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Where’s Obama in the Benghazi Report?
National Journal ^ | 12/20/2012 | Michael Hirsh

Posted on 12/20/2012 1:47:45 PM PST by SeekAndFind

And so the reckoning begins. Only hours after a special task force concluded on Wednesday that “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” may have contributed to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department’s security chief resigned and three other officials were relieved of their duties.

What was lacking in the report, however, was any sense of who was responsible farther up the chain. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Accountability Review Board—chaired by retired Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and vice chaired by another national-security heavyweight, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen—detailed a broad failure of U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers to fully understand the growing Islamist threat in Libya, but without naming the names of those who were responsible for that failure. As the report put it, using the passive tense, “There was little understanding of militias in Benghazi and the threat they posed to U.S. interests.”

Even more damning, in its absence, was the report’s failure to step back and question whether the Obama administration, at its highest levels (starting with the president), created the conditions for Benghazi by overstating the decimation of al-Qaida and playing down the significance of the extremist elements, possibly al-Qaida-linked, that have reemerged in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in Libya and elsewhere. Unless this reckoning is made, it is easy to imagine a similar disaster happening in post-Assad Syria, or elsewhere in the region. This has been a chief Republican talking point against Obama since the Benghazi attacks occurred on Sept. 11.

A disturbing subtext of the report is the broader failure of the U.S. intelligence community to catch up ideologically with extremist threats, even as the CIA and FBI have burrowed deeply into Islamist networks at home and abroad. As demonstrated by the October arrest of a would-be terrorist plotting to blow up the New York Federal Reserve, the FBI is now deeply embedded in the domestic Muslim community, and the CIA has gotten fairly adept at penetrating jihadist networks abroad, especially online (a striking contrast to the U.S. law-enforcement community’s inability to root out the nation’s Adam Lanzas before they kill).

But, in a worrisome replay of the intelligence community’s cluelessness before 9/11, the report supplies further evidence that U.S. intelligence has largely failed to anticipate how new al-Qaida-style cells have been incubating in the extremist groups enfranchised by the Arab Spring abroad. Nor has the Obama administration reckoned with the ideological backlash caused by the indiscriminate use of drone strikes.

The Pickering-Mullen report was also reminiscent of the early reports on the Abu Ghraib interrogation and detention scandal of nearly a decade ago. Even as President George W. Bush continued to blame the scandal on "a few American troops who dishonored our country," it only gradually came to light that the practices at Abu Ghraib stemmed from a series of decisions made at the highest levels, including the president himself. And much as the State Department did here, the Pentagon sought to investigate itself over Abu Ghraib, carefully limiting in rank those it questioned at first.

Thus, the Pickering-Mullen report confined its findings to the failures at “senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department,” Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs, concluding that “certain senior State Department officials” in these bureaus “demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability in their responses to security concerns posed by Special Mission Benghazi.” Even so, the task force “did not find reasonable cause to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her duty.”

The report also did not explain why U.S. intelligence was, in general, not keeping up, even though it found that “fundamentalist influence with Salafi and al-Qaida connections was also growing [in Libya], including notably in the eastern region.... At the time of the September attacks, Benghazi remained a lawless town nominally controlled by the Supreme Security Council (SSC)—a coalition of militia elements loosely cobbled into a single force to provide interim security—but in reality run by a diverse group of local Islamist militias.”

In another unsettling reminder of how laggard U.S. intelligence has remained in the 11 years since 9/11, the report drew parallels between the failure in Benghazi and what happened after terrorists attacked U.S. facilities in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1999. “Simply put, in the months leading up to Sept. 11, 2012, security in Benghazi was not recognized and implemented as a ‘shared responsibility’ in Washington, resulting in stove-piped discussions and decisions on policy and security,” the report said.

Shot through the report are other reminders of incompetence at the highest levels: the State Department’s failure to “issue a worldwide caution cable to posts related to the [9/11] anniversary; and a failure “to link formally the many anti-Western incidents in Benghazi, the general declarations of threat in U.S. assessments and a proliferation of violence-prone and little understood militias, the lack of any central authority, and a general perception of a deteriorating security environment to any more specific and timely analysis of the threat to U.S. government facilities,” as the report puts it.

The report also notes “a tendency on the part of policy, security, and other U.S. government officials to … overlook the usefulness of taking a hard look at accumulated, sometimes circumstantial information, and instead to fail to appreciate threats and understand trends, particularly based on increased violence and the targeting of foreign diplomats and international organizations in Benghazi.” The report said board members “were struck by the lack of discussion focused specifically on Benghazi.” It also said that “known gaps existed in the intelligence community’s understanding of extremist militias in Libya and the potential threat they posed to U.S. interests.”

