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VADM John Cotton is a Flag classmate who served as Chief of Navy Reserve in recent years.

I asked him for comment.

Follow his thoughts and copies of comments by ADM Lyons and others including my old XO attorney friend in Lake Mary

Steve Israel

Rear Admiral, Retired

Southside, Virginia


Original Message —–

Subject: RE: This Really Stinks!

My friend VADM John said:

Sent the following to Grant Hollett (another Flag Officer we know) when he asked about your same questions and wanted to know if ADM Lyons’ article (below) was on target, along with Rowan Scarborough’s that follows…

Bottom line, we’ve stripped the Med of assets in the past decade to pay other bills, AFRICOM is an under-resourced COCOM, always has been, and so is EUCOM these days with most eyes on Afghanistan.  We’ve all been focused on SOCOM, CENTCOM, PACOM and elsewhere while attempting to get NATO to step up to their AOR responsibilities…a failed experiment.  Europe is out of airspeed, ideas and funding…and we’re not far behind.

Our current administration will maintain their silence for at least another week to avoid the “taking arms from Libyan rebels to give to Syrian rebels” story, as the latter includes some very bad actors, including AQ.  The other rumored story is an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood failed kidnapping of Ambassador Stevens to trade for the Blind Cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  Either or both stories are really bad news a week before the election, so EMCON is the alert status.  The big storm will buy a few more days of cover, but the “rest of the story” will eventually be told.  Did you see the weekend talk shows go out of their way to not discuss Libya?  Only Fox News continues the drumbeat.  Four dead on 9/11, including the first Ambassador to be killed since 1979, and now almost 2 months without anything from the eyewitnesses in the WH situation room…really?  Sigh…

Really only one thing we can do…VOTE…and get your friends, neighbors, family to do the same.  Our street in liberal N. Arlington was a sea of Obama signs and stickers four years ago, and it’s the opposite this time…90% Romney-Ryan signs.  Want to be cautiously optimistic about change, but don’t want to be too confident.  Keep talking about the facts and issues…inform everyone you know with good information, while refraining from being over emotional…leave that to the liberals.  Most Americans are not following this issue and should be interested in what happened.  However, most are too busy dealing with daily home and work routine to follow international events, especially after 10 years of conflict…media fatigue.  We get up, listen to our favorite talk show, take three interesting points (local, state, national, international, in that order) to the work water cooler to compare notes, and then repeat going home to talk to the family.  We are very predictable and the media tells us what to fear.  If you haven’t read Michael Crichton’s book, “State of Fear,” it’s a good read about the media monster we live with post 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall.  We used to know what to fear, and now the media (and comedians) has become our source in a daily search for “bad.”


Another good read is “One Second After” by William Forstchen, retired West Point Grad Colonel, about an EMP event that takes America back 200 years to no computers or electricity.  Includes a day by day description of the degradation of our society, which can happen with multiple causes such as a bad storm, disease and just losing the power grid.  Stock up and you can never have enough ammo!


Obama needs to come clean on what happened in Benghazi


By Adm. James A. Lyons


There is an urgent need for full disclosure of what has become the “Benghazi Betrayal and Cover-up.” The Obama national security team, including CIA, DNI and the Pentagon, apparently watched and listened to the assault on the U.S. consulate and cries for help but did nothing. If someone had described a fictional situation with a similar scenario and described our leadership ignoring the pleas for help, I would have said it was not realistic—not in my America – but I would have been proven wrong.


We now know why Ambassador Christopher Stevens had to be in Benghazi the night of 9/11 to meet a Turkish representative, even though he feared for his safety.  According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.”


In another excellent article, Clare Lopez at noted that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with our Benghazi mission. During the terrorist attack, the warehouses were probably looted. We do not know what was there and if it was being administrated by our two former Navy SEALs and the CIA operatives who were in Benghazi.  Nonetheless, the equipment was going to hardline jihadis.


Once the attack commenced at 10:00 p.m. Libyan time (4:00 p.m. EST), we know the mission security staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli.  It now appears the White House, Pentagon, State Department, CIA, NDI, JCS and various other military commands monitored the entire battle in real time via frantic phone calls from our compound and video from an overhead drone. The cries for help and support went unanswered.


