U.S. Navy Admiral Charles Gaouette was reportedly relieved of his AFRICOM Command for some reason. Some are theorizing he ignored Barack Obama’s order to “stand down” in the Benghazi attack. The rest of the story that we know is true, is that U.S. Army General Carter Ham decided to ignore the “stand down” order. Gaouette was preparing to “assist and provide intelligence” for Ham’s forces planning to defend the Benghazi Consulate and Annex – read that as a question. According to the story, within a minute after General Ham made the decision to step in anyway, he was relieved of his Command by General Rodrieguz, who was Ham’s second-in-command. The poster refers to this comment from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta:
“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
It is important to note that this information is coming from Tiger Droppings, a message board. The poster, Ambassador, on October 26th at 9:45 pm recounts hearing the above (my paraphrase) from a trustworthy person inside the military. He/she then reports this:
President Barack Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Lt. Gen. John Paxton to succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Thursday. Source: Stars and Stripes
So while we do not know what is true and what is not, we know that Ham has been relieved of duty and Obama has nominated General Rodriguez, who relieved Ham, to take his place and to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. We also know that Gaouette is no longer in command of the USS Stennis Carrier Strike Group.
NavyTimes.com reports that, “Vice Admiral John Miller, commander Naval Forces Central Command, made the decision to reassign the commander of Carrier Strike Group 3, even though it’s deployed to the Middle East.”
NBC News interviewed Neal Zerbe, a retired Navy Captain, who says, “The particular commander being relieved, and you know translating that to just moving him back to a continental U.S. base while the investigation continues, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.” Source: MyNorthwestcom
Gateway Pundit is quoting Ace of Spades saying Gaouette’s removal is likely not due to Benghazi? So was Gaouette preparing to assist General Ham? Was the USS Stennis even in the area? Maybe not. Read a detailed discussion at Strategic Thought. Please REMEMBER, this story is NOT CONFIRMED.