I just emailed with a career (now retired) F15 fighter pilot and retired Colonel, USAF, who has operated in the region. Here’s his report:
“The last step in a close-in PGM drop/release is for someone on the ground to laser the target. That was done. Then — no drop. Someone said ‘No’ at the last second.”
WHO SAID “NO”???
(PGMs are smart bombs – Precision Guided Munitions.)
Re-read that: “…the LAST STEP.”
General Ham (AFRICOM) owned ALL AC130 and armed drones in-theater. Ham was relieved that night – by some reports, within 30 sec of his talking with Obama. Admiral Gaouette owned all FA18 in the Med – he was relieved the next day. (And contemporaneous news reports were that the 6th Fleet was offshore Libya at the time – within minutes of flight time to Benghazi.)
WHY were they relieved? WERE attack assets overhead and – LITERALLY AT THE LAST SECOND – were those attack assets denied engagement by whoever replaced an instantly-relieved General Ham?
If those attack assets were not overhead, HOW can the lasing of the target be explained? One of the SEALs, alone, under attack and outgunned, left his machinegun to lase a target under an empty sky? NO ONE in the entire military would believe that.
If attack assets were not overhead, HOW can the sacking of two flag officers be explained?
I have NEVER been as embarrassed by our entire government as I am today. They are spending ALL DAY on side issues that all can devolve – and have devolved – into he-said-he-said. WHERE ARE ADMIRAL GAOUETTE AND GENERAL HAM?
We WILL NOT KNOW what happened without their testimony.
Does ISSA not get this? How can he not? What is he hiding and why?
But – Ham and Gaouette are CITIZEN SOLDIERS. Their FIRST DUTY is as AMERICAN CITIZENS.
WHERE ARE THEY? WHY have they not spoken-up? WHY has Issa not put them on the stand?
ANYONE relying on a currently-serving general officer or SecDef – BOTH of whom ARE POLITICAL APPOINTEES, or even a recently-retired C-JCS – the MOST POLITICAL OFFICER IN THE ENTIRE COMMAND STRUCTURE – is either abysmally ignorant of the military, does NOT want to know the truth, or is hiding something.
I understand that these two retired officers speaking up could cost them all retirement benefits (though Congress can override that) and that their peer-group as retirees is fellow flag officers, from whom they may ostracize themselves. BUT THEY HAVE A DUTY TO AMERICA that OVERRIDES THEIR PERSONAL COMFORT.
Hell – they USED to be fighting men.
Not to put too fine a point on it: Congress is failing in their oversight role. General Ham and Admiral Gaouette have epically failed in their responsibility to Americans as CITIZEN soldiers.
And of course the Obama administration has been lying about Benghazi since it occurred. But, frankly, most Americans already understand that Obama lies whenever and about whatever he wants, even when it’s not necessary. And Hillary has been called a liar for years – even by Barbara Walters in her 1996 interview, and by CBS News over the ‘we-landed-under-sniper-fire’ fiasco. So no one really expected honesty from the Administration.
Today when I picked up my son from high school he asked what was going on – and not going on – with today’s Issa hearings into Benghazi. I told him and he said, – ‘it doesn’t really matter who’s in power, Democrat or Republican, whoever is just becomes part of the overall government that doesn’t want anyone to know what’s going on. Congress just joins whoever is holding the presidency as part of the big power structure.’
He is an engaged citizen. He WATCHES the news. We DISCUSS the day’s events. He UNDERSTANDS responsibility
Do you know what it’s like not being able to defend YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT to YOUR OWN SON? A government in which you always have believed, a government that is SUPPOSED to be representative OF, BY and FOR We the People? A government you once served as a Cadet in the Air Force Academy, planning to have a career in military service?
To have a son who can reach by logical thought and current experience the only possible conclusion – that NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE LAW? That NO ONE CARES about Americans who got killed? That America’s government cares ONLY about ITSELF?
That EVERYONE on BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE is in it ONLY for political gain?
It is disgusting and embarrassing.
More than that, it is enormously disappointing, both to me and my son. How is he supposed to live a life respecting his government when THIS crap occurs?
NOTHING is more important to me than my family and my country. NOTHING.
And my country has embarrassed me today – enormously.