April 20, 2009
SEAL team deployment stalled 36 hours, hampered by limited rules of engagement
WASHINGTON – While Barack Obama is basking in praise for his "decisive" handling of the Somali pirate attack on a merchant ship in the India Ocean, reliable military sources close to the scene are painting a much different picture of the incident – accusing the president of employing restrictive rules of engagement that actually hampered the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and extended the drama at sea for days.
Multiple opportunities to free the captain of the Maersk Alabama from three young pirates were missed, these sources say – all because a Navy SEAL team was not immediately ordered to the scene and then forced to operate under strict, non-lethal rules of engagement.
They say the response duty office at the Pentagon was initially unwilling to grant an order to use lethal force to rescue Phillips. They also report the White House refused to authorize deployment of a Navy SEAL team to the location for 36 hours, despite the recommendation of the on-scene commander.
The White House also turned down two rescue plans offered up by the Seal commander on the scene and the captain of the USS Bainbridge.
The SEAL team operated under rules of engagement that required them to do nothing unless the hostage's life was in "imminent' danger.
In fact, when the USS Bainbridge dispatched a rigid-hull inflatable boat to bring supplies to the Maersk Alabama, it came under fire that could not be returned even though the SEAL team had the pirates in their sights.
Many hours before the fatal shots were fired, taking out the three young pirates, Phillips jumped into the Indian Ocean with the idea of giving the snipers a clear target. However, the SEAL team was still under orders not to shoot.
Hours later, frustrated by the missed opportunities to resolve the standoff, the commander of the Bainbridge and the captain of the Navy SEAL team determined they had operational authority to evaluate the risk to the hostage, and took out the pirates at the first opportunity – finally freeing Phillips.
"Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:"
1. BHO wouldn’t authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn’t do anything unless the hostage’s life was in “imminent” danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams.
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his “daring and decisive” behaviour. As usual with him, it’s BS.
So per our last email thread, I’m downgrading Oohbaby’s performace to D-. Only reason it’s not an F is that the hostage survived.
Read the following accurate account.
Philips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.
The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.
The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution” would be acceptable.
After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided he’d had enough.
Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.
Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.
There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.
Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.
Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort.
What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.
Wild Thing's comment........
What more can we expect from Obama. He’s the one who wants to make nice and talk to our cutthroat enemies, the “moderate” taliban of which there doesn’t seem to be any. He wants to talk with Ahmanutjob who has stated Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth and he just cozied up to Hugo.
....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
Posted by Wild Thing at April 20, 2009 04:48 AM
We were fortunate this time. No American lives were lost. This can't last. And we will be tested again and again. What happens when the first American is killed because of soutpiel's lack of committment to the Military and his Nanny like ROE's.
A first strike action within hours would have given the Terrorist Pirates in Somolia something to think about. But as it stands now, they are back at it, hi-hacking Ships for ransom, but now with a vengence.
We are being set up everyday, more and more as a prime target of these extremists. When it happens it will be Obamas, it will be all on his shoulders for whatever that is worth.
Posted by: Mark at April 20, 2009 07:36 AM
Does this surprise anyone? I can't imagine how disgusted and frustrated the Navy Seals and their commander must have been! Multiple opportunities to take out the pirates and watching the Captain sitting in that boat for 5 freakin' days when they had more than one chance to get him out safe?? I imagine the air on the ship was mighty blue.
If I was a family member of the Captain, I'd be clamoring for an investigation and making myself extremely annoying.
Posted by: yankeemom at April 20, 2009 07:39 AM
I'm confused. Doesn't the phrase "captured by pirates" mean THE GUY'S LIFE WAS IN ENOUGH DANGER!! Once again the Obamawimp sends a message to the world: if you dare to mess with us...we'll stomp our feet, sit down and have tea with you, apologize for whatever it was that made you mad at us, beg, submit or do nothing. That'll teach you! We need to up-skirt this guy and check for testicles. Geez!
Posted by: PeteSuj at April 20, 2009 10:20 AM
Obama is a coward in many ways. His lies to take credit for Capt Philips rescue is a cowardly act. Obama must be taking cues from John Kerry.
We will probably have more of these situations. The anti American part of the world sees another Jimmy Carter. They know America can be pushed around again.
Posted by: TomR at April 20, 2009 12:04 PM
Mark,yes your right, he better not blame
Bush if we do get attacked again.
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 20, 2009 05:00 PM
Yankeemom, "I imagine the air on the ship
was mighty blue" I bet it was too.
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 20, 2009 05:04 PM
PeteSuj, heh heh Obama probably doesn't have
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 20, 2009 05:06 PM
Tom, I agree, this is only the beginning.
There will be more things that happen
he will put our military through a tuff
time with. Thank God it all worked out
inspite of obama certainly not because of
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 20, 2009 05:10 PM