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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Carter F. Ham
There was no military "stand-down" order given the night of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, military officials told lawmakers late Wednesday, contradicting a State Department official's account of the event.
The Obama administration's handling of the deadly September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, faces another congressional grilling when outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta testifies Thursday on Capitol Hill.
The Obama administration's decision to grant retirement to the top general of U.S. Africa Command is part of the internal jockeying that goes on among the military branches to win top war-fighting assignments and was not related to the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a well-placed military source told The Washington Times.
Nearly two months after the terrorist assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, it continues to ripple across American politics, though the constantly shifting timelines provided by the administration and the new questions raised by Republicans have not dramatically reshaped the presidential race.
The scene in Nigeria's northern city of Kano unfolded like a script that could only have been written by al Qaeda: Several explosives-laden cars driven by suicide bombers hit multiple police stations with choreographed attacks over the course of a single hour.
The general responsible for U.S. military operations in Africa said Wednesday he is worried that three terrorist groups based on the continent are attempting to share training and collaborate in other ways in pursuit of their goal of attacking the United States and other foreign targets.
Saying the world cannot "stand idly by" as Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi brutalizes civilians, President Obama on Saturday said he had no choice but to authorize military strikes to help enforce a U.N.-authorized no-fly zone.
U.S. combat forces have voiced strong reservations about the effects on readiness of allowing open gays in the ranks, the Pentagon said Tuesday in a report that is likely to influence a Senate vote on whether to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
It's bad enough that precious Pentagon resources are being expended supporting and securing President Obama's pashalike excursion to India and other Asian nations this month. After all, such expenditures come at a time when the defense budget is being cut dramatically - even as wartime operations continue in two countries.
"When questioned about this process today," the subcommittee said, "Gen. Ham, the combatant commander responsible for one of the most volatile threat environments in the world, stated that neither he nor anyone working for him was consulted as part of the Brennan 9/11 planning process."
U.S. Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, head of the military's Africa Command, recently told the McClatchy news service: "I believe there are individuals who participated in the attacks in Benghazi who had at least some affiliation with AQIM.