All of which raises the question: Where do these gaps begin? The answer is: at the highest levels, of course. A real reckoning of Benghazi will have to await further reports.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 20120911; accountabilityreview; allibbi; alqaeda; alqaida; arabspring; arb; benghazi; cba; chrisstevens; christopherstevens; drones; dronestrikes; federalreserve; federalreserveplot; hillaryclinton; islamists; libya; michaelmullen; mikemullen; militias; mullen; nyfr; obama; pickering; salafi; ssc; thomaspickering; thomasrpickering; wheresobama; whereswaldo

1 posted on 12/20/2012 1:47:52 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Same place he was during the actual attack. M.I.A.

SnakeDoc


2 posted on 12/20/2012 1:50:42 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Texas survived one Obama term, and we'll survive another. The rest of you are screwed.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Ubama doesn't know anything about Benghazi other than what he has read in the newspapers.
3 posted on 12/20/2012 1:55:07 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state." - Cornelius Tacitus, Roman Senator)
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To: SeekAndFind
Where’s Obama in the Benghazi Report?

Here he is with Hillary back when this was "all about a movie."

If a Republican administration had tried a lie like that, we'd never, ever hear the end of it.

4 posted on 12/20/2012 1:56:23 PM PST by JennysCool (My hypocrisy goes only so far)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Obama is still trying to find out what happened.


5 posted on 12/20/2012 2:00:19 PM PST by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: SeekAndFind

this report was a waste of taxpayer money. We need a full blown Watergate investigation.


6 posted on 12/20/2012 2:00:51 PM PST by Wisconsinlady ("Never give the devil a ride; he will want to take over the driving.")
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To: annieokie; penelopesire; maggief; Protect the Bill of Rights; thouworm; SE Mom; Nachum; onyx; ...
Where might obama have been? How about doing his evening prayers...the prettiest sound on earth...especially while Americans are being slaughtered.

Anyone wanting on or off this ping list, please advise.


Benghazi Index

7 posted on 12/20/2012 2:05:09 PM PST by MestaMachine (It's the !!!!TREASON!!!!, stupid!)
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To: SnakeDoctor

inthis case he wasn’t even “present”...what a piece of _ _ _ _


8 posted on 12/20/2012 2:09:30 PM PST by ldish (Give me Freedom and Liberty or let's kick some a**!)
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To: SeekAndFind

What did Rush say? “The Benghazi Report is out; mistakes were made and nobody did them.” haha, says it all.

I read this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church just yesterday, though. It gave me chills: (On the 8th Commandment - You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor): “Moral judgment must condemn the plague of totalitarian states which systematically falsify the truth, exercise political control of opinion through the media, ... and imagine that they secure their tyranny by strangling and repressing everything they consider ‘thought crimes.’”


9 posted on 12/20/2012 2:13:02 PM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: SeekAndFind
Where’s Obama in the Benghazi Report?

Is it racist to call it

WHITEWASH!

10 posted on 12/20/2012 2:16:50 PM PST by The Sons of Liberty (America 2012 - What Would Our Forefathers Do?)
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To: The Sons of Liberty
Is it racist to call it WHITEWASH!

Yes, the word "white" will be removed from all governemnt documents like "lunatic" was and replaced with "non-black".

11 posted on 12/20/2012 2:21:27 PM PST by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: SeekAndFind

Where was Odinga the Magic Half Negro?????

He was lieing while Americans were dieing......


12 posted on 12/20/2012 2:28:37 PM PST by eartick (Been to the line in the sand and liked it)
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To: SeekAndFind
So Obama and Hillary had no clue that when you make a deal with the devil, you will end up getting burned.

Just wait until their Syrians devils start burning them. Those devils have nerve gas.

13 posted on 12/20/2012 2:28:43 PM PST by justa-hairyape
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To: SeekAndFind
Isn't the outcome of Benghazi kind of backwards? In the old days, you had a boss and that boss was essentially responsible for YOUR actions. If he kept you on board it was because you were a good employee. If you were a bad employee and he kept you on board, HE paid a price for it.

In Benghazi, a few subordinates took the hit for something their BOSS should've been ultimately responsible for. Why have a boss if the boss isn't responsible for anything? Isn't that the point of having a boss?

