Skip to comments.Why did Obama choose to “stand down” in Benghazi? (Best explanation of motive I've read.)
Posted on 10/28/2012 8:11:58 AM PDT by StandAndDeliver1
As John and Scott point out, the CIA has issued a statement making it clear that no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need [in Benghazi]; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. That statement surely was issued with the approval, and presumably at the direction, of the CIAs director, General Petraeus.
Who, then, made the several decisions denying help to the Americans in Benghazi who needed it? Who, initially, told CIA to stand down in face of the attack? Who decided that American defense forces an hour or two away in Southern Europe would not be deployed?
Bill Kristol argues that, at least with respect to not sending in the military, the decision must have been made by President Obama. Given what was at stake the safety of Americans, including an ambassador, in the face of an attack by hostile forces Kristol surely is right. It is inconceivable that none of the key actors Secretary of Defense Panetta, Secretary of State Clinton, and General Petraeus failed to present to Obama the decision of how to respond. And if Obama failed to make a decision, that would be more damning than making the wrong one.
Kristol goes on to ask: When and whyand based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversationsdid President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?
The key question is why.
Leon Panetta has provided an answer. He says the basic principle is that you dont deploy forces into harms way without knowing whats going on, without having some real-time information about whats taking place. At one level, this answer doesnt work. He and the others involved did know the essence of what was going on, and they did have real time information.
At another level, Panettas statement provides a window into the thinking at the White House that day. Although the administration knew, in general, what was going on, there was much uncertainly in Benghazi. We didnt know for sure what the outcome of the attack on our personnel would be; we didnt know whether military forces, if deployed, would have succeeded in saving them; we didnt know how many of our rescuers would have been killed; and we didnt know (as far as I can tell) what Libyas reaction to the use of large-scale use of American military force would be.
Faced with uncertainty, Obama apparently opted for caution, hoping that somehow the CIA contingent from Tripoli, aided perhaps by Libyan forces, would save the situation.
This is just the decision one would expect from Obama. By temperament, he is a non-interventionist and (except when pet domestic policies are in play) a non-risk taker. He was highly cognizant of the consequences of a failed U.S. military operation in Libya, including, I suspect, the electoral consequences in an election that he believed on September 11 he was winning fairly handily.
Lets also remember that, although Obama decided to approve the raid that killed bin Laden, his team apparently considered this (and his campaign has promoted it as) a difficult decision. Bill Clinton and Joe Biden praise Obamas alleged courage on this occasion, pointing to the adverse consequences to Obama of a failed mission against bin Laden.
If the decision to kill an unsuspecting and poorly defended bin Laden Americas enemy number 1 for a decade was difficult for the Obama administration to make, then the odds were always against a decision to fly our military blind into harms way in Benghazi in response to situation whose precise contours werent well known. Obamas decision not to intervene was likely less about the fog of war than about fear of the fog of war.
In hindsight, Obama made the wrong decision. The extent to which he should be criticized for the decision is difficult to assess because we dont know all of the information he had at the time the decision had to be made. Perhaps the decision was a reasonable one to make at that time. But lets keep in mind that our inability to assess this is due mainly to the administrations unwillingness to speak about the decision and the surrounding events.
Voters, then, must assess the administrations handling of Benghazi with limited information. But we do know this: (1) the administration erred grievously by leaving open our mission in Benghazi while turning down requests for more security, (2) the administration made the wrong decision on the day of the attack by not bringing our military to bear, a decision consistent with Obamas instincts, and (3) the administration has not been forthcoming or honest in its discussion of Benghazi after the fact.
These facts, without more, present a serious indictment of Obama.
The unavoidable conclusion is that Obama is a pussy and a coward, and unfit to hold office as Command in Chief.
The unavoidable conclusion is that Obama is a pussy and a coward, and unfit to hold office as Commander in Chief.
It was Valerie Jarrett, she would only pull the trigger on a repub.
The best military leaders know when to take risks. War is constant risk, there is no absolute guarantees. The best military leaders have faith in their soldiers and their abilities.
A poor politician seeks to avoid risk and never trusts those not under their direct control.
In summary, I think it was a politician making a political decision based on their desire to win an election.
Benghazi is where Obama the man met Obama the myth and came up short.
When you cut through all the Bull**** it’s simple. If Obama’s daughters were in that Annex help would have been sent. Regretfully, it was other people’s sons.
They knew Al Queda was behind the attack. Obama has been saying “I killed Bin Laden and Al Queda is crippled”. Fighting Al Queda in Benghazi on 9/11 didn’t fit his re-election scenario.
When the enemy is foreign and armed, Barry is risk averse. And he thought he was avoiding a Desert One right before an election. The wild-card was the diary, the internet and a very few MSM presstitutes who couldn’t any longer stomach covering up for the Diversity Prez.
The authors are giving him a pass or at least the "benefit" of the doubt, which based upon the info available, I am not willing to do so.
