Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 7 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

So What Were The Assets Available For Benghazi?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

Weekly Standard has been busy covering the Benghazi scandal.  I had earlier remarked that:

The notion that we don’t send our forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on is patently absurd and false.  Simply said, it’s a lie.  We deploy Army Rangers to take control of air fields and landing zones in potentially hostile environments, for which we do not know all of the desired information; we deploy Marine infantry into situations of potentially unknown threats all of the time all over the globe; each and every time a patrol left the outpost at the Korengal in Afghanistan, they were deploying into potentially deadly situations without specific and detailed knowledge of the situation.

A reader at Weekly Standard writes in with the following:

… one can find in Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1: Warfighting the following passage on pages 86 and 87:

“We must have the moral courage to make tough decisions in the face of uncertainty–and to accept full responsibility for those decisions–when the natural inclination would be to postpone the decision pending more complete information.  To delay action in an emergency because of incomplete information shows a lack of moral courage.  We do not want to make rash decisions, but we must not squander opportunities while trying to gain more information.  Finally, since all decisions must be made in the face of uncertainty and since every situation is unique, there is no perfect solution to any battlefield problem.  Therefore, we should not agonize over one.”

Just so, and good find, that one.  But on another front, Bill Kristol covers the various finger pointing within the administration, just as do I.  But then there is this pregnant statement along with the link.

In response perhaps to the questions raised by Petraeus and Panetta, there now appears to be an attempt by some defense officials to suggest there really wasn’t much more that could have been done on September 11, given limitations on the assets and capabilities available.

The link takes you to an article at AEI by Paul Wolfowitz.  Now comes the interesting part.  I need to cite at length.

From what I can determine from talking with someone who has spoken directly with key general officers and others involved in the US response to the Benghazi attacks, it would appear that – contrary to Panetta’s “basic principle” – the US did almost everything possible to protect our people once the attacks had started, though not in advance:

The Consulate was overrun in a matter of minutes, before any help was possible.

A team that appears to have been CIA personnel deployed quickly (and bravely) from the Annex to the Consulate and rescued everyone they found alive there. (It’s not clear whether Ambassador Stevens had already been taken by Libyans to the hospital or whether they simply failed to find him.)

A mainly CIA response force deployed quickly from Tripoli to reinforce the Annex and facilitate its successful evacuation.

Decision makers in Washington appear to have been leaning forward, as they should have been. The military’s most capable rescue force, based on the East Coast, was deployed immediately (something that is very rarely done), but – given the distances involved – arrived at Sigonella only after the crisis was over.

Also, the  European command (EUCOM) deployed its number one counter terrorism force, which was training in central Europe, as quickly as possible, but it arrived in Sigonella after the evacuation of the Annex was complete.

Other special forces deployed to Sigonella but arrived on the 12th after it was too late to make a difference in Benghazi.

There was no AC-130 gunship in the region.

The only drone available in Libya was an unarmed surveillance drone which was quickly moved from Darna to Benghazi, but the field of view of these drones is limited and, in any case, this one was not armed.

The only other assets immediately available were F-16 fighter jets based at Aviano, Italy. These aircraft might have reached Benghazi while the fight at the Annex was still going on, but they would have had difficulty pinpointing hostile mortar positions or distinguishing between friendly and hostile militias in the midst of a confused firefight in a densely populated residential area where there would have been a high likelihood of civilian casualties. While two more Americans were tragically killed by a mortar strike on the Annex, it’s not clear that deploying F-16’s would have prevented that. In any case, the decision not to do so was made by the tactical commander, General Ham, as it should have been.

Let’s leave aside my personal feelings towards Wolfowitz (he helped to begin Operation Iraqi Freedom with too few men to tamp down the inevitable insurgency, thus leading to Phase II and III of OIF).  I don’t have much fondness for him.

But back to what he said, this is a remarkable claim.  According to this claim, the Africa command (based in Europe) had no assets to which it could turn.  None.  Contrary to reports (that I have cited), there were no Delta operators at Sigonella.  There was no AC-130, there wasn’t even Marine Force Recon, again, contrary to published reports that I have cited.

They were apparently all in the field, deployed across Africa.  No one was available.  There were no air assets available to assist the poor souls at Benghazi.  Not even an MP or cook could have responded from Sigonella.  The base (the American side of it, anyway) was a ghost town.  The closest asset was … the Eastern coast of the United States.

I don’t believe it.  I’m not saying that I don’t believe Wolfowitz, but I don’t believe his sources.  How the hell does one run Africa command with no assets at your disposal?  Besides, this answer is too easy to produce and then move on after the furor dies down.

This leads me to the final point.  There are so many reports – many of them false by design – that the picture is worse by the day.  What happened at Benghazi happened.  The horrible picture developing before our eyes is one of obfuscation, dishonesty, diversion, lies and excuses.

Here’s a note to the DoD and State Department.  Listen very carefully.  Wolfowitz says “it would appear.”  That’s not even nearly good enough.  We won’t accept appearances, or anonymous sources.  There is a paper trail of deployments, locations, arming orders, force sizes, and so on and so forth.  There is yet another paper trail of orders, requests, directives and other communications that fateful night.

We won’t stop until it is all public and assessed by all of us.  We will get it, eventually.  We will all see it.  We will know who did what, who said what, what assets were where, who lied, who equivocated, and who came clean.  We will name names.

The players who have any integrity left should come clean now and spill everything.  It will go better for everyone in the long run.  But it won’t change the facts.  And the facts will be found out.  That’s our promise.

UPDATE #1: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention.

UPDATE #2: It occurs to me from the comments and from other remarks that I have seen elsewhere that we need to deal with one objection up front, i.e., that there wasn’t time before the fire fight was over to transport assets to Benghazi to assist.  This is an illegitimate objection, since we cannot assume that the decision-makers at that time know what we know now (that is, that the fight would last about a half day).  For all they knew, the fight would have lasted for days on end, with Americans holed up in buildings awaiting relief.  Ex post facto objections like this have no legs.  They constitute excuses, but they don’t explain the decision-making at the time.

