Jon Myers, a Benghazi officer in charge of the Marine response after the Benghazi tragedy that left 4 Americans dead, wrote in a Facebook post that Hillary Clinton stopped a plan that would have sent 250 Marines to Benghazi because she said it would send the “wrong message”
Myers wrote on January 2nd:
I was the Officer in Charge of the Marine response after the Benghazi attack of 2012, in which the American consulate was destroyed and the Ambassador murdered.
I was in charge of a program that had a reinforced company of Marines aboard a US Navy amphibious ship (USS McHenry) conducting amphibious landing exercises around Africa. After the attack happened, we were re-tasked to respond and protect the Embassy.
We came up with a plan that included inserting 250 Marines and all their weaponry using Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, refueling in flight with Air Force tankers, inserting directly into the Embassy. Unbeknownst to most, the State Dept. must approve of military action to reinforce embassies and consulates. At the last minute, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said our plans and actions would “send the wrong message” and that we didn’t want to appear to be “invading the Middle East”.
Keep in mind, the American ambassador was just murdered and his body assaulted in a terrorist attack timed to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary. Ultimately, we were directed to insert the Marines via commercial type aircraft and then chartered bus, and not in uniform. In addition to exposing the Marines to incredible risk, it ensured massive delays as well.
Contrast that with the response to the current situation with the Embassy in Iraq. It really struck me when I saw the fully outfitted and uniformed Marines reinforcing the Embassy via tactical aircraft landing right on the spot. Followed by 4,000 Army paratroopers moving into position to respond. And now, as of today, 2,000 more Marines en route. Quite a difference isn’t it?
In a recent Op-Ed for Fox News, Benghazi hero and survivor Mark “Oz” Geist argues President Trump’s decisive action dealing with the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Iraq would have saved his team that included 4 Americans who were killed.
The attack on our embassy in Baghdad and President Trump’s reaction are in no way comparable to the events in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
I fought to defend the American diplomatic post and CIA annex in Benghazi for more than 13 hours against a determined, organized assault by dozens of Al Qaeda fanatics armed with belt-fed machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and heavy mortars.
The Obama administration’s mishandling of this attack — which resulted in the first murder of a U.S. ambassador in the line of duty since the 1970s — was a far cry from the Trump administration’s decisive response to threats against our embassy in Iraq.
The basic facts should be enough to dismiss any serious comparison. My team and I were told to “stand down” no fewer than three times in the face of what the media later called “protesters” — even as Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were being killed and maimed by the terrorists. No U.S. military reaction force was sent, despite our numerous requests for help. Only by our own tenacity and courage were more than 30 Americans able to escape with our lives.
Compare that to the recent attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. When Iran-backed militias and their supporters stormed the embassy grounds and Iraqi forces refused to do their duty to defend American lives and property,
President Trump reacted forcefully. In roughly the same amount of time it took to the Obama administration to get an unarmed American drone over our heads as we fought for our lives in Benghazi, more than 100 U.S. Marines were on the scene to defend the Baghdad embassy and two Apache helicopter gunships were in the air asserting American sovereignty.
In no small part due to that decisive reaction, no Americans were seriously hurt in the attack.
The comparison breaks down even further when you look beyond the events of the day and examine the longer-term strategies employed by each administration. The difference comes down to one thing: leadership. President Trump is demonstrating bold and effective leadership, whereas President Obama showed only weakness and cowardice.
I’ve learned a thing or two about leadership, not only over my 12-year career in the United States Marine Corps, but also as a police chief and as a private security contractor working around the world defending American lives in far-flung hostile countries, where our safety depended on competent leadership on the ground as well as from Washington. Effective leadership often goes unnoticed by those serving under it. It simply makes the task at hand look easy, natural, and uncontroversial.
When leadership is lacking, however, its absence is frighteningly apparent. Failures of leadership cost lives and leave subordinates scrambling to cover for the leadership that was needed. That’s what we saw after Benghazi, as senior Obama administration officials insisted for days that the Al Qaeda attack, which was clearly planned and organized to kill Americans on the anniversary of 9/11, was a spontaneous protest in reaction to an amateurish “Islamophobic” YouTube video that hardly anyone had seen.
That story was plainly absurd, but it would have allowed inept leaders to save face had it not fallen apart under scrutiny.
President Trump’s leadership needed no such weaseling and excuse-making. After making sure the military was fully prepared to protect our embassy and our interests, President Trump was forthright and open with the American people. He didn’t try to hide who was attacking us — Iran-backed Shiite militias — nor why they were doing so: anger at American airstrikes on militants.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com