Monday, October 29, 2012

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi

I started watching the Benghazi story early on. When four great Americans, who have devoted their lives to their country, are killed in an American Consulate it is an important story. Apparently the only news organization that agreed with me was Fox News. They stayed on the story and did a great job.

The thing about this story that first attracted my attention was that was no logic in the way the government was spinning it. This wasn't about a couple of dozen teens and twenties burning American Flags and trying to climb the wall. This was a group of trained hard cases with AK-47s and RPGs pouring through a hole that had been blown in the wall in a previous attack. 

Why would the ambassador be in a place this dangerous without adequate protection? Why was he there at all? The story about a bunch of Muslims upset about something on You Tube just did not make sense. Then we were told their was a drone overhead. Why? To have a drone overhead at that critical moment proves that the ambassador didn't just drop in for tea. He was on an assigned mission. There are only two people that can assign a mission to an ambassador. They are the Secretary of State or the President.

If he was on a mission and there was a drone overhead, the feed from that drone was being monitored because something important was happening. I am sure that one place monitoring that feed was the White House situation room. That is what they do there. And be sure, the situation room can contact the President 24/7  if he is not on site. An attack on a consulate would surely be of interest to the President.

Next we find that Ambassador Stevens had asked for more security personnel more than once in previous days. He was refused. Once again, if an ambassador requests security and is refused, the Secretary of State must sign off on that. The people were available. It was a dangerous area. Why deny the Ambassador's request?

The administration wanted to give the impression that things were normalizing in Libya. Peace was upon the land and there was no real threat. Bin Laden is dead. The Al Qaeda threat was ended. An increase in security forces would go against that tale. So let the Ambassador suck it up. Every thing is OK.

We soon found out that this was no populist uprising against a dumb movie. It was a full blown attack by an Al Qaeda franchise. The Ambassador was left on his own calling for help. Three times he was denied. I find that a little symbolic. In an attack it is the military's instinct to head toward the cannons. There were those the were anxious to. They were ordered to "stand down". Three brave men broke ranks and did what they knew to be right and lost their lives for lack of support. One single AC-130 Specter gunship, which was available, could have reversed the outcome.  the battle raged for seven hours. The Specter could have been there in one. It was not allowed to fly.

Then we are served with the ultimate of bull excuses. "We don't send in troops until we have a full picture of what is happening." Mr. Secretary of Defense, you have proven to me what I always suspected. You are nothing but a political hack that will say anything to please his masters. Sir, you have no honor. You had a drone overhead and troops on the ground. You had all the information necessary.

In the latest chapter of ongoing malfeasance, an admiral and a general stationed in the mid-east have been relieved of command. It does make one wonder did they push too hard to do the honorable thing in the face of power politics. If all of the press went at this story as hard as Fox has done we might get a broader view of what happened. Until we learn more, all we can do is look at the evidence and see what actions would line up with that evidence. That would be called a circumstantial case. But we can learn a great deal by observing the circumstances. 

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