Benghazi Cover Up, Dead Cats and Collateral Damage: General Petraeus, General Allen, General Ham, and Admiral Gaouette?
Something has bothered me for weeks that is now bothering me even more. I don’t like to speculate without evidence, so until now, I have intentionally refrained from discussing the very questionable fate of highly decorated Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette. I have also refrained out of respect for Admiral Gaouette, because his case is so shrouded in mystery, it is impossible to say what exactly happened. But there are a few facts that are known that deserve to be noted. Because in light of recent revelations in the ongoing Benghazi investigation it is theoretically possible that those facts may relate to what occured in Benghazi.
It has become very obvious this past week that General David Petraeus has become collateral damage in the wake of the Benghazi attack. Could Rear Admiral Gaouette, decorated for outstanding leadership, and fired in the wake of Benghazi, be collateral damage from the Benghazi attack? Could General Carter Ham, equally decorated and esteemed, also in the Pentagon the night of Benghazi, and now mysteriously going into “early retirement” years before his time, also be collateral damage?
Is General John Allen, whose career has likely been destroyed for being too Southern and calling Ms. Kelley “Sweetheart” a case of collateral damage from the collateral damage that is obviously General Petraeus? What about General Petraeus? Why did he tow the White House line and originally tell legislators and the American people that the atttack was carried out by an angry mob over a video – only to say after his firing, that it was immediately known to be an Al Qaeda linked terror attack?
Four highly decorated top brass commanders have fallen or been re-assigned since Benghazi. Why?
The following is an update on General Petraeus testimony yesterday. It is also an analysis of the mysterious firing of Admiral Gaoette, the early retirement of General Carter Ham, and the not-so-scandalous but devasting plight of General John Allen, commander of US forces in Afghanistan.
An Update on the Controversy Surrounding Petraues’ Testimony
There are four major issues that surround the murder of Ambassador Stevens, former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and Air force veteran, Sean Smith. It was Sean Smith who wrote a chilling message the day of their murder that indicated they would likely be killed before the following day.
The four major issues of the intial cover up are:
1.) Why did the White House and the State Department ignore repeated calls for months for more security as Al Qaeda hoisted their flags in Benghazi, and took control of the city? For that matter, why did they reduce security rather than increase it?
2.) Why was no military assistance sent to aid those being murdered in Benghazi that night?
3.) Why did the Obama administration put out a propaganda campaign that the attack was merely an angry mob upset over a video? Why did they mislead the American people into a false sense of security as they utterly denied the current and very prominent rise of Al Qaeda, which threatens our national security?
4.) Who is responsible for the most egregious cover up in American history? Who initiated it, who aided it, and why?
In addition to these issues at the heart of the Benghazi cover up, more has come to light that also begs an answer to “why”.
Following Petraeus testimony, two major issues arose in conjunction with the above. And these issues are important. They may even be considered possible evidence of motive.
Petraeus’ testimony yesterday proved that what Paula Broadwell said about him weeks ago was true: He knew within 24 hours it was an Al Qaeda linked terror attack. However, in his original testimony he blamed it on a youtube video. Why did a man who has been a loyal and invaluable champion for the United States during war time suddenly let America down and allow a propaganda machine to lull the American people into a false sense of security?
I posted the following video a few days ago before Petraeus testified that may tell us “why” he fell in line with Washington’s version of events. For those who missed it, I am posting it again. Because it is important, and may tell us “why”.
This is a very realistic and plausible theory, and there is no other, so it must be considered as possible. It could even be considered as probable.
The other issue that emerged from Petraeus’ testimony yesterday, was the removal of critical information from the talking points memo. Yesterday on Fox, Megyn Kelly, Congressman Pete King, and former Ambassador John Bolton discussed this latest twist and the ramifications of Petraeus’ testimony. John Bolton laid the blame for the change in talking points squarely at Obama’s feet when he said Petraeus’ testimony “put the dead cat on the White House doorstep” :
So now we know that Petraeus did know it was an Al Qaeda terror attack, and now we know that “the dead cat” appears to be laying on the White House steps because they are the ones who almost certainly removed all reference to Al Qaeda from the talking points memo. It’s not a stretch to say they had to do so. How else could they continue to claim it was a video and an angry mob that caused the murder of our Ambassador? What is more, there is motive here: No one else had such motive, which we get to shortly.
Now we know that Petraeus, highly and rightly revered as an American hero whose skill as a military strategist saved countless American lives, is collateral damage from that night in Benghazi. What about General John Allen?
