Having a back and forth with a former legendary Delta operator. Here is the gist of what he is implying:
Having spent a good bit of time nursing a GLD (ground Laser Designator) in several garden spots around the world, something from the report jumped out at me.One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target. That means that Specter WAS ON STATION! Probably an AC130U. A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser. You do not "paint" a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.If the AC130 never left Sigonella (as Penetta says) that means that the Predator that was filming the whole thing was armed.If that SEAL was actively "painting" a target; something was on station to engage! And the decision to stand down goes directly to POTUS!
This is far bigger than Watergate.
The second worst feeling in the world has to be the platform crew being desperately asked for help, given a clear target and then having to stand down and watch your fellow Americans die.
The worst has to be the team on the ground knowing that the President just left you to die.
Update: Even with two Predators on station, one unarmed and filming and one armed, the call to stand down comes from the same sources. Earlier today, Bob Owens at PJ Media posts about the responsibility of the order to call off the mission as well as some good info about the AC130s on station.
Update 2: From Adam Baldwin and many of you, here is an audio interview between Rush Limbaugh and a caller identifying as a retired SF Lieutenant Colonel and Special Operations planner for 15 years.
From The Right Scoop:
Update 3: Jeff Emanuel thinks that we might be jumping to conclusions and that Jennifer Griffin at FoxNews might have misreported a statement about active laser on a target. I highly respect Jeff and Jennifer. And either could be correct right now. Hopefully, we'll get some clarification.
Update 4: From quoted retired Delta operator, "Jeff is correct (about lasing without air asset) but the only reason you would do that is to determine a specific grid for indirect fire which the SEAL did not have available. You are in an active firefight against mortars and MGs; there is only one reason to cease returning fire and paint a target and it ain't because you thought it was a good time to pull a PMCS on your fucking GLD."
Update 5: The only way I buy that the former SEAL was lasing the target without an active asset to synch to and destroy the target...maybe, just maybe, it was a last stand move. Maybe he did that to give the inbounds a target if he didn't make it...
Update 6 (updated twice): Another (very very trusted) source is saying that the AC130 Marine resources were in the middle of a rotation and that the new Marine resources weren't ready yet so no help would come from Sigonella. So that confirms Panetta's statement.
Update 7: The retired Delta operator sends some thoughts regarding "The Panetta Doctrine" - aka "The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine"