Splitting Hares – Hold In Place vs. Stand Down


Adm. Mullen Admits Special Ops Told to ‘Hold in Place’ During Benghazi

On Thursday, while denying that a “stand-down order” was given to Special Forces members ready to help Americans who were under siege at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last September, one of the heads of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB) admitted that a “hold in place” order was in fact given.

Testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Admiral Mike Mullen said that the direction given to Special Operations Command Africa commander Lt. Col Gibson was to “hold in place” on the night of the attacks.

Gibson is the boss of Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya who had testified that a “stand down” order was given to Special Forces who wanted to help Americans who were under assault in Libya.

Mullen also said that U.S. aircraft were not at the ready while the attack was ongoing. He claimed there was a “physics problem” in addition to a “time and distance problem” that prevented the United States from providing immediate air cover.

During the Cold War we developed the Distant Early Warning (DEW) system to protect the United States and Canada from a Soviet nuclear attack. This consisted of a line of radar installations running north from the Aleutian Islands and then east across the Arctic Circle to Greenland. We also maintained a bunch of Air Force bases that kept fighter jets ready to “scramble” at a moments notice if an attack was detected.

After the Iranian Hostage Crisis and 9-11 we started keeping specialized units in a state of readiness all over the world in order to deal with different contingencies, including airplane hijackings and attacks on one of our embassies. While we don’t have any acknowledged military bases in North Africa, we do have bases in Spain, Italy and Turkey. I would be surprised if we didn’t keep at least one carrier group in the Mediterranean at all times as well.

I don’t know exactly what military forces we had ready and available to go to Benghazi on September 11, 2012, nor do I know exactly how long it would have taken them to arrive on the scene. What I do know is that none were sent.

There have been two explanations given for this failure to respond. The first is a lack of intelligence (as in information) and the other is that the nearest assets were too far away. Both explanations are bullshit.

If you dial 911 and then scream and hang-up, there will be police responding to your address even as the 911 operator tries to call you back. This is true even if you live out in the boonies 45 minutes away from the nearest patrol unit.

That’s because they have good reason to believe there is a problem, even if they don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it is a prank. Maybe you fell down the stairs. Maybe you saw a mouse. Maybe a band of mutant rednecks wants to kill and eat you. All the cops know is you screamed and then hung up. So they send out one or more patrol units to check it out.

There are some rural areas of this country where emergency services can be an hour or more away. But you never hear the cops say “Well, we didn’t respond because by the time we got there they people would have been dead anyway.”

If the nearest help is six hours away and you do nothing, the nearest help is still gonna be six hours away. If you send help immediately and then five hours later you find out that the fighting is still going on, the nearest help is only one hour away.

During the earlier hearings on Benghazi the administration witnesses testified that there was no “stand down” order given. Now they admit that a “hold in place” order was given, as if there is a significant difference between the two terms. That’s splitting hairs. But it’s still vague as to who gave the order and why.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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76 Responses to Splitting Hares – Hold In Place vs. Stand Down

  1. driguana says:

    Tried to watch some of the hearings but it was so annoying to listen to the waffling and hair splitting that I couldn’t take too much of it. Mullen and Cummings were particularly disgusting. The lying and the hypocrisy are extraordinary and still the progs and the prog media consider the whole thing a minor issue….splitting heirs is not a minor issue!!!! The most deplorable moment of the hearings though was for the evil Dems to leave the room during the testimony from the families….wow, just wow!
    I can’t believe that there is not a major revolution fomenting in this country against such hypocrisy. Well, maybe there is but I don’t know about it.

    • Constance says:

      The Dems left the room when she testified?! I want coverage of that on the news and I want a leader of the Dems to explain why they would show such disrespect.

      • DeniseVB says:

        That bothers me too. “Phony Scandal” my butt. What was that “protest” all about then?

      • driguana says:

        Yes, they need to be held accountable by someone, especially the media. If a Republican stands up to them, it’ll just be another “phony scandal” meme. This is always buried so that more people don’t even know about it! Not good.

  2. driguana says:

    Enjoyed watching this…Where is Cincinnatus??? The Amazons???

