The story of Benghazi has been in the news for more than a month now. There are many aspects of this story that are downright disturbing. The latest has to do with the military and special forces people that could have helped the Americans under fire being told to stand down. Stand down? While the higher-ups in the Obama Administration watched Americans being killed in real time? What in the world is this?
Fox News reported some of the details today. Fox reports:
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
…According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.
American soldiers have a tradition of leaving no man behind. Evidently the Obama Administration was not familiar with that tradition. One of the problems Benghazi has caused is that it will reinforce the Al Qaeda attitude that America is a paper tiger. The lack of response to this attack with embolden Al Qaeda to plan and execute more attacks on American soil (an Embassy is considered American soil) without fear of retribution. This is very reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter administration–the reason the Iranian hostages were returned as soon as Ronald Reagan took office was that the Iranians feared that President Reagan would actually retaliate if the hostages were not returned. There was reason to respect the power of America. We have lost that respect and need to restore it.