Category Archives: Benghazi

Out of this world!


Out of this world!

The mystery of what goes through Pres. Barak Obama’s mind continues to grow apace.

The theme of his latest press conference, before he took off for a Hawaii vacation stopping enroute to console victims of San Bernardino whom he has largely ignored, was delusional. That’s a fierce adjective, and a frightening one, to throw at the president of the United States.

But Obama boasted that “[S]ince taking this office, I’ve never been more optimistic about a year ahead than I am right now.”

It is customary for politicians, even those at the highest echelons, to trim the facts. But Obama’s exposition of the current national and international is phenomenal.

He claims a record of creating jobs through his seven years in office. To what extent Obama Administration’s policies has contributed to the current slow recoveryis at least debatable. But his presentation of unemployment which has undergone Labor Department “creative accounting”is phenomenal. All of us know through personal encounters the vast numbers of people who have withdrawn from the labor market because there are no jobs. The rate of growth of rate of jobs, of course, is a misnomer because of the depth of the financial crisis of 2007-08 and they had no place to go but up.

His claims for Obamacare are equally bogus. One can point to figures for those now required to adhere to health insurance or face penalties. But what about the tens of thousands of employers who limiting employment in order not to be forced into the law. And, of course, there are the hundreds of thousands who have seen their former insurance plans canceled. It is also a moot point whether the growth rate in medical costs – as much a function of growing and expensive technology as the inflation – have decreased for reasons of public policy. Far more important, alas! has been the individual health care recipient’s need to cut back on expenses, even health care.

On the question of climate change, Obama continues to muddle the waters refusing to acknowledge that there are two very complicated arguments. One is of course the possibility as has happened through the ages, that climate is changing. The other, much more debatable, is the extent to which human activity is significantly affecting that change. As an example of the shallowness of many of his partisans’ arguments is the enormous amount vapors thrown into the atmosphere 1500 active volcanoes. The Paris meeting he boasts of did have some 200 nations signing on to a recognition of climate change, but the fundamental thrust of American policy, that is, to get everyone to cut down on emissions, went a–glimmering.

The President continues to insist that he has an agreement with Iran to halt their production of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear bombs. Repeatedly various elements of the Iranian regime have stated publicly there is no agreement. And at the very moment he was making the claim again, the UN Atomic Energy Commission which had tried unsuccessfully to ride herd on the Tehran mullahs, admitted it had failed to detect earlier movement toward weaponry. Obama spoke, too, just after the mullahs have tested their intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable if perfected of carrying weapons to the US, one of the prohibitions in the supposed “deal” with the mullahs.

Obama crowed over a compromise he made with the Congress to permit oil exports after four decades of laws forbidding them. To get this past his veto pen, in order to create thousands of new jobs and return Washington’s political as well as economic clout in world energy markets, Congressional Republics had to agree to new billions poured into subsidies for so-called green energies. Yes, that too, creates jobs but at what cost while the national debt continues to skyrocket!

No, Mr. President, your transformation may be a success in your own mind but at the cost of squeezing the taxpayer yet again and imperiling the whole economy.

Sws-12-19-15

 

Benghazi: The smoking gun


Perhaps the most honored dictum in the code of the American warrior is that no fellow fighter is left behind in a struggle, no matter the price to be paid in any attempt to rescue him.

Ironically, that is the rationale given by the Obama Administration for its disastrous swap of five Guantanamo prisoners of war for Bowe Bergdahl, an American captive of the terrorists. Several of these high-ranking terrorists. are now reported again in combat and Bergdahl’s comrades in arms, despite his denials, have not only charged he deserted his post but that several of his buddies were killed in unsuccessful attempts to rescue him.

“No man left behind” as part of our military code of honor dates back, in fact, before the U.S. was founded according to Prof. Paul Stringer of the Air Command and Staff College. During the French and Indian War, 20 years before Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, Rogers’ Rangers, a guerrilla militia fighting with the British, established the precedent. Through America’s wars, the effort – often against unfavorable odds – has been a guiding principle of the conduct of our armed forces if at other odd times abandoned.

It is in that context that the failure of U.S. military forces to go to the aid of the trapped diplomats and at soldiers in Benghazi, Libya, for six hours on the evening of September 11, 2012 has been argued. Obama Administration officials have testified before Congressional hearings that no military rescue force was available, and that, in fact, no order was given to send them or no order for them to stand down. [In fact, of course, a Special Forces unit stationed in Tripoli did move to their aid without higher up permission which resulted in the rescue of some of the survivors.]

Central to why no rescue effort was made at Benghazi is the question of the origin of the attack on the American diplomatic mission, whether as the Administration insisted at the time despite all the evidence to the contrary, that it was because of an anti-Islamicist video produced and shown in the U.S. which had excited demonstrations in neighboring Cairo. Or whether, as the Administration’s critics insist, it had its origins in a long-planned attack by terrorists against the Americans.

In her famous soliloquy Oct 22, 2015, then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton made her famous remark “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

That argument has somewhat obscured the more important issue of why no military assistance was ordered. The Obama Administration has contended that none was available within a capable geographic distance and therefore was not considered.

But now, overshadowed by such “events” as Donald Trump’s controversial proposal to ban Moslem immigrants, a Judicial Watch lawsuit has produced an e-mail indicating that such military rescue efforts were under consideration. Despite the “redaction” [censorship] an e-mail message Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:19 PM from Jeremy Bash, then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff, to Hillary Clinton’s office and other high State Department officials, reveals that such mobilization was underway:

“xxx After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak. They include a [REDACTED].

“ Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements, we will ask State to procure the approval from host nation. Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us [REDACTED].”

The mystery of why the Congressional Select Committee investigating the death of four Americans at Benghazi – including an U.S. ambassador – remains unsolved. Could it have something to do with an internal squabble in The Pentagon itself over whose was the responsibility the lack of resolve in this case of “no man left behind”?

sws-12-13-15

Islam is the problem


The worship of Mohammed’s followers throughout their history has rarely constituted a religion of peace, contrary to repeated statements by leaders in the West – above all Pres. Barack Hussein Obama. These have been made in their pursuit of trying to defuse the current crisis, but nevertheless are now a part of the problem..

One might stretch to argue that Mosses, founder of Judaism, had a “battlefield commission”. But neither Jesus, Gautama nor Confucius, leaders or founders of the several other great world religions, advocated violence. Nor were they soldiers as was Mohammed, the messenger who carried the word of Allah to his flock.

Furthermore, virtually all Muslims accept that in his last decade of what may be a largely legendary life, he pursued that career with ferocity in the destruction of his Arabia peninsular enemies, most notably the contemporary Jewish tribes who refused to accept his new religion. The history of Islam is inseparable from its attempt to conquer alien societies and turn them forcibly to its belief. That code demands – unlike the other great religions today – unquestioned obedience to a legal as well as a moral code of contradictory but supposed God-given dictums from the Koran and the accumulation of practices in the hadith, pronouncements and activities surrounding Mohammed the man.

Again today, as repeatedly in the past 1500 years, the West is fighting off a campaign of Muslim fanatics to overtake and replace its Judeo-Hellenist-Christian- civilization. Rather than massive armies at the Tours battlefield in the 8th century or at the gates of Vienna in the 16th and again 100 years later, this time the attacks are continual thrusts at the ineludible vulnerable “soft targets” of modern open societies.

As incomprehensible as it is to Westerners and non-Muslim societies of the East, these fanatics are willing to die so long as they can bring pain and disaster on their targets. It is, as some Muslim fanatics have proclaimed proudly, that the rest of the world loves life and these psychotics worship death.

When the leaders of the whole world – not excluding both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas – came together in Paris for a demonstration of unity of purpose against this new threat to humanity, there was a missing figure. It was no accident, as the Communists would say, that Obama was not there among the leaders of most of the civilized world.

In a tortured and benighted view of the world’s issues, Obama apparently believes that outreach to the Muslim fanatics through Islamic state leaders – including the mother hen of all the contemporary terrorists, the insidious Muslim Brotherhood – will appease the tiger. His closest advisers make desperate attempts to convince the rest of the world that the great mass of Muslims are innocents. True enough, but that they will [the “good”Germans with the Nazis or a dozen other historical instances] bring down the militants is highly questionable. .

Obama rides this tiger not only in great peril to the country he leads and to the world in general, but at the risk of his own role in history. Calling a blatant attack at Ft. Hood by a twisted mind – a psychiatrist indeed! – “workplace violence” not only distorts the real meaning of the incident making it impossible to deal with it, but this refusal to name the crime makes it difficult to meet out the modest reparations to the survivors.

In the same vein, by not identifying the current worldwide campaign of terrorism – now into its second decade – as an outgrowth of Islam itself, he and his advisers make it impossible to understand it and mobilize to defeat it.

At the United Nations, instead of a straightforward attack on the origins of this violence to all civilized society, Obama was busy warning against any attack on the sanctity of Mohammed’s name. [A documentary producer who had the audacity if however clumsily to challenge the relationship of Islam to the wave of terrorism still is serving a prison sentence, part of the design to obscure the martyrdom of four Americans at the hands of terrorists at Benghazi.] Nothing plays more into the lying of Muslim fanatics in dealing with their fellow citizens; they can carefully site elements of their dogma which sanction deceit in their professions of innocence with nonbelievers.

Any attempt to take on the long awaited need to bring the religion of Mohammed to a test of modernity and contemporary morality is denounced. Earlier attempts were abandoned after a bitter debate in Andalusia, Spain, in the late 12th century when Ibn Rushid [Averroes], ironically sometimes called “the father of modern Western secularism”, was defeated in his efforts to find a synthesis of Hellenic, Judeo-Christian and Islamic values. Ironically Averroes contributed mightily to Western religious and philosophical thought. But his Islam retreated into the thousand-year bowels of a totalitarian conformity that imprisons it to this day. Those who call for a constructive new debate are quickly denounced as “Islamophobia” – even when they come from acknowledged scholars such as the eminent modern philosopher, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger.

It remains to be seen if Muslim leaders will rise to join Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who recently pleaded with Islamic clerics to examine their game. He argued Moslem “thinking” had stymied, that concepts “we have sacralized over the years” are “antagonizing the entire world”. In practical terms of a hard-bitten military leader of the largest and most important Arab nation, he argued that it is not “possible that 1.6 billion people [a reference to the world’s Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live”. He warned that Egypt [or the Islamic world in its entirety] “is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

Again, it is no accident that the Obama Administration’s relations with the al-Sisi regime hang by a thread while it has continued to court the likes of Turkey’s increasingly Islamicist Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [and with a lesser and lesser degree of success]. It also continues to bemoan the fall of al Sisi’s predecessors, the discredited Muslim Brotherhood. [Alas! That is also true of Hillary Clