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October 27, 2012

Obama Spokesman: Obama Didn't Deny Permission To Send Rescue Force To Benghazi

Yesterday the CIA said they didn't say no to a rescue mission for Ambassador Stevens and other Americans under attack. Today the White House said it wasn't Obama. Hey DoD...the music is slowing down and you don't have a chair.

"Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

...

The "basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place," [Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta] said during a joint question-and-answer session with Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

"As a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation," Panetta said. General Carter Ham commands the U.S. Africa Command.

Link via Stephen Hayes.

How realistic is that? It doesn't seem very. Every combatant commander has a dedicated special operations team dedicated to dealing with situations just like this.

A Special Forces commander’s in-extremis force, or CIF, company. A CIF is highly trained in direct action and available to conduct no-notice high-risk missions for the geographic combatant commander its parent SF group supports.

"No-notice", that's what they do. The call for help goes out and they go. These forces are designed for situations where intelligence is "sketchy" and you don't have the luxury of weeks or months of planning as in the bin Laden raid.

So, who said, "no don't send the force that is specifically designed to handle this type of mission".

Even if someone at DoD or in Germany (where Africa Command is headquartered) why didn't Obama say, "Go! That's an order"? That's what a gutsy call looks and sounds like.

Related: If you missed my interview with security expert Robert Caruso about the Benghazi attack and how the Department of State's culture and structure led to this failure, it's below the fold.


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posted by DrewM. at 03:17 PM

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