It Happens When No One Knows

The news that the Benghazi attack MIGHT have been ended before the former Seal died in the mortar attack on the CIA compound IF the military had simply known there WAS a CIA compound.

It’s called “compartmentalization” and “Need to Know” — and the CIA didn’t want anyone to know they had a “Compound” in Benghazi — a compound MUCH larger than the diplomatic mission where Ambassador Stevens died.

In my experience with the seizure of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) by the North Koreans in 1968, the US determined that the Pueblo did not need Destroyer protection, which was a big mistake (just one of many) — but there was protection available in the form of the most powerful warship afloat, the nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) which COULD have solved the Pueblo’s problem…if the Order of Battle held by the Flag Staff on the Enterprise had listed the USS Pueblo!

The Pueblo was NOT on the Order of Battle, so when the Enterprise and its Flag initially heard the plea from Pueblo they thought the message must have been an “Exercise.” Later, as the messages became more and more urgent, the Flag Staff figured it out, but inexplicably determined not to strike.

The Chief of Staff of the Flag swore me to secrecy, but he is now long dead…he violently disagreed with the decision, and told me about it as he was on the way to the Pentagon — and he said to me: “you do it your way, but you are small fish and they will get you. (They did.) I’ll get the Bastards my way as they walk the halls of the Pentagon.” I assumed the Captain thought the “Bastards” were those who lacked the Cajones to come to the Pueblo’s aid. The Captain told me that looking at the North Korean Order of Battle, and the Enterprise’s actual available fighter planes (as I recall it was 35 fighter aircraft), the decision was that considering what the NK had available, the US might lose all planes and the Enterprise might be attacked.

(I am reminded of the quote: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”. John Augustus Shedd, an American author.)

I never heard from the Captain officially again, but mysterious packages from Washington regularly appeared in my mailbox, with information that was useful to our Remember the Pueblo Campaign. I suspected the former Chief of Staff of the Enterprise — but I will never know.

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