Also, based upon what has been leaked re: the raid to get Bin Laden it is said he was not willing to take a chance to (as reported his Consiglieri, the Commie Bitch, Jarrett advised against) "offend" the Moose-Limbs and it that action was taken without his approval.
Likewise, I'm willing to bet the same thing happened here; that the Islamic-Appeasing-Defender-Supporting "Hussein" was afraid that we might anger or offend his "buds" the Jihadists who are apparently now in power/control of Libya and consciously decided to let those people twist in the wind.
If that is true then how long did it take him to get to the situation room after the call? What hole was he on and did he finish his round before returning to the WH?
This is the problem with instantaneous communications. If the local security was the responsibility of the local commander instead of some faceless bureaucrat in Washington then the situation might have been much better handled. Instead, the buck got passed until it got to somebody more concerned about getting elected than saving American lives.
It would be much better to give rules of engagement to the local commander (in Italy, it looks like) and let him make the call. BTW, you almost always commit troops with an incomplete picture of whats happening on the ground. You rely on them to make things go your way once they arrive and if they need help theyll tell you how much and where.
TWA800 in the run-up to Bubba’s re-election —spontaneous center fuel tank detonation....?
I think I’ll go watch ‘Black Hawk Down’.
“Commander-in-Chief”?This man doesn’t even know when to go to The Toilet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He wasn't given requested security and basically was hung out to dry. He was sent to the enemy walls and then his support order to retreat and leave him standing.
Our CIA/SEALS with "CUE BALLS" had to go against White house orders not to go save the Ambassador.
It is clear to me that the Ambassador was meant to be captured. It is an incredible statement, but it really is the only plausible conclusion.
Yup...this has Valerie Jarrett stink all over it...
Terrorists attack Embassy,kidnap Ambassador,obama gets him freed before election day.
Didn’t you get the Zot awhile back?
That’s a powerful image and message. I’d love to re-post it, but it’s got a typo in it. The word ‘terrorist’ should be plural. Is it yours, and can you fix it?
Decisions made in wartime, in business, or even in a football game are almost always made with imperfect information. One rarely knows with certainty when and where and with what force an enemy will attack. One can estimate and extrapolate to determine if selling a product at a given price will increase or decrease revenues, but there are no guarantees. A defensive coordinator might know that his opponent throws a pass 85% of the time on third and eight, but that still leaves a 15% probabability of a running play.
The hallmark of a successful leader is the ability to make optimum decisions based on (to copy an Obama phrase) “less than optimal” information. “The perfect is the enemy of the good” is a well-worn phrase, but it still rings true. Absent having perfect information, decision makers need to choose the best available option based on whatever information they do have.
Panetta’s excuse that they didn’t have enough information doesn’t pass the smell test. Most major battlefield decisions are undoubtedly made with far less perfect intelligence. There were drones overhead, a live audio feed, and a videotape now deemed Top Secret, no doubt because of how damning its contents are to Obama and his pals. This was hardly the “fog of war” that has thwarted military leaders in the past. The information that was available was so good, in fact, that it speaks to a political reason for the inaction, rather than a military one. And most intelligent Americans (i.e., conservatives) understand this.
Ping to find this later.
Panetta decries “Monday morning quarter-backing”. We had NO Tuesday (9/11) afternoon quarter-backing.
Why didn't Clinton respond to Blackhawk Down?
Answer one you answer both.
Clinton's non response made UBL the big dog on the block in the terrorist world for defeating the Great Satan and driving them out of Somalia.
Zippo’s non response has just made the clown responsible for this attack the big dog on the block in the terrorist world.
With his meeting a few hours earlier with Turkish diplomats probably tied to unauthorized MANPAD transfers to Syria via a Turkish port, Obama was the doofus just hoping the facilitator that had got them placed on a Lybian boat would extricate himself.
Ask: why was he at the undefended Consulate.
Why all of this hand-wringing over concern of what the Libyans would think? Don’t we use Predator drones all over the world to ‘assassinate’ suspected terrorists who pose no immediate threat to Americans, even using said force in other Islamic countries? Why the hesitation to use such force during this incident? And no ‘real time info’ during a ‘war crisis situation’ is a pathetic excuse for a supposed world power with a first-class military. So we’re paralyzed without ‘pictures’?? During a self-defense situation??
That’s it! His daughters, his “peeps” are not expendable, but anyone and everyone else is, particularly Americans who mess up his political campaign.
Make it a double-feature and pull out Clear and Present Danger.
And the libs crucify Bush for taking 7 minutes to finish a reading session with kids on 9/11.
The Democrats are afraid of this because it is their “Iran Contra”. They held televised hearings and talked about impeaching Reagan. And here we are, a Democrat administration caught red handed handing out weapons to real terrorists and messing around in other country’s affairs. Ollie North has to be laughing himself silly over this.
If BO had made the call to go and run a rescue, that might have won him the election. Bad decision for him and the victims. To another post, those guys knew this was an admin choice and not the American people.