Benghazi Inconsistencies

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

President Obama didn’t deny assistance to the poor souls at Benghazi, or so says President Obama.

The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th.

“Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

On the other hand, the CIA didn’t tell anyone not to help the poor souls in Benghazi either.

Breaking news on Benghazi: the CIA spokesman, presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus, has put out this statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.

The Department of Defense also isn’t responsible.

Following a pair of denials by the CIA and the National Security Council to a Fox News story published Friday, the Pentagon has come under scrutiny for its response to the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. However, in a statement to The Atlantic Wire, a senior defense official says the Pentagon never rejected requests for military intervention in Benghazi. Not only that, the official said no such requests were ever made.

“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.”

Oh my.  See the problem?  The response revealed that there is a problem somewhere along the chain of command.  The DoD never received a request for help according to the DoD.  But then the equivocation.  Just to be successful, they say, they would need “solid information,” and that just wasn’t available.  So if they never received any request, why even mention that there wasn’t enough information (according to them) to help the souls in Benghazi?

But then, we also know that the chain of command denied help to the souls at Benghazi.

Citing “sources who were on the ground” in Benghazi, Libya, Fox News is reporting that an urgent request for military help during last month’s terrorist attack on the US consulate there “was denied by the CIA chain of command.”

Among other things reported in some detail, Fox asserts that a Special Operations team had been moved to US military facilities in Sigonella, Italy – approximately two hours away – but were never told to deploy.

“The fighting at the CIA annex [in Benghazi] went on for more than four hours – enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.”

They had access to the most secretive, most well trained, most bad ass operators on the planet.  Delta Force.  And Delta was told to stand down.  It’s breathtaking, really.

So the request for help to the souls at Benghazi was denied multiple times.  Yet the President didn’t do it.  No request for help ever came to the CIA.  The DoD never had any request come in to its offices.  In fact, the fingers of blame are busy ensuring that culpability doesn’t fall on the one pointing.

Kel McClanahan, the executive director of the National Security Counselors and an attorney who specializes in national security law, said he didn’t detect any false or misleading statements in any of the denials but noticed a few things about the words the CIA and the Pentagon used that raise questions. With regard to Jennifer Youngblood’s statement, he said “all she said was that nobody told Woods ‘not to help those in need.’”

“Helping those in need is a very broad term,” said McClanahan. “It ranges from fire-bombing the attackers to providing medical assistance. I have complete confidence that nobody at CIA told their field office not to provide any help to those in need. However, she did not say ‘no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to attack.’” As such, there’s a little bit of wiggle room in how the CIA is defining its terminology. We don’t know exactly what the agency told its operators on the ground. How about the Pentagon?

“DOD, for their part, is probably telling the truth as well, while not telling the whole story,” said McClanahan. He homed in on the Pentagon’s assertion that “There was no request made for military intervention.”

“That doesn’t say to whom or what constitutes a ‘request for military intervention,’” he said. According to the Fox News story, the opportunity to intervene was in the form of a Special Forces team at an air base in Signonella, Italy, which is about two hours from Benghazi. The suggestion in Griffin’s report is that the Special Forces unit could’ve intervened to help Amb. Stevens and the other Americans in a timely manner. (It’s worth noting that U.S. officials told CBS News last week that a fast intervention wasn’t possible because of State Department concerns about violating Libyan sovereignty.)

But we also know that the President’s fingerprints are all over this.  Lies are usually counterproductive, as well as immoral and unethical.  Meanwhile, four souls were left behind.  One cardinal rule for the Marines and Army is that you don’t leave men behind.  Ever.

I read the deployment orders (and accompanying PowerPoint presentation to the Battalion) when my son deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, because (then) Lt. Col. William Mullen showed it to me.  The men were issued “die in place” orders.  It is always better if your family has closure, rather than wondering if you’re alive and tortured or dead.  But one simple truth permeated that part of the presentation.

If missing, the Battalion would move mountains to find their men wherever they were.  This simple commitment, so revealing of character and integrity, went with the men throughout their combat tour in 2007.  The poor souls in Benghazi didn’t have the same commitment from their “brothers.”

Benghazi Attack, Syrian Islamists and Turkey: Is There A Connection?

BY Glen Tschirgi
1 year, 10 months ago

Bob Owens posted a very interesting piece at PJM on October 29th detailing the events of the Benghazi Attacks.   Essentially, Owens speculates that Ambassador Stevens may have been tasked by the Obama Administration with assisting in the transfer of Libyan Army weapons and munitions to the Al-Qaeda-linked, Syrian rebels via Turkey.   In support of the theory, Owens links to reports indicating that a Libyan-flagged ship, Al Entisar, docked at the Turkish port of Iskenderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, just five days prior to a meeting between Ambassador Stevens and the Turkish Consul General, Ali Sait Akin on September 11.

I do not share in this particular theory or find it likely.   It is simply too fantastic to believe that an American president, even one with obvious Islamist sympathies as Obama, would actively coordinate efforts to transfer sophisticated, anti-air weapons to groups linked to or sympathetic with Al Qaeda.  Such a theory is also at odds with the fact that Ambassador Stevens regularly communicated to the Administration that Al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Benghazi were growing in power and influence.   Stevens’ repeated requests for additional security grew out of these concerns.   It makes no sense, therefore, that Stevens would be working with the very groups that attacked the consulate on September 11 and killed him.

There is, however, a far more plausible explanation that builds upon the growing pool of facts.

Bob Owens provides this very interesting bit of information:

Trucks with with the Islamist cell’s logo and with heavy machine guns mounted on them took up blocking positions around the consulate no later than 8:00 p.m., according to Libyan eyewitnesses. These so-called “technicals” did not let anyone in or out for one hour and 40 minutes, until the attack began at 9:40 p.m. local time.