General John Allen appears to be collateral damage from the fallout over Petraeus. Another brilliant and stellar career, destroyed. Those close to General Allen swear by his ethical character. According to those who know General Allen well, he is a straight tried and true arrow who may have foolishly put himself in a potentially scandalous situation, but there is not likely to be much scandalous about it. You will find an excellent article on the General here, where his colleagues in the know discuss the current scandal.
What about General Carter Ham?
The situation for General Ham does not look good.
Not for General Ham’s sake, and not for the Obama administration. Because General Ham’s unexpected and untimely early retirement may lay another dead cat on the White House steps. General Ham was in Washington the night of the Benghazi attack, and as commander of AFRICOM, he was actively engaged at the Pentagon at the National Military Command Center the night of the attack. It was General Ham from his station at the Pentagon, who ordered an unarmed drone to be re-directed to Benghazi. A drone which ultimately filmed the attack, live, as multiple individuals in Washington observed the horrific events as they occured. We also learn from this same article, the National Military Command center, with General Ham at the helm, immediately notified Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Martin Dempsey.
This is a matter of record that has come out. See article at link immediately above. Where the second dead cat may have begun it’s demise is in the days to follow. When questioned as to “why” no military aid was sent to help those trapped and dying in the flames of Benghazi, the second cat went on life support. The public statement put out by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the following:
“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. 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.”
Okay, there may now be a total of three dead cats based on this statement. After this statement was made, and as everyone now knows, the news came out that we had real time information about what was taking place. A drone filmed it, urgent messages were coming in, and General Ham, General Dempsey, and Secretary Panetta, no doubt did have some sort of discussion as they watched the attack from the Pentagon that night. So when the truth came out that utterly destroyed the “we didn’t have any information” statement, a second dead cat landed on the White House door step. We did have ample live information. Nevertheless, no help came because of decisions made that night. Obama is the one who must give the order. He didn’t. Thus, four Americans died without rescue, and a second dead cat lands on the White House steps.
A third dead cat came from that statement and it pertains directly to General Ham’s bizarre early retirement. The reason for that dead cat is simply this: General Ham privately disputed what Panetta publically and inaccurately stated. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), discussed General Ham’s statement with Fox News on or about October 28th. Here is what I am referring to:
And thus, a third cat bites the dust and lands on the White House doorstep. The third dead cat is the apparent sad reality that General Ham may have been put out to pasture for disagreeing with Panetta – which threatened to destroy the cover up.
As the story broke about General Ham’s retirement, many were stunned. Congressman Allen West, (R-FL), is a former Lt. Colonel who is a highly decorated war veteran of Iraq. Congressman West has to his credit the following:
Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device); Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Valorous Unit Award; Air Assault Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge
Congressman West also knows General Ham personally. Upon the strange and utterly unexpected announcement from the Pentagon that General Ham would be going into early retirement, Congressman West shared his perspective of this shocking event in “Something Doesn’t Smell Right About General Carter Ham“. Congressman West had this to say:
“I knew General Carter Ham from my active duty service in the Army and have interacted with him as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. General Ham possesses an impeccable reputation built upon an exceptional character, integrity beyond reproach, and a keen warrior ethos. It is absolutely astonishing to me that all of a sudden General Ham was removed from AFRICOM Command and is now retiring. There is something horribly amiss here and Americans should demand an explanation from the Commander-in-Chief as to why a major Combatant Commander has been removed from command early and is now retiring”
It just may be that, the “something” that does not smell right is another dead cat on the White House doorstep. General Ham could very possibly be additional collateral damage from Benghazi.
To read an excellent article on General Ham’s very questionable and sudden early retirement, click here. This article also discusses another potential dead cat to be laid on the White House steps.
On that note, it is time to take a hard look at the scant information available on the very sudden and highly controversial firing of Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette.
Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette
Until very recently, Admiral Gaouette was the highly respected head of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group which was in operation in the Arabian Sea the night of the Benghazi attack. Following the terror attack in Benghazi, as questions arose over why military assistance was not provided when it was clearly in reach, roughly a week after it was announced that General Ham would now be going into early retirement, on October 27, 2012, Admiral Gaouette was relieved of his command, and is now facing an investigation for “inappropriate leadership judgement”.
