When you’re a contract CIA employee, you’re expected to follow an order from a higher-up. No matter who gives the order, whether it’s your CIA station chief, a general, the Secretary of State, the President of the United States, or even someone all the way up the line like Valerie Jarrett.
We’re all upset about the deaths of Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEALs who fought against overwhelming odds in Benghazi. But the fact remains that these two CIA contractors failed to follow an order to “stand down.” Who gave the order? Ah, therein lies the mystery.
Clearly, the Benghazi order- giver was someone at the White House who is used to taking command there at all hours, which pretty much narrows it down to one person–the formidable Mrs. Marian Robinson, mother of FLOTUS and esteemed mother-in-law of POTUS. Mrs. Robinson lives in the family quarters and could have pulled out her rollers and high-tailed it over to the Situation Room on short notice.
Okay, I’ll grant that the timeline is muddled. The attack apparently started around 6 pm Eastern time. Grandma Robinson is probably not authorized to be in the Situation Room after 8 pm because she has to tuck in Sasha and Malia.
As for the First Lady, we know she goes to bed before hubby and shortly thereafter POTUS asks her “Are you ready to be tucked?” An eager-to-be-tucked Michelle would probably have been in bed by 10:00 pm at the latest. (Note: Just an observation, but the First Lady doesn’t seem like a patient tucker-waiter. I think the phrase “hell to pay” could be operative. Therefore, POTUS was probably with her by 10:05 pm, stat.) And POTUS needed his sleep before his fundraising trip to Vegas, so let’s say he got tuckered out by 10:30 p.m. and was catching some zzz’s.
So, now we’re four hours in and there’s nobody on deck for this crisis that’s unfolding in Libya. At this point, maybe CIA chief David Petraeus limo’d over from Langley and barged into the Situation Room. Having assessed the snafu, maybe he sent word to Doherty and Woods that under no circumstances were they to engage with the massed al Qaeda forces. That could spoil the administration’s narrative that al Qaeda was vanquished when Bin Laden went horizontal.
But instead of following the order, these two brave men took it upon themselves to attempt a rescue! In clear violation of a direct order from someone in authority– and stop asking who gave the order. We told you it could have been Gen. Petraeus or Mrs. Robinson, and what does it matter if it was Joe Biden with too much time on his hands? People like Uncle Joe have been known to wander late at night.
For all we know, Hillary Clinton gave the order to stand down. Maybe that’s what taking full responsibility means. One pictures our Secretary of State late at night in the Situation Room, coping with Benghazi all alone, and wondering where Bill is cause he certainly hasn’t been around to tuck her since they lived upstairs. Seems like ex-POTUS stood down some time ago.
As a result of some White House mistakes that are still to emerge, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods lost their lives that awful night. This seems to be a case where disobeying an order from a mysterious someone helped save many lives at the consulate. Then, there is the question of which shadowy figure failed to order backup when it was clear the SEALs were in trouble. Could the mysterious someone and the shadowy figure be one and the same?
Forget what I said about Robinson, Petraeus and Clinton, whom I believe are innocent here. Old Joe didn’t get near this either–if he did, he’d say he’s never been prouder. My money’s on David Axelrod, who would have quickly realized the electoral implications of a prolonged battle with a re-emergent al Qaeda. Maybe Stephanie Cutter told David that she calculated a 2% drop in the polls resulting from (a) a failed rescue attempt; (b) a successful rescue attempt; or (c)Debbie Wasserman-Schultz straightening her hair. It was just too risky.
But maybe we’ll never know the real story. In any case, R.I.P., Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. You deserved better. As cartoonist Walt Kelly reminded readers of his Pogo strip back in 1971, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”Follow @stephshar