Island Dweller sent two odd pieces of fragmented writing on onion skin. It indeed occurred to us to lay one on top of the other, whereupon not one but two messages came out: the first message contained all curved symbols, the second one all linear scratches. Together, they formed the lines and curves of the normal Latin alphabet. Also, he sent them as emails:
Your illustrious majesty:
I have had something bouncing around inside my head and want to bring it forth. Remotely-piloted ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) assets – otherwise known as surveillance drones – are in SCREAMING demand within the armed forces. There are never enough to go around, and their missions must be scheduled and coordinated well in advance. Getting one on the spur of the moment is virtually unheard of, even in a combat situation – unless it happens to be in the neighborhood, and even then it requires coordination. One of the largest growth sectors in the U.S. aviation industry is the design and production of ISR RPVs. If they are in such demand, why was one of them reportedly in the vicinity of the U.S. consulate at Benghazi and able to see at least some of the action? Drones just don’t wander around – they’re tasked, on a specific flight path, and carefully controlled. If one was in the area, that meant someone suspected something was worth watching in Libya, if not Benghazi. Tripoli, perhaps? That means DOS coordination with DOD to obtain the services of the drone – implying foreknowledge of a risky situation. You connect the dots.
Why wasn’t something done once the feed from the drone showed the situation in Benghazi had gone South? This is because a bureaucrat was on duty in the DOS watch center. Bureaucrats follow strictly-defined protocols and have a marked inflexibility of thought; they can’t handle a curve thrown at them, something requiring creative thought, individual initiative and responsibility is beyond them. I’m wondering how well that bureaucrat is sleeping right now.
Your majesty – I leave you with one little story about how things go the closer you get to the flagpole in any government or military organization.
In WWII, the first U.S. carrier strike in 1944 against the area of Tokyo, Japan, ran into very little aerial opposition. The returning U.S. pilots were remarking to the intelligence debriefers on the ships about the marked lack of airborne Japanese fighters that opposed them. One of the intelligence officers remarked all this meant was the Japanese military was exactly like its U.S. counterpart – the closer you got to headquarters, the harder it was to get anything done. He said if they had been attacking some island outpost that day, some tough Reserve Lt Commander would have seen the Americans coming, would have thrown all his planes into the air, and there would have been a terrific fight. Instead, right in the capital’s back yard, they got no opposition. That meant the order to intercept the Americans was sitting on some admiral’s desk, and the admiral’s out playing golf. This is the nature of a government bureaucracy spelled out in an accurate, amusing and revealing fashion. In a less humorous vein, this attitude (channels, protocol, t’s cross and i’s dotted) is precisely why we have four dead Americans in Libya to think about.
The Czar acknowledges that Island Dwellers observations about drones is quiet interesting. Indeed, the Czar can attest that drones are quite expensive, we do not have as many as we prefer to have, and that getting one for a mission is indeed a big deal. Popular media like to portray them as everywhere, just lazily flying around like cops on random patrol, but indeed they are assigned assets.
The Czar can answer part of Island Dwellers question: why Benghazi. Benghazi is much more a hot spot than Tripoli, and historically this is where all the crazy stuff happens in Libya. Tripoli is a comparatively calm place compared to the turbulent nature of Benghazi. Just a few days before, the British embassy staff left in a really big hurry, and as one security member said, the American flag was the only non-Libyan flag flying in Benghazi. There was a very credible risk that something was about to go down, and getting a drone there would have been a priority.
Now having written that, the Czar knows Island Dweller exactly made his point: if we knew matters were risky enough to warrant sending a drone out there, why wasnt the Ambassador better protected? Why was he left at a mildly defensible apartment? Why were there no heavier assets on standby in the Mediterranean?
The Czar thinks the press is already asking some of these questions, the most damning being the length of time the White House knewthrough a combination of assets (drones and feet on the ground)that the Ambassador and his security team were not going to hold back the attack. We understand that, incredibly, the security detail held out for about 7 hours; sadly, they could have been extracted in three and back in Italy in another two.
Regarding the second point about Japan, the Czar will not quibble with the potential interpretation; however, the Czar always felt that another equally apt explanation exists: the Japanese were so convinced by their own propaganda that American strikes could never reach the mainland that air defense was almost non-existent; further, that any defense aircraft were already deployed in the surrounding islands. Basically, the Japanese were so convinced that America would not reach Japan for years that they took everything they had and put them out along the perimeter islands. Same resultand there is no reason your explanation could not also coincide with ours.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.