Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thoughts on Benghazi

Blogging will be light this week, as Hurricane Sandy comes to town. 

I have been following what the White House, State Department, President and other officials have said about the attack in Benghazi since it began.  I have watched the story bend and twist and spin and shock.   The President said it would take time to know all the facts.  But in the "fog of war,"the first casualty is always truth. 

When the Lybian embassy was attacked, I remember being shocked. Horrified that Americans were killed on what is considered American soil.  The President, Hillary, Rice, and various spokes people all claimed a "vile and disgusting" film was the cause.  This despite having real time video from survalence drones of the entire attack and emails and other intellegence that confirmed this was neither 1) spontaneous nor 2) a protest of a stupid Youtube video.  It was terrorism. 

So point one:  the video was not the cause of this attack on September 11th.   The follow up question to this choice by the administration to lie, is why?  What motivated the administration to provide this whipping boy for the occasion? 

Theory 1: This was a lie designed to prevent Americans from feeling disturbed that the anniversary of 9-11 had been marred by a reminder that there are still terrorists.

Theory 2: The top of the administration is being kept out of the loop by the intelligence agency.

Theory 3: It was a political calculation.  

Theory 4: There was a systemic break down in communication such that people made human errors that led to embarrassment and thus the desire to cover up less than optimal results. 

Theory 5: Some combination of all 4. 

Most reality is a goulash of theory.  Most humans a mix of motivations.  However, it should always anger Americans when an administration lies.  It should always anger Americans when administrations are incompetent.  And it should always Anger Americans when the government through back fighting and positioning, is negligent.  

Since the attacks, the filmmaker has been placed in jail, with all proceedings against him to start three days after the election.   Insert any cynical statement you wish here.  

If the filmmaker is not the cause, this is the disturbing act of government making up its own facts, inflicting its own punishments for its own purposes.  Not what we want of a free people or a government that is supposed to safeguard our liberties.  

Then, there is the response to the requests for security prior to the attack.  Who saw the requests?  Who denied them?  Why?  This is a simple chain of command which would have a paper trail if we had curious press.   You can bet there would be 24-7 coverage of the cover up by the State Department if this were a GOP President.   Hillary said she takes full responsibility for the State Department.  She's also persona non grata right now.   No one is asking any questions and she's not talking.  No one is demanding any answers, from within the administration or without, so the problem of the failure to protect which is now past the point of meaning, has been swept under the rug with September headlines. 

Also, we have the troubling new facts, that a marine was using a laser to paint targets for a response, that the military was told to stand down despite having a rapid response team that could have made it to Lybia within 2 hours of the original attack and for 7 hours, was allowed to simply watch as the Ambassador was killed, the embassy torched and three other Americans, including two Marines who sent emails up through around 6 concerning their situation, were murdered.   They were allowed to die. 


Someone gave the order for the military to not act.  That has to be someone high up.  Who gave the order.  Why did they give the order?  These men's deaths were not mere accidents of being in a bad place.  These men were murdered both by those who sought to kill Americans, and by the omission of whoever gave the order to stand down.  

At 4:05 p.m. Eastern time, on September 11, an alert from the State Department Operations Center was issued to a number government and intelligence agencies. Included were the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI.

"US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack" -- "approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM (Chief of Mission/embassy) personnel are in the compound safe haven."

Now I know Clinton has said the email was not itself evidence, but if September 11th, live video feed from a Drone camera and confirming emails of the situation in real time don't cause one to connect the dots, then there is gross incompetence. The military had people ready to go. So they thought this was real and credible and a situation.  Clearly SOMEBODY thought this was important or they wouldn't have sent it to the White House Situation room.  This isn't a case of a random blogger sending an email to the White House.  This was secured emails to the CIA from people on the ground.   So again, it becomes an issue of either lying or negligence or both.  

Hillary told the grieving families over the photo-op of their sons caskets, they'd get the filmmaker and lock him up.  How's that for being circumspect and reserving judgement until all the facts are known?

The first order of the government is to protect citizens from all threats, both foreign and domestic.  This was a threat both foreign and domestic.  The government failed in its duty.  It does not seem that the government lacked information, lacked resources or ability to act.  It does seem the government chose not to act.

According to Powerline:

Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the Consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations.

Now the President is stumping for the election and either ducks the questions when they come or says no one denied aid to the CIA officers.  If this is the case, then why were they not aided?  This cannot be blamed on organizational stasis since so many people were in on the live situation.  This is a case of either making the wrong call, not making the call, or choosing to refuse aid.  

We do not know the motivations of another person's heart or mind. We only know what they say or do.  

And the President's spokesman told us September 12, after being briefed and having discussions, the President went to bed at 10. 

And the next day, he flew to Vegas.

No comments:

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!