There are several nuances to this story that make it extremely important, besides the simple fact that the Administration didn't prepare, didn't respond to the attack, and has continually lied about the whole mess. Their effort is, obviously, with the help of a compliant (complicit?) media to push everything past the election and let the story "cool off" so when it all comes out it will be "old news" and dismissed out of hand. It is quite likely that they will succeed and, lost in the 24 hour news cycle, the event will no longer be considered “relevant”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of consequences that will have long lasting, severely detrimental impact on the physical security of this Nation. I intend to discuss one of them in this paper. It is the one least likely to surface in the thoughts of most of our citizens because it is not perceived as personally relevant to them. They are wrong because (coupled with other items) it will drastically impact the morale and effectiveness of our military forces. That is not a guess or an assumption, it is a historically proven statement of fact.
Let me begin by talking about events of a long, long time ago. While it was within my lifetime, most of you look at WW II as really ancient history. Yet, one of the most significant elements of the Battle of Britain points out the importance of what I am going to say.
The Germans had more aircraft of all types than the English. In many ways (and with very few exceptions) English airplanes were inferior to the German combat armada. The pilot experience factor also favored Germans, particularly at the start of the air battle over England. So, one has to ask, “What allowed the British to win that battle?” There were several factors, but the most important was a combination of three factors that worked in the British favor. First, British pilots were fighting over and for their homeland. Second, if a British pilot was shot down the aircraft was lost, but in most cases, the pilot survived to fight another day. Third, when a German pilot was shot down, the very best he could anticipate would be to be met on the ground by a hostile civilian with a weapon of some sort. In other words, if a German airplane was lost, as a rule, they also lost the aircrew because even if they made it to the Channel, the likelihood of being picked up by a friendly boat was minimal. Therefore, every German pilot knew that every flight might be a one-way trip (which will cause a dramatic increase in the number of aircraft malfunctions). And, the German Air Force quickly lost their most experienced pilots – dramatically shifting their loss ratio when confronted with ever more experienced British pilots.
Why did I take so much of your time on this piece of history? Because those simple factors had a major impact on who won WW II AND the lesson was not lost on US military planners then and now. They knew Americans primarily fly and fight over hostile territory. To avoid as much of the negative aspects of that simple fact caused the birth of combat aircrew recovery, first seen in the Korean War. Here is where the phrase “Leave No Man Behind” first became important. That phrase is a motto of the Rangers and other Special Operators and is the root of the USAF Rescue Force (motto: “That Others May Live”). In terms of combat, that translates into another phrase, “Keep the Faith” – which, without exception, means, “No matter what, as long as it is physically possible, if you are in trouble, we will come get you”.
Which brings me to the Benghazi debacle -- one of the fall-out items is that, for some reason, yet undiscovered, the entire command chain BROKE “THE FAITH”. They did the unpardonable thing by not coming to the assistance of our people under attack.
If you haven’t been there it must be hard to recognize how important that factor becomes. To break the faith is virtually without precedent. Long ago I was in the aircrew recovery business during combat operations. Although we also picked-up anyone who was in trouble, our primary mission was downed aircrew in North Vietnam and elsewhere. Every pilot that took-off on a strike mission knew that if he was shot down we would come get him and we would risk everything in the attempt, as long as there was even the slimmest chance of getting him out. That knowledge provided a level of, perhaps subconscious, security that allowed men to fly over and over, day after day, against extremely well defended targets. I know the Army and Marines felt the same about the Dust Off pilots (Army helicopter pilots that did almost all of the in-country (South Vietnam) recovery and regularly flew into what we used to call extremely hot areas to keep the faith. God Bless them all.
The point is that the Benghazi betrayal punched a hole in the "faith" that the US will leave no man behind. Without that confidence the attitude of those who deliberately go into harms way will suffer. It takes years to rebuild both the confidence and the attitude it produces in combat personnel. We are now in an interim period. What happens from now on will make a huge difference. We who have and will in the future go willingly into harm's way don't like it, but will understand a one-time happening; if those that committed this heinous act are surfaced and appropriately punished. If they are allowed to skate, regardless of the outcome of the election, the damage done to the military is incalculable.
The choice is up to you – most of you may understand what I just said, but will not totally comprehend the enormity of what happened. Perhaps if I close with some civilian examples it will help. How would you feel if you were on a sinking boat and the US Coast Guard might, or might not, find it politically inconvenient to come to your assistance? What if you were in an accident and the Medical Team’s response depended on whether or not someone in DC thought it was politically damaging his or her political career to deploy them? You say that wouldn’t happen? Well let’s look at New Jersey right now. Folks providing life saving assistance were turned away because they didn’t belong to the “correct” labor union. And those are truly comparatively minor things. Suppose that before you got in the boat, or car, or train you knew that during the next few minutes, hours, or days someone would be deliberately trying to kill you and your only lifeline depended on the personal political impact on an election?
It is time for all the citizens of this great Nation to “Keep the Faith” with those who go into harm’s way on their behalf. Support our troops and join us in the Black Ribbon Campaign to awaken our politicians and the press to their obligations so that we can get to the bottom of this despicable action, determine who is responsible, and hold them to account.
Robert D. Jones, LTC, USAF, (Ret)
reserved for updates
What does this mean? updates?
1. Information that updates something.
2. give the latest information to.
Salute Mr. Jones; History Ms. Blevins;; Repeating condemd'd history will kill more American's. We stand together.!!
Exactly..."Keep the Faith" . Importantly is keep your Oath to support and defend the US Constitution against
all enemies foreign and domestic...!
The problem in Washington is that to them the Oath most of us took doesnt mean a thing for them its just words to get elected. They do not stand with the Oath they took like those that have served did and we still do...
I support The Black Ribbon Campaign wholeheartedly...I also support Special Ops Speaks in their call for a Special Prosecutor, Congressional Investigation and TRIAL...This treasonous poison (that is this administration) needs to be sucked out and spat on the ground. This will continue regardless of who takes the office but the damage has been done to our troops moral...
The is festering mess needs exposure and, we as citizens, will share this far and wide. You have our support!
I think as long as we have the internet we will not let Benghazi fade into twilight.