Victor Davis Hanson observes: In short, Obama will always poll around 45 percent. That core support is his lasting legacy. In a mere five years, by the vast expansion of federal spending, by the demonizing rhetoric of his partisan bully pulpit, and by executive orders and bizarre appointments, Obama has so divided the nation that he has created a permanent constituency that will never care as much about what he does as it cares about what he says and represents. For elite rich liberals [read more]
The distraction has been successful. For several days now, America (and its horrible main stream media) has been captivated by stories of scandals involving generals and men who have no business being involved in anything other than making the weighty decisions to protect the country. As one recent commenter said, if you want to play games, get out of the way and let a more serious person make the moves.
There are a number of disparate timelines being floated by various sources (I’ve seen most or all of them), and sooner or later the truth will come out. Someone will divulge what he knows, and it will differ from some other report, and then the other report can be examined more closely for accuracy, and so on until the investigative work points to all of the culpable actors. Secrets cannot be kept, and the sooner the truth comes out the better off the innocent actors will fare.
But one such recent report in the midst of the silly focus on tawdry affairs comes to us from Fox News. Here is the money quote.
The Pentagon says that the European-based team of rescuers landed at Sigonella air base at 7:57 p.m. on Sept. 12, more than 20 hours after the attack began and 40 minutes after the last survivor was flown out of Tripoli on a U.S. C-17 transport plane.
Fox News has learned more details about the European rescue team. More than 30 Special Operations Forces, part of a Commander’s In Extremis Force, or CIF, which is normally on a short tether, are deployed in the event of a terror attack. They are a counterterror SWAT team.
The group ordered toward Libya was from the Charlie 110 Company, based in Stuttgart, Germany, but had been training in Croatia on an exercise known as “Jackal Stone.” The training involved counterterrorism exercises.
Military sources familiar with the orders given to the CIF team tell Fox News the CIF plane headed to Libya — not to first stage at Sigonella as the Pentagon timeline suggests. The Pentagon denies this, saying simply that they were ordered to an intermediate staging base.
What cannot be confirmed is what time that team could have been outside Libyan air space. The Pentagon won’t say when they took off from Croatia.
Multiple defense sources say that the plane did not have permission to enter Libya. That permission would have to be secured from the Libyans by the State Department.
Survivors of the attack at the annex say that they heard over the radio net that night that U.S. military assets were, “feet dry over Libya,” which would refer to assets crossing from sea to land and hovering. The Pentagon denies this.
The original story board that shows the CIF movement that night is difficult to find, according to those who saw the original timeline. The official brief, according to those familiar with it, simply says that the plane landed at Sigonella at 7:57 p.m. on Sept. 12 — 20 hours after the start of the attack, even though they were just a few hours away in Croatia.
This raises the question: what time did they get their orders and how long did it take the CIF to scramble?
The team was most likely flying on a modified MC-130 P Talon 2. A modified C-130 flying from Croatia about 900 miles from the Libyan coast could have been there under three hours from take-off. Croatia to Libya is the same distance approximately as Washington, D.C., to Miami.
Furthermore, the modified C-130 plane used by Special Operations teams can be refueled in flight, allowing them to extend their range and hover time, if an air refueling plane is available. It can fly for nine hours without being refueled.
Here is the offending part: “The official brief, according to those familiar with it, simply says that the plane landed at Sigonella at 7:57 p.m. on Sept. 12 — 20 hours after the start of the attack, even though they were just a few hours away in Croatia.”
This is simply not believable. It cannot possibly be correct. Such forces carry pagers and aren’t allowed to take local tours to get drunk and visit with the local women. If commanded to deploy to Benghazi to protect American citizens and interests (such as classified documents at the consulate – or “special mission” as the Ambassador called it), they were a few hours away at the most. This report strains credulity and just doesn’t pass simple tests of acceptability for evidence. I’ll say it again. It’s just incorrect, and if the report actually reads that way, the first interrogation should be saved for the author of that report.
On the other hand, it would make better sense if the balance of the Fox News report is accurate and the official statement a lie, with the timeline including a short flight from Croatia to Libya, with the administration showing deference to a non-existent Libyan government and refusing to land in Libya without “permission.” Short of further data and information, thus far this is the most believable report.