This is Part II of my post on the Implications of the Benghazi Report by Congress. For Part II, I have relied on reporting by NBC News.
In the first sentence of its article, NBC states the Benghazi report “details an array bureaucratic miscues and inter-agency blunders.”
NBC added in the second paragraph that the report “paints a more nuanced portrait of incompetence.”
Further, in its third paragraph, NBC asserted that the report offered “new details about why U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, one of the casualties, was at the compound of the Libyan city [of Benghazi] with only two State Department bodyguards, months after the British and others had evacuated the area.”
(In a side note, the reason was to lay the groundwork for both the creation of a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and to seal that with a visit by Hillary Clinton herself. Do you think she would have been attended by the type of security her ambassador received? Of course not! Yes, I understand she would have been a target of greater value in the eyes of Muslim terrorists, but it’s also true that if you know a place is dangerous, then you provide security commensurate with that danger.)
Two Republicans on the committee wrote their own report that criticized Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, directly.
The bottom line? “The committee’s findings could underscore accusations that the Obama administration – and [Hillary] Clinton’s State Department – were more concerned with public perception that with acting decisively to save American lives.”
How do we reach that conclusion, indeed, go further, by moving from “could” to “did”? How do we as informed citizens scrutinize the assertion that a disconnect existed between the Obama administration and Clinton State Department on one side, and the diplomatic and security officers on the ground in Libya on the other? We identify the facts needed to underpin such a conclusion and make sense of them.
In light of the presidential campaign, remember that Hillary Clinton herself has nailed competence and fitness for the presidency to the table as paramount prerequisites. So before we continue or reiterate those facts, let’s take a quick look at how Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration have responded to the release of the congressional committee’s report.
Hillary Clinton responded to the report’s release by saying the investigation “took on a partisan tinge.” She added that “I think it’s time to move on.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest gave this description: “political fantasizing.”
Ask yourself whether those attitudes betray the very disconnect the committee report describes.
That the report was partisan is without question. Both Democrats and Republicans made political hay with it. That is where the facts will lead us to a sensible position.
The Obama administration and Clinton State Department contracted for U.S. personnel to be protected – not by American forces – but by a Libyan government sanctioned paramilitary group called the February 17th Martyrs Brigade. Just before the ambassador and his fellow Americans came under attack, including those at a “secret” CIA station, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade abandoned its posts, defected, vanished!
That abandonment is portrayed in the motion picture 13 Hours.
Who did eventually come to the aid of the Americans? Former forces of Muammar Ghadafy, whose government Obama and Hillary Clinton had helped to topple! Who didn’t come to the aid of the Americans? The Muslim paramilitary force Obama and Hillary Clinton paid to do the job as part of the alliance with the new Libyan government!
Already you can see two facts and a pattern emerging from those facts. The United States moves into an area (Benghazi) that every other government and private organization flees because it is too dangerous; and the United States places American lives in the hands, not of its own trustworthy forces, but in the hands of forces hostile to us and our way of life.
What’s the pattern that’s emerging? Neither the Obama administration nor the Hillary Clinton State Department knew or understood what was happening in Libya, so they glibly took actions that endangered, then cost American lives.
And get this: the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, which did not martyr itself for your fellow Americans as it was paid to do, was “recommended by the Libyan government.” That’s some government you are doing business with, Mr. President and Mrs. Secretary of State!
I will deal with two additional points, two double-talking confabulations uttered by the State Department and the Pentagon respectively. Examine their wording carefully.
First, we entertain some words from State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner:
“We received diplomatic clearance, as is standard, to send a flight into Tripoli to evacuate our personnel. The process of gaining clearance did not delay or cancel any asset going to Libya. Concerns about what they wore had no bearing on the timing of their arrival.”
Toner is the trickster, he is. Let’s assume for argument that everything he just said is true. Does this mean there were no delays in acting? No. Does this mean that there were no things that could have caused a delay if we weren’t late in acting anyway? No.
Just hearing that the Marines had to change in and out of uniforms/civilian attire four times should be enough to boil the red blood in every American. You don’t waste time launching a military mission, any mission, even less so one designed to save American lives. The State Department should keep its nose out of military assignments because they will botch them every time.
More importantly was the delay in knowing and understanding the situation, in seeing the facts and patterns as they developed, and governing oneself accordingly. This was critical for Ambassador Stevens, and it is critical for us to understand.
By the time the State Department made a decision to act, it was already too late. All the evidence the report cites, some of which I detailed in Part I of the Benghazi Report, illustrates the lethal ineptitude of the State Department and the Obama administration, the former managed by Hillary Clinton, the latter by Obama. The bucks stop with them (that is, ironically, even truer in Hillary’s case!).
Hillary Clinton and Obama ignored what other private organizations and countries did in the face of growing violence in Benghazi. They ignored al-Qaeda in Benghazi. They ignored the repeated threats against particular people and countries on social media and elsewhere, which were carried out, including against their own ambassador, months in advance. They ignored the findings of their own security analysts. They ignored the pleas for more help and protection from their own ambassador. And they ignored the threat to kill Americans in Libya made the day before the attack began.
Yet they trusted the recommendation of the new Libyan government and its phony paramilitary force!
Second, NBC reported that several of the witnesses the Benghazi committee interviewed told the committee that the orders to deploy did not include sending forces to Benghazi! Instead, “Their understanding was that the assets needed to be sent to Tripoli to augment security at the embassy, and that the State Department was working to move the State Department personnel from Benghazi to Tripoli.”
NBC’s reporting is not clear on this, but it appears that the State Department requested troops to protect its embassy in Tripoli, 400 miles away from Benghazi, instead of at Benghazi, where the attack was occurring. That’s kind of like the FBI sending all its agents to Atlanta to investigate the Orlando night club massacre.
How can any citizen, regardless of political persuasion, sanction such incompetence, such demeaning and devaluing of American lives and operations!?
Hillary Clinton is not competent. It’s a label her partisans throw out repeatedly. She had no prior diplomatic experience when she was appointed secretary of state, and it showed, badly. The wounds of her tenure as secretary of state remain desperately in need of care.
Hillary Clinton lied to the relatives of the Benghazi victims about why they were murdered, then lied about lying to the relatives. She lied about coming under fire as she landed in Bosnia.
A person lies to create or maintain a perception. As we come full circle in our discussion of the Benghazi report, we can see Hillary Clinton wanted to create and maintain a perception that she was acting successfully within the new Arab spring, as the seemingly democratic movement that toppled a number of dictators was called. It was one of the bricks she wanted to lay as she built a stairway to the Oval Office. But she got it all wrong, and still gets it wrong, and Americans lost their lives because of it.
Hillary Clinton continues to lie. I’m not sure she is able to do otherwise. She lies about being competent to serve as commander-in-chief when she has never spent a single day in training, defending, attacking, wielding effectively a weapon, tasting the battlefield, and serving in close proximity to death. Hillary Clinton, along with her husband, has always held the military in the lowest regard. The commanders must be bristling to think such a person void of experience, truth, and understanding could possibly be selected by the American people to lead our forces.
God help us and keep us from her!