I've since received information which confirms my initial assessment.
The following appeared in the inbox of a retired Episcopal priest; the priest is a veteran, as is the source. My intermediary source for this is impeccable and I would trust him with my life, so if he says this info is good, I regard it as good.
Furthermore, although I'm not former Navy, I spent two decades in uniform and the internal consistency of the information herein is consistent with my military experience.
But. You know about what you read on the internet so buyer beware. I have translated certain slang and abbreviations from the original for benefit of our civvie readers.
[Dear Fr. X:]
Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:
1. [Pres. Obama] wouldn't authorize the [U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group] SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, [Pres. Obama] imposed restrictions on their [Rules of Engagement] that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the [pirates] all sighted in, but could not fire due to [Rules of Engagement] restriction
4. When the navy RIB [Rigid Hull inflatable boat] came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to [Rules of Engagement] restrictions. As the [pirates] were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. [Pres. Obama] specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge [ship captain] and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge [ship captain] and SEAL team [commander] finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead [pirates].
7. [Pres. Obama] immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behavior. As usual with him, it's BS.
So per our last email thread, I'm downgrading Oohbaby's performance to D-. Only reason it's not an F is that the hostage survived.
Read the following accurate account.
Philips' first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn't worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country's Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors, and none was taken.
The guidance from National Command Authority, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage's life was in clear, extreme danger.
The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating craft was fired on by the Somali pirates, and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief's staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a peaceful solution would be acceptable.
After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided he'd had enough.
Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage's life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer, unnamed in all media reports to date, decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips' back was a threat to the hostage's life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.
Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.
There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday's dramatic rescue of an American hostage.
Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president's toughness and decisiveness.
Despite the Obama administration's (and its sycophants') attempt to spin yesterday's success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours, as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location, became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.
It's gonna be a loooong four years.