Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi…
Until almost two years ago, no one had ever even heard of Benghazi. Today, we have heard quite a bit about it, that’s if you watch FOX News Channels or follow current events taking place in Congress. If you only watch the main stream media channels, that have devoted the past six years to protecting the Obama administration, you probably still know nothing about Benghazi; unless you have caught a piece of the 3 or 4 minutes the main stream media has devoted to the story since September 11, 2012. In fact, one station devoted almost 14 minutes to Chelsea Clinton’s announcement that she was pregnant, but has only devoted about 3 minutes to the story on Benghazi.
I always like to give a little background for those living in a cave on my Blog post, so here is some background for those living in a cave.
On September 11, 2012, the anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorist! This was a well organized attack by approximately 200 trained fighters armed with rifles, RPG’s, and mortars. Four American’s were killed in the assault that lasted approximately nine hours. NO effort to send support to rescue the American’s under attack on the compound was ever made. A lot of emphasis, rightfully so, is placed on the death of four American’s, but there were approximately 60 American’s on station and I would submit to you that America left ALL 60 of them for dead!
The first information the American people were given as the news about the attack on the Consulate started coming out, was that it was a demonstration sparked by a video that no one had ever heard of, that was critical of the Prophet Muhammad. The video hardly had any views at all prior to the attack, but quickly went viral as the Obama administration insisted it was the motivation behind the attack. Several weeks passed before the Obama administration stopped with the “spontaneous demonstration” lie and acknowledged that it was a well planned terrorist attack on the Consulate.
So, now that we have covered some general background, let’s look at why I say this is a lesson in failed leadership. To begin with, we have to consider some events leading up to the 911 anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers. It’s no secret that since America launched the War on Terror, the enemy we have been chasing has also been looking for opportunity to strike back – especially in predominantly Muslim countries!
Prior to 911, a number of request were made by the Consulate, through the Regional Security Officer, a Department of State Employee, for funds to improve the facilities security. Events in the area clearly justified the need for improvements, in fact, many would argue we should not have been there because of the tension in the region. The other western missions did just that, including the British, after a couple of attempts were made to assassinate their Ambassador. The American’s were totally alone, with no support at all!
In spite of the request for improved security at the Consulate, the State Department leadership in Washington, D.C., declined their request. The bureaucrats in D.C., didn’t share the concerns the people on the ground in Benghazi had. For those that don’t know, the host government is responsible for providing security outside the gate of our Embassies and Consulates around the world, but the land our missions sit on is considered sovereign American soil and we are responsible for the security and protection of our people inside the compound.
On the day of the attack, Ambassador Stevens sent word to Washington, that the Consulate was being watched and that the local guards responsible for protecting the Consulate outside the gates had left their post. Reports are this happened approximately two hours before the attack began. A prudent person might take this as a sign that support personnel need to be dispatched to either safely evacuate the American’s on site, or to provide extra security in the event of an attack on the compound. No such action was taken!
When the attack commenced it was fierce! The Consulate personnel were separated, with people in two different buildings. Our Consulates and Embassies typically have reinforced safe rooms to shelter in when something like this occurs, but they are only meant to provide temporary protection, with the thought that the local government, or the American government will send help at the first indication they are in trouble. Nothing can be expected to withstand long term protection from fire or explosives over an extended period of time.
As the attack progressed, repeated calls to Washington were made for assistance. None was offered or sent! The one facility where the majority of American’s were located, was being quickly overrun and destroyed. There were two former Navy SEALS at the other location who radioed to Washington for permission to engage the attackers and attempt to rescue those American’s. After being denied and told to stay put a couple of times, they made the decision to ignore orders and attempt to rescue their fellow American’s! This is probably the ONLY display of true leadership that can be found in the evaluation of events that took place in Benghazi, before, during, and after!
Thanks to those two brave, honorable Navy SEALS, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty, who adhered to the ethos the American service man has maintained for over 200 years, of leaving no man behind, the majority of the American’s in Benghazi on that tragic day, were spared a certain death sentence!
The attack on the Consulate compound lasted for approximately nine hours, with a brief pause after the first couple of hours. Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty, the two Navy SEALS, essentially defended the compound themselves, against a force of well over 200 well armed terrorist, until well placed mortar fire mortally wounded both of them.
The American public has been told that we had an unarmed Drone providing a live video feed of the attack, but the footage has not been released to the public. NO attempts were made at all to even dispatch anyone to the aid of the American’s in Benghazi during the attack and it was THREE weeks before they got a team of investigators on site to gather evidence and investigate.
The Obama administration immediately began telling the American public and the world that the attack was a demonstration gone wild, as a result of the video that portrayed Muhammad as a child molesting pervert. The Sunday right after the attack, Susan Rice was chosen to appear on all the major network news channels and continued to tell the story of the video being responsible for the demonstration getting out of hand. This story continued to be told by the Obama administration, until the media began obtaining evidence that it was a lie!
