Skip to comments.Truth and Consequences for Benghazi
Posted on 09/20/2013 6:45:15 AM PDT by Kaslin
The only real accountability for the Benghazi scandal will have to come in 2016.
Reading through the competing partisan reports and listening to the congressional testimony of various officials this week, it seems fair to say that no actual crimes were committed (though you never know what you don't know).
There were, in at least a figurative sense, criminal lapses in judgment by senior officials. Many of those lapses are recounted in the Accountability Review Board report. It found "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department" that "resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place."
Translation: U.S. officials were caught by surprise by a terrorist attack on 9/11 in a country where our ambassador had repeatedly warned his superiors -- including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- that security was grossly inadequate. That ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was vindicated in a pyrrhic sense when he was murdered by well-organized terrorists.
Clinton picked four of the five members of the "independent" board, and they were kind enough to show her a draft before they released it to Congress. The ARB assigned all meaningful blame to some mid-level officials. ARB members declined to interview Clinton because, according to testimony Thursday by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Michael Mullen (the chairman and vice-chairman of the ARB), they determined at the outset that it wouldn't be necessary. None of the people who were interviewed for the report were under oath.
For those who followed the still-unfolding scandal at the IRS, this might be significant. Initially, IRS official Lois Lerner tried to pin all of the blame of some low-level employees in Cincinnati. When employees were questioned by congressional investigators -- away from their bosses and under oath -- evidence was found to help prove Lerner's account a well-orchestrated lie.
Congressional Republicans would like to get relevant witnesses to testify under oath, but they claim that the State Department and CIA are blocking that. CNN has reported that many potential CIA witnesses have been subjected to "frequent, even monthly" lie detector tests to discourage them from leaking information. One insider told CNN: "You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation," Said another: "You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well" if you talk to anyone about what happened.
That's all very ominous, and I'm at a loss as to why it's outrageous for Congress to try to get to the bottom of what happened. But to listen to defenders of the administration and a lot of allegedly neutral journalists, this basic exercise in congressional oversight is a deranged and entirely fabricated partisan witch hunt. It's an odd charge given that the only obvious fabrication in the whole affair was the relentless effort to cast the attack that killed four Americans as a spontaneous reaction to an obscure and shoddy YouTube video.
But we probably know what happened. In the midst of a hard-fought presidential election, the administration, and specifically the president, was caught embarrassingly flat-footed by a terrorist attack. And even when it knew the attack was still going on -- without any possible knowledge of when it was going to end -- it still failed to send any help. The ARB establishes that much.
In their testimony Thursday, Pickering and Mullen softened that criticism by noting that the U.S. military can't be expected to defend every diplomatic outpost everywhere in the world all of the time. Fair enough. But maybe it's not unreasonable for the military to be ready for an attack in, say, the Middle East on Sept. 11? Particularly in a country where officials knew security was a huge problem?
At the time, the Obama campaign had been touting its success in the war on terror. The last thing it wanted less than 60 days before the election was to lose that issue. So, afraid of the political fallout, the White House and the State Department circled the wagons.
Hillary Clinton is a master of the passive-aggressive art of dragging out investigations until the press and public lose interest and spinners can use abracadabra phrases like "it's all old news," "let's just move on" and, most famously, "what difference does it make?"
The irony in this case is that it's precisely that tactic that has now turned a political problem for Obama into a political problem for Clinton. And unfortunately, the only real accountability we can hope for on Benghazi will come when she runs for president herself.
I don't know how long "they" have been "protecting us" from information, but I'm guessing there's a whole BUNCH'A stuff that goes way back ... probably to colonial times.
When I get to Heaven and discover that is a true statement (IF it is) ..
I'll be glad I'm in Heaven and unable to do damage to a lot of people.
And Obama simply smiles, as hopes to slam the lid on a Hillary Presidency.
The United States is beginning to suffer the same fate. Benghazi is another canary in the coal mine. When we can't have justice at the very top, we are doomed.
