Delta Force retiree questions Panetta's 'basic principle'
Blackfive got this email from a former Delta Force operative:
The Secretary of 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 Panetta 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”?
...It is similar to a point I have made about the "doctrine" but it comes from someone with a special forces background. The fact is you rarely have as much real time information as we had in Benghazi. You can only conclude that there was some other reason they did not go in and help these people. Even if they did have force protection concerns, that does not explain why they did not use our air assets to hit the enemy.