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October 31, 2012

What Went Right In Benghazi, Libya: A Story Of American Heroism

I personally think that our government needs to start practicing straight talk. And this is across party lines, Americans deserve to hear truth, and not bull shit. You can protect programs, field operatives, and OPSEC while maintaining the truth. A simple, “the situation is complicated and we don’t have all the answers” will work. Try something different and you end up on wrong end of an American pitch fork.

It also disappoints me that we have a political system that doesn’t promote or reward taking accountability. In fact it seems to promote everything but.  To have the head of the State Department wait almost a month before accepting responsibility is, what we call in the military, UNSAT (Unsatisfactory). We need to put incentives in place that reward standing up and taking immediate responsibility.

Politicians are quick to grandstand, and give condolences to families of fallen heroes. At the same time, they do nothing about the fact that U.S. Security contractors, a massive, and somewhat necessary force overseas, only receive only a few thousand dollars in burial funds when KIA. Glen, Ty, and a lot of others are in this category, and it’s UNSAT. Pet burial costs more.

The World, especially Libya, is a very dangerous place, and all involved knew the risks. Glen, and I talked about this frequently, this was his second trip, he knew the job, and the risks.  Rest assured that him, and the others, yes there were others, would have raised their hands to go again in hindsight.

It’s important to also point out that Libya is an emerging and very dynamic environment. Add a few three lettered agencies into the mix, and it becomes a very complicated. This alphabet soup of agencies coupled with a likely Special Operations presence adds complexity, and is what likely caused a delay in immediate support in Benghazi. Now let’s also look at what went right in Libya.

In the SEAL Teams, one of the most important lessons I took away was to maintain a positive mindset. Failure is almost always a part of success.  As the Japanese say, fall down seven times and get up eight.  It’s easy this November to get negative, grab a torch, and join up with the closest political mob. What’s hard, and right, is to remain objective and unbiased.

There are other unsung heroes of the Special Operations community involved with Libya and nobody is talking about them. They are likely healing from combat wounds, and they should be recognized for their bravery also.

What went right in Benghazi? A very small team of former (Glen and Ty) and active Special Operations personnel, against an overwhelming enemy force, successfully rescued over forty Americans. The Ambassador, and Sean Smith had already perished; those who remained were rescued, and safely returned to American soil.

Ty, my friend Glen Doherty, and the rest of their teammates answered the call when nobody else could. They did so knowingly, and against extraordinary odds. All of them are heroes for this, and this is what went right in Benghazi.

About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. During his last tour he served as the west coast sniper Course Manager at the Naval Special Warfare Center. He is CEO of Force12 Media , a SOFREP contributing editor, and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report). Follow Brandon on Facebook, Twitter or his website.

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  • Recon6

    @Matt2point0  Lol, I understand bro.  Stormy brought it to my attention, I had over generalized in my comment.  I retracted it once I had re-read it.  I just get so 'wound up' with what has happened to our military, and when I heard 'sequestration' and 'military reductions' at any level, I see Red!  My reaction would have been the same if an "R" administration had made the same statement.....6

  • Recon6

    @Tango9  @shagstar  Yea, weren't mentioned, lol.  Should have sent those pretty SP's y'all have!! Who cares about paper targets when pretty AF girls are around? You would have won, hands down....6

  • shagstar

    @Tango9  @Recon6  i think their too busy in a-stan and libya!  lol

  • Tango9

    @Recon6  @shagstar I think even the AF security forces have a "Team" wth you grunts doing?

  • majrod

    @Matt2point0   Saying one supports the troops but is against the war is contradictory.  If you think it isn't explain to the next of kin how you support their loved one's sacrifice but not the war he sacrificed it for...   At a minimum one has to acknowledge that one's resistance to a conflict plants doubt in the soldier's mind.  How one can say one "supports the troops' but not the war is a very difficult position to hold.  I suspect many that hold both beliefs haven't analyzed it much as admiting one is not totally "supporting the troops" is a tough thing to admit.  It takes some mental gymnastics to make sense of it.   Personally, I don't think wars are ever a "good idea".  Once we enter into them we should fight them aggressively and end them quickly.  I think every war we've been in has at least a small virtue.  I don't like the way we've waged either Iraq or Afghanistan but I understand why we went and why we must win if for nothing else to avoid going back in the future.