Clinton picked 4 of the 5 members of the ‘independent’ board........
This would never fly in any other part of the American judicial system.
In accounting, this is referred to as ‘an arm’s length transaction’. Her actions don’t meet the smell test...but then this entire administration smells.
Yeah I know. I realized it right after I posted the article and hit the abuse button, but the mods didn’t see it. The next article was by David Limbaugh thought
make that though
One of the historical failings of diplomats is that they tend to see the world as wanting peace. They then make choices towards de-escalation rather than confrontation.
That works most of the time. But there are many places on the planet where confrontation between locals is very powerful and diplomats should not be making force protection decisions. Karachi, Gaza, Benghazi, Mogadishu, Aleppo, to name a few.
Our diplomats chose to blend into an ongoing CIA operation that local and foreign operators knew about and disagreed with, and you have the makings of trouble.
Stevens and Smith were collateral damage. Woods and Doherty were warriors. Combat and its consequences were expected by them.
When we chose not to let our Site Security Team stay on, then allowed the departing Brits to store weapons on site, and then chose not to upgrade from a Mission post to a Consulate (with accompanying security), the die was cast and the enemy saw an opportunity.
We did have a shipboard rescue team in the Med but it was committed to the Egypt-Syrian theater and was out of range.
Diplomatic choices forced a weak tactical battlefield that we could not shape with the limited CIA operators on hand. We also mistakenly relied on locals for security and for drivers. Even for diplomats, an amazing mistake.
Regarding the cover up: autopsies were done the next day, revealing the mortar shrapnel injuries. Yet, Obama caused a cover story that ran for weeks claiming spontaneous protests against a movie. An clumsy and inept pack of lies.
Anyone wanting on or off this ping list, please advise me or Republicanprofessor.
While David is right far more than his brother, it has to be recognized that the Limbaughs are without question establishment based. They owe all they have to the MSM
“Mystery Babylon, the Great.”
They’ve been in control for millenia.
>> “An clumsy and inept pack of lies.” <<
IOW, standard ‘news’ reporting.
Even so, come quickly ....
Arming terrorists(until last week when Obama unconstitutionally waived the law) ‘was’ against the Law, Mr. Limbaugh. If that is what Obama’s CIA was doing in Benghazi....it would be an impeachable offense. Not to mention Obama’s dereliction of duty in leaving our men to die.
Abuse of Power
Dereliction Of Duty
The central question that needs answering is: What was our CIA and state Department doing in Benghazi?
That is because the real crimes were never discussed. They never got to the causes of the attack, which was about weapons that were being shuttled to our legally-defined enemies in Syrai: Al Quaida. That would be an open and shut case for treason. This was a political game of gotcha, not an investigation.
Well..now it makes more sense. Jonah is doing the GOPe bidding here because when the truth comes out, establishment rinos like McCain, Graham, Peter King, Boehner, Mike Rogers, and others, will be found to be knee deep in the lawlessness of arming our enemies. It will damage both parties establishment leaders!
I say good! Time to clean house of these corrupt politicians. ENOUGH!!
“The irony in this article is that David Limbaugh, who is usually right on in his facts, doesn’t seem to quite have his facts straight here.”
Correction in thread - Author is Jonah Goldberg.
Nevertheless, it raises a point of agitation. There is a collection of Freepers who have a more thorough working knowledge of the events, timeline, and details of Benghazi than most members of Benghazi committees and MSM Benghazi commentators put together.
One year later, specials on Benghazi are pitifully inadequate, underwhelming, and far behind the known facts.
As I have said before, only the Presidents of the
United States know the REAL history of this country.
Reminds me of the movie "National Treasure" (which I enjoyed)
If the queen had balls she’d be king.
I think that’s one reason that current and past
presidents don’t mouth off about each other.
Of course, then there is the thing Rumsfeld talked about,
there are things they don’t know they don’t know.
So maybe there is a little hope.
We will get that info when the results of the Lewis and Clark expedition are revealed.
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