being withheld from Congress?

This charade has far surpassed a political motivated cloaking of the truth.  This has every scent and indication of a coverup of something monumental.

With all respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?

Then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton

Because motive matters Hillary, not just the motives of the attackers, but the motives of the administration and all of the players involved that have intentionally mislead the public in the aftermath.

Either you have lying to disguise complete incompetence at the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the White House itself, or you have lying to disguise the cold calculus of a politically-motivated decision to allow the death of a US Ambassador, Foreign Service Officer, and the deaths of two men who violated orders, former US Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, in order to protect the President’s reelection chances.

In the aftermath, the Administration essentially ran-out-the-clock on Benghazi prior to the election.

So, Hillary, it matters a great deal.

To steal a quote from V for Vendetta:

If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost a hundred thousand four people… would you really want to know?

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