Disappointed? Sure in my opinion the wrong guy won the election. Now we will have four more years of Barack Hussein Obama. So be it. When Bill Clinton was reelected President I felt the same. Then President Bill got himself caught, finally, diddling with the intern. He earned impeachment and was largely ineffective the rest of his second term.
President Obama may have also committed a faux pas that will render his grand plans for his second term ineffective and that is even before he is reinaugurated back into office come January.
Last week John Casteel, my former aircraft commander, and I were honored in California (Our wives too) for a mission we flew back in the Vietnam War. Somehow we have become a bit of the heritage honored by present day air refueling tanker crews. Therefore I can speak from a bit of experience.
In 1967 my flight crew spent all of April and May flying KC-135 airborne tanker sorties from such garden spots as UTapao and Takhli, Thailand, CCK in Taiwan and Kadena AFB, Okinawa. The Vietnam War had heated up big time and in just those two months our U.S. Navy and Air Force lost 55 aircraft from enemy action. The Air Force was pretty much tasked with attacking North Vietnam overland from the west and the Navy from their Carriers flying over water from the Gulf of Tonkin.
Our crew's perception was that every time one of our fighter bombers was hit and the crew had to eject it seemed like the entire war stopped. Instantly every resource became devoted to search and rescue of the crew if possible. Whoever was close took charge and evaluated the possibility for rescue of the downed crew. The Air Force rescue helicopters would launch in pairs and were accompanied to the scene by a flight of propeller driven single engine fighters. Those wonderful aircraft were leftovers from before the jet age. The Air Force called them A-1s, the Navy ADs and affectionately known as "Spads." We tanker guys orbited as close as we could -- we weren't supposed to fly over North Vietnam territory, ahum, so we could refuel the fighters flying cover over the rescue scene. In each case it was the on-scene commander who made the determination to continue or abandon the guy on the ground as unrecoverable.
Evidently on the other side from the Gulf the Navy did things a little differently. There it was an admiral on a ship, safely displaced from the scene, who determined whether their helicopters could go overland to attempt a rescue. The Navy also never seemed to dedicate flights of Spads to protect their helicopters. They did great work rescuing crews that ejected over water but seldom ventured over enemy territory.
Enter the operation on May 31st where my crew just happened to be flying over the Gulf of Tonkin refueling Air Force fighters. That day they were F-104s that were flying top cover to keep enemy MiGs from attacking our forces in the Gulf.
A Navy pilot flying an A-4 fighter was shot down and his buddies were flying cover and talking to him by radio on the ground awaiting rescue by carrier launched Navy helicopters. The protecting fighters stated that they would stay over the downed pilot until they ran out of gas if necessary. Didn't happen as the admiral in charge would not allow the helo's to go "feet dry" meaning fly over North Vietnam. No rescue became possible and Lt Cdr. Arvin Chauncey was doomed to spend the next five years as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton.
The Navy fighters flying cover did indeed stay too long, and along with their Navy tankers did not have enough fuel left to make it back to their carriers. As we had done on previous Air Force rescues we brought our Air Force tanker as far north as we dared and refueled their two A3D tankers who simultaneously were refueling two F-8 fighters. Then we off-loaded fuel to two Navy F-4s all of which would have had dry tanks before reaching their carrier.
That day we were credited with "saving" six aircraft and crews. Now that "save" and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee, but it had ramifications that bounced clear up to the Pentagon before settling back down. It was another 10 years or more before the Air Force and the Navy began regular airborne refueling operations as is now the normal practice.
Over the years, communications between flight crews and their command authority on the ground have improved immensely. In my era, flight crews were pretty much on their own once launched. Now they are in constant communication with the decision makers at ever higher levels.
With communication there is also a record of the event. That is the problem with the recent dustup in Libya that resulted in the death of our Ambassador and three other Americans. I'm convinced that our American military recourses were available and in position to intervene and possibly rescue the Ambassador and his CIA helpers but permission had to come from the President. As we know now that permission never came as the President had the pressing matter of sleep in preparation for a political fund raiser in Las Vegas next morning. He was the only one who could make the decision to commit rescue forces and he therefore through inaction fostered death sentences on four American. With authority comes responsibility. Then, as did Bill Clinton, he and his administration lied to Congress and the American people to mask the smell of a bad decision.
What we are seeing now is part of the obvious cover-up. The resignation of Gen. Petraeus is in my opinion part of the whole sordid mess. Petraeus is evidently not an Obama team player as he won't lie under oath, so he is being thrown under the bus.
Hopefully, the truth will come out from the record left by modern communication. With authority comes responsibility. If the elected candidate is impeached can he still be sworn into the country's highest office? It will be interesting to watch.
That is how I saw it.