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.
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