Archive for Friday, April 4, 2014

Editorial: Benghazi questions

With midterm and 2016 elections approaching, it’s time to demand some honest answers about the Benghazi tragedy.

April 4, 2014

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The much-anticipated testimony of former acting CIA director Mike Morell before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee didn’t produce any definitive information to answer the many conflicting viewpoints and concerns related to the official “talking points” on the Benghazi tragedy.

Perhaps one of the most visible observations relative to the hearing was the genuine frustration of both Republican and Democratic members of the committee that they couldn’t get any solid proof of what went wrong and why it went wrong.

Another surprising disclosure is that Morell, a 37-year CIA employee, placed more confidence in the conclusions of an analyst at CIA headquarters in Virginia than he did on reports from the CIA station chief who was on the scene in Benghazi. This runs counter to the traditional practice of the CIA and must raise many questions in the minds of current CIA station chiefs serving in dangerous situations around the world.

Partisan politics cannot be dismissed, and questions remain about how much the Obama White House doctored or influenced the Benghazi talking points, how much Morell may have omitted — and why certain reports were omitted — from the CIA analysis that was forwarded to the White House.

Morell’s testimony indicated he was aware and protective of the White House and State Department not only in what he said at Wednesday’s hearing but also in how he prepared the initial report to the White House. The question of when officials realized it was a well-planned terrorist attack rather than what the CIA analyst called a demonstration and why he did not correct the White House spokeswoman and President Obama, who continued calling it a demonstration when he knew it was a terrorist action has not been addressed to the satisfaction of many on the House committee.

The Benghazi affair continues to be a tragedy in how it was allowed to happen, how it was reported and how there continues to be many reasons to wonder why the Obama administration has not been more open and transparent. Even Morell raised questions when he testified that the CIA knew from confidential sources that it was a well-planned terrorist attack, but he didn’t acknowledge this at the outset because he didn’t want to compromise intelligence sources.

The one sure thing is that as the upcoming midterm elections draw nearer, as well as the 2016 presidential elections, and if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential nominee, the Benghazi tragedy will surface as a hot topic.

This is why it is unfortunate the fault or blame for the death of a U.S. ambassador and three CIA operatives cannot be put to rest at this time. Why not tell the whole truth, the whole story, as embarrassing as it may be, rather than allow it to continue as a sad, sad chapter that sends mixed messages within the CIA as well as to the growing number of terrorist organizations that want to kill Americans and weaken the image of Uncle Sam around the world?

It would be nice if the public had reason to believe in the honesty openness and transparency of the White House.

Comments

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 1 month ago

I guess my question would be "How many more American embassies are manned and Ran by Navy Seals, whether they are retired or otherwise?" I did not know that Diplomacy was a Strong Point for The Navy Seals program. Search and Destroy, yes. Counter Terrorism and Counter insurgency operations, Yes. Diplomacy, well, not so much. You don't negotiate in a Fire fight.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree with Julius. The Republicans are champing at the bit to win the White House. Any sort of conspiracy and alleged misconduct against the black president, who they hate with all the vicious prejudice, bigotry and hatred they can muster is useful to these tea baggers.

Bob Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

The legacy media went all in to get Bronco into the White House. They're not about to start asking him tough questions this late in the game.

Jim Ward 1 year, 1 month ago

First of all, the CIA Station Chief in Libya was not in Benghazi during the attacks. He was hundreds of miles away in Tripoli. Furthermore, the CIA "on the ground" did not arrive at the Benghazi outpost until about 50 minutes after the first attack was initiated.

Secondly, the CIA never said there was "no protest." They said the attacks were not an "escalation of protest," meaning that the attackers were not ordinary protesters. This was consistent with the President calling it an "attack" and an "act of terror." This was consistent with Secretary Clinton's statements, including saying the very day after the attacks: “Yesterday, our U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked. Heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. American and Libyan security personnel battled the attackers together.” And this was consistent with Ambassador Rice's remarks on the Sunday news shows, when she described the attackers as heavily armed extremists with possible connections to terrorist groups. She clearly stated, “Whether they were al-Qaida affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al-Qaida itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.”

Finally, the editors create the false dichotomy between a "demonstration" and a terrorist attack. Republican Gen. David Petraeus' CIA first used the word "demonstration," the military definition of which is "a show of armed force." Nevertheless, semantics aside, there is plenty of evidence from Libyan officials in Benghazi, reporters at the scene, and other eyewitness reports, that the incident included both armed militants and unarmed protesters, and that the anti-Islam propaganda video played a role.

Belinda Willhite 1 year, 1 month ago

What never gets mentioned on the right is the fact that Congress cut the budget and refused to allocate money for extra security at foreign embassies. There is no there there. This is just another witch hunt because they've got nothing else. Unbelievable ignorance and hatred for this president is blinding them to the facts. And the rest of us sit by thinking they will eventually shut up. I've got news for my liberal, progressive friends, we must be as loud and demanding as they have been. I am an American and I have a voice too. I choose to use it to stand up for the really important things. Food for the hungry, Shelter for the homeless, Education for all, Health Care for the sick, Jobs for the jobless & help for the Veterans. The squeaky wheel is getting greased. We need to do some squeaking ourselves. I am. I love my ObamaCare too.

Julius Nolan 1 year, 1 month ago

See Obama haters still beating same old dead horse.

James Howlette 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm not sure it's Obama haters so much as preemptive Hillary haters. A black president followed by a woman! Oh, my heavens.

Mike Ford 1 year, 1 month ago

when a political party stinks up the room they can repeat the same old fibs over and over. who likes reruns of the same truthless stink?

Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Benghazi is a CIA operation gone sour. The CIA has been wandering about destabilizing many governments in this region. Sometimes the natives do not want the CIA messing with their countries so they rebel.

The CIA got caught with their pants down. Never do they accept responsibility for their actions that get thousands upon thousands innocent people killed annually. Time to rein in the CIA. They lie and distort.

Time to remove so called diplomats from the payroll. These positions are "lobbyists " for the ruthless corporate 1% of America. This taxpayer cannot afford these lobbyists.

Americans should raise their eyebrows at this blank check expenditure operation.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank You, Richard for pointing out The CIA connection to all this. It was the point of my question above. It was not just an "Embassy".

Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Americans should raise their eyebrows at this blank check expenditure operation….. as well.

"Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

-- Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

--- we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global protection for Wal-Mart,Oil,Coca Cola,Pepsico,diamonds,gold etc etc etc

--- we need to strengthen our ties to dictator regimes friendly to American interests and Bogus values;

--- we need to promote the cause of the political right wing and economic rape for corp USA abroad;

--- we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in forcing others to accept our corrupt principles.

Such a war mongering policy of military strength and immoral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the extortions of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness no matter how many innocent USA soldiers die.

The Plan

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/stockbauer1.html

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1312540,00.html

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0208-05.htm

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