This still doesn’t explain why those at the annex were held back
from rescuing Stevens and the others at the consulate.
I share in your pessimism.
I get sick and tired of hearing this crap that obama was worried that if he went after Osama and it failed it would be compared to Carter’s failed mission in the dessert. With Carter, up until that time no one had been killed in Iran. Carter’s hostage rescue attempt was the first casualties. We’ve had thousands of war casualties since 2001. If the mission had failed and we had lost troops nobody would have blamed obama. Plus, obama knew the media would cover for him.
BULLSHIT!! Decisions are evaluated on their results, not process.
Obama, the Coward-In-Chief, made a non-decision knowing full well that sovereign U.S. territory was being attacked and Americans killed. Then he hid under his bed-covers.
Since then, Obama the Coward has sent out his mommy-surrogates to explain why it just "wasn't his fault" and that he is really a good boy who we should keep in the White House.
America really needs to flush the national toilet bowl and be rid of this piece of filth!
Carnak The Magnificent Says:
- Someone in the Obama administration will be taking a trip UNDER the Obama bus in the next few days.
- Some innocent teenage goatherder in Libya will be blown into atoms by a $100,000 drone missle in the next few days.
The administration will label him as the key figure in the Libya embassy attack.
Obama will spike that football until the polls close on election night.
Yeah but Obamadinejad isn’t that smart and neither are his lefty advisers. They thought these guys were expendable and that they could cover it up.
He voted 'Present' and went to bed.
This doesn't make sense. The CIA congingent from Tripoli was ordered to stand down. They launched that rescue mission against orders.
Another thing to consider. obama has said repeatedly he would not put “boots on the ground” in Libya. He, and his evil friends and followers, were thinking about “military” casualties and how it would be used against him by the republicans. At the very least he sacrificed Americans to get elected. He, all of his administration and many in the left wing media should be tried for treason.
How about he lied to American people for two weeks and had an American jailed - scapegoated - supposedly for the amateur video that - supposedly, again - agitated the whole Muslim world to rioting.
The guy arrested is still in jail - and is, reportedly, scheduled to be released three days after the election. Again, supposedly he was arrested for parole violation.
I didn't know parole violations involved arrest in the middle of the night and warranted 3 months or so of immediate jail time.
Especially, when it is known that the video was not the reason things went south in Egypt, Libya and then - other countries in Middle East (once they were made aware by this administration of the videotape. In other words they became agitated after they were told about something they didn't even know about in the first place.
The worst part is that everyone, even the Democrats, knew the Iran Contra operation was a good idea. It was to free American hostages and get rid of the communists in our backyard in Nicaragua. THE DEMOCRATS USED IRAN CONTRA AS A POLITICAL WEAPON TO ATTACK THE REPUBLICANS. As an American, I demand 40 days of televised Senate hearings into this scandal! Why did Obama and Hillary mess around with the governments in Libya and Egypt? There were no hostages. They weren’t in our backyard like Nicaragua. Obama and Hillary are just a couple of Democrat Grifters out to enrich themselves and get money for Democrat campaigns. Can you imagine what the liberals in the press are going through right now? This is way worse than Watergate. This is way worse than Iran Contra. And it’s their team that’s done it. For the liberal media, this must be the equivalent of catching your wife cheating....with the dog. They must be in absolute shock. They are finally coming to the realization that they’ve been played for years by the thieves in the Democrat party. Welcome to the real world, boys and girls! Your Democrats are a bunch of Thieves, Thugs, Thralls and Thickheads.
While too kind to Obama (IMHO) this is a great article to share with undecided voters or your Facebook libtard friends.
They have to be eased into the reality of whats going on, you can’t hit them with cries of “Obama is a TRAITOR” right off because it will only turn them off and they’ll stop listening.
Last night on Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News she had military guests on there and I think I heard one of them say something about a “request” to send support would be presented to the president and then he would “sign” it to make it happen. Did he simple IGNORE the request? I believe this is the question that needs to be asked....Mr. President, were “you presented” with a request for support during the terrorist attack in Benghazi??? Mr. President, did you dither???
” In hindsight, Obama made the wrong decision. The extent to which he should be criticized for the decision is difficult to assess because we dont know all of the information he had at the time the decision had to be made. Perhaps the decision was a reasonable one to make at that time. But lets keep in mind that our inability to assess this is due mainly to the administrations unwillingness to speak about the decision and the surrounding events.”
From a military perspective this paragraph is completely wrong. The failure to make a timely decision - even one that eventually proves to be in error - is more dangerous than the consequenses of that decision. War is about aggression and the more aggressive you can be the more “the Fog of War” becomes your ally. Sit there like a deer-in-the-headlights and you are nothing but a sitting target for even the dumbest or weakest opponent.
This is why the military often seeks to brief the president and involve e them in exercises. Gets them used to the most critical aspect of leadership - the willingness to make rapid decisions with only a few verifiable facts.
He didn’t want to leave any witnesses alive.
That is the reason.