All of us want to raise our glass the highest this week to the Navy SEALs who popped those three Somali pirates. And I'm sure you want to hear the real story of what happened. Especially because there is a revoltingly opportunistic and cowardly side to it. Guess which side Zero is on.
Why, for example, did it take SEAL Team Six (aka DEVGRU, Navy Special Warfare Development Group, the Navy's equivalent of Delta Force) over 36 hours to get to the scene?
Because Zero refused to authorize the SEAL deployment for those 36 hours, during which the OSC - the on scene commander, Cmdr. Frank Castellano of the USS Bainbridge - repeatedly requested them.
Once the SEALs arrived - parachuting from a C-17 into the ocean near the ship - Zero then imposed Rules of Engagement (ROE) specifying the SEALs could not do anything unless the life of the hostage, Captain Richard Phillips, was in "imminent"
Thus, when Capt. Phillips attempted to escape by jumping off the lifeboat into the ocean, the SEAL snipers had all four pirates (one later surrendered) sighted in and could have taken them out then and there - but they could not fire due to Zero's ROE restrictions.
When the SEALs approached the lifeboat in a RIB (rigid-hull inflatable boat) carrying supplies for Capt. Phillips and the pirates, the pirates fired upon them. Not only was no fire returned due to the ROE, but as the pirates were shooting at the RIB, SEAL snipers on the Bainbridge had them all dialed in. No triggers were pulled due to the ROE.
Two specific rescue plans were developed by Cmdr. Castellano and the SEAL teams. Zero personally refused to authorize them.
After the second refusal and days of dithering, Cmdr. Castellano decided he had the Operational Area and OSC authority to "solely determine risk to hostage" and did not require any further approval of the president.
Four hours later, the White House is informed that three pirates are dead and Capt. Phillips has been rescued unharmed. A WH press release is immediately issued, giving credit to the president for his "daring and decisive" behavior that resulted in such success.
Zero has absolutely no military knowledge or experience whatsoever. He demanded decisional control over the entire hostage drama to the last detail. All actions required his personal approval. He dithered like a coward while the world laughed at our warships flummoxed by four illiterate teenagers with AKs in a lifeboat.
Only when the Navy Commander decided to ignore his Pantywaist-in Chief and take action and responsibility himself, were the incredible skills of the SEALs put into play.
That Zero could cynically and opportunistically claim that his "bold" "calm" "tough" leadership was responsible should remind everyone that not a single action, not a single word of this man can be trusted. He is bereft of honesty and moral character. That's why he's Zero.
The Washington Times reports that National Security Advisor James Jones is contradicting reports of dithering by the Obama administration. According to Jones:
-- "I can tell you from a White House and presidential standpoint, there was no conflict, no gnashing of teeth, or excessive influence in trying to manage this thing.
-- "It took awhile to get facts and then to get the military on scene," said one senior military official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of discussing special forces operations. "As the picture got more clear and commanders' requests went back down the chain, the guidance was: 'We would like a peaceful resolution. However, if Captain Phillips' life is in danger you can take appropriate action.' "
-- "This was, from my perspective, a textbook operation," Mr. Jones said in the interview. "There were two things [the president] was asked to approve and he did. And the military executed flawlessly."
-- Any delays in moving the forces that ultimately took action were not the result of obtaining authorization from the White House or Pentagon but the time it took to move SEALs, their vessels and other equipment from the East Coast to the Horn of Africa, a flight distance of about 7,800 miles, the senior official said.
-- The military official said the commander had authority to take action at all times because Mr. Phillips was being held at gunpoint, but that he was balancing his authority with Washington's request to seek a peaceful outcome.