Our Benghazi mission personnel, including our two former Navy SEALs, fought for seven hours without any assistance other than help from our embassy in Tripoli, which launched within 30 minutes an aircraft carrying six Americans and 16 Libyan security guards. It is understood they were instrumental in helping 22 of our Benghazi mission personnel escape the attack.


Once the attack commenced, Stevens was taken to a “safe room” within the mission. It is not known whether his location was betrayed by the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, the local force providing security to the consulate, which had ties to the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group conducting the attack, and to al Qaeda. Unbelievably, we still do not know how Ambassador Stevens died.


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 in incomprehensible, it is un-American.


Somebody high up in the administration made the decision that no assistance (outside our Tripoli embassy) would be provided, and let our people be killed. The person who made that callous decision needs to be brought to light and held accountable. According to a CIA spokesperson, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.” We also need to know whether the director of CIA and the director of National Intelligence were facilitators in the fabricated video lie and the overall cover-up. Their creditability is on the line. A congressional committee should be immediately formed to get the facts out to the American people. Nothing less is acceptable.



ADMIRAL JAMES “ACE” LYONS, JR., U.S. Navy Retired, is President/CEO of LION Associates LLC, a premier global consultancy providing technical expertise in the areas of international marketing and trade, enterprise risk including anti-terrorism site and port security, foreign policy and security affairs along with defense and commercial procurement. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for several companies, including the Advisory Board to the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and is a consultant to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on issues of counter terrorism. Because of his political, technical and business management expertise combined with his strategic planning and operational achievements, he is personal advisor to key officials in private organizations in the United States and overseas. He is actively involved with Project Hope and other humanitarian efforts at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Admiral Lyons is also Chairman of ESINC (Emergency Services Information Network Corporation) which provides HAZMAT information to over 2,000,000 first responders through dedicated communication networks, (NLETS, RISS) and through the use of Sprint/Nextel and now on Blackberry phones.

As an Officer of the U.S. Navy for thirty-six years, most recently as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the largest single military command in the world, his initiatives contributed directly to the economic stability and humanitarian understanding in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions and brought the U.S. Navy Fleet back to China. He also served as Senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Nations. As the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations from 1983 – 1985, he was principal advisor on all Joint Chiefs of Staff matters and was the father of the Navy Red Cell, an anti-terrorism group comprised of Navy Seals he established in response to the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut. Admiral Lyons was also Commander of the U.S. Second Fleet and Commander of the NATO Striking Fleet which were the principle fleets for implementing the Maritime Strategy. Admiral Lyons has represented U.S. interests with military and civilian leadership worldwide – including China, Japan and other Pacific Rim countries, the European continent and Russia. As Fleet Commander he managed a budget of over $5 billion and controlled a force of 250,000 personnel. Key assignments preceding Flag rank included Chief of Staff, Commander Carrier Group Four, Commanding Officer, USS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20) and Commanding Officer, USS Charles S. Sperry (DD697). He has been recognized for his distinguished service by the United States and several foreign governments. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has received post graduate degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. National Defense University.

Admiral Lyons has given numerous lectures, speeches and interviews nationally and internationally. He also has written articles for the Naval War College Review and Naval Institute Proceedings along with other national and international journals.


From the net…courtesy of Dutch…

Lack of strike force impeded Benghazi response

By Rowan Scarborough

The Washington Times

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Follow @roscarborough


As U.S. Africa Command waited for any order to rescue Americans on Sept. 11 at the besieged consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, it was missing a key unit that the Pentagon gives every regional four-star commander — an emergency strike force.


The new command’s lack of such a unit is another piece in the unfolding Benghazi timeline that shows an overriding theme: As radical Islamic extremism swelled in the chaotic coastal city, U.S. security assets in Libya diminished.


From the State Department’s denial of diplomats’ requests for more security in Libya to Obama administration officials repeatedly saying the military-style attack on the consulate resulted from “spontaneous” protests, the events before, during and after the Benghazi assault reflect the political, diplomatic and military confusion that is post-Gadhafi Libya.


Each U.S. geographic combatant command, whether it be in the Middle East, the Pacific or, in this case, Africa, is entitled to a special operations rapid-response team — a group of Green Berets to perform instant combat in situations like the Islamist militants’ attack on the U.S. Consulate.


