Skip to comments.Evidence casts doubt on ex-CIA leaders’ claims on Benghazi mortar attack
Posted on 03/08/2014 9:11:36 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
If former CIA Director David Petraeus and his ex-deputy Michael Morell are recalled to testify on Benghazi, they can expect hard questions about the mortar attack on the CIA annex which killed two former Navy SEALs.
Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, is weighing whether to recall one or both of those officials over their Benghazi congressional testimony.
Rogers said the evidence suggests a highly skilled team carried out the mortar strike. Fox News has confirmed five rounds were fired in under a minute, with three hitting the annex roof -- a target roughly the size of two convenience stores.
When pressed on the sophistication of the mortar attack, two sources familiar with Petraeus' statements to Congress said he also seemed to downplay the necessary planning and skill, stating the mortars could have been fired from the back of a truck with the same accuracy.
None of the five military officers contacted by Fox News said the truck explanation was plausible.
"A truck would not permit you that stable platform necessary to make that fine adjustment from Point A to Point B to put the rounds down," Tony Shaffer, senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research, said. "Because every time you fire, the truck shakes. That's not adequate for any type of direct fire.
Others take a more skeptical view. "It just sounds to me like General Petraeus was trying to do a favor for the administration. I just can't see any way around it because he's an infantry man, he knows you can't do it," Peters said.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
It is time to recall them all for testimony - Hillary, Susan Rice, Petraeus, Panetta. Put them all under the lights.
In addition, the committee should seek testimony from the POTUS by sending him a list of questions and asking him for written responses.
A MANPAD could. Am I wrong Marine/Army types? What about a Javelin?
And what if the truck was at a complete standstill. RPG’s would work. Just sayin...
The Downing Street mortar attack was carrired out from a van. It’s not impossible, though in this case, improbable.
Hard to get RPG’s to land on top of the roof unless they were fired from above it. just sayin..
“That’s not adequate for any type of direct fire.”
Mortars are indirect. And that’s some nice shooting, for nighttime, with no adjusting rounds. Interesting. Another lie about Benghazi,,,,.
Unbelievable. Secret ops, etc etc.
But whatever the excuses, our government will soon reach a point where it permanently loses our trust because it lies constantly, and about almost everything. The list of official lies is so huge its amazing.
Hillary must have something a lot more damaging in her file on David Patreus. Affairs are common place in D.C. and his is old news. So, what might she have that is causing him to make a fool of himself and tarnish his entire career in order to participate in the cover up?
Wrong size warhead and damage effect.
The mortars were placed in preregistered spots allowing predialed data to be fired on thus allowing a pretty reasonable mathematical chance of a hit.
I was towed artillery, some of the info and usage is similar between light towed and mortar disciplines.
You can mathematically compute distance to target, amount of powder, and warhead weight to generate a rough and tumble idea of where it will go.
There are computational tables used to make this even easier.
I think I saw one online not too long ago.
If any mortarmen are around, they may be able to elaborate on the actual mortar side of things.
Of course. Didn't know that they hit the roof. I never read the specifics of the attack.
It’s time that House Speaker be called out for his DERELICTION OF DUTY!
The Oath of Office that he Swore to (”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”) OBLIGATES him to name and convene a SELECT COMMITTEE to get to the bottom of the BENGHAZI SCANDAL.
Our very best hope to get this Regime brought under control is to have some serious and major change in GOP “leadership”.
ex-deputy Michael Morell.......lying his arse off. A disgrace!
Thanks. Like I said above, I didn't read the exact determination of the weapons they used, if it has ever been proven. I only followed the outcome and political a**-covering in the hearings.
BTW, what's the difference between a Javelin and a MANPAD? Aren't both guided?
a. Mortar on technical
b spotter on the roof
c. One long
d. one short
e. on target
I saw it discussed on Fox, the military expert said the rounds landed on top of the roof from a location out of the sight of the rooftop.
He said nothing but mortar fire from a known distance measured in advance, could have done that.
I don't believe anything coming out of this 0bama admin.
I’m getting old and forgetful, but I believe Mortar Soldiers used to be a separate Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) under the Infantry. I think they were 11Cs. Mortars are very common in the US Army. They are great weapons. I was not an 11C, but I did command units that had mortars in them. Putting effective fire on a target with the third round out of the tube is pretty good shooting. Could an untrained person do it? They would have less than a 1% chance. For most mortars, you have to figure out the amount of charge (chemical power) you need to use to get the projectile to the target. Some mortar charge looks like the old floppy discs.
I guess the short answer is, it was a trained mortar crew. It wasn’t some slob who came along and saw a mortar with some rounds and decided to see what he could do.
It's absurd to believe they were fired from a pickup truck since the pressure alone would blow through the bed. Note that multiple rounds were fired and accurate adjustments made IOT gain effect on target. These weapons were well/professionally layed in advance of the assault. As a Marine Gunner, Infantry Weapons Officer, Retired, with 34 years of service, even I am impressed with the rapid accurate fire of this mortar crew.
No Infantry Officer would ever make a foolish statement like Petraeus unless he purposefully intended to mislead the congress. His statement was all about protecting something or someone!
