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Obama Spokesman: Obama Didn't Deny Permission To Send Rescue Force To Benghazi | Main | Saturday Evening Open Thread
October 27, 2012

No, The Navy Didn't Relieve An Admiral Because Of Benghazi

This story is making the rounds and I'm seeing people trying to connect it to Benghazi somehow.

The Navy said Saturday it is replacing the admiral in command of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Middle East, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into undisclosed allegations of inappropriate judgment.

Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette is being sent back to the USS John C. Stennis' home port at Bremerton, Wash., in what the Navy called a temporary reassignment. The Navy said he is not formally relieved of his command of the Stennis strike group but will be replaced by Rear Adm. Troy M. Shoemaker, who will assume command until the investigation is completed.

It is highly unusual for the Navy to replace a carrier strike group commander during its deployment.

It is very unusual for the Navy to fire such a high ranking officer but it's not unusual for them to remove a commander who has done something to lose the trust of their superiors.

How do I know this isn't connected to Benghazi? He'd be the worst scape goat in all of history for several reasons.

1. The Stennis Carrier group is in the Persian Gulf area, which is the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility. It's nowhere near Libya, which is in the 6th Fleet AoR

Most importantly is this little tidbit in the story.

The Stennis group deployed from Bremerton in late August and had entered the Navy 5th Fleet's area of operations in the Middle East on Oct. 17 after sailing across the Pacific.

I don't know exactly where Stennis was on SEPTEMBER 11th but it was nowhere near Libya.

Calendars....How do they work?

My prediction: Gaouette's "judgment" issues have more to do with the port calls in Thailand and Malaysia than nefarious politics.

There are also some rumblings about the General Ham's replacement as Commander of Africa Command being announced this week. If you look at the history of combatant command tours they are usually about 2-2.5 years and this announcement is well within that window. Ham's replacement was simply named, he still must be confirmed by the Senate and then there's usually a few months until the actual change of command.

There are a lot of unanswered questions but trying to fill them in with crazy speculation doesn't help anyone.

Added: There's also a story going around (sorry, no links for nutty conspiracy theories) that General Ham was about to disobey Obama's supposed "stand down" order and was removed from command by his second in command.

Apparently it was only double-secret probation or something.


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posted by DrewM. at 04:35 PM

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