Posts tagged with Benghazi
One of the most disturbing aspects of the fall of the American consulate in Benghazi is the similarity of the situation to one of the most famous murders in history,
Most people have probably heard of the romance story of Israel's King David and Bathsheba. Fewer are aware of how David got rid of Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite.
To summarize the story: David saw Bathsheba bathing and decided to have a brief affair with her and got her pregnant. He tried to cover up his role in the pregnancy by having her soldier husband Uriah the Hittite recalled with the hope Uriah would spend some time with his wife so he would appear responsible for her pregnancy. Uriah's code of ethics prevented him from having sex with his wife while his comrades were still in combat.
David then issued orders for Uriah to be placed in the middle of a battle and have other soldiers withdraw so he would be killed.
It has been alleged by those in Benghazi at the time of Benghazi attack on the consulate that they were ordered not to try to rescue U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the others in the consulate. Such orders would normally seem unlikely considering the fact that Viet Cong attack on the American embassy in Saigon in 1968 was part of the reason President Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for reelection. The capture of the American embassy in Tehran was one of the reasons President Jimmy Carter lost his reelection bid.
Any order not to mount a rescue effort to prevent an al Qaeda victory could be construed as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" -- the Constitutional definition of treason. American forces quickly retook the American embassy in Saigon in 1968. President Carter launched an ill fated rescue effort to rescue personnel at the American embassy in Iran. Obama and Clinton had personnel available to attempt a rescue effort. Why weren't those forces used?
Normally American presidents would be expected to do whatever was necessary to protect the lives of American ambassadors. Why did President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fail to protect Ambassador Stevens? Were they too dumb to recognize the possibility al Qaeda would take the consulate? Did one of them or someone else high in the administration want Ambassador Stevens, or someone else at the consulate, to die for some reason?
Ambassador Stevens wasn't married, so the motive couldn't have been the same as the motive for killing Uriah. Perhaps Stevens was connected to a scandal that hasn't been uncovered yet. I'm aware that there are rumors that both Stevens and Obama are homosexual, but don't know if the rumors are true.
I don't have any answers, only questions. Congress needs to consider the possibility that the Benghazi incident was used by someone high in the Obama administration to kill Ambassador Stevens or someone else at the consulate. It would also be possible the intended victim wasn't at the consulate even though someone in Washington thought he, or she, would be.
Reporters covering the investigation of the major al Qaeda victory at Benghazi should ask themselves: "what would Walter Cronkite do" if he were covering the story.
Let's consider the facts. Most people familiar with the War on Terror knew in September, 2012, that there was a heightened risk of an al Qaeda attack in the U.S. or at American installations outside the U.S. on or about the anniversary of the original 9/11 attack.
The danger was particularly high at American facilities in Libya because of the very unstable situation there and the presence of al Qaeda personnel who were trying to take over the country. Military and CIA personnel in Libya should have been on a high state of alert and prepared to back up personnel at any facility that might be attacked. Their orders should have been to respond immediately to any attack without requesting authorization from Washington. Security should have been particularly tight in Benghazi with the Ambassador in the building.
With modern cell phone technology, personnel should have been calling the State Department as they took cover, grabbed weapons, etc. Both the Secretary of State and President should have been notified immediately. State Department protocol should have required the Secretary, or least the top undersecretary for the region, to monitor the situation using both audio and video from the site, possibly using devices such as smart phones . If a satellite was in position to monitor the situation someone in Washington should have monitored its video. Keep in mind the government has better quality cameras than Google on its satellites.
The Obama administration's initial claim that the facility fell to a rag tag mob of demonstrators implies the facility essentially had no security. Any decent security protocol should have been prepared for the type of attack that Iranian students had used to take over the American embassy in Tehran during the Carter administration. An attack by trained military personnel would have been more easily explained, although security personnel should have been prepared to handle such an attack.
Determining the significance of the successful al Qaeda attack is difficult because of the nature of the War on Terror. Significant battles haven't involved large groups. Although the American casualty toll in the 9/11 attack was high, barely a dozen men conducted the attack. A similar sized American force killed Osama bin Laden. Much of the killing by both sides is done by remote control. Americans use aerial drones. Al Qaeda uses road side bombs.
The attack is at least as significant as the temporary Viet Cong capture of the American embassy in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive. The attack indicates that al Qaeda has successfully broadened the war and is now able to defeat the Americans in Libya and possibly elsewhere. The size of the victory isn't as important as the fact that the attack was an al Qaeda victory. Al Qaeda may not be "winning" the war yet, but as a football sportscaster might say, al Qaeda "has taken the momentum", as demonstrated by the recent successful bombing of the Boston Marathon. Al Qaeda can use its success as a recruitment argument.
The failure of the Americans to come to the rescue during the attack could be interpreted by al Qaeda as proving bin Laden was right when he said the Americans would eventually tire of the fighting.
Walter Cronkite began questioning the American handling of the Vietnam after the attack on the American Embassy in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive. I'm sure he would have asked questions about the War on Terror after the fall of the American consulate in Benghazi, particularly considering the allegations that someone in Washington prevented sending a rescue force. Cronkite knew that Presidents are sometimes mislead by their subordinates and it is the duty of journalists to learn the truth.