Now to those who are unfamliar with the Admiral’s record and do not know any better, this raises the spectre of the ability of Admiral Gaouette’s ability to command. To those who do know better, this raises the spectre of a possible Benghazi connection. Along with many others, I am in the latter camp and have been camped there since the news broke that he had been relieved of his command. Unfortunately, those of us who know better can only speculate these past weeks, because unlike Paula Broadwell, we are not privy to classified information. Personally, I’m thankful for that. Here is what we do know of Admiral Gaouette’s military record:
“The Navy fired the one-star commander of a carrier strike group patrolling the Arabian Sea on Oct. 27, a highly unusual removal that occurred amid an investigation of his leadership by the naval inspector general……Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, head of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was flown back to the U.S. amid this probe, said to be looking into reports that he exhibited “inappropriate leadership judgment,”……………..
The firing marks a swift and career-ending turn for the career ship-driver. As commanding officer of the destroyer Oldendorff, Gaouette received the coveted Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership in 2003, an award presented annually to the fleet’s top two skippers…..In addition, Gaouette wears four Legions of Merit, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals and 14 other personal, unit and campaign medals, according to Navy Personnel Command.”
Source: The Navy Times. Entire article, here. So we have a strike group in operation in the Arabian Sea with Admiral Gaouette commanding the operation at the helm of the USS John C. Stennis. What about the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis? Here is some of what we know from a very basic public record:
The mission of Stennis and her embarked Air Wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward deployed in the global arena. The embarked Air Wing consists of eight to nine squadrons. Attached aircraft are Navy and Marine F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, MH-60R, MH-60S, and E-2C Hawkeye.
The Air Wing can engage enemy aircraft, submarines, and land targets, or lay mines hundreds of miles from the ship. Stennis’s aircraft are used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the Battle Group or other friendly shipping, and implement a sea or air blockade. The Air Wing provides a visible presence to demonstrate American power and resolve in a crisis. The ship normally operates as the centerpiece of a Carrier Battle Group commanded by a flag officer embarked upon Stennis and consisting of four to six other ships.
Many theories are out there about the sudden and inexplicable firing of Admiral Gaouette. Some are unbelievable to me, and I will not give them place here. They consist of a theory that the Admiral was about to revolt against Obama if he won the election, and these theories appear to have possibly originated from Iran, who also claimed alot of nonsense about 911. But there are far more realistic theories that may lay another dead cat on the White House doorstep.
It is said that Admiral Gaouette was fired and is currently being investigated for refusing to stand down the night the consulate was attacked in Benghazi. According to rumor, the Admiral was about to defy orders and launch help, and his second in command stepped up and stopped him. I’m not certain this is true. But it does remind me of something that struck me as horrible very early on.
One of many things that has troubled me about the night that Tyrone Woods was killed in Benghazi: He was pointing his laser at the terrorists firing the mortars. He was painting the target with his laser from the rooftop of the annex. He risked his life by revealing his position in order to do so. When he did so, it cost him his life, because he was subsequently killed by that same mortar fire. He may have been expecting help from the air that never arrived because that help was ordered to stand down.
Was Admiral Gaouette on the verge of defying orders to stand down that night? We don’t know. We may never know. Hopefully someday we will know more than we do now. The Navy has been by neccessity, extremely tight lipped about the firing of Admiral Gaouette. They have stated his firing had nothing to do with “personal reasons”. Therefore we know it had nothing to do with his personal behaviour. We are not talking about the type of “Conduct Unbecoming” that cost Petraeus his job. It was for “inappropriate leadership judgement”. And that’s about all they have said.
For an Admiral of this calibre, who is not only highly decorated mulitple times, including the Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership, it forces one to pause and wonder: What was the “inappropriate leadership judgement” exercised by Admiral Gaouette? Coming within a week of the announcement of the sudden and unexpected retirement of General Ham, it is fair to ponder a possible Benghazi connection. It is almost foolish not to.
Because as surely as General Ham was giving orders for that drone from the Military Command Center at the Pentagon during the attack, every commander in the region was privy to classified urgent messages from the Pentagon, and they were all aware of what was occuring in Benghazi. And this includes Admiral Gaouette, who was in command of instant rapid fire power in the form of the many jets onboard his ship. Jets that could have easily and swiftly aided those murdered in Benghazi – as surely as Israel can put a car carrying a Hamas commander in the bullseye of their jets, and blow him to hell and back in a Gaza split second.
Was it Their Fate That Dealt the Blow or Something Different?
