The security officer had a laser on the target that was
firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship,
which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide
support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense
firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four
hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480
miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier
One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force
Everyone is reporting this but they are missing a key point. From the retired Delta operator:
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
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.
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.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.