Manpad is usually air defense.
Javelin is anti-armor.
Here’s what wackypodia has to say about the javelin:
Apparently it is IR guided.
I haven’t used one of those.
MANPAD usually refers to the FIM-92 stinger or similar.
MAN Portable Air Defense.
Many of us were busy during the “Cover your butt” hearings and could only pay cursory attention to the issues.
So don’t feel bad.
Emails have a way of making people say whatever you want them to say. That’s what happened here. Remember no one knew about the NSA when this occurred . He goes to the White House and says I’m going to tell the truth,he’s fired and the e-mails appear. Then a great job in academia and a job for wife and all is good.
That’s certainly a possibility
Thanks I was speculating based on experience and Chicago politics LOL
Mortars are indirect fire weapons. ManPads and the Javelin are missiles. The older SA missiles use a infared seeker head that guides after launch. The Javelin has a fire and forget feature that can terminally guide the missile. If you can get the lock, shooting from a truck wouldn't matter. The backblast might cause a problem.
The statement is also somewhat odd in that the US mounts all kinds of direct fire weapons on vehicles and not all are stabilized. They still are effective.
I agree with both of you, this was good shooting. Too good to think that a couple of first timers found the tube and the ammo and decided to join in. No doubt it was adjusted by someone else in sight of the target area. Pre-planned position, pre-planned fires, not the BS that is being presented.
Although never read that, easy answer: Because they thought they would get air support, rather than allowed to die.
Knowing this attack went on for some 8 hours, and reading about the military assets in the area, I've come to the conclusion that the WH or some political flag officer told those assets to stand down. IIRC, some admiral or general was fired because he told the WH he will respond. Am I off mark?
Thank you for your knowledgeable reply Gunner.
Someone on the ground communicated with something in the air. Otherwise you wouldn't give away your position painting a target.
It stinks, doesn't it?
I just re-read the article. Five rounds in under a minute with the last three being on target? Had to be professionals. I think it would be impossible for some slobs to get off five rounds in under a minute and get anywhere close to the target.
After reading up, both are guided. Either could have been used by the Islamists, but someone above says they found "mortar" pieces. So be it.
Bottom line: The attack went on for 8 hours and we had other assets near theater, although a couple hours away. It's a disgrace that Obama/Hillary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs let those people die without even an attempt. Sheesh, was Panama the end of trying to rescue Americans under siege?
No wonder so much of the World now see the USA as impotent. Damn Obambi and ilk all to hell. At least Carter tried to rescue the Iranian hostages in an ill-fated attempt. I've always been amazed that the hostages were released the day Reagan took office. Some say coincidence. Really?
Sorry, don't get it.
Firing short and long is known as “bracketing” the target. When you think about this, they not only had a trained crew, they had a trained observer. They may have even had a dedicated and trained person or persons for a Fire Direction Center (FDC). Most of the time, in order to save time, you don’t have the gunners doing the math with the firing tables. They are preparing the ammunition and making the necessary changes to the mortar’s deflection and elevation.
The observer would have to have communications to the FDC. He would be giving them directions to adjust the mortar. The article says that they didn’t have mortar rounds impacting to the right or left of the target. They were “long” and “short”. That probably means that due to the math involved and the quick time that effective fire was placed on the target and the fact that they weren’t adjusting left or right, the firing position of the mortar had been pre-planned.
It was a professional mortar crew firing from a pre-planned position with a professional observer who was placed to see the effects of the fire.
But in the case of the FIM-92, it is self guided.
As for the javelin, it says ‘IR guidance” in the one case, and I couldn’t find much else.
At any rate, it is line of sight only.
Mortar rounds leave distinctive pieces, like metallic puzzle pieces, that can be looked at and said “Hey, those SOB’s tossed an 88 millemeter mortar at us!”
Yes, the bottom line is exactly that.
We had a response within reachable distance, and our leadership laid down and went to sleep.
Scary thought, Obama had been making noise about releasing the blind sheik.
What if he had some demented plan to release the blind sheik in exchange for a kidnapped ambassador?
He quit making noises about releasing the blind sheik shortly after the ambassador ended up dead.
His responses and behaviors don’t add up to someone who is being told of an attack.
It’s almost as if he was going “Ah, the script says this will happen” and went to bed while waiting to be told of hostage demands.
Was the last name Hamm?
Yes sir, the entire episode stinks. Can't believe that our leadership did NOTHING to help an Embassy diplomat, not to mention his assistant and former SEALS who ran to defend. That used to be cause for total war and annihilation.
In the old days before political correctness and limited "rules of engagement", we would have KILLED them all. Think AC-130 gunships or Cobra gattling guns. Too bad about the collateral damage. Don't attack and you won't get killed. But then these tribal Muslim shits really don't care about their women and children.
And while I'm on "ROE", I'm still glad we nuked Japan into submission. I'm also glad we devastated Dresden, Hamburg, and many other German cities. Those were the times we wanted to win a war started by others. Viet Nam was the turning point due to weak leadership (McNamara) and over-indulged hippies. Read Bork's "Slouching Towards Gomarrah" to understand why the 60's media and kids were so bad for our present time.
Actually, it may have started in the "forgotten war", Korea, when MacArthur was fired. We should have nuked those Cong/Chinese bastards into oblivion. We would not be facing the growing threat of China today.
What the heck are you continuing to talk about? What is Hamm?
Either you don’t know or the answer is no
They didn’t have heavy weapons for defense cuz the emergency defense plan worked out AHEAD OF TIME called for reliance on rapid and accurate support from US **AIRCRAFT**.
WHY were the SEALS lasing? I mean, it would point back to their positions, right?
BECAUSE THEY WERE RELYING ON THE PLAN THAT THEY HAD BEEN LED TO **BELIEVE** WOULD BE EXECUTED.
No proof, but what is then reasonable to suspect?
That as the SEAL defenders were under attack they were REPEATEDLY ASSURED THAT AIRPOWER WAS INBOUND, right around the corner, and that they simply had to HANG ON.
The SMALLEST and EASIEST job at Bengazi —simply the word “GO!”— was totally neglected, and that was because the impending ELECTION was a higher priority.
>> OUR LEADERS KILLED THOSE MEN <<
................a. Mortar on technical
b spotter on the roof
c. One long
d. one short
e. on target...................
Yes! And if the mortar was fired from the same position on the same truck, would not the recoil affect the springs on the vehicle exactly the same???
So you fire - with the effect on the sprung platform, and your forward spotter calls out long by XX, go left by YY;
then you adjust, and your next round has the exact same sprung platform, and your forward spotter calls out short by XX, right by YY;
and so you adjust, and the mortar is right on, after the platform was sprung exactly the same as the previous shots.
So, just what difference does the stability of the mortar platform make as long as its recoil effect is constant???
(I’m no way a munitions person, but my Noob theory!)
Once again, there is not one person who will speak the truth about this administration. If high ranking military and cabinet members are being blackmailed, that means only Edward Snowden felt the American people needed to know about it.
The only other reason is everyone who works for obama, all the way down the the G1 level, have looked into the eyes of evil and are scared to death.
Carter Hamm was the name of the General told to stand down by the WH
Blueunicorn6, you have it exactly correct! The three legs of effective mortar fire is, Gun Line, Fire Direction Control and Forward Observer.
I believe this was pre-planned and obviously incorporated all the tenants of a professional indirect fire team.
A great question would be: Did they have a Fire Support Coordination Cell which would imply that it was a battalion sized supported operation? You can bet that someone has the communications, at minimum, from the FO to FDC or Gun Line.
Noob1999, a mortar system is really a fairly technical piece of equipment. There are a couple of methods of engagements that we utilize for mortars. Hand-Held: Only the 60mm, M224 Mortar, is capable of firing hand held utilizing the M-9 base plate. Normally this is in the assault mode and it requires a lot of experience to gain real proficiency.
All other mortars utilize a much larger base plate. First rounds are rarely on target since the initial round seats the baseplate deep into the soil. This allows for the stability of the weapons system.
Corrections are given by a Forward Observer and his position is plotted by the Fire Direction Control center. When the FO announces a correction of Add,Drop, Left and Right it is computed mathematically by the FDC and transmitted to the mortar Gunline as Deflection and Elevation changes.
The Mortar sight is calibrated into 6400 Mills. Once the data, deflection and Elevation, is placed on the sight; the sight is realigned to a fixed point, aiming Stakes, to the rear or front of the Mortar tube, and the mortar is then ready to fire.
Each subsequent command requires the same steps IOT ensure accuracy. The 60, 81 and 120mm mortar systems are the most difficult weapons in a Infantry Battalion to gain mastery of.
I hope I did not make this overly complicated but firing from a moving platform will not work and you can bet that is not the way these guys fired their Mortars. It’s hard firing a 81mm from a LAV and impossible from a pickup truck more than once!
Friendly fire by the U.S.? Is that what the secrecy over Benghazi is all about?
I don’t think so. I think they would have confessed that. It is my belief that President Obama gave up or surrendered at Benghazi. That is why there was no military response. I believe that there were ongoing negotiations that night. I believe that the conditions accepted by President Obama are so damning that the release of them would end the Democrat party. That is why none of the people at the annex will be allowed to speak. Even the Republicans are afraid of the results of the country knowing about what went on in Libya. Not because they were involved, but because of the bedlam it might release. Me, I kind of like bedlam.
Yep. The scary part is thinking about who has that capability and who doesn’t.
These people are all nutz including Schaffer. The whole idea of a small mortar, say 60 mm, is to fire and scoot. With a decent sight it can hit a swimming pool repeatedly, in a truck or rickshaw or on a mule, every thirty seconds or so. The real test however is what kind of wounds actually killed the guys on the roof. The second test is whether or not the rounds contacted the roof or hit something like a person on the way down. If the rounds hit the roof then there should be a hole in the roof to match. In none of the pics of the building has any roof holes been evident. Until we see actualy physical evidence the rest is all hokum upon which I threw the BS flag long ago.
General Carter Ham (ret), former Commander, AFRICOM
Thanks GE. Have friends that spell with two and just couldn’t remember how he spelled or even if I had the right guy —— much appreciated!