If it is true that the Islamists had effectively cordoned off the area around the consulate by 8:00 p.m., how did the Turkish Consul General Akin escape this cordon?   We know that the meeting between Akin and Ambassador Stevens ended sometime between 9:00 p.m. and 9:35 p.m.  The implication is that Akin was allowed to pass through and out of the Islamists’ cordon.   If so, this has some extremely disturbing implications.

If the Ansar Al-Sharia fighters allowed the Turkish Consul General to pass then there may very well have been at the very least a tacit, working relationship between Turkey and the Islamists.   Given the Islamist sympathies of Turkey’s leadership, it is easy to conceive of an alliance between Turkey and Islamist groups in Benghazi that would facilitate the transfer of sophisticated weapons from old Libyan stockpiles and into the hands of Islamists in Syria fighting to bring down the Assad regime.   Moreover, it could well be that Turkey wishes to have its own cat’s paw in Syria to sway the outcome in Turkey’s favor.   This might involve equipping and transporting Islamists from Libya to Syria.

Putting these pieces together, I posit the following theory as to the Benghazi Attacks:  the Obama Administration tasked Ambassador Stevens with trying to stem the flow of sophisticated weaponry from Libya to Syria.   Stevens received the intelligence on the docking of Al Entisar at Iskenderun and the likelihood that the ship carried arms for Islamists in Syria.  He arranged for a meeting with the Turkish Consul General Akin on September 11th for the purpose of laying down a red line with Turkey.  Consul General Akin likely knew that the Islamist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, planned to attack the consulate on September 11th and received assurances that he would be protected.   It may be possible that Akin used this information in his meeting with Ambassador Stevens as a latent threat for the U.S. to allow the arms transfers to continue or face the consequences.  It is easy to believe that Akin failed to convince Stevens and, after parting company, informed the Ansar Al-Sharia fighters that the attack could proceed.

It is not difficult to believe that Turkey is willing to play hard ball in this manner.   Syria shares a long border with Turkey and is of vital national interest.  The Saudis and Qataris are currently supporting Islamist elements in the Syrian rebel movement.   Turkey’s interests in Syria do not necessarily align with either nation.  It is entirely plausible that Turkey could want its own armed faction as leverage in Syria.   Libya provides the Turks with an abundant supply of fighters and weaponry that cannot be readily traced to Turkey.  If Turkey felt that the U.S. might impede this strategy, it might very well allow Ansar Al-Sharia to do the dirty work in Benghazi.   This is an explosive issue for the Obama Administration which has cozied up to Turkey throughout the past four years.   Hence the stonewalling and obfuscation.

In some respects, this larger geopolitical picture is far more important than the attacks in Benghazi.  For one, it shows that all the talk of partnership between the U.S. and Turkey belies a new and disturbing antagonism.   If Turkey is willing to back Islamists in Syria for its own ends and in conflict with U.S. interests, we have a very different and far more dangerous picture in the Middle East.  Secondly, a Turkey that is turning against the U.S. makes it imperative to find and develop effective counterweights in the Middle East.   Syria, Iraq, Jordan and, of course, Israel all come to mind.    Third, such a turn of events calls into question the NATO alliance, or at least Turkey’s membership and its access to cutting edge U.S. technology.

In a way, the death of Ambassador Stevens may prove to be yet another “shot heard ’round the world,”  with Stevens in the role of the Archduke Ferdinand.

The Forces Available: What Did President Ben Ghazi Know?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

The notion has been floated that the Benghazi response is thus far simply a muddled message.  There was actually nothing more that could have been done, but the administration just hasn’t explained that very well to the American people yet.

Wrong …  wrong on all kinds of fronts.  Bing West gives us a little brief on the forces available to the President.  These forces were available in Sigonella, Italy.

The Obama national-security team had several hours in which to move forces from Sigonella to Benghazi.  Fighter jets could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours. If the attackers were a mob, as intelligence reported, then an F18 in afterburner, roaring like a lion, would unnerve them. This procedure was applied often in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Conversely, if the attackers were terrorists, then the U.S. commandos would eliminate them. But no forces were dispatched from Sigonella.

Among the forces available to commanders was Delta operators then on station in Sigonella.  Finally, if all else had failed, there were also Marine Force Recon personnel in Sigonella, Italy.  Did the President know what was happening in Benghazi?

Of course he did.  He was watching it all transpire.

I take issue with the notion that only the President could have ordered a response.  Someone else could, and apparently General Ham did because he is a man of integrity.  He was relieved of command shortly thereafter, and thus not only did President Ben Ghazi know what was happening and refuse to order a response, he apparently punished the man who did order a response.

Thus has America lost its heart to remain America.

False Military Doctrine And The Benghazi Assault

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

This Washington Times blog post adds yet another wrinkle to the assault by enemy military forces on our consulate in Benghazi.  Take careful note of what is apparently official, and also what is not.

Is an American General losing his job for trying to save the Americans besieged in Benghazi? This is the latest potential wrinkle in the growing scandal surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that left four men dead and President Obama scrambling for a coherent explanation.

On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, ”the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.

However on October 26, “Ambassador” posted the following RUMINT on TigerDroppings (h/t Jim Hoft):

I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.

quote:


“(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.”


The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to 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.

The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham’s place as the head of Africom.

This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. But so far there is nothing solid to back it up. Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army’s ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.

First of all, recall that General Rodriguez is the one whom I called out almost five years ago for spewing the silly propaganda that the Taliban were too weakened to launch a spring offensive, and also the one who wanted to micromanage a Marine Air Ground Task Force in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.  Less than six hours before Marines commenced a major helicopter-borne assault in the town of Marjah, Rodriguez’s headquarters issued an order requiring that his operations center clear any airstrike that was on a housing compound in the area but not sought in self-defense.  This is rules of engagement of the flavor Rodriguez.

