A Matter of Honor
You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
I have always enjoyed the speech of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men because it contains quite a bit of truth in it, and I have regretted that the words are placed in the mouth of the villainous Colonel Jessup. In regard to fallen American heroes Tyrone Woods and Greg Doherty it is completely, and righteously, applicable.
The higher-ups in the Obama administration who turned their backs on Woods and Doherty could never understand such men. It was no part of their mission to supply embassy security. Instead, after the Benghazi attack began, Tyrone Woods asked for permission to go and risk his life to rescue the embassy personnel. He was denied permission two times, and he went anyway. He was unarmed initially, picking up his weapons from what he found on the ground, the cast away arms of the Libyan mercenaries who were supposed to provide security at the consulate and who ran when the attack began. He rescued 20 embassy personnel and got them to the CIA annex, where they were evacuated while Woods, joined by Doherty who arrived in Benghazi after the attack began, engaged in a lop sided fight against some 150 to 200 attackers. During this time they gave live intelligence to their CIA higher-ups and requested military aid. The CIA has denied that it was anyone from the CIA who vetoed the aid. So, Doherty and Woods fought their own personal Alamo alone, slaying some 60 of their foes, until they were killed at their machine gun by a mortar round some six hours and twenty minutes from the time the attack began.
Doherty and Woods had their lives taken from them, fighting for their country and to save others. They epitomize what the term honor means. To the White House higher-ups who denied them aid, perhaps Doherty and Woods seemed to be fools: “Didn’t they realize that personal survival is the be all and end all? They were idiots for sticking their necks out! Now we have this political mess to clean up!” Yeah, it is easy to visualize both curses and laughter being aimed at the spirits of these men. The Seal Code these men lived and died by would be literally incomprehensible to the people who made the decision not to send them aid: 1) Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate, 2) Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield, 3) Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit, 4) Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates, 5) Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation, 6) Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Enemies, and 7) Earn your Trident every day.
Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, has addressed Obama directly:
“I was contacted by military personnel yesterday, who told me an interesting fact. And that is any consulate anywhere in the world is American soil,” Woods said. “Any attack on an American consulate is an attack on American soil. There were American citizens that were attacked for seven hours on American soil a couple thousand miles away from Washington, D.C.”
“My question of the president would be this: Your Honor, I respect your office as president. But if this attack on American citizens, on American soil, happened 2,000 miles away from Washington, D.C. — say in Los Angeles or in Seattle — would you have waited seven hours before you sent the first airplane? Would you have waited seven hours until the attack was over? Would you have waited a couple of days until you had all of the videos and all the information before you responded in a responsible military way?” …
“This is about honor, courage and about love for America. And remember this, Mr. President: My son and the others died heroes and it’s better to die the death of a hero than it is to live the life of a coward. If you are responsible for the death of my son, I forgive you, I love you. I also love America.”
Go here to Hot Air to view a video of Mr. Woods saying this. Some things transcend politics and this is one of them. Two very brave men died because no assistance was sent to them. We need to find out all of the facts and then punish those who made this decision. Honor demands this.
Update: Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Retired Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet Admiral James Lyons speaks out:
The Obama national security team, including CIA, DNI, State Department and the Pentagon, watched and listened to the assault but did nothing to answer repeated calls for assistance. It has been reported that President Obama met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the Oval Office, presumably to see what support could be provided. After all, we had very credible military resources within striking distance. At our military base in Sigonella, Sicily, which is slightly over 400 miles from Benghazi, we had a fully equipped Special Forces unit with both transport and jet strike aircraft prepositioned. Certainly this was a force much more capable than the 22-man force from our embassy in Tripoli.
I know those Special Forces personnel were ready to leap at the opportunity. There is no doubt in my mind they would have wiped out the terrorists attackers. Also I have no doubt that Admiral William McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, would have had his local commander at Sigonella ready to launch; however, apparently he was countermanded—by whom? We need to know.
I also understand we had a C-130 gunship available, which would have quickly disposed of the terrorist attackers. This attack went on for seven hours. Our fighter jets could have been at our Benghazi mission within an hour. Our Special Forces out of Sigonella could have been there within a few hours. There is not any doubt that action on our part could have saved the lives of our two former Navy SEALs and possibly the ambassador.
Having been in a number of similar situations, I know you have to have the courage to do what’s right and take immediate action. Obviously, that courage was lacking for Benghazi. The safety of your personnel always remains paramount. With all the technology and military capability we had in theater, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only incomprehensible, it is un-American.