On October 12, 2012 an Accountability Review Board was appointed to examine the circumstances and facts of the attack. The Chairman was Ambassador Pickering and he had four others assisting him. Their report was critical of the failure to provide the necessary security ahead of time and a few other things, but in the end NO one was held accountable. More surprising is that they did not interview anyone that was there! Not one person that was on location during the attack was interviewed by their investigators, nor was anyone in the chain of command stateside interviewed.
In addition to the Accountability Review Board, there have been a few other Congressional inquiries into the events that transpired before, during, and after the attack, but they have left more questions than answers. When Hillary Clinton, who was the Secretary of State at the time of the attack, testified before Congress, she either couldn’t recall, or didn’t give a damn as she made known with her now infamous statement, “What Difference Does it Make!?”
Essentially, Hillary Clinton, like all the democrats, have maintained the popular liberal stance that holding people accountable is not important, no one cares who was responsible, as long as they appear to take steps to prevent such a thing from occurring again. I’m sure anyone who has ever received a speeding ticket, or found themselves before a judge, would much rather a simple apology suffice, along with recognition of the wrong committed in return for a free walk. Unfortunately for those involved, we are a nation of laws, ( or used to be. See my Lawless Nation Blog post) and there are consequences we all have to accept for our actions. I know those in positions of Royalty seem to believe they are above the law and too self-righteous to be bothered with accountability, but until they are successful at getting the Constitution changed and the “We the People” omitted, WE the people have to do everything in our power to hold them accountable and to the highest standards!
Recently a private government watch group was able to obtain some documents under the Freedom of Information Act, that gives credence to the suspicion that the Obama administration has been lying to the American people and to Congress. This has prompted the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to appoint a Special Select Committee led by Trey Gowdy, (R-SC) to thoroughly investigate and obtain all the facts surrounding the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi.
Naturally this has the democrats in an uproar claiming there is nothing left to know, that no one cares anymore but the republicans, that there have already been too many investigations, etc.,… Nancy Pelosi has even claimed that two of the families that lost a love one, have asked her not to put them through another investigation. Of course true to her history, she will not say which two families, and none of the families have publicly made such statements. What the democrats are truly afraid of, is the truth being revealed!
Why would the democrats fear this Select Committee more than the previous investigations and inquires? Well, a Select Committee has a lot more legal authority to subpoena documents and witnesses. They will not be limited to a 3 or 5 minute period of time to question witnesses like they typically are during the routine Congressional hearing. When someone like Hillary Clinton is called before Congress and they have 5 minutes to question her, she can stutter and stammer and fill space with empty speech to run the clock, essentially saying nothing, as is typical. The members of the Select Committee will be able to bring her in for depositions and question her for as long as necessary, until they have the answers they need. Everyone will be under penalty of perjury and the investigators can verify their statements, then call them back if necessary. The Select Committee is not designed to be a side show for the American people, or something intended for mere oversight. The Select Committee gives them more power, more time, and more resources to get to the truth!
It’s easy for the democrats to argue that the investigations and inquires to date have not revealed anything. Truthfully, the only thing they have revealed, is the need for this Select Committee. Why? We have not managed to get the facts surrounding the attack that took the lives of four American’s! No one has been held accountable! No one knows where President Obama was during the incident! We know the next day he was fund raising in Las Vegas. No one knows where Hillary Clinton was during the attack. No one knows who made the decision not to send help. No one knows where the story about the Mohamed video came from. No one knows who was responsible for anything that night. The White House points the finger at the CIA, the CIA points the finger at the State Department, the State Department points the finger at the military, the military, being the bottom of the food chain, just sits there.
There are other questions floating out there, specifically many are curious why we had so many people in Benghazi to begin with, especially since they are reported to have been CIA. Quite frankly, I find that to be the one thing, at least at this stage, insignificant, or in the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make? Whatever the reason we had American’s there, they were there at the direction of the American government and they deserved to be supported by the government that sent them there! I did a tour as a Marine Security Guard and while we were always well equipped to provide an initial defense of the embassies and consulates, we all felt secure in the knowledge that our government would always send help if needed.
There have been many statements made by the Obama administration from the military on up, that they did not have time to dispatch help. In fact, the Secretary of Defense at the time, Leon Panetta made the ludicrous statement that the military cannot just send people into a situation like that without adequate intelligence. Sure, in an ideal situation you would want as much intelligence as possible, but when your people are under attack, being slaughtered, you grab every fighting man with a weapon and you go to their aid! I do not know a single Marine that would have not ran to their aid with nothing but their bare hands. You do NOT leave your people alone to die! No one knew if this attack was going to last one hour, or one week! It could have continued until every American there was dead!
I’m glad they have appointed a Select Committee to find out what happened on this tragic day in Benghazi! It’s about time! If people within the Obama administration were negligent in their duties, which it would appear is the case, they need to be held accountable! Regardless of their position in government!