  3. driguana says:

    Well, here’s The Amazones anyway…

  4. DeniseVB says:

    Excellent post myiq and why it bothers me so much “we didn’t even try” to help, no effort, not at all. I think it had everything to do with the election and to keep the casualties low and to avoid a horrible optic like another Black Hawk Down. It was political, I know that now.

    Where are the witnesses, survivors ? Shutting them up is another red flag.

    • Somebody says:

      I agree with you Denise the upcoming election was priority 1; but I also think TPTB didn’t want whatever was really going on over there exposed. There are so many different theories as to what was actually going on, but something was for sure otherwise why the big CIA presence?

      I am troubled by Admiral Mullen, I guess I’ve seen too many movies. I expect someone of that stature to be a man of impeccable honor. He seems like a water carrying toady to me. If all the military brass is like that then we sure have a problem.

      You had an inside view of the military…..so are all the top brass like that? Are there any men/women of true honor in the highest ranks, whose sole allegiance is to the constitution, the nation and its citizens?

      • leslie says:

        My brother left after 20+ years with a high rank and security clearance up the wazoo. His feeling was that the administration was dirty and he didn’t want to associate with them any more than he already had. He was constantly challenging the ethics of what he was ordered to do, and despite all that, he was promoted many times over. My view isn’t that of Denise’s, but I know what my brother told me (nothing related to security stuff) about those in command. It spoiled my beliefs about at least his branch of the military.

      • swanspirit says:

        I think many of the high ranking ethical leaders inside the military have been ousted , outed , discarded after they were no longer useful ; or otherwise eliminated from having influence , by this administration for political reasons .

      • DeniseVB says:

        3 high ranking officers were relieved of their commands over Benghazi, message sent to the rest of them. The flag ranks are political appointments, even Bush relieved a few for criticizing him. But they’re kept on active duty to keep them quiet. Even St. Reagan disposed of a few.

        I would have loved to hear from those Benghazi commanders, who I’m sure lost their jobs for disagreeing with the “Sit Down and Shut Up” order. Me thinks they could have been there in time 😦

  5. Mary says:

    For what it’s worth, my career Air Force nephew-in-law stationed in Germany said the base was on full alert, readied the jets, pilots there & ready to go, but they never got the order.

    It wasn’t a clear “stand down” order, but never the positive “go.”

    The hearing yesterday just reinforced what he said to me.
    And the Air Force guys were major, major pissed.

  6. votermom says:

    Chaffetz also got them to admit that the ARB did not interview anyone in the military who was actually in the field on 9/11/12. They only talked to brass who were back here.

  7. swanspirit says:

    This is how far the Demoncrats will go , walking out of a hearing before the VICTIMS FAMILIES testify???And they can do this knowing mainstream media won’t so much as as air a squeak about it , when it should be leading on every news show ? I know if the Republicans did that , it would be .
    The truly frightening element is , that the Demoncrats are the party that wants to be completely in power by destroying the Republican party . They do not just want this complete power , they are actively and relentlessly working toward it , with the complicity of their lapdog media .

    • votermom says:

      Dems should apologize to the parents. In public. On their knees.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Yeah, the lapdogs didn’t cover the walkout, but they sure flashed enough photos of starving squirrels, er, children after the GOP cut food stamps’ budget.

      To pay for Michelle’s NoKidsFatBehinds(tm) programs guess what was cut for the money ? Food stamps. {{{crickets}}}

  8. helenk3 says:

    this is a good image of backtrack. it says it all


  9. votermom says:

    OT just a tweet on public enemy during jour

  10. helenk3 says:


    the pressure NOT to testify and the threats against the people that were at Benghazi are outrageous . that is a whole other investigation in it self

  11. DeniseVB says:

    They did it !


    Of course it won’t make it out of the Senate or past Obama’s veto, but it’s sure to ruin some weekends. Contact those Senators !

  12. The Klown says:
  13. The Klown says:


    • SHV says:

      There is no current statutory age of consent for homosexual sex in Va., so can the prosecutors still apply the over 18 years or 15 years and less than 3 years law that apply to heterosexual sex? Perhaps that is why rape is not listed among the charges.

