Saturday, May 11, 2013

Benghazi Matters

I had a conversation with a co-worker this week. It went like this:

CW: "What's a Benghazi?"

Me: "It's where a terrorist attack ocurred last year on the anniversary of 9/11, and our ambassador was murdered."

CW: "Benghazi is a city?"

This is a college graduate asking me this question. 27 years old. A go-getter, good at her job.

This is a complete failure of media in our country.

I tried this week, as I traveled on business, to catch news of the Congressional hearings featuring the Benghazi whistleblowers. It was hard to find. No major media except Fox News carried the testimony of the whistelblowers live. Much of the media dismissed it all as "Republican talking points" or as the GOP "politicizing" a tragedy.

It's the other way around, actually. The Obama administration "politicized" their policy failures in Libya and Benghazi two months before a presidential election. They told a story to the American public about what happened that was false, up to and past a presidential election. Did I mention that there was a presidential election at stake, and that it was inconvenient to acknowledge that al-Qaida types carried out a coordinated attack that murdered our ambassador ON AN ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 when the campaign narrative was "al-Qaida is decimated and on the run". That's politicizing, hardcore.

I've been outraged by Benghazi since before the attack on 9/11. Many of my online friends are not still, and mock it. But it matters.

It was foolish policy from day one of this misadventure. It was foolish for the Obama administration to jump into Libya's civil war as the "Arab Spring" was roiling North Africa. It was outrageous to commit lethal weapons use on behalf of the United Nations but not our Congress. It was outrageous to provide lethal weapons to al-Qaida affiliated "rebels" in a misguided effort to depose and kill a nation's leader without a vote of Congress. It was incompetence and malfeasance to send an Ambassador into an undersecured "Special Mission" (not an embassy or consulate), and to deny his pleas for more security in an area that was "Flashing Red" according to the bipartisan Senate report on the attack.
It was outrageous that there was no military response to rescue our exposed staff during an 8-hour long firefight in two locations in Benghazi. Two ex-special forces operators ignored orders to stand down and went to the aid of their colleagues. They died while providing cover fire on a roof at 4am from mortar fire while no one came to their aide. What good does it do to have Commanders-in-Extremis Forces (CIF) that can't - or are not allowed to - respond to an Ambassador in extremis in one of the true hot spots on the planet ON AN ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11?

The whistleblowers were in Congress this week testifying to denied security measures and to stand down orders on a military rescue. Who was listening? Were you listening? Who covered it, and who mocked it - and treated the brave witnesses as hostile witnesses? That's telling.

What will unravel, of course, is the cover-up. It always does. President Obama offered one generic reference in his speech on 9/12 to "no act of terror" will go unpunished. After that speech, he climbed on Air Force One and flew to a fundraiser in Las Vegas - making that day a political day in an election campaign. View his remark in that context.

After 9/12, every statement after coming from key players in the Obama Administration - from Obama, Clinton, Rice, etc. - downplayed terrorism as the cause and implicated an anti-Islamic YouTube video as the cause of a demonstration that became an attack. It's not true. Nor is it true that the administration didn't have evidence of a coordinated tIn errorist attack. So, why then did they tell that story? Why did the White House / State Department send Susan Rice on 5 Sunday talk shows to blame the video, using talking points altered by a political team in the midst of a presidential election to remove the intelligence about an attack by al-Qaida affiliates - who we had armed?

So, was President Obama telling us the truth on 9/12 when he said "no act of terror" would go unpunished? Consider the statement of the mother of Sean Smith - who was murdered in the attack alongside of Ambassador Stevens - on the O'Reilly Factor this week. She told the story of Hillary Clinton talking to her in front of the 4 flag-drapped coffins as their bodies returned from the site of their murder. "We're going to get the maker of that video", Hillary and others told Smith's mom. And they did. The video maker was arrested, and is in jail still. Not so much any al-Qaida types who carried out the attack in Benhazi.

We armed al-Qaida type "rebels" in Libya - specifically in Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens was there as our point man supporting the "rebels". Hours before he was killed, Ambassador Stevens met with the ambassador to Turkey - coincidentally a country through which we are now sending arms to the Syrian "rebels" to help take down Assad in their civil war. It's a continuation of foolish - and deadly - policy. Stop it already.

Benghazi is not the worst scandal in the Obama Administration. There are many, including this week's reveleation that his IRS was tartgeting Tea Party members, and on and on and on.

But Benghazi is outrageous on many fronts. And it matters.

The media, complicit with Team Obam during the election, is doing their best to dismiss this story. But, cover-ups unravel. And this cover-up is beginning to. Wake up, my friends.

1 comment:

  1. Have to disagree on a minor point. CNN had live coverage of the testimony. I watched it.

    Also, I'm not saying you're wrong on the events or cover up, but it might be unfair to judge certain officials on statements made before enough information was clear. The attack was by rebels intentionally dressed to appear like an Arab Spring - college student-type mob.