Benghazi Becomes the Latest Deflated Political Football for Republicans

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I’ve waited a few days to comment on the “all roads lead to Hillary” inquisition of administration and various agency officials back-grounding and explaining the Benghazi tragedy and the administration responses. There will be some duplication of facts and numbers posted by my colleagues, though there will also be some variations. Allow me to inject a few cc’s of truth into the brouhaha know as Benghazi and the subsequent “investigation” of the two 9/11(12)/12 terrorist’s attacks resulting in the deaths of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens by smoke inhalation. A colleague was also killed. A second attack, early on the morning of the 12th claimed two more lives in a CIA annex a little over a mile distant from the first action.

Stevens died in a dark corner of the compound’s so-called ‘safe haven’. The facility has been continuously misidentified as a Consulate. All consular duties were carried out in Tripoli. The main building was more like an over-sized chicken coup than a diplomatic mission. And therein lies the rub you’re hearing virtually nothing about. But keep reading.

Diplomacy can be a dangerous undertaking. Depending on the sources, including the NY Times, Washington Post and other credible media and government sites, there have been at least 32 attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions and consulates. 64 were killed under Reagan plus 241 American servicemen who lost their lives in the Beirut barracks truck bombings; Speaking of security, there were hundreds of “security” military in the barracks. In other horrific acts of terrorism on diplomatic missions there were a minimum of 44 deaths under Obama’s predecessor, GW Bush. The International edition of “The News” headquartered in Lahore Pakistan, conducted an in-depth study on the subject and claimed that U.S. Diplomatic Missions had been attacked 44 times in the last 52 years.

A dozen such attacks took place under Bush, the most of any U.S. President (though 7 or 8 is the accepted figure). The Online edition of the paper sourced U.S. Naval History and Heritage, CNN and Al-Jazerra TV in addition to the New York Times and Washington Post and lists the actual attacks.

The extraordinarily politicized “House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform” is conducting hearings about the Benghazi murders. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and point-man Trey Gowdy wasted millions of your taxpayer dollars in trying to get rid of Attorney General Eric Holder and embarrass the president in the drawn-out, farcical “Fast and Furious” hearings. Committee extremists did manage to extract a 255-67 (including 17 DINO votes) House “Contempt of Congress” condemnation of Holder.

It’s instructive to note that Holder is still at Justice and “Fast and Furious” is Fast and Furiously fading from memory especially after a Fortune Magazine outing of the lies and manipulations of the committee, destroying the argument that AFT intentionally allowed gunwalking and narrowing the whole investigation to one small isolated incident. In the F & F aftermath there still remains an irrelevant threat of a Holder appearance before a Grand Jury. Ain’t happenin’ Goobers.

Let’s come to an understanding here with some hard truths. Libya was and is a hell of a dangerous place. In 2012 there had been numerous attacks and demonstrations on Diplomatic missions including the storming of the Tunisian mission in protest of some Tunisian artists depictions of Islam. Makes the video story less far-fetched doesn’t it? There was in fact a small anti-video contingent present during the first attack on the U.S. facility.

After an absence of over a quarter of a century due to a 1979 Libyan attack on the U.S. Embassy, President George W. Bush restored full diplomatic relations with Libya in 2006 by upgrading an existing Liaison Office (also established by the Bush administration in 2004) to a full-fledged Embassy. The location was Tripoli, almost directly across from Benghazi via the Gulf of Sidra.

Libya is a country of 6,000,000, 97% of whom are Sunni Muslims. Some really rowdy terrorist factions populate the immediate Benghazi neighborhoods including healthy doses of al-Qaeda. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have been keenly aware of that fact and both have recruited al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups for assorted dirty work.

It’s extremely important you know the background of what the American’s were doing at the Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi in the first place. I get my information from an unlikely source, WorldNetDaily (WND). Their highly conservative site sells numerous right-wing bumper stickers including the ancient “Don’t Tread On Me.” So this info is not from some bleeding-heart liberal organization seeking administration excuses for Benghazi.

The WND reporters are quite familiar with the territory. They talked with Middle East security officials who described the Benghazi facility as a “meeting place” for U.S. officials, including Stevens. I’ve seen pictures of the nondescript, smallish (for a diplomatic) structure that seemed devoid of any U.S. or diplomatic presence. No Embassy or Consulate services (or possibly any others) were offered. The ‘mission’ seemed to serve as kind of an unofficial hub for strategy sessions mostly centering on the removal of Syria’s Assad regime. Think of your secret clubhouse when you were kids. Generally in attendance were representatives from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and rebels opposed to Assad. The oversight committee now knows what WND knew months ago. Stevens, headquartered in Tripoli, was a frequent visitor.

And yes, Al-Qaeda Jihadists were in the recruitment mix and probably a few other area nasties as well. Al-Qaeda was part of the rebel group that upended the Libyan Gadhafi government. There you have the players. Because of the game, it was virtually impossible to post a large or obvious security contingent around the secret “clubhouse.” The cover would have been exposed immediately. Early responses to accounts of the tragedy had to take care not to blow any covers as opposed to being a ‘cover-up’ as hyperventilating Republicans are suggesting or there could have really been a bloodbath (every American in sight). Reagan’s Iran-Contra was a cover-up. This was a multi-agency judgment call to protect our strategy and interests in the Bush-ignited idiocy that is today’s Middle East hatred of America.

Did Stevens and his colleagues know of the risks? Absolutely and they accepted it. North Africa (considered part of the Middle East) is a tinderbox. Security was supposed to have been provided by the new Libyan leadership. It was sadly lacking. I sincerely hope Stevens and his colleagues are duly recognized for their courageous and selfless service to their country with the highest posthumous honors President Obama can bestow upon their memories.

If there had been a massive confrontation between the terrorist factions and U.S. military, say hello to a complete conflagration in the Middle East, a mutli-decade Third World War.

House and Senate Intelligence Committees are fully briefed on the continuing administration actions and strategies throughout the world. The Republicans could have demanded more U.S military coverage in Benghazi in addition to the new Libyan security.

Every administration has withheld certain classified information for the secrecy and safety of any given operation. Of course, the Issa committee knows all that, but reasonable and legitimate State Department and Administrative measured responses to clandestine actions don’t make good negative press for Fox and the goofy right-wing talk shows.

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