Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Last of Benghazi

The campaign death march continues. Now the FBI threatens us with prolonging the crisis with post-election  investigations. The mind reels. The hand trembles. Inquiring minds want solace.

The Hill has several articles about the Benghazi Report, that seemingly unending congressional investigation about the attack in Libya where four Americans, including  the Ambassador Chris Stevens, were murdered by terrorists. Reviewing them is worthwhile because, despite the irrational arguments, there were some real problems with the Benghazi event that have become lost in the screaming. One thing to remember, as was part of the story-line in Ben Affleck's movie "Argo," management of security at an embassy is the jurisdiction of the Department of State, not any department with experience in such matters. In spite of all the heat and accusations, these are some reasonable generalities:
Based on the collective intelligence compiled by the Select Committee, led by Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, the indisputable fact is that there was a blatant disregard for warning signs, an inept response to the attack, and a fabricated cover-up; a complete and utter failure of will by the senior leadership of the Obama Administration.
The Obama Administration’s foreign policy in Libya, led by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was a dismal failure. Most notable was the decision by the Secretary of State to pursue the ouster of Libyan leader Muamar Qaddafi without having a plan in place for what happened afterward. Placing trust in the various militia factions to set aside their longstanding differences and establish a governing body in the war torn country illustrates another amateur mistake. And none of these decisions were in the interests of the United States.
Additional security was denied even though intelligence reports clearly indicated the presence in Libya of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups hostile to the United States.
What is undeniable is that the administration made a decision early in the attack that this was a public relations problem first. The protection of the people under attack was never a primary consideration.
It was a bad idea, badly done.

(AllSides rates The Hill's coverage of Washington news as center biased.)

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