If General Rodriguez is in fact taking over the Africa command, I’m not impressed with Panetta’s decision.  Then again, I think Panetta is a weasel and his excuse-making cowardly, so I’m not surprised by the decision.

The notion that we don’t send our forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on is patently absurd and false.  Simply said, it’s a lie.  We deploy Army Rangers to take control of air fields and landing zones in potentially hostile environments, for which we do not know all of the desired information; we deploy Marine infantry into situations of potentially unknown threats all of the time all over the globe; each and every time a patrol left the outpost at the Korengal in Afghanistan, they were deploying into potentially deadly situations without specific and detailed knowledge of the situation.

The counterinsurgency and state-building doctrine that has taken possession of the very souls of our military elite states unequivocally that our forces should be willing to sustain risk – of a potentially unknown quantity and quality – in order to protect the population.  But when it comes to protecting our own forces such as those deployed in Benghazi, the excuse is made that we didn’t have enough intelligence.

Finally, as the final nail in the coffin of this ridiculous prevarication, we deploy Marine Scout Snipers and Force Recon all of the time into situations of completely unknown risk, danger and hazard in order to gather intelligence and lay the groundwork for the Marine infantry.  If we really needed more information on Benghazi, we could have deployed reconnaissance forces.

Thus has one general been given his walking papers, a system apparatchik been promoted, and yet another lie been woven into the horrible web of lies concerning Benghazi.  This is false doctrine being willingly preached by the Secretary of Defense as an attempt to cover the administration.  Make no mistake about it.  Is there any level to which they will not stoop?

UPDATE #1: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention!

UPDATE #2: At NRO’s Corner, David French observes:

His “basic principle” is simply false. We deploy forces all the time in our theaters of war without good real-time information. All. The. Time. If we didn’t, far more men would die. The fog of war never fully clears, and our solution has been to typically go in with sufficient force to deal with virtually any reasonable contingency. But the truly revealing part of the response is here: “General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” To military ears those are not the words of a man who made a decision; those are the words of a man who made a recommendation. A decision-maker follows his strong feeling with an order: to stand down or decline the request for help. A recommender passes his feeling up the chain of command — in this case, to the president of the United States.

The State Department answered the call with what force it had. The military did not. Either we did not have assets to answer (and that would be a different kind of scandal) or someone made the decision to — in effect — hang up on the 3:00 a.m. caller. Who made that call and why? The military already knows.  So should the American people.

UPDATE #3: CJCS denies:

The top U.S. military officer is denying reports that Army Gen. Carter Ham’s planned departure as head of U.S. Africa Command is linked to the Sept. 11 attack in Libya.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey issued a written statement Monday calling speculation about the reasons for Ham’s move “absolutely false.”

Well, Mr. Dempsey, I don’t believe you.  It’s sad that it has come to that, no?  As for something being absolutely false, Panetta’s claim (see above) remains so.

Prior:

White House Informed Of Militant Claim Two Hours After Benghazi Attack

What’s The Problem With Obama’s Response To Benghazi?

Marine Double Amputee Taunted In Charlotte Grill

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

From The Charlotte Observer (via WCNC):

The owner of a south Charlotte restaurant says he is “heartbroken” over an incident Sunday in which bantering between football fans got out of control, resulting in a U.S. Marine who lost both legs in Afghanistan being forced to leave the eatery with his wife, parents and friends.

Chris Neilsen, owner of the Moosehead Grill on Montford Drive, has been in contact with family members of Marine Garrett Carnes, of Mooresville, following the incident that Neilsen says “was awful.”

“I want to somehow make it right by them,” Neilsen says.

During a verbal altercation that some witnesses said almost came to blows, one patron allegedly told Carnes he was using his wheelchair “as an excuse.”

In an interview with The Observer, however, the fan said Carnes and members of his party were equally abusive. And he denied making a remark about the Marine’s wheelchair.

The incident happened after Carnes, his wife Courtney, their parents, and friends Brett and Nicole Coburn stopped at the restaurant for dinner after attending the Carolina Panthers’ game against Dallas. Several members of the party, including Garrett Carnes, were wearing Dallas Cowboys jerseys.

“Courtney was the first one out of the vehicle, and while she was getting Garrett’s wheelchair, one guy immediately started yelling at her,” said Brett Coburn, who described the man’s comments as “taunts.”

Coburn said that when the group reached the front door, the fan was waiting for them.

“He was standing at the door, and he started harassing us because of the Cowboys jerseys,” Coburn said.

He said the fan told Garrett Carnes, “Don’t use your wheelchair as a crutch.”

The fan, who did not want to give his name, gave a different account.

“Moosehead is a Panthers’ bar,” he said. “When they came, wearing the Cowboys’ jerseys, I started up on them. I asked them if they were Cowboys fans who lived in North Carolina.”

“I’m not going to fight someone in a wheelchair,” the fan said. “I said to him, ‘I’m not fighting you. Get four of your boys, and I’ll fight them.’ “

According to multiple accounts of the incident, Carnes told the patron – and others who were ridiculing the group for being Cowboys’ fans – that he was a veteran and had lost his legs in Afghanistan.

Members of the Carnes-Coburn party tried to “defend ourselves verbally,” Brett Coburn said.

“We were going back and forth,” the fan said. “Yes, it got out of control.”

The fan said one woman in the Carnes-Coburn party swore at him.

He said the fan walked toward Carnes in a threatening way, and some other patrons stepped in to break it up.

Neilsen said his employees are trained to separate possible combatants, in an effort to defuse such situations. On Sunday, staff members asked Garrett Carnes and his party to leave, while they took the fan to another area of the restaurant.

“It spiraled out of control,” Coburn says.

Courtney Carnes called police, but no charges were filed.

