“Painting the target” means he was shining a laser at a target so that the aircraft’s weapons system could get a fix on it in the dark. By shining a laser at the target he is also giving up his own position. He would not have done that if he did not know that there was air support on scene to receive the information. This was likely the reason he was killed.
“One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target. That means that Specter WAS ON STATION! Probably an AC130U. A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser. You do not “paint” a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.
“Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.”
So the question becomes, Was air support actually there? Or was someone playing Bait and Switch with the Seals? And if it was there, Who called it off?
It has been reported that Former Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods disobeyed orders to “Stand Down” when they went to the US Consulate to help Ambassador Chris Stevens and staff. And, had they survived the attack, they could have faced Court Martial for doing so.