“(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.
THEY DISOBEYED THE ORDER!
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.