Friday, September 14, 2012

What did Obama and Clinton Know, and When Did They Know It?

It’s the politics, stupid.

America is under attack. Its territory has been invaded. Nations that are bound to defend its embassies and consulates stand by and do nothing.

The mainstream media is responding with a torrent of feigned outrage. It has offered a few unkind words for the terrorists who murdered Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, but it has saved its big guns for its true enemy: Mitt Romney.

Accusing Romney of having politicized an act of war, the media has gone full bore in defense of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

As everyone can see, the media is in full campaign mode. It is doing everything in its power to deflect attention away from those responsible.

Mitt Romney dared to criticize an appalling statement issued by the Cairo Embassy, statement that has now been repudiated by the administration. For his courageous and correct statement Romney has been excoriated in the media with an intensity that would never be directed against terrorists who murder in the name Islam.

Even though the administration has taken back the Embassy statement empathizing with the hurt feelings of the terrorists, the Obama-Clinton team continues to direct the full weight of its moral outrage against the filmmaker.

The mainstream media has joined the chorus. Let’s call it the chorus of the terrorized.

Romney stood for principle. Mainstream media commentators are so utterly lacking in principle that they do not recognized a principled position when they see it.

Some elite liberal intellectuals have suggested that we should arrest and indict the filmmaker whose film was the pretext for the current outbreak of anti-American violence.

Someone has to be punished for sending the Obama Mid-East policy down in flames.

On MSNBC Mike Barnicle denounced the filmmaker and said that he should be indicted for murder.

Jonah Goldberg replied:

Does Barnicle want Salman Rushdie, the author of “The Satanic Verses,” charged with attempted murder, too? That book has in one way or another led to several deaths. Perhaps the Justice Department and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security could work on a joint prosecution?

Perhaps Rushdie’s offense doesn’t count because he’s a literary celebrity? Only crude attacks on Islam should be held accountable for the murderous bloodlust they elicit.

But who’s to decide what is crude and what is refined? We know the real answer: the Islamist mobs and their leaders. Their rulings would come in the form of bloody conniptions around the world.

Are we really going to hold what we can say or do in our own country hostage to the passions of foreign lynch mobs?

Of course, events continue to unfold. New information suggests that the Obama-Clinton foreign policy team did an exceptionally poor job of managing the crisis.

Last evening Charles Krauthammer suggested that the Cairo Embassy, instead of showing its capacity for empathy should have asked the State Department or White House to contact Egyptian president Morsi before the assault and instruct him to defend the Cairo Embassy.

We also know that the Benghazi consulate did not have an American security detail in place to protect Ambassador Stevens. When the attack started, the Libyan security officers ran away and left the consulate undefended.

Everyone who follows Libyan politics knows that Benghazi is home to a large number of al Qaeda operatives. It was a major recruiting ground for al Qaeda in Iraq.

The New York Times reported on the situation in Benghazi:

Benghazi, awash in guns, has recently witnessed a string of assassinations as well as attacks on international missions, including a bomb said to be planted by another Islamist group that exploded near the United States Consulate there as recently as June. But a Libyan politician who had breakfast with Mr. Stevens at the mission the morning before he was killed described security as sorely inadequate for an American ambassador in such a tumultuous environment, consisting primarily of four video cameras and as few as four Libyan guards.

“This country is still in transition, and everybody knows the extremists are out there,” said Fathi Baja, the Libyan politician.

Apparently everyone knew about Benghazi, except the crack Obama-Clinton foreign policy team.

Now, this morning, a British newspaper, The Independent, reported that the State Department had been alerted to the dangers in Cairo and Benghazi and ignored them.

The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the "safe house" in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed "safe".

Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.

Of course, the administration is denying the reports. And the media is ratcheting up its anger at Mitt Romney.

On the Powerline blog, John Hinderaker analyzed the denial and concluded that it is diplospeak, and not credible.

On September 11 the New York Times ran a story suggesting that George W. Bush ignored warnings about the possibility of an al Qaeda terrorist attack.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.

Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.

Now, do you think that the media will ask what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama knew and when they knew it? Will they be held to account for their the mess they have made of the Middle East?

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

Michelle Malkin has something to say about this.