WE LET THEM DIE
boblonsberry.com ^ | 10/26/12 | Bob Lonsberry
Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 9:47:10 AM by shortstop
American life must be cheap.
Must be the men and women sent overseas mean nothing. We’ll meet your coffin at Andrews, if there are TV cameras, but damned if we’ll come to your rescue.
That’s what we learned at Benghazi.
As details have come out in dribs and drabs, each new revelation has illustrated the uncomfortable fact that we left those men to fight and die alone.
We did not defend them, we did not relieve them, we just watched them. Our drone circled overhead, providing a real-time video feed, but it did not fire its missiles, it was not used to guide in a relief force, it just took pictures.
Grisly souvenirs of a gutless administration.
For most of a year, our Libyan ambassador and various members of his security detachment warned of danger and pleaded for assistance. Time and time again the people on the ground said it wasn’t safe and they needed protection. Time and time again people in Washington declined the requests. Instead of increasing our security forces there, the administration cut them.
And then the attack came.
On September 11, in a concerted and effective three-pronged attack, well-rehearsed terrorist soldiers moved against our consulate.
It was like shooting fish in a barrel.
We were outgunned and defenseless. Our “safe room” became a death trap and our “safe house” was a point of ambush.
Almost immediately, the consulate contacted Washington and passed steady information about the attack. Maybe Washington didn’t need to be told. At some point before or during the attack, a Predator drone began circling the fight, sending video back to Washington.
The State Department quickly and repeatedly sent secure e-mail updates to senior officials and organizations across the government – to include the White House situation room. Two hours into an eight-hour attack, the State Department reported that an al Qaeda-linked local militia had taken credit for the action.
Much attention has been paid to what the White House and senior officials did, not to what they didn’t do.
What they did do is swear for almost two weeks that the attack was a passionate outgrowth of protests over a YouTube video. Over and over, including on a taxpayer-funded ad in Pakistan, the president and secretary of State apologized for the video and condemned it as disrespectful to Islam.
That’s what they did.
And it’s worthy of attention.
But even more worthy is what they didn’t do.
And what they didn’t do is help the besieged Americans in Benghazi.
They let them die, live on surveillance TV.
The fight, we have learned in the last two days, lasted not two or six hours, but eight. For eight hours our men and women were under fire. At the end of those eight hours, apparently from some sort of explosive, the last two Americans – former Navy SEALs – lost their lives.
While we did nothing.
Yes, the government had endangered the Libyan mission by gutting its security and denying its requests for more.
But, yes, when the attack began, and for a couple of hours after, American forces seem to have been well within quick-response distance.
Though our Sixth Fleet supposedly asserts American power in the Mediterranean and northern Africa, it has been gutted to such an extent that it is almost meaningless. President Obama says this has something to do with horses and bayonets.
Almost any naval vessel, however, could send missiles to Benghazi. Further, U.S. Navy aircraft in Spain and Crete seem to be within easy range of Libya.
Not a one of them was sent to relieve the besieged Americans.
But that’s not the worst part. In a situation like this, the Navy was the junior varsity. Sitting an hour’s flying time north of Benghazi is an entire U.S. Air Force base in Italy.
It is incomprehensible that over the course of an eight-hour battle in which Americans were fighting and dying that not a single one of those aircraft was scrambled. We had attack aircraft, fighters and gunships a plenty, parked on the pavement in Italy, and none of them were brought to bear.
Further, we have an airborne Brigade Combat Team in Italy. Not a one of those soldiers was moved. The only report of military response to the Benghazi attack was the activation of a quick-response force in Stuttgart, Germany.
But it wasn’t that quick and it wasn’t that close. And by the time it got to Sicily the fight had been over for several hours.
The bottom line: We didn’t do anything.
Which means we are either impotent posers, incapable of actually pulling our sword from its sheath, or we decided to let them die.
Either our head was so far up our backside that through several hours of fighting nobody had the brains or the balls to order a sortie, or we just decided to let them die.
Neither explanation is very comforting.
Neither explanation is consistent with American values.
Our ethic is to leave no man behind…………
via WE LET THEM DIE.