A Soldier’s Perspective On Panetta’s Doctrine And Why It Is Wrong


“(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,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” —–Leon Panetta

Bruce sent me a couple of links.  Which say many things.  One is a post from BLACKFIVE and the other is from Catallaxy Files.  I have alluded to a couple of the points expressed here, and have intended to make a post of it.  But, the ideas and sentiment are difficult to express either verbally or written.



Many people would consider the bottom image as political. It isn’t. It is an expression of outrage. I am an older man now. I’m weaker and less fit. Still, I’d like to think that had I been able, I would have not hesitated to assist my brothers-in-arms on the roofs in Benghazi. If it meant dying alongside them, then it would have been my honor. I certainly would not have cowered in some corner behind a desk and some false doctrine. The top picture is also a statement. Read this….

Disobeying orders: This is via Michelle Malkin:

The Regimental Commander of the U.S. Third Infantry sent word to the nighttime Sentry Detail to secure the post and seek shelter from the high winds, to ensure their personal safety.


During winds that turned over vehicles and turned debris into projectiles, the measured step continued. One fellow said ‘I’ve got buddies getting shot at in Iraq who would kick my butt if word got to them that we let them down. I sure as hell have no intention of spending my Army career being known as the damned idiot who couldn’t stand a little light breeze and shirked his duty.’ Then he said something in response to a female reporters question regarding silly purposeless personal risk… ‘I wouldn’t expect you to understand. It’s an enlisted man’s thing.’God bless the rascal …

Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment; it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Certainly, this isn’t combat, but, because it isn’t combat means that it would have been easier to simply move to safety.

I’m like many who read this blog.  I’m ex-military.  My family is military.  We have always answered the call, proudly wearing the uniforms of the American fighting man.  The thought expressed by Panetta is so abhorrent, so foreign to the American fighting man, it is almost impossible to respond to.  The thought he expresses is the antithesis of why men and women wear the uniform.

As far as eloquence, it is probably General Douglas MacArthur who expressed it best in his Duty, Honor, Country speech, describing the American man-at-arms.  Please read it in its entirety if you have not.  (emphasis mine)

And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now — as one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give.

He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast. But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In 20 campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage.

As I listened to those songs [of the glee club], in memory’s eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs, on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle-deep through the mire of shell-shocked roads, to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of  God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always, for them: Duty, Honor, Country; always their blood and sweat and tears, as we sought the way and the light and the truth.

Now, after reading that consider the two SEALS on top of the annex in Benghazi.  If you have ever truly served in the military, then you know you never really quit being a man-at-arms.  And now Panetta says “(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; …”

No Leon, that’s not why we wear the uniform.  That imbecilic utterance of Panetta’s has spit upon the memory of all that wore the uniform and gave their life for their brothers in arms, the objective, and country.  But, my writings doesn’t do justice to the reaction I, or any other person who ever proudly wore the uniform, of Panetta’s repugnant discourse.  But, Bruce found a couple of posts which demonstrate who these warriors are, and why his thoughts enrage American men-at-arms.

Then there is this.  It is apparently from a Delta-force operator.  Apparently the misspelling of Panetta’s name is intentional.  [profanity used]

Leon Penetta is Either a Dumbass or a Liar

The Secretaryof Defense, in his most determined way, continues to try to protect the President from the fiasco in Benghazi.  So desperate to shield the President he announced what will be forever remembered as the Penetta Doctrine:

“(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,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

Of course, in the circles that I ran with, it will be forever labeled “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine”.

To be fair to Leon, however, his audience for this ridiculous statement was not members of the military and especially not for those in the Special Operations arena who immediately recognized that the entire statement is not a doctrine at all.  It is horseshit, nothing more.

The “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine” was targeted toward civilians.  Read the doctrine carefully.  On the surface it makes a case for Force Protection being an overriding element of critical decision making and it should be and it makes sense.  The Secretary of Defense wants to ensure the safety of our troops and understands the value of “real-time information”.  Okay, makes sense, good job Leon, end of story, right?

A couple of points however need to be made.

First.  I am certain that Penetta realizes that we have very specially trained folks whose job it is to execute missions just like what was needed in Benghazi.  On the other hand, maybe he didn’t, since both of the Generals who he supposedly consulted with have a grand total of ZERO days duty in any Special Operations organization.  In fact, they are both old tankers.  The senior of which, General Dempsy, has a Master’s degree in literature from Duke University, where he wrote a thesis on the Irish poet W B Yeats. He was a Captain then, and that thesis alone should have rendered him ineligible for promotion to field grade officer.

Second, and this is very important. I don’t know what Penetta’s definition of “real-time information” is, but I suspect that, if Eisenhower had the same doctrine, we’d still be sitting in England waiting to invade Europe.

Let’s review the real-time facts that we know so far.  The entire event was being streamed live to the State Department and, in all likelihood, the White House situation room.  That’s pretty “real-time” if you ask me, but it gets worse.  Not only were we watching the entire damn thing on expensive televisions; we had at least two highly trained special operators on the ground in direct communication!

Do you think the whole Pointe Du Hoc event would have happened during the D-Day attack if Ike and boys had two Navy SEALs telling them that the artillery had been moved?  Maybe MacArthur should have cancelled the Inchon landings in Korea because having a live TV stream and two highly trained individuals on the ground just wasn’t quite enough “real-time information”?