But on that day, AfriCom, the Pentagon’s newest geographic combatant command, which is still in the building phase, lacked what is called the “commander in-extremis force,” said a senior special operations official.


“All geographic combatant commands have one allocated to them, except AfriCom,” the senior official said. “AfriCom’s is in the process of being established.”

The gap shows that while North Africa has become a growing battleground for Islamic extremists, the U.S. regional command in charge of operations there is still not at full strength.


“We cannot discuss the availability of specific capabilities in order to protect our operational security,” AfriCom spokesman Benjamin Benson said.


Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security, told Fox News that Army Gen. Carter Ham, who heads AfriCom, received no request from any government entity to intervene in Benghazi during the seven- to eight-hour fight.


As it turns out, some special operations troops, likely from U.S. European Command, were moved to a naval air station at Sigonella, Sicily, but were never ordered to go farther. The Pentagon has declined to say exactly at what hour they arrived in Sicily or whether the battle was over by then.


Perhaps most important is not the lack of troops going into Benghazi, but what security forces the State Department pulled out of Libya a month before the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his information officer, and two former Navy SEALs.


Signs of trouble in Benghazi


The story begins last winter, when the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli began reporting to Washington about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi.


Mr. Stevens chose to spend much time there, the cradle of the popular uprising that ousted and ultimately killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.


As pro-Western Libyans tried to form a fledgling democracy, al Qaeda-linked militant groups, as they have done in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, began emerging to exploit the power vacuum.


“Their presence grows every day,” Army National Guard Lt. Col. Andrew Wood would later tell the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “They are certainly more established than we are.”


That winter, Col. Wood commanded a 16-member site security team of Army Green Berets based in Tripoli. His men were in country because they wielded the kind of high-caliber firepower needed to combat militants armed with grenade launchers and mortars.


“Superior weapons and superior tactics,” Col. Wood said. “That’s what the [site security team] brought to the table. Those were the qualities and attributes and the bolstering effect that they added.”


Also troubling for the State Department’s Libyan stations: Neither the embassy nor the Benghazi compound met basic construction standards to protect diplomats.

“That was the major cause of concern, and that was the main physical security issue that we continued to raise,” testified Eric Nordstrom, the top diplomatic security officer in Libya.


By June, the Benghazi compound consisted of one wall and four buildings, and was guarded by up to five of Mr. Nordstrom’s personnel, a few Libyan private security guards and the Libyan February 17 Martyrs Brigade, which lived in a compound barracks and worked out of a nearby CIA annex.


The embassy watched as militants stepped up attacks.


Radical Islamists attacked the International Red Cross building repeatedly. A terrorist placed a homemade bomb at the consulate wall. Even though Libyan guards saw him, his time-delayed explosive went off and blew a huge hole in the wall.


Next, terrorists attacked a convoy transporting the British ambassador. Britain quickly evacuated, leaving the U.S. as the only Western power in Benghazi.

“When that occurred, it was apparent to me that we were the last flag flying in Benghazi,” Col. Wood said. “We were the last thing on their target list to remove from Benghazi.”


Security requests denied


The colonel and Mr. Nordstrom were fighting a long-distance battle of emails and phone calls with the State Department to maintain a large security presence.


But Charlene Lamb, who was in charge of international programs for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, rejected their requests. State wanted to create a picture of normal operations in Libya.


“We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11 for what had been agreed upon,” Ms. Lamb told the committee, noting that five diplomatic security officers were in Benghazi, the number that had been requested.


But further firepower was missing. On July 9, the embassy sent a cable to State seeking at least a 60-day extension for SST and other security personnel. It was denied.


By August, Col. Wood and his three site security teams were out of the country, even though Gen. Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, agreed that they could stay as long as they were needed.


Col. Wood said those men could have accompanied the ambassador in Benghazi or responded from Tripoli when the assault occurred.


Also gone were three of the State Department’s mobile security teams requested by Mr. Nordstrom, who left Libya July 26.


Col. Wood said the State Department restricted officers on the mobile security team to training Libyans, not providing security. Still, their absence meant a smaller pool of security personnel able to respond to Benghazi.


Ms. Lamb testified that she “backfilled” to replace team members.


“I made the best decisions I could with the information I had,” she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this month.