Does being black make you immune from being accountable for anything? Apparently so. I have yet to see 0bama be held accountable for anything. He didn't know anything about Fast & Furious either. He's escaped responsibility now with Benghazi.. Who is this masked man that seems to be coated in a sort of black Teflon that causes everything around him to just slide off? And to think our news media forced Nixon into resignation because he found out some of his men broke into a hotel room to steal the opposition's campaign strategy document. LOL! It's almost laughable now, isn't it? My my how 0bama has lowered the bar. Four Americans died in Benghazi but we're supposed to think 0bama's tears for the children at Sandy Hook were real. Bullsh!t.

14 posted on 12/20/2012 2:34:37 PM PST by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (IMPEACH OBAMA)
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To: SeekAndFind
“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” --“The Audacity of Hope

Obama is an enemy of the United States. And the damned Congress just enables him.
As far as I'm concerned all but a handful of them are Traitors too.

God help us.

15 posted on 12/20/2012 2:37:08 PM PST by onedoug
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To: SeekAndFind

Systemic problems... Yes - but where’s the answers to the basic questions of what did Zero (and H) know and when did they know it. Was there a request for assistance or not, were the heroes really told to “stand down” and by whom - and did Zero fail to authorize cross border action when requested.

Where’s the 30 survivors? Why haven’t they been interviewed in now over 3 months?

No one died in Watergate. This coverup stinks beyond anything in history, and the media is complicit.


16 posted on 12/20/2012 2:38:28 PM PST by LibertyOh
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To: SeekAndFind

An opportunity was lost today during the Carney show WH presser when Ed Henry asked him about accountablity.

What he should be asking...and so should every other reporter...Why the Hell were you, the President and the SOS parroting the meme about a Mohammed video from moment one? Huh? Why? That is the question I want those LIARS to answer.


17 posted on 12/20/2012 3:03:32 PM PST by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: LibertyOh
Where’s the 30 survivors? Why haven’t they been interviewed in now over 3 months?

No one died in Watergate. This coverup stinks beyond anything in history, and the media is complicit.

Neighboring British and Canadian diplomatic personnel and military also are not being asked any questions except by Fox news. They were also told to "stand down" when they offered to help.

No one also seems curious as to why Nidal Hasan hasn't had any trial in 3 years now after the mass killing at Ft. Hood.

Meanwhile, the death penalty is being sought for SSG Bales and the U.S. Marine is still hobbled to his Mexican jail cot.

18 posted on 12/20/2012 3:08:51 PM PST by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: SnakeDoctor
Same place he was during the actual attack. M.I.A.

Correctamundo! He would actually have to do something in order to be included in the report. With Obama, the buck never comes to him.

19 posted on 12/20/2012 3:27:44 PM PST by Hoodat ("As for God, His way is perfect" - Psalm 18:30)
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To: SnakeDoctor
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
20 posted on 12/20/2012 3:43:01 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Chooming


21 posted on 12/20/2012 3:44:07 PM PST by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: SeekAndFind

At Man’s Country?


22 posted on 12/20/2012 3:50:06 PM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Gotta protect the one who got a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing, and who is on the cover of Time for nothing.


23 posted on 12/20/2012 3:50:14 PM PST by I want the USA back
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To: JennysCool; MestaMachine

Four men died. . . 0bamma lied


24 posted on 12/20/2012 4:44:38 PM PST by John Galt's cousin (WTF? We couldn't rescue four men in Benghazi? Is our military IMPOTENT? ( /s ))
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To: SeekAndFind

He’s the one with a towel on his arm saying “More Tea”?


25 posted on 12/20/2012 6:22:15 PM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: SeekAndFind
>"Where’s Obama in the Benghazi Report?"

I don't care!

I hope he ends up on Alba soon!

26 posted on 12/20/2012 8:28:54 PM PST by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: SeekAndFind
Arming the Islamonazis--where else?.
27 posted on 12/21/2012 6:19:04 AM PST by Happy Rain ("Gun free zones are baited fields.")
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To: BerryDingle

Unfortunately I don’t have Fox news and was not aware of the other diplomatic personnel interviews. The propaganda machines success is amazingly horrible.

Yes, action against our military personnel and inaction to protect them, while Hasan sits alive and untried is despicable. My daughter narrowly missed being killed by that vermin - she had been in the building just shortly before, her husband in Iraq picked up the work there of the pregnant woman who just returned and was killed in the attack. This administration doesn’t care about those serving unless they can be used as pawns. Pray we survive another 4 years.


28 posted on 12/21/2012 11:25:15 AM PST by LibertyOh
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