      • wmcb says:

        They can’t without wrapping themselves in a contradictory mess. According to the Left, all one has to do in order to be a “man” or a “woman” these days is to claim to be so. See: the current legislation in CA on the transgendered using the restrooms of the opposite sex.

        Look, I have great sympathy with people who have genuine gender issues. I’m not uncompassionate to that at all. But there are problems, legal and otherwise, in taking the stance that “everyone is whatever gender they wanna claim to be.” Pointing out those potential problems is not hate, it’s reality.

  14. The Klown says:
  15. The Klown says:

    Brauer is a the Sacramento Democratic party spokesperson legislative aide in Sac’to.

  16. Lulu says:

  17. helenk3 says:

    In Honor of MIAs and POWs

  18. votermom says:

    What makes mfe laugh at the hand wringing on the right on how defunding ocare is doomed – did they not see Putin & Assad show how O can barely play tic tac toe

    • Lulu says:

      They were too busy being outraged with what the press told them that Putin was saying that they weren’t exceptional when that was not what he implied. Putin implied President Wind Sock wasn’t exceptional. I think some of the newer libertarian members know Obama can be rolled and humiliated. The House should ask for his mommie ValJar to come and negotiate for him.

    • Lulu says:

      And let your Congress Critter know how you want them to vote. A Syria-like vote flood of constituent anger would do them some good.

    • Constance says:

      At least one media company reports the news. This is so sad. The Dems are disgusting.

    • Pat Smith just gave the republicans the optimal tag line for 2014: Were those my son’s bloody fingerprints? How come we don’t know who those bloody fingerprints belong to? Its just one silly question to answer. #benghazibloodyfingerprints

      • 1539days says:

        Remember how Media Matters went after Bush when he did the “where are the WMDs?” video for a Correspondents’ dinner? That is exactly what a Tea Party group needs to do to those Senators, Obama and anyone who isn’t actively looking for real answers to Benghazi.

  19. helenk3 says:


    he better bring his own body guards. can not trust the backtrack government to protect him

  20. wmcb says:

    Here’s the deal: I have no prob with anyone arguing for Foodstamp increases. Make your arguments, that’s fine. What I have a problem with is the hyperbolic “You want the childrens to DIIIIIIEEEE!!!!! of horrible ugly STARVATION!!!!!”

    Oh, please, get over yourself. I was alive when foodstamps was a minor, very small program. Guess what? We did not have fliy-covered pot-bellied children literallly dying of starvation at the time in the USA. I was there, never happened. Stop with the scare tactics. I called bullshit when it was claimed “The terrorists will kill us ALLLLL!!! unless we invade Iraq!” I call bullshit here as well. Whether or not we ought to fight terrorism, or have foodstamps, are legitimate discussions. YOU WANT US ALL TO DIE!!!!!! is not.

    • 49erDweet says:

      “…remember all the millions of kids dying of starvation..”

      I know. It was a bummer having to slow down to avoid them lying around, waiting for the end, on all the roads.

  21. Lurker says:

    Not sure if this was asked. Wasn’t one of the soldiers at the CIA annex killed while pointing a laser designator? Why would he be pointing it, if there was no drone/aircraft capable of using it? Did those commanders who were relieved, already have aircraft etc above the compound(in libyan airspace) expecting a “go” from higher ups?

  22. SHV says:

    votermom, on September 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm said:

    What makes mfe laugh at the hand wringing on the right on how defunding ocare is doomed….
    It’s all street theater by the Uni-Party; that’s why people like Cruz who don’t play by the script get hammered by Dems and establishment Repubs., Same thing during the “so called” debate on Obamacare. The two Dems, Eric Massa and Charlie Rangel, who strayed off script and called bullshit on the bill got hammered.

    The people who wrote and benefit from the Obamacare corporate welfare law, Pharma, Insurance, AHA, big business, etc. don’t want it repealed; hundred of billions of new revenue are headed their way.

  23. wmcb says:

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