Mr. Stevens, a career diplomat who considered his mission in Benghazi as bringing together various tribal factions and Islamic groups, had been reporting to State on increased violence.


In June, he wrote of “Islamic extremism” and al Qaeda flags popping up on government buildings in eastern Libya.


On Sept. 11, in what appears to be his last words to Washington, Mr. Stevens said Libyan security commanders “expressed growing frustration with police and security forces” unable to control Benghazi.


Under fire

Ms. Lamb said the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi began at 9:40 p.m. local time, or 3:40 p.m. Washington time.

The first messages from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, which said the conflict had begun just after 9 p.m., reached Washington at 4:05 p.m. EDT, when the Pentagon, White House and State Department operation centers would have been fully staffed.

“The diplomatic mission is under attack,” said the embassy email, which was sent to the White House National Security Council office, as well as to the State Department. “The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”

Two hours later, the embassy reported that Ansar al-Shariah, an al Qaeda-linked militant group that also is backed by some Libyan government officials, claimed responsibility. That was a tip to Washington that this was a terrorist assault, not part of Muslim protests in the region over an American-produced anti-Islam video.

As it turned out, only three February 17 Martyrs Brigade members were at the consulate, along with five U.S. security officers. Outmatched, they proved unable to stop scores of militants storming through a gate, firing grenades and using diesel fuel to set fire to the compound.

Mr. Stevens sought safety in the living quarters, which became engulfed in flames.

A nearby CIA base, identified by the State Department as one of its annexes, sent a rescue team of martyrs brigade members and at least one former Navy SEAL, Tyrone Woods. They collected all the staff they could find amid fires and gunshots, and returned to the annex in armored cars — minus the ambassador, whose whereabouts was unknown.

Now close to midnight in Libya, the CIA officers sent urgent radio messages to headquarters in Langley asking for the military to send help, Fox News reported Friday. It said the CIA had ordered the officers not to attempt the rescue, but they went anyway.

No military help was sent.

An unmanned spy aircraft, whose video signal could be relayed to policymakers in Washington, buzzed overhead during part of the raid. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says a 50-minute recording exists, but it has not been provided to Congress.

At the White House during the attack, President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta met in the Oval Office.

Seven hours later, a rescue contingent from Tripoli, with Libyan personnel, made its way from the airport to the annex, which then came under mortar fire.

Mr. Woods and fellow former SEAL Glen Doherty, whose job was to guard the CIA officers, had been killed.

The team learned that Mr. Stevens had been found dead, presumedly from smoke inhalation, and was taken to a hospital.

The new mission: Gather the living and dead, and escape to the airport.


After the attack

The next day, the Obama administration began blaming the attack on a “spontaneous” protest sparked by the anti-Muslim video.

That assertion apparently was based on an instant assessment by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who oversees the nation’s civilian and military spy agencies.

But that instant assessment was not unanimous.

The Defense Intelligence Agency on Sept. 12 briefed the Pentagon that the attack likely was carried out by Ansar al-Shariah, The Washington Times has reported. The Defense Intelligence Agency made no mention of protesters.

The Associated Press reported that the CIA station chief in Tripoli also blamed militants.

Mr. Panetta, in his first public remarks Thursday on why the U.S. military did not send in a combat rescue team, or use air power to strike the attacking militants during the seven- to eight-hour battle, said the military did not have sufficient intelligence.

“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,” he said. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. [Martin] Dempsey, [Joint Chiefs chairman], and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”

Asked why the existence of a firefight at the Benghazi annex did not provide a clear picture, Mr. Panetta said: “This happened within a few hours, and it was really over before we had the opportunity to really know what was happening.”

By Sept. 16, the national intelligence director changed his assessment. Mr. Clapper abandoned the “spontaneous” explanation and told the White House that the attack was a planned terrorist operation, a U.S. intelligence official told The Times.

No longer in Libya at the time of the attack, Mr. Nordstrom and Col. Wood later tried to assess the bureaucratic battle they fought to retain more security assets in Benghazi.

“We were fighting a losing battle,” Col. Wood said. “We couldn’t even keep what we had. We were not even allowed to keep what we had.”

Mr. Nordstrom recalled a phone call with a regional director asking for 12 additional agents.

