Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Truth About Benghazi

None dare call it terrorism.

Beyond the fact that the Obama administration is congenitally indisposed to call Islamic terrorism by its name, there may be another reason why it squandered so much of its political capital pretending that the September 11 attack on the Benghazi Embassy was an act of overzealous film criticism.

By now, we have learned that Obama did and did not call the invasion an act of terrorism. He did manage to drop the word into a Rose Garden speech, but without daring to say that it described the attack in Benghazi.

For two weeks after the attacks the administration steered the news coverage toward the question of whether or not Obama was going to use the word Islamic terrorism.

I suspect that the rhetorical fog thrown up by the administration is designed to hide something worse, a far more reprehensible dereliction of duty.

Col. David Hunt has been investigating this angle and reported his findings on the Howie Carr radio show in Boston. Blogger DavidCain summarized Hunt’s conclusions.

The first and most relevant piece of information is that the State Department and the White House knew of the attack while it was going on. They were being kept informed in real time.

Thus, they might have done something to help Amb. Stevens and his colleagues; they did nothing

Whatever the president did or did not know about Ambassador Stevens’ request for additional security, he had to have been informed about a military invasion of American territory.

David Cain explained:

He [Col Hunt] has already given a lot of detailed information, from his own extensive military experience, including the fact that when the attack was happening, there were a few dozen operational centers watching it in real-time and that as a matter of national policy, announcements of any attack on one of our embassies are always sent to the President.

Would it have been possible for the president to call in the cavalry?

Cain wrote:

He [Col. Hunt] has also named military assets that were only hours away that could have been used to help the embassy's marines fight the Libyan invaders of our embassy, including the sixth fleet of the United States Navy.  By the way, whenever any country approves the creation of an embassy, part of the approval process is that the host country must give an actual deed of the land to the visiting country.  That means that the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was legally owned by the United States Government.

Where was our fearless commander-in-chief while all of this was happening? He was on his way to a fundraiser:

In Cain’s words:

At the moment that our embassy was being destroyed, and our Ambassador brutally murdered, President Obama was on an airplane traveling to Las Vegas for a Democrat Party fund-raiser.

Being on Air Force 1 is not the same as being out of the loop.

Cain said:

Yes, the notification of the attack on our embassy would have reached him on his airplane, and yes, the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of all of the U.S Armed Forces, could have given orders from his airplane to any of our military assets to protect the embassy and our Ambassador, but no, our President didn't do a thing to stop it from happening.

Even if Obama had been asleep on the long airplane flight, Vice-President Biden had the legal authority to order a counter-attack.

We know that the Obama administration sat by and watched while our Embassy was being invaded and our Ambassador was being killed.

Little attention has been given to this “real time” knowledge. If you look at the issue from this angle, you have to ask whether or not the administration could have done anything to stop it or even to mitigate its effects.

It’s well and good to cry out for justice after the fact, but, what were they all doing while it was happening?

Col. Hunt has addressed the salient issue: what might they have done? It’s time for the mainstream media to move off the question of what Obama said and when he said it, and on to the question of why they sat powerless while it was all happening.

Somehow or other I don’t think we are going to be seeing any bin-Laden raid-esque photos of the White House situation room during the Benghazi attack.


katzxy said...

So we are going back to "what did he know, and when did he know it?" of Watergate vintage.
Can't be good.

james said...

To be "bending over backwards" fair, I'm told that the host country is responsible for security and can forbid us from bringing in our military. I don't recall anything suggesting that we asked. Such communications are presumably top secret, but unless there are some adults in the State Department that wouldn't stop the administration from leaking the documents if they thought it would clear them.

The apology to Pakistan about the video makes no sense at all, unless you either assume an administration and State Department utterly devoted to keeping the TOTUS' appearance unspotted for the campaign, or some really really sensitive anti-Iran negotiations were afoot with leaders of countries that don't like us very much. (Think they're up to that sort of careful negotiation? Me neither.)

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I'm not sure about this, though in principle the host country is responsible for security.

On the other hand we do have our own security in place in many embassies. And Col. Hunt emphasizes that the embassy territory is sovereign American territory.

Also, if the matter is of great urgency, I don't really imagine that an American president should allow an Ambassador and his security detail to be butchered over a legal nicety.

Anonymous said...

The truth about Libya is that the only need there is is the need to stop meddling in other people's business in order to bring them democracy.* If you want to get involved you need to prepare for consequences and drop the squemishness, handwringing and all the other emotional drama.


*democracy= tattoos, piercings, drugs, fastfood, every woman a slut, every man effeminate, gays/lesbians telling you what to do, foreigners running your banks, "racism," and endless dialogue with nobody meaning what they say.

james said...

Those more expert than I assure me that the Marines are there to give the staff time to destroy what needs destroying. The host country is supposed to keep the street and building safe.

I'm not sure Libya's government is up to the task in the capital, and I'm certain (well, the facts speak for themselves) they can't do it in the hinterlands.