They Deserved a Commander-in-Chief…

| November 3, 2012

Liz Cheney, speaking on the Sean Hannity show, nailed the essence of the Libya scandal when she said that those warriors who died there deserved a commander-in-chief with standards as high as their own.

And therein lies the truth of this whole mess. Integrity and courage displayed on the ground by those who do the actual fighting is not mirrored at the command level. American warriors, motivated not by politics, but by a sense of what is the right and honorable thing to do for their country, are betrayed by politicians in the White House and the Pentagon.

Betrayed… that is the key word to be considered by the American public in its assessment of just what went on in Benghazi, Libya, and why four Americans had to die there while calling for nearby military support, which never arrived. Orders from somewhere up the chain of command, were issued to potential rescuers to stand down. Stand Down: those are bitter words to warriors who know their own kind are in jeopardy.

I remember listening to the final radio transmissions of a long-range patrol inserted by my battalion in Vietnam in 1966 as they were discovered and quickly annihilated by the much larger North Vietnamese unit they were observing. The sense of helpless rage that consumed everyone in that command tent is indescribable. Our guys were too far away and the firefight was over too quickly for us to launch a reactionary force, so we simply had to sit and listen helplessly as they were overrun. It is one of those experiences better left in the memory cellar, a haunting recollection of listening to men die through a crackling military field radio.

That was a terrible, horrific feeling, then, but one that should be infinitely more horrifying for those in the American government and our military command structure who sat on their hands watching video transmissions from overhead drones while four brave Americans fought for their lives. You can bet that every command element that had access to the video feed was watching it happen in real time and there must have been many of those watching or listening who shared my long-ago helpless fury, but for different reasons entirely: not that they were too far away or that they didn’t have time to react, but due to an inexplicable order that came from some unidentified level in the command structure to, “Stand down.”

We have lost young men of immense courage here who are deserving of their nation’s highest recognition and awards for their valor. No less, their families need to know, are entitled to know, why their deaths were necessary. They lost their lives needlessly in that mission and the question begging is, “Why?” Hopefully, with a Romney administration, we just might get an answer to that question, but if Obama remains in office you can rest assured every effort will be directed to seeing that this military malfeasance at best, and political treachery at worst, will be swept under that old raggedy rug of political corruption.

Here’s a very spot-on quote from military writer Tom Ricks regarding the divide between troops on the ground and their commanders:

BIZARRELY, THE TACTICAL excellence of enlisted soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan may have enabled and amplified the strategic incompetence of the generals in those wars, allowing long-running problems in the military’s leadership culture to reach their full expression. The Army’s combat effectiveness let its generals dither for much longer than they could have if the Army had been suffering clear tactical setbacks. “One of the reasons we were able to hold on despite a failing strategy, and then turn the situation around, was that our soldiers continued to be led by highly competent, professional junior officers and noncommissioned officers whom they respected,” Sean MacFarland, who as a brigade commander in Ramadi in 2006 was responsible for a major counterinsurgency success, said at a 2010 Army symposium on leadership. “And they gave us senior officers the breathing space that we needed, but probably didn’t deserve, to properly understand the fight we were in.”

It is, as history will always attest, the grunt, the guy slugging it out in the mud and the blood, who keeps these so-called leaders, these perfumed princes and posturing politicians, from being exposed as the heartless manipulators they really are. While Liz Cheney was spot-on when she noted that these young warriors in Benghazi deserved a commander-in-chief with standards as high as their own. I would rephrase that to, “Cojónes as big as their own.” Unfortunately, their commander-in-chief and his pentagon poodles all appear to have been neutered.

Crossposted at American Thinker

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden

Comments (28)

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  1. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Damn man. You nailed it. Got me all pissed off again. How can it possibly be that to this moment we don’t know exactly who issued what orders to whom and when? Two answers:

    1) There’s an election pending, and;

    2) There isn’t a backbone among the leadershit.

    It’s that second one that bothers me the most. I never expected Clinton, obama, Panetta, or anyone else in the administration to tell the truth BUT I did expect that by now some uniform somewhere would stand up and say, “Screw my position. My principles and the truth come first and then lay it out for us. I was quite wrong. They’ll probably be hobnobbing tonight, maybe home watcjing a football game, while four Americans lie cold.

  2. Devtun says:

    Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons is publicly pressuring administration to come clean on Benghazi…matter of time before more retired senior officers follow suit and MSM can’t cover BO forever…excerpt from Washington Times:

    “Once the attack commenced at 10:00 p.m. Libyan time (4:00 p.m. EST), we know the mission security staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli. It now appears the White House, Pentagon, State Department, CIA, NDI, JCS and various other military commands monitored the entire battle in real time via frantic phone calls from our compound and video from an overhead drone. The cries for help and support went unanswered.”

    Read more: LYONS: Obama needs to come clean on what happened in Benghazi – Washington Times
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  3. Redacted1775 says:

    Amazing how we can’t get this regime to shut up about the OBL raid, and not a peep about their blunder in Benghazi that cost good men their lives. Wait, no, it’s not amazing at all, in fact it’s frighteningly predictable. The trash gets tossed out next Tuesday.

  4. THUNDER-26 says:

    They also fail the re-assigning General Ham,who had to be taken into custody form disobeying orders and getting ready to send help, along with an Air Craft Carrier Commander who was about to do the same thing.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    You have no idea how angry I am.

    There is only so much garbage that can be swept under the rug before the winds of time blow the rug away. — OOMOS

  6. ex-Army doc says:

    This post is a classic, Poe. Your words will be valuable for any VA mental health clinician who wants to understand a sadly common source of anger among combat veterans.

    I have heard these stories all too often, occasionally from your fellow Vietnam veterans, and they never fail to strike me as epidodes of gut-wrenching betrayal.

    You and your fellow grunts deserved better then, as do the sons and grandsons of Vietnam who proudly serve today in our nation’s infantry.

    Vote next Tuesday and express your opinion. Call a friend and ask if you can share a few words about the vote, character, and leading our nation’s military. Or maybe email some friends with links to TAH posts. The posts here have helped educate some of my non-veteran friends about military and veterans issues in the election, and they have thanked me for the information.

    So I, in turn, thank you, Poe, Jonn, TSO, and the many great members of TAH’s community for discussing military and veteran issues in a way they can be understood by our friends and families.

  7. ex AF says:

    Hey, get a clue. THESE WERE STATE DEPARTMENT CONTRACTORS. The military has ZERO responsibility. they were working in a foreign nation. The US has ZERO capability to go into a foreign country and do ANYTHING unless they are asked in. Otherwise, its an act of was. I know all you toothless gum flappers love being macho but there was nothing for President Obama to do except call Libya and tell them we had problems at the consulate. As it stands, 10 Libyans died with the ex-SEALs. But embassies and consulates ARE NOT firebases. Get a clue.

    And what does this have to do with Stolen Valor?
    Just more political BS.

  8. Devtun says:


    So…did we ask Pakistan’s permission during OBL strike? What about drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia? Did we ask may I? So are we at war with these nations now? Really, when has BO really cared about other nations sovereignty for drone strikes? Dubya would have been declared a war criminal w/ stuff BO has gotten away with. Now go away you turd…cleanup on aisle 7.

  9. UpNorth says:

    @#7. WTF is an act of was? Also, fixed up one other point you tried to make, “there was nothing for President Obama to do except call Libya and tell them we had problems at the consulate except go to Vegas for a fundraiser.

  10. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Lay off the jet fuel sniffing, ex AF. That stuff has really affected your thinking. Now I hope you take this as I intend it and not misunderstand me: You are a royal asshole. After weeks of hiding from Benghazi questions, obama and company all along had this ready explanation of yours and failed to use it? That’s it? That’s all you got? What AF were you with or does AF stand for something other those words? And what’s with that question of yours regarding Stolen Valor? This site is not solely about that and never has been. That’s why assholes such as you can come here and spew your crap.

  11. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Yeah, ex AF and current Asshole, and 9/11 was really a local police matter for the NYPD.

  12. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    And another thing “ex AF”–you mentioned the two former Navy SEALS that were killed but omitted the US Air Force Veteran. That’s kind of odd, you POS.

  13. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Dammit. This “ex AF” guy smells like Poole.

  14. UpNorth says:

    Oh, and ex AF, WTF would you know about a firebase?

  15. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Screw him. You can have him. I’m done with ex AF–whatever the hell those letters mean.

  16. valerie says:

    What they deserved was a Commander-in-Chief who would not waste their lives.

    Those of us who are civilians value the lives of those who serve us. To that end, we are willing to pay for equipment, expertise, and planning on a scale unique among nations. We don’t expect that revolting developments will not occur, or that every skirmish end in victory. We do expect, however, the best efforts on the part of those who have the power to put our people in harm’s way.

    …..And the families of those who died both deserve, and can compel, an accounting for their lives.

  17. Poetrooper says:

    I emailed the following directly to Ex-AF:

    An American ambassador is not a “contractor.” The defense of American diplomats is indeed and in fact the responsibility of America’s military forces. If you had any idea of what you are spouting nonsense about you would know that there are designated units in the current military structure whose specific mission is intercession in such events. Do the research before you blow off your mouth.

    You, sonny, should heed the admonition that it is better to be silent and let others think you a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it to all us toothless gum flappers who are obviously your mental superiors. And as an Ex-AF, you should learn to treat your fellow veterans with more respect.

    Russ Vaughn

  18. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well said.

  19. UpNorth says:

    Nicely done, Russ. Unfortunately, with exAF being an Obama apologist, I don’t think he’ll take the advice, or smarten up.

  20. Hondo says:

    Poetrooper: exAF claims to have done PhD work. If I recall correctly, the IP from which he comments here at TAH geolocates to a city in IN which has a university. It’s possible he’s today a member of ivory-tower academia who got his education courtesy of the GI bill.

    exAF also has a history of not bothering to do his homework before commenting here at TAH. I guess he feels he did enough homework while working on his Piled-higher&Deeper to absolve him of the need to ever do such menial tasks in the future.

    Personally, I prefer to do my homework first rather than look like an arrogant fool with an advanced degree via missing the obvious because I didn’t bother. But to each his own.

  21. Hondo, can you drop me a line please?

  22. Hondo says:

    Laughing Wolf: done.

  23. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Hondo: Ph.D. work to him could mean that he works as a maintenance man at the university and that he painted those letters behind the name on the door of a new professor’s office. It could mean that he audited a graduate class. It could mean, too, that he just lied.

  24. OWB says:

    These Americans not only deserved a proper commander in chief, they deserved the same, or greater, security considerations than they would have had on a Carribbean island. So did the sensitive information within the buildings because they presumably contained information critical to our national security. Instead, there was less security in Benghazi than would have been present anywhere else.

    Quite obviously neither the personnel nor the papers were properly secured. The folks are dead and classified materials are still being found on site.

    All Americans should be enraged by this. Yes, the response by some has been political, but for most of us it is simply a matter of survival. Those who do not have the intellect, the skills or the will to survive (or are purposefully working against the best interests of our country) make bad decisions, and quite obviously made them about Benghazi.

    As is often the case, the original mistakes made were horrific enough, but the compounding of those bad decisions with obfuscation is even worse. We all deserve better.

  25. Hondo says:

    2-17 AirCav: indeed true. He doesn’t appear to have ever explicitly claimed to have received a doctorate – just that there were “Chinese espionage agents as students where I went for a PhD in Missouri.”

  26. NHSparky says:

    What Obama has done is a slap in the face to every man or woman who has worn a uniform and sworn to uphold the Code of Conduct. We have an obligation to those with whom we serve and those who serve our nation, be they uniformed, civilian, contractor, or any other capacity, to protect them from hostile acts, and should harm befall them, to never leave our brothers or sisters behind.

    Obama has failed that test, very badly.

  27. MGW says:

    Thanks for the updates as a father of 2 deployed sons this makes me sick to my stomach.I appreciate all that you do to keep up the pressure on this corrupt admistration.

  28. TheTrueAnalyst says:

    I’ve known of some pathetic cases of superiors trying to screw over guys before, but never in my life did I believe that I’d actually see our President do it (I was only a kid during Somalia, so forgive my lack of awareness at the time regarding the fiasco in MOG). This is straight out of the pages and off the screen of “Clear & Present Danger’. God Bless the deceased and their loved ones, and may justice be afforded them.