“His response to that was, ‘You’re asking for the sun, moon and the stars,'” the security officer said. “And my response to him, ‘You know what makes [this] the most frustrating about this assignment? It’s not the hardships. It’s not the gunfire. It’s not the threats. It’s dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me.’

“And I ended it by saying, ‘For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building,” Mr. Nordstrom said.


From: From my XO

Subject: Re: This Really Stinks!

Adm. Steve: Obama impeachment is required; along with removal of Sec State and SecDef. We need to get this to Senators McCain and Graham; and to House investigating  Committees. They need to take depositions of Gen Hamm and the Admiral. I never thought SpecOps were not ready to go. And as you know a Naval Task Force Commander is armed and ready 24/7. Stand down orders at that level could only have come from the White House situation room where the President and SecDef were watching drone video. This story had to get out before the election!

I think the failure to obtain a status of forces agreement in Iraq was intentional. The failures to act in Iran, in the Arab Spring Rebellions, the complete failure to act in Syria; the utter lack of support for Israel; and early withdrawal of surge troops in Afghanistan; are very dangerous signs of weakness and isolationism. Withdrawal to our continent is and invitation to the terrorists to follow us home. The movie Obama 2016, United Muslim States of Africa will crush Israel; pollinate more terror states and cells; and wil l force us back in a World War. We cannot allow the Obama political spin of “I killed Bin Laden and AlQ is gone” ruin our security, our military strength, and undermine our entire national defense and foreign policy leadership .

All Flag Officers, all Commissioned Officers; and all NonComs must speak up. Maybe you have a pulpit as Past Pres NRA, to get other super Flags to speak up for all the men and women on the front lines to say we will not put up with any politically motivated lack of support ever again. This is analogous to the illegal order dilemma.   It does not have to come directly from the active types. Reservist always won the wars anyway; why not draw the line in the sand for this Commander In Chief and for his successors… Get out in front and lead from a position of strength and conviction or get the hell out of the way. We definitely need a change of command at the very top!

Respectfully submitted,


William Glenn Roy, Jr.

Attorney at Law

411 West Central Parkway

Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714

Telephone:     (407) 869-6167

Facsimile:      (407) 869-9559


XO, Just received this and as yet is unconfirmed.


WE are in Trouble

Fw:   This Really Stinks!


This album has 2 photos and will be available on SkyDrive   until 1/27/2013.


Subject: Crimson Tide?


I do not know if you have noticed, but two senior military commanders involved in the Benghazi debacle have been removed from command.  The removal of any flag grade officer is a drastic measure rarely performed except for extreme cause.

According to what I have read and been told by others, General Carter Ham, AFRICOM commander, received the same e-mails that were going to the White House notifying them of the attack on the Benghazi embassy.  From his headquarters at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, FRG, immediately ordered a Special Forces Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to stand-to for deployment, and then notified the White House of his actions.  It is alleged that upon receiving an order from the White House to stand-down, General Ham chose to ignore the order and continued preparations to deploy.  Supposedly, General Ham was then confronted by his 2IC, ?apprehended? and informed that he was ?relieved of command.?  General David Rodriguez has subsequently been named as the AFRICOM commander.

Within days of this incident with General Ham, Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette, commander of the USS Stennis aircraft carrier strike group ? MidEast, was relieved of his command citing, ?inappropriate leadership judgment.?

Admiral Gaouette?s naval strike group stood off in the Mediterranean Sea, prepared to provide support to the beleaguered Benghazi embassy.  Both his command and the forces at NAS Sigonella were ordered to stand-down.  Rear Admiral Gaouette has subsequently been ordered to return to his home port while the US Navy cites that his recall is ?a temporary assignment.?

While I see the necessity of civilian control over the military, I do see the actions against these two commanders as extremely detrimental to national defense and the military?s true function.  I can almost assure you that the replacement commanders will not be quick to move towards crisis, to march to the sound of the guns, or to prepare to fight on a moment?s notice.  Rather, it seems as though hesitancy and an overwhelming willingness to ?wait for further? orders; i.e, it is beyond my paygrade?,  is being rewarded.

These reliefs require a closer examination.  Perhaps both of the relieved commanders would have the balls to demand a court-martial, or resign in the manner that General Jack Singlaub did upon his relief in Korea in 1976.

Where will I be found?  March to the sound of the guns.  That is where you will find me.? – Napoleon




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