I graduated the Defense Intelligence College, Staff Attaché course in Washington, DC, during the height of the Iran Hostage Crisis, where US diplomatic personnel were held hostage for 444 days by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomieni. Under the norms of international law, an attack on a diplomatic mission and their personnel is an act of war.
Without divulging details of that Top Secret course; I was trained in what to do if the diplomatic mission came under attack and how to survive if taken hostage.
Over the course of my career, I lived for a year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, worked on security details at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, as well as provide a variety of security services to other Embassies, to include the British, Kuwaiti, Jordanian among others. I also provided similar services to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
So, when I analyze the testimony and narrative provided by Hillary and Obama in regard to the fiasco at Benghazi, it does not match what every diplomatic security professional, military veteran and common-sense gifted American intuitively knows.
No matter what your political flavor is, no red blooded American abides leaving our people behind at a diplomatic mission, under attack for what-ever reason, when they are frantically calling in for help, period. Yet, that is precisely what happened at Benghazi.
For the sake of good order, let’s set aside what nefarious policy may or may not have been taking place there that would deliver a US Ambassador into the hands of Jihadist on what is a day of high security alert for every diplomatic mission, in every jihadist active country in the world, September 11th.
Here is what happened; the US Ambassador on behalf of the President and Secretary of State went into a hot bed of Jihadist activity on Sept. 11th without an ample security detail. No military resources were put on stand-by alert to extract them as a normal precaution. When the call came in, up the entire chain of command, directly to the Commander in Chief, who was made completely aware the Ambassador and dozens of Americans were under blithering military attack as was every military commander in the region, in real time. An order to stand down from any rescue attempt was given. A stand down occurred. Our people were abandoned. A dis-information campaign, orchestrated by the White House spin machine followed.
Here is what did not happen; a concerted effort to deploy every military resource in the region to rescue them at best or avenge them at worst, immediately. This is the equivalent of ordering the firemen responding to a 5 alarm fire to remain in the firehouse and let it burn.
In the chain of command, the only stand down authority who can order 4 star General Commanders to withhold their men from a rescue is the Secretary of Defense and President of the United States of America. This fact alone is a disgrace and dishonor to any Commander in Chief who violates the one and only inviolable and unforgivable act of any American commander, never, ever, leave a man behind, Sir.
Anthony Mele, MA, Diplomacy and Conflict Management, served on the US Army Staff at the Pentagon.