Benghazi: incompetence is apparenton October 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm
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At this point, the world has a clear understanding that on September 11, 2012 the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorists. 4 Americans were killed, one of which was Ambassador Chris Stevens. Ambassador Stevens was the first US ambassador killed since 1979. At this time there is no clear understanding what terrorist group committed the attack, and American response to the attack is still pending – though Libyan civilians have already acted against terrorist organizations in retaliation.
What is not clear is a growing list of questions. Why were repeated requests for security forces, prior to Sept 11, denied and by whom? When did the White House and mainland intelligence agencies first understand the attack to be a terrorist action? Were there requests, during the attack, for backup military forces – if so, who denied those requests? Who decided to declare the attack a response to an anti-Islam video, and on what basis? Why did it take the White House and Obama Administration 9 days to even hint that this may have been a terrorist attack? Why, after a month and a half, are there still these questions and a reluctance from the Obama Administration to give a singular, definitive, credible answer to all the above.
The initial response from the White House was that the attack was from a protest over an obscure anti-Islamic video, made in the US by an alleged Egyptian backer, found on Youtube. The protest escalated and resulted in the consulate attack and the deaths. This has been proven to be unequivocally false.
What has been determined via House Oversight Committee hearing, and investigative reports by parts of the news media, is that this was a planned and well orchestrated military attack. The attack was the 231st incident in Benghazi since the overthrow of Mummar Gadahfi. At the time of the attack, all other foreign interests had been driven out of Benghazi, including the British and the Red Cross.
It is definitive that requests from security forces on the ground in Benghazi had requested additional security forces prior to the attack. All requests were denied, from Washington, DC. Who authorized this denial is unclear.
It is now breaking news that at the time of the attack, 3 requests were made to the CIA to reinforce the consulate – and those requests were denied as well. Who authorized these denials is also unclear.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said, in response to questions on why there was no concerted action by the US to the attack as it was underway,
This is refutted by facts that are now coming to light.
Additionally, there are reports that CIA forces had a attacker mortar position laser-sighted as requests for air support were made – this was denied, resulting in 4 mortar shells being launched and at least 1 being responsible for American deaths.
Further, there is evidence that the State Department received notice, 2 hours into the attack, of the status of the attack.
The White House has claimed that intelligence briefings at the time of the Benghazi attack pointed to an obscure Youtube video as the source of the attack. They also claimed that there was a crowd of protestors. In the evidence that has been found at this time, no reference to either has been found. Thus it is unclear how such a conclusion could be made, or why the White House was so insistant on this being the cause reported to the nation.
Since the time of the attack, various news organizations have been on the ground at the Benghazi consulate, gathering video and other evidence. Hundreds of Libyan nationals have been at the scene. The FBI, which has been tasked with determining who is responsible for the attack, has yet to touch the ground in Libya.
So far, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accepted blame for the failures leading to and during the attack on the consulate – but has ignored calls for her resignation if in fact she were responsible. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, deflected the issue of responsibility in his comments [noted previously]. CIA director David Petraeus stated that
“No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
President Obama, for his part at the 2nd Presidential debate, has definitively stated that the responsibility lies with him. VP Biden, during the VP debate, re-quoted the initial White House position.
60 Minutes, which interviewed the President and discussed the Libya attack the day after it occurred, chose to edit out proof that President Obama believed the attack in Libya was a terrorist incident, which refutes the White House position provided to the American public on that same day.
Why 60 Minutes chose to avoid revealing this significant fact to viewers for 6 weeks – and withheld this from the news media in general – is unknown. Why the NY Times, Washington Post, and several other major news organizations have not investigated this matter via their extensive sources developed over decades is unclear.
On October 10, 2012, we stated that
Upon reflection of the evidence revealed by sources outside the government since that time we must revise our conclusion. It is clear that the unilateral decision to bomb Libya, in opposition to the War Powers Act, had no end-game in mind. There was no serious consideration on the Administration’s part to consider potentially negative backlash, instead assuming that the goodwill generated from the removal of Gadhfi would sufficiently protect American interests in the nation.
The preponderance of evidence being uncovered indicates that the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate benefited heavily on that expectation of good will to prevail. It is clear that upon the outbreak of violence, the Administration – seemingly at levels up to the Executive Branch – was either indecisive or unwilling to act on real-time data. It is clear that a decision was made, in the aftermath, to obscure the level of information available to the Administration during the attack, as well as those that had access to the information. It is clear that several media organizations are preferring to avoid investigation of this incident, regardless of its importance, for reasons that are not readily known.
We once called this a fiasco. In fact this is incompetence in the worst manner. Illogical planning, failures to address requests from on the ground in Benghazi, failures to provide support during the attack, apparent disregard for real-time information during the attack, all combined to not only endanger but actively cause the deaths of Americans.
Worse than this incompetence, there is apparently an on-going cover-up. A circle of denials of responsibility, acceptance of responsibility, and obfuscation of decision makers is definitive. Someone denied request for security before the attack, someone denied support during the attack, someone knew there was no video or protest, someone knew this was a terrorist action. Whomever “someone” is, they apparently run the government in regard to foreign policy, and they are doing so in the worst manner possible.
We stated that, in regard to the consequence of responsibility for the Benghazi attack,
“But the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton, and numerous Liberal and Democrat pundits feel that Secretary Clinton shouldn’t be held to the same standard of accountability as Michael Vick?”
We now expand that question.
Are the American public expected to absolve the Obama Administration of incompetence and an apparent cover-up? Is no one responsible for the deaths of 4 Americans, even though there were several direct decisions that combined with a terrorist act to cause those deaths? Are the American people expected to just forget that they were actively lied to, for purposes that range from the political (election) to arrogant (the historical record of the Administration)? Don’t the dead deserve an honest answer on why they died, and who did it, before the incident itself is forgotten and relagated to a page 20 coverage in the news media?
Someone is responsible, several people should be accountable. Instead there is a vaccum of leadership and dire questions about our foreign policy. Incompetence just fails to capture the abject disgust of the situation.