Friday, May 22, 2015

Deciding Not to Get There First With the Most

This is an interesting account of Benghazi on September 11, 2012, but I have to take issue with this:

Abu Khattala, a terrorist leader and possibly one of the ring leaders of the attacks, said that he was in fact motivated by the video. Khattala is now in US custody and under indictment for the role he played in the assault.

No. Khattala was not motivated by a video. He was already a terrorist leader and so motivated to kill us whether or not a video existed or he saw it or even heard of it.

At best, a video was an excuse. And they have plenty of grievances to justify slaughtering innocent people, whether Moslem of Infidel. So don't even speak to me of a jihadi being motivated to attack our people at Benghazi by some stupid video.

But do read it. The attack was quickly gathered up and not a long-planned assault, according to this.

His explanation for only 5 mortar rounds being fired at the CIA annex as being because the enemy only brought 5 rounds, indicating that this was hastily organized, is persuasive to me--about the mortar, anyway.

But I've never insisted the attack had to have been pre-planned for it to be a terrorist assault unrelated to a video.

And there was information that the attack on the "consulate" was planned at least 10 days in advance.(tip to Instapundit)

Perhaps just use of a mortar wasn't planned, eh?

Or maybe the attack on the annex, where the mortar was used, was not planned while the attack on the "consulate" where our ambassador died was planned. Hard to say, even now.

While that  information about the attack being planned in advance may be wrong in full or part, at the time of the administration's explanations for the attack, that was the information the administration had. Yet they went with the video explanation.

Also note how the Annex CIA personnel rapidly reacted on their own to reach the "consulate" (the TMF) and that the State Department quickly dispatched a small but available security force from Tripoli to Benghazi:

Had CIA officers not responded to the TMF would have been more fatalities there.

This is the important part. My main question of that day is why couldn't our military do the same thing?

In all our forces in Europe, we didn't have a single transport plane and a platoon of special forces, infantry, military police, or air base security forces available to head to Benghazi just in case?

Nobody in European Command had the authority or initiative to begin to move forces toward Benghazi?

Really? That's pretty damning for a nation at war.

I suspect that because of our president's declaration that al Qaeda on their heels and on the run, with our wars being "responsibly ended," our military leadership had a peacetime mindset rather than a war perspective that would have made reacting to an enemy attack their first impulse.

Indeed, the lack of advance planning for the attack makes it even more important for us to have reacted fast. A pre-planned assault could have been over before we could fly and drive to the sites.

But for a situation developing, as it did, who knows what we could have done if we'd acted like we were at war that day and moved to the sound of the guns?

I wouldn't assume Morell is telling the full story. But certainly some pieces of it sound true. And my main question remains unanswered.