stand down up

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced on Sunday that General Carter Ham Commander of GOC Africa Command (Africom), headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. (U.S. Africa Command is one of six unified geographic commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure.) for refusing to obey orders not to assist the US personnel in Benghazi on the night of September 11. Army General David Rodriguez has been appointed by President Obama to become replace him.

Gen. Ham refused to take responsibility for the decision not to provide essential air coverage and other support for the beleaguered personnel at the Consulate. After the information was leaked last week that three urgent requests for support were denied to the Americans trapped in the Consulate and the Annex, President Barack Obama said on Sunday, “The minute I found out what was going on, I gave three very clear directives – Number 1, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”…


  1. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 9:58 am |

    The insults to us actual Americans never end.
    Let the G-damned self-worshipping, America hating, muzzie liar burn in bacon fat; now or in the afterlife.
    Nasty message to follow.

  2. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    I vuss just not-following orders.

  3. Merovign
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    Has anyone revealed sources or got this from someone other than “Gerard Direct” (who TF?)?

    As much as I think there’s something to it, I need more than this to go on. Especially since the claim is that Panetta announced it on Sunday, which is not only not published anywhere else but just implausible. A Sunday press conference confessing something horrible from a guy famous for flying home *every* weekend at huge expense?

  4. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    American Thinker:

  5. SteveHGraham
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

    I’ve met the General’s lovely wife, Virginia.

  6. JoeBandMember©®
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    The Treason of this Muslim Fraud of a President is getting more so with every occurrence.

    Impeach and proscecute, NOW!

  7. Lord of the Fleas
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    You know, I just had a nasty thought.

    For some time now, I’ve sort of banked on US military personnel, particularly the officers, remembering that their oath is to the Constitution and not to the government of the day, so that when it hits the fan and they’re ordered to shoot US citizens, they will refuse.

    The fact that so many obeyed an order to stand down in this case is not comforting at all.

    I now yield the floor to the honourable Col Jerry (who has NOT forgotten what honour is), along with any other US vets, for any comments they may wish to offer.

  8. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

    Wait… did I go ’round the bend while I wasn’t looking or what, here?

    Did that just say [badly] that Ham was relieved for disobeying the order NOT to help in Banghazi? The order from the Pentagon?!? Which would mean Panetta – right?

    And it was written on OCTOBER 28 — that would be before that election-thingie we had, wouldn’t it? So why has no one ever heard of this?

    Wasn’t Ham’s relief supposed to be from calling that Kelly …socialite “sweetheart” or some such?

    Oh screw this; I think *someone* is trying to gaslight me. I’m going to go make some merangue mushrooms.

  9. Fat Baxter
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 8:05 am |

    It gets technical. General Ham, as Commander USAFRICOM, has authority only over those US forces within the boundaries of his AOR, which starts at the North African coastline and goes south. Anything in the Mediterranean (such as the forces at Sigonella, or any Navy vessels in the Med) are under the authority of the Commander, USEUCOM.

    Unless EUCOM and AFRICOM have some pre-canned arrangements to transfer forces in emergencies, only the SecDef can authorize a transfer of forces between the commands.

    Nothing stops a combatant commander (Ham’s title) from leaning forward and cocking forces within his AOR to react. However, depending on what’s prearranged (e.g., existing treaties and agreements), he may be forbidden from moving forces between countries within his AOR without authorization. Think about it: sending military forces into a sovereign country without their prior permission is called an invasion; the diplomats tend to take a dim view of that. So the State Department would also likely have a say in sending forces into Libya.

    As I said, it gets technical.

  10. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    LotF (7)
    Remember, the oath also includes a requirement to obey the “lawful orders” from those above. In the absence of evidence to the contrary or of clear illegality, one’s orders are presumed “lawful.” One usually doesn’t have the time or the information needed to legitimately refuse an order. (Nuremberg was never about single incidences of “just following orders,” it was about demonstrating willingness.)

    “Support and defend the Constitution” is a clear statement that one’s military loyalty is not to the individual at the head of the gov’t.
    (see: German soldiers swearing allegiance to Hitler, personally.)

    American soldiers have been ordered to kill Americans in the past, and they have complied. There’s no reason to think that can’t happen again.

    That being said, the nature of the administration has changed away from a traditional US Executive, and a lot of professional military officers have noticed that.

    On the other hand, the purge and politicization of the senior-officer corps has been proceeding for four years. In another four, perhaps a critical mass will have been achieved. Who knows?

    Point is …
    some will certainly shoot, if ordered to do so.

  11. staghounds
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    Ham remains in his command, this story is false. Still.

  12. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

    I thought the “lawful orders” part was only in the enlisted oath; that the officers swear to defend the Constitution etc with no mention of obeying orders or authority.

  13. rickn8or
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm |

    “Point is … some will certainly shoot, if ordered to do so.”

    DougM, that’s where the problem is. An O-3 can give the order to “start kicking in doors and taking firearms” away from law-abiding Americans. His subordinate mid-career SNCO can say “Oh, HELL no!” and put down his weapon.

    Then what? Yeah, the failure to follow an order will get ironed out at a (future) court-martial, but what about the immediate (that day) effects? What is that even-more-subordinate E5- E6 gonna do? Does he follow the O-3′s maybe-illegal orders or the example of the SNCO?

    And dick, not quite dead white guy, I remember “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic” as well as “obey the orders of the officers appointed over me” in the oaths I took over the years. As near as I can tell, the oaths didn’t have an expiration date, just a time after which I was no longer required to do it for a living.

    I consider myself extremely fortunate that during my career I was never faced with a conflict such as DougM and I have described, and for that, I am thankful.