Neilsen said he arrived at the restaurant after the group had left and was in the parking lot, talking to police.

“I didn’t want them to leave,” he said of the Carnes-Coburn party, “but I understand why they left. I’m miserable. My heart hurts for them.”

He said the trouble was caused by people who “are not regulars” at the restaurant and added that the fan was not welcome to return.

Carnes, who is still undergoing treatment for his wounds at a Washington-area hospital, is trying to stay out of the dispute, Coburn said. Carnes’ mother, Rhonda, addressed a note to restaurant patrons on Facebook, saying, “Why didn’t any of you stand up for my son and daughter? And to think my son almost died for every single person in that bar, by defending all your freedom.”

The fan told the Observer, “He (Carnes) is a veteran, and I appreciate what he did for this country. But I don’t appreciate how abusive they were.”

Cedar Posts Blog has identified the culprit by name.  I won’t follow suit, but I will note that the original issue of the Charlotte Observer story identified the individual responsible as “Tank.”  They have since removed this from the report.

To learn more about Marine Corporal Garrett Carnes, read this earlier Charlotte Observer report.  My initial inclination was to inform “Tank” that I would like to meet him at a place and time of his choosing, and I would be happy to wear a Dallas Cowboys shirt (not that I am particularly a fan of the Cowboys) to see just what he thinks about it. You see, Tank doesn’t intimidate me.

But it appears from Facebook posts that there are enough people who want to meet Tank, so I thought I would focus on more important things.  Take careful note, Tank, of your reaction when you saw a double-amputee, and heard that he was a Marine.  You waxed idiotic concerning a shirt he was wearing.  You poked your belly out to defend a sports team that, frankly, doesn’t know you and doesn’t care anything about you.

Let’s be more specific.  I cannot stand quarterback Cam Newton.  I think that ridiculous head scarf he wears on the sidelines looks childish.  It sets him apart rather than marks him as a leader.  He will never be in the same class as say, Joe Montana, not if he lives 200 years.  And his silly superman act in the endzone makes him out to be a superstar wannabe.  I hate superstars, and I love team players.  The Marines are team players.  The Panthers are horrible in just about every other way, at least right now.

So, you spent your moral capital defending guys who do poorly at what they do, don’t know you, wouldn’t care anything about you if they did, and wouldn’t give you the time of day if they passed you on the street.  Losers, you and the Panthers.

Contrast that with the fellow you verbally abused.  He deployed to one of the worst places on earth to take down al Qaeda, al Qaeda sympathizers and their enablers.  He trained in deadly conditions (e.g., squad rushes with live fire) in order to do this, and will forever live with the consequences of his sacrifice for you.

If I had met him, I would have asked him permission to discuss his experiences in warfare.  You see, I owe him that respect, and some men don’t like to talk about it.  If he agreed, I have a whole host of questions for him.  What happened?  How did it happen?  When did it happen?  Where were you – Now Zad, Garmsir, Sangin?  What is your unit?  What about IEDs and have dogs been beneficial to you?  Are you set for at least a while, and is there anything I can do for you?

You see, Tank, some of us have respect for our warriors.  We worry over things like Hezbollah crossing the Southern border, how quickly al Qaeda will re-group when we leave N2K, what the Pech River Valley and the Hindu Kush will look like with the ANA and ANP in charge, how quickly the Taliban will move from Helmand to Kandahar and then on to Kabul, why we didn’t send forces to repel the Islamist attack at Benghazi, Libya, and so on and so forth.

I understand that you apparently can’t handle that sort of stuff.  So you just wear your shirt, cheer for your sports teams, and look stupid in those photographs.  You laugh, and laugh, and bow your belly out as if you’re really something.  But measure the cost.  Somewhere there is a terrorist planning to take down our electrical grid.  When that happens, your sports team will be the last thing on your mind, and you might just remember that Marine you abused.

A Middle East Foreign Policy for the 21st Century

BY Glen Tschirgi
1 year, 10 months ago

After watching the third and final presidential debate on Monday night, I was disturbed to hear the two candidates talk about foreign policy with such lack of focus or context.   Admittedly, Obama was intent on baiting Romney into a game-changing gaffe and Romney was intent on not committing any, such error.   Presidential debates, ironically enough, are the last place to hear what a candidate actually thinks about any particular subject.

Both candidates, for example, endorsed the comic notion that the Afghan Army will be able to take over the fight against the Taliban by 2014 as the precursor to an American retreat.  Both candidates vowed that Iran will not be allowed to field a nuclear weapon (Romney actually drew the line at “nuclear capability” which is better), but neither one mentioned that the deeper problem with Iran is its current, Islamist government and not their pursuit of nuclear weapons per se.    So, for instance, Romney seemed to accept the continuation of the Iranian Regime so long as it did not have nukes.

Reflecting on this event further I am reminded of  a post by Walter Russel Mead which is an excellent springboard, summarizing all that is wrong with the current American approach to the Middle East:

The anti-American riots that have been rocking the Muslim world since 9/11 have shaken the establishment out of its complacency. Increasingly, even those who sympathize with the basic elements of the administration’s Middle East policy are connecting the dots. What they are seeing isn’t pretty. It’s not just that the US remains widely disliked and distrusted in the region. It’s not just that the radicals and the jihadis have demonstrated more political sophistication and a greater ability to organize and strike than expected and that the struggle against radical terror looks longer lasting and more dangerous than thought; it’s that the strategic underpinnings of the administration’s Middle East policy seem to be falling apart. A series of crises is sweeping through the region, and the US does not—at least not yet—seem to have a clue what to do.

***

The Israeli-Palestinian problem, for example, cannot be settled quickly; the consequence of the region’s lack of democratic traditions and liberal institutions cannot be overcome in four or eight years; the underdevelopment and mass unemployment afflicting so many countries has no known cure; the ethnic and sectarian hatreds that poison the region will not soon be tamed; the deep sense of grievance and injustice that shapes the attitudes of so many toward the Christian or post-Christian West will not soon fade away; the radical and terror groups now roaming the region cannot be easily stopped or mollified; the resource curse will continue to corrupt and poison large parts of the region; the resurgence of Islam, even in less radical forms, inevitably heightens a sense of confrontation with the US and its western allies; and Iran’s ambitions are hard to tame and impossible to accept.

Mr. Mead challenged both Obama and Mitt Romney to articulate a policy or at least initiatives that might address these problems.  Neither has done so.

At the risk of being what Mr. Mead terms “an armchair strategist” offering simple solutions, I believe that the U.S. needs to fundamentally reconsider its approach to foreign policy and the methods and tools used to pursue that policy.

First, it is not enough, unfortunately, for the United States to be in favor of “democracy” or “freedom” for those around the world.  These terms are simply too amorphous and chameleon to be useful in building a coherent foreign policy.   Instead, the U.S. should be an ardent advocate for the foundations of civil society:  respect for individual rights;  free exercise of religion; freedom of speech; respect for the rule of law rather than resort to rioting and violence; the orderly transition of political power free from intimidation.   This is a sampling of the bedrock, Anglo-American traditions that are prerequisites  for a democratic republic.    As Mark Levin argues in his latest book, Ameritopia, you cannot hope to have a real democracy without the foundations of a civil society.

The Middle East is bereft of genuine democracies (with the notable exception of Israel) because it is bereft of the foundational traditions of a civil society.   That is why it was unforgivably foolish of George W. Bush to insist on the hasty installation of a “democracy” in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Neither of these societies had the foundations needed for democracy to take root.   Yes, Iraq and Afghanistan may have the outer trappings of democracy with parliaments and elections, but form is not substance.  Iraq is headed back towards civil war as the ethnic and sectarian factions escalate violence against one another.   Afghanistan is a cardboard cut-out of democracy propped up with billions of dollars of U.S. aid and military assistance.   Once the props are removed in 2014 (or sooner), the facade will collapse.

So then, it is a tragic and self-defeating mistake for the U.S. to blindly push for elections.   In Gaza, for example, such elections mean nothing.    They mean less than nothing since they serve to legitimate blood-thirsty ideologues, putting the U.S. in the untenable position of undermining what we previously declared to be a “freely elected” government.    No matter that said government throws its political opponents off of rooftops.

Rather, the U.S. must be very specific, unapologetic and insistent about the type of democracy and “freedom” we are talking about– an Anglo-American civil society that can support the pressures of representative government and tolerate religious diversity and dissenting opinions.

Furthermore, the U.S. must take a hard look at the nations as they are and not how we wish them to be.   It took hundreds of years for civil traditions to develop in the West.   It may take much longer in the Middle East, burdened as it is with Islamic notions of subjugation, subservience and nihilism.

As an example of this, consider this piece by Robert Kagan in The Washington Post.   Kagan argues in favor of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt mainly because it was “democratically” elected:

The Obama administration has not been wrong to reach out to the popularly elected government in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood won that election, and no one doubts that it did so fairly. We either support democracy or we don’t. But the administration has not been forthright enough in making clear, publicly as well as privately, what it expects of that government.  (Emphasis added)

First, it is not beyond dispute that the Muslim Brotherhood won the election “fairly” when it is essentially the only, organized political party in the country.   There is evidence that a sizable number of Egyptians do not support the Muslim Brotherhood but no, unified opposition party could be organized in the relatively short time allowed before the vote.    In any event, to say that an Islamist party received the most number of votes in an election does not lead ineluctably to the conclusion that it is a “democracy” that we are obligated to support.   In fact, Kagan goes on to point out that the U.S. must make it clear what a “democracy” entails:

Out of fear of making the United States the issue in Egyptian politics, the Obama administration, like past administrations, has been too reticent about stating clearly the expectations that we and the democratic world have for Egyptian democracy: a sound constitution that protects the rights of all individuals, an open press, a free and vital opposition, an independent judiciary and a thriving civil society. President Obama owes it to the Egyptian people to stand up for these principles. Congress needs to support democracy in Egypt by providing aid that ensures it advances those principles and, therefore, U.S. interests.

I would differ with Kagan to the extent that U.S. aid money is provided directly and up front to an Egyptian government that is showing every indication that it intends to implement its Islamist beliefs.  Egyptians must see that voting in an Islamist government will have certain and severe consequences.   In any event, the United States cannot be in the business of funding our enemies and, regardless of Kagan’s view that the Muslim Brotherhood is not clearly against us, a weak or failing Islamist regime in Egypt is better than one that is buying up the latest weapons systems (e.g., German submarines for example) with U.S. tax dollars.   Kagan and those like him are desperate to see a civil society where none exists and, so, are easily taken in by democratic happy talk that Egyptian President Morsi (and other Islamists in the region) are all too adept at feeding to willing dupes.

The second, radical change to U.S. foreign policy must be to view everything in terms of U.S. national interests and the tactics and lines of effort that best advance those interests.

For example, for the better part of four years, the Obama Administration has confused the agenda of the United Nations with that of the United States of America.   While it would be hoped that the international body that the U.S. founded at the end of World War II and funds disproportionately would be at least sympathetic to U.S. national interests, this is decidedly not the case.  The U.N. has largely been subverted and overrun by authoritarian member states with interests that directly conflict with those of the U.S.   In an ideal world, the U.S. would explicitly repudiate the U.N., evict it from its expensive quarters in Manhattan and rent out the space to a new organization made up of democratic U.S. allies.   Alas, the best we can hope for is to limit the damage of the U.N. by ignoring it, working around it and forging coalitions of allies to negate the U.N.’s malign influence in the world.

In the Middle East and around the globe, the U.S. needs to re-evaluate its position in the light of our national interest.  We must, for example, reconsider our relationship with Saudi Arabia in light of their unrelenting funding of Salafist and Wahhabist ideologies directly hostile to the U.S. and the West in general.   We cannot elevate the Saudis to the high status of ally or even “friend” when they are bankrolling our enemies.   This need not mean open conflict with them, but it surely must mean a reduction in relations.  (The fact that the U.S. is set to soon surpass the Saudis as the world’s largest oil producer should translate into tangible, state leverage).

Syria is another example where the U.S. must evaluate the opportunities and risks for involvement based primarily upon national interest rather than the threat of a “humanitarian crisis” or “instability.”  Even a Syria riven by civil war and instability will stalemate Iran’s ability to fund and support Hezbollah and bring greater opportunities for U.S. influence in the region as a whole.   The U.S. has been at war with Iran since 1979 and rarely have we had an opportunity to deal the regime in Tehran such a critical blow as exists in Syria.

Throughout the Middle East U.S. policy is plagued by a lack of a driving force.  The U.S. intervened in Libya under the pretext of potential civilian casualties but recoils from Syria with actual casualties.    The U.S. dithers over supporting former President Mubarak in Egypt while supporting the  no-less tyrannical Saudi royal family.   The U.S. spends tens of billions of dollars on a corrupt government in Kabul but argues whether to pull funding from Israel if it does not halt new housing settlements or show enough “flexibility” on Arab demands for land.   It is high time to clarify who our friends and enemies are and why.  Israel is not merely a kindred democracy, for example.   They are a vital ally because they directly serve U.S. interests in the region as a bulwark against Islamists.  There is, perhaps, no greater return on U.S. investments than Israel given the plethora of hostile, Islamist states in the region.   But here again, the U.S. policy is to adopt the hectoring, self-righteous tone of the international community, treating Israel and the Palestinians on equal terms for no good reason.

It is my hope that Mitt Romney wins the election and does so in convincing fashion.   The next four years could be pivotal as a showdown with Iran cannot be delayed beyond the next term in office.  War is everywhere in the Middle East and the next President will need to have a clear-eyed view of what America’s interests are and how to achieve them.   The last 11 years have certainly taught us that “nation building” and “elections” are not effective tools of American power.   May President Romney absorb the lessons and chart a better course in 2013.

White House Informed Of Militant Claim Two Hours After Benghazi Attack

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

We’ve already discussed how the Obama administration lied about not knowing that the Benghazi attack was an assault by an militant Islamic group.  My own military readers informed us that this was a planned assault with fighters already in position, using a complex ambush with combined arms.  This assessment was made by my readers within 24 hours of the assault using nothing but open source information.  I have been unequivocal in calling the suggestion that the administration waited for information and analysis a lie.  I still do not retract my charge.

Now comes more evidence.

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.

[ ... ]

The records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department’s Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of September 11.

The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”

The message continued: “Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four … personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”

A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”

The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”

While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.

Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said.

And as I had pointed out, some two weeks after the assault Obama went before the U.N. claiming that it was a result of that crackpot video.

Again, exactly when they used the word “terror” isn’t relevant.  The assault would have inflicted terror regardless of whether it was a result of mob behavior or a planned attack.  The point is that Obama put the blame squarely on a spontaneous mob acting from rage as a result of the video.

He knew better.  And you knew better within 24 hours because my military readers told you so.  In this case, the facts are getting in the way of the narrative.

The Importance Of Local Politics To Gun Owner Rights

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

Jeff Knox explains why the upcoming national election is important, but in the process, I think he proves a corollary (or maybe even contrary) point.

What all of this demonstrates is that Republican appointees to the Supreme Court are rarely “conservative” stalwarts and historically display only a 50 percent chance of supporting traditionally conservative positions, while Democratic appointees are historically 100 percent reliable in backing the Democratic agenda. Even Robert Bork, who is considered an ultra-conservative jurist and whose failed confirmation hearings were so contentious that his name has entered the vernacular as a verb (meaning to block a nomination by defamation), has frequently expressed an opinion that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to arms. I had the opportunity to argue the issue with Judge Bork himself on a radio program in the late ’80s and was sorely disappointed with his position.

The Supreme Court currently breaks down like this: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 79 years old and continues to surprise prognosticators (including me) who have been predicting her imminent retirement for years. Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy are both 76 years old, and both appear to be in good health for their age. Stephen Breyer is 74 and also healthy. Clarence Thomas is 64. Samuel Alito is 62. Sonia Sotomayor is 58. John Roberts is 57, and Elena Kagan is 52.

It is extremely likely that at least one of these justices will retire within the next four years, and it’s quite possible that as many as three could step down. If Barack Obama is re-elected, it is a virtual surety that any justice he appoints will be relatively young, staunchly “liberal” and have an unfavorable view of the Second Amendment. If Democrats retain control of the Senate, confirmation of an Obama appointee is also almost guaranteed. Even if Republicans manage to take control of the Senate, the odds are almost nil that any but the most extreme radical would be rejected.

If Romney is elected, the odds of him appointing a pro-Second Amendment conservative are no better than 50-50. A Democrat-controlled Senate reduces those odds to somewhere between 25 and 30 percent, while a Republican-controlled Senate raises the odds to around 60 percent. 
In a best-case scenario, the likelihood of seeing reliable, pro-Second Amendment justices seated on the Supreme Court are not great, but each step away from that best-case reduces that likelihood dramatically.

Whether our second amendment rights are further codified or eroded in the coming years is yet to be seen.  Ruth Ginsburg sees reversal of Heller Versus D.C. on the horizon with a “future, wiser court.”  But that’s only part of the battle.  In the future, local politics may be even more important, since the federal government is only one guarantor of our rights as firearms owners and users.

If the particular state in which you reside is unfriendly to firearms rights, they may have Supreme Court decisions upon which to base their intrusions.  But if more friendly to our rights, at least there is a battle to be waged between states and and intrusive federal government.

This isn’t determinative, and it doesn’t obviate gun rights problems, but it does give us a firmer foundation upon which remediation of federal problems may occur, even if difficult and even if the fight is a long one.

Prior: Louisiana, Guns And Strict Scrutiny

What’s The Problem With Obama’s Response To Benghazi?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

Too much focus has been given to whether the administration called the attacks on the American consulate at Benghazi an act of terror.  Parsing the questions is important both to frame our objections to Obama’s behavior after this incident and to point out larger problems with his foreign policy.

It’s well known that the administration rejected requests for increased security at the consulate.  The administration’s assumptions regarding the nature of the world has caused them to be unprepared for the Islamists at every turn over the last four years.  But their refusal to protect Americans, as shameful and loathsome as that is, constitutes a different issue than the one I am addressing.

As I’ve pointed out before, I published an assessment within one day of the attacks in which, despite focusing on issues related mostly to how we move forward with increased security, my own military readers concluded that this was a well-planned, well-coordinated attack with ensconced fighters, involving a complex ambush with the use of combined arms.

Take careful note.  The use of combined arms is deadly to your own fighters if it isn’t a well-rehearsed engagement.  Firing mortars or light [or heavy] machine guns at your own fighters kills them, and you must know where they are and what they’re doing at all times.

My article was well-visited that day by the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, DoD network domains, and others that were in a position to make a difference with the administration.  Glenn Reynolds linked the post, and the traffic his site drives isn’t the only interesting feature of his attention.  The quality of his traffic is even more remarkable.

So within 24 hours everyone knew that this wasn’t the action of an angry mob.  The administration also knew that very quickly from information to which only they would have been aware, as Former Spook points out.

In recent posts, we’ve asked the fundamental question about the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans: what did the  administration know, and when did they know it?

As we’ve noted, there was a steady stream of intelligence reporting on the attack, delivered at the FLASH/CRITIC level.  Messages assigned that priority must be delivered to the President within 10 minutes of receipt.  This traffic captured conversations between the Islamist factions responsible for the attack, before and during the assault on our compound.  That’s why administration claims that incident was some sort of “demonstration gone bad” are nothing more than a lie.

Ditto for Joe Biden’s claim that Benghazi was some sort of intelligence failure.  By all accounts, the spooks did their job, and it was apparent within minutes  that our consulate was under attack by terrorists, not ordinary Libyans incensed over that internet video.  If Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has any shred of integrity remaining, he should resign immediately in protest over how his community is being “used” to conceal leadership failures of the first magnitude.

But terrorist phone traffic wasn’t the only source of information on the night of September 11, 2012.  According to Fox News military analyst Colonel David Hunt (who spent most of his Army career in special forces), various U.S. command centers–in the U.S. and overseas–received a running account of the attack –while it unfolded–from a State Department official inside the consulate.  Hunt detailed who was listening in during a recent interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr.

See his article for a continuation of the discussion.  So as we’ve observed, the administration knew.  But then as I mentioned above, so did you.  It didn’t take weeks or months of review, investigation and field work to know how this transpired.  My military readers told you within 24 hours.

And yet … some two weeks after the attack on the consulate, Obama went before the United Nations and gave that silly, sophomoric speech.

That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

[ ... ]

There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy.

He very clearly blamed the attack on a video and pointed to mob-like behavior and outrage.  This is his lie.

He knew better.  Everyone knew better.  Yes, he and his administration has four deaths for which to answer.  They are on his conscience.  His foreign policy is an abysmal  failure.  Furthermore, as my own readers pointed out within one day of the attack, we lacked an effective QRF (Quick Reaction Force).  We were unprepared.  This is yet another problem.

Those are problems indeed.  But they belong in a different category, and parsing them is necessary when moderators and main stream media types talk about ridiculous things like when the administration used the word “terror.”  The word means nothing.  The attack would have inflicted terror regardless of whether it was a pre-planned attack or the actions of a mob.  In pointing to a video, Obama lied. The lie demands an answer separate from the failures of Obama’s foreign policy.

UPDATE #1: Seeing the problems ahead, it appears that the administration is returning to the lie, as a dog to its own vomit.

UPDATE #2: The CIA is lying for Obama, just as had been predicted.  And it is a lie – make no mistake about it.  Also see Bing West on the CIA-NYT lie.  What, now, does this say about General David Petraeus who currently heads up the CIA?

UPDATE #3: No, Katrina, you’ve accepted the lie too uncritically.

UPDATE #4: Romney’s response apparently can be found here.  Take note, though.  Look carefully at the dates.  Obama’s camp is claiming that the intelligence community didn’t change the briefs until September 22nd.  For the sake of argument, let’s grant the point.  Obama gave his speech to the U.N. on September 25th.  Even if [what I am calling] the lie is true, Obama is caught in yet another lie.  He knew before his U.N. speech.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (675)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (28)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (6)
Ammunition (13)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
AR-15s (36)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (34)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (25)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (44)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (15)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (4)
Body Armor (16)
Books (2)
Border War (6)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (25)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (1)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (5)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (214)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (114)
Department of Homeland Security (9)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (5)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (1)
Featured (160)
Federal Firearms Laws (14)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (249)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (38)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (188)
Guns (525)
Guns In National Parks (2)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (32)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (377)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (33)
Islamists (37)
Israel (17)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (71)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (8)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (1)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (11)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (7)
Logistics (47)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (229)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (22)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (20)
Mexico (24)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (10)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (13)
NATO (15)
Navy (19)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (204)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (17)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Police (104)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (134)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (73)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (27)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (136)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (22)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Survival (9)
SWAT Raids (48)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (86)
Thanksgiving (4)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (10)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (4)
U.S. Border Security (11)
U.S. Sovereignty (13)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (2)
Uncategorized (38)
Universal Background Check (2)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (2)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (5)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (11)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2014 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.