Every one of these top commanders deserve the respect of the American people for their invaluable service to our nation. And while General Petraeus was wrong to misrepresent the facts of Benghazi and mislead the American people, an important question remains:
If that horrific night in Benghazi had never occured, would we have ever met Paula Broadwell? Would General Petraeus still be the director of the CIA? The White House knew for months about Paula Broadwell. And Petreaus’ job was safe. Would General Allen still be the dutiful straight arrow commander of our Afghanistan forces? Would we have ever met Jill Kelley, the woman who destroyed the career of General Allen? Would General Ham still be impeccably outstanding commander of AFRICOM? Would Admiral Gaouette be in his rightful place tonight commanding a strike force to thwart terror by land and sea, onboard the USS John C. Stennis? We don’t know for sure.
But what we do know, is that if Benghazi had never happened, there would not be a litter of dead cats on the White House steps.
The stench of the corruption that surrounds Benghazi grows stronger with each passing revelation. The mystery continues to haunt that night and call into question the plight of these top brass warriors. We are still uncertain why these men were retired early, or disgraced, replaced, removed from command, and facing investigations that regardless of the outcome, will leave their otherwise stellar career in a shambles. Another paramount question is “why” any of this occured.
We know that the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three brave Americans was a senseless tragedy that could have been easily avoided had the Obama administration not chosen to utterly ignore their distress calls for months, even up to the night they died. We know that we have been lied to, en masse. We know that Al Qaeda is on the rise, not “on their heels”. What we don’t know is “why” the talking points on Al Qaeda were removed without the public’s knowledge. We don’t know why any aspect of this cover up occured, or why Obama chose to pretend Al Qaeda was “decimated”.
But we may have some insight from former Ambassador John Bolton, and others. In his interview with Fox in the video above, Bolton indicated the talking points were removed for either idealogical reasons or political reasons. Could it really be ideaolgy? Is it possible that the Obama administration is so tightly adhered to the idealogy that Al Qaeda is “decimated” that they actually believe this to be true? No, this is impossible. And this is why.
Al Qaeda is not only not “decimated”, they have grown stronger. And the White House knows this. Not only did Al Qaeda openly call for more assassinations of more of our Ambassadors after Benghazi, Al Qaeda openly rallied tens of thousands to rise up in protest against the United States.
And screaming “We are all Osama bin Laden”, they did indeed rise up against the United States. This past September, as Ambassador Stevens and the other dead of Benghazi were being flown home, Al Qaeda’s urging resulted in attacks against our embassasies on sovereign soil in multiple countries, and uprisings by tens of thousands in over 20 nations. But there is more, and it did not occur back in September, but less than a month ago.
On October 21st, the day before one of the Presidential debates, while Obama was on the campaign trail lauding the death of Osama Bin Laden, and declaring Al Qaeda to be “decimated”, Jordanian authorities halted a massive Al Qaeda linked terror plot in Jordan that would have killed thousands at one blow. The targets included two shopping centers, and multiple western diplomats such as Ambassador Stevens:
One week later, on October 29th, the same thing occured in Indonesia. A Salafist terror group in Indonesia was thwarted. They had targeted a Plaza, a United States Embassy in Jakarta, and the US consulate-general in the city of Surabaya in eastern Java as well as a Police Mobile Brigade:
It should be noted here, that the anniversary of the “Bali Bombings” that is referred to here, is a reference to a horrific Al Qaeda attack that occured ten years ago in Indonesia. It should also be noted here that it is an Al Qaeda linked Salafist terror group known as Ansar Al-Sharia who is believed to be responsible for the murder of Ambassador Stevens and those slain at Benghazi that night.
Meanwhile, just over one week following the thwarted Al Qaeda attack in Jordan, and a scant two days following this recent thwarted attack in Indonesia, on November 1st, 2012, Obama had this to say about Al Qaeda on the campaign trail, and he continued to say it all the way to Ohio, the day before the election:
We may see here the reason for the cover up. It is hard to win an election if the only thing you can lay claim to is untrue. Obama succeeded in brilliantly misleading millions of Americans on the current state of Al Qaeda and our national security.
However: He has yet to explain the inexcusable tragedy in Benghazi that occured as a result of a lack of requested security, the cover up in it’s aftermath, and the tragic litter of dead cats on the doorstep of the White House.
“Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack. We owe it to the American people and the victims of this attack to have full, fair hearings and accountability be assigned where appropriate.” ~Senator Lindsey Graham
Update 10/22/2012: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a new statement that contradicts their sworn testimony of last week that they did not change the talking points memo. Legislators are furious and pledge to continue the investigation. General Allen resumes command of forces in Afghanistan, Petreaus hires an attorney, and the Department of Justice and the FBI come under scrutiny by Congress. To see the latest update, please click here.