And this is why “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine” is so ridiculous.  The best “real-time information” possible is eyes on the objective.  Even better is people on the objective with eyes on the enemy.  Even better than that is people on the objective that are highly trained with years of special ops experience in direct communications.

My God people, this was a perfect intelligence situation to execute a forced entry relief operation!

I spent my youth (24 years) in Infantry and tier one Special Ops units and have been up to my ass is serious fighting on many occasions.  In all that time, I never hit an objective where two Navy SEALs were already there and feeding me all the information I could ever want!  Hell, that wouldn’t even be a raid, it would be a link-up!

What more information do you need?  Or was this never about information at all?  Was it really the president deciding that the lives of four Americans wasn’t worth as much as a campaign talking point?

In any case, this was not a military consideration made by Penetta or any Generals, it was purely political.

And that pisses me off.

It pisses me off as well, brother, and I was only trained as a combat medic.  Again, the thought expressed by Panetta is the antithesis of why and who the American man-at-arms is!  For the readers who may not know, as Secretary of Defense, in the military, Panetta is the second highest ranking person in the chain of command for all military personnel.  Only the president is higher ranking.

Anyone who utters that nonsense Panetta uttered, or agrees with that nonsense is disqualified to be in the chain of command of the U.S. military.  This includes the president of the United States.  These people by their inaction has let down all military, intelligence, and foreign service personnel of the US around the world.  They have disgraced the memory of all who had ever honorably served.

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22 Responses to A Soldier’s Perspective On Panetta’s Doctrine And Why It Is Wrong

  1. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:

  2. kim2ooo says:

    Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” —–Leon Panetta

    [ I will say what others have not ]

    THAT Sir, is a bold a$$ lie!


  3. PhilJourdan says:

    WHy would anyone be surprised given his total disregard for human life?

  4. gator69 says:

    Thanks for sharing that MacArthur speech, Panetta is not qualified to shine his boots.

    I have seen it reported that Woods and Doherty saved 30 lives that night. If that is the case, then Obama was willing to sit by and watch dozens of Americans being cut down by terrorists. Whose side is he on?

  5. kim2ooo says:

    I have a theory.
    I’ll leave it here for others to decide it’s merits.

    I purpose when the tapes are released we will find answers.

    Why Mr Obama went to bed early.
    Why Mr Obama told the lies about the video being the cause.
    Why the Blood smears on the wall.

    Look at Mr Obama’s logo [ not the new flag one – the one used here above. I believe many got it backwards when they looked at the new flag logo and the blood smears, thinking some idiot copied the Embassy wall smears to his new campaign flag logo ].

    My Theory has it just the opposite.

    It was a direct message to Mr Obama.
    These men were killed in absenteeism.

    I believe, the tapes will bear this out. And that is why they won’t be released until after the election.

    • gator69 says:

      Hey Kim! I have come to believe in the past week that the “bedtime” story was given, so he could claim he was NOT there, sitting on his hands while he watched patriots die.

      • kim2ooo says:

        I admit, originally I had thought the same.

        However: If we except these definitions:

        Traits and signs

        Thomas suggests that narcissists typically display most, sometimes all, of the following traits:[5]
        An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges

        Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships

        A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)

        Difficulty with empathy

        Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)

        Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists,
        narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)

        Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt

        Haughty body language

        Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply

        Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)

        Using other people without considering the cost of doing so

        Pretending to be more important than they really are

        Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements

        Claiming to be an “expert” at many things

        Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people

        Denial of remorse and gratitude

        Would / Could Mr Obama stay in a room as video [ sound ] shout something similar to; “kill Obama”?

  6. DirkH says:

    “My God people, this was a perfect intelligence situation to execute a forced entry relief operation!”

    Good to hear it spelled out.

  7. dan says:

    Word from Spec Ops insiders is that Tyrone Woods was ”painting the target” with a laser, meaning they believed that they were backed up by the syncing of the C130 or drone on station overhead. They expected that by revealing their position with the laser on the enemy mortar crew a laser guided missile would be on its way to defend them. Instead?

  8. David says:

    Panetta, has zero business being the Sect of Defense. He spent two years in the milatary behind a desk, with zero training in intelligence. He is a leftist political hack, and even Democrats were shocked at the postion Obama gave to him. Even wiki confirms this.

    • philjourdan says:

      Not to misconstrue your post, but to add a sarcastic sidebar: You mean liberals need to be trained to be intelligent?

  9. kim2ooo says:

    All one needs to do; is remember the first debate.

    Did Mr Obama exhibit any of these above traits during and after [ Remember the picture of Mr and Mrs Obama after the debate ]? Both exhibited these traits.

    They can not hide emotionally or physically from them.
    It would have sent Mr Obama out of the room, as he had no way to counter the terrorists, without yelling at the video, in front of top security personnel present.

    He might even have been told to ” go to bed”?

  10. gator69 says:

    “There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich said.

    “But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action. If that is true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that is true and comes out, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, and Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And that is, I think, very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/31/gingrich-rumor-says-networks-have-white-house-emails-telling-counterterrorism-group-to-stand-down-on-benghazi-rescue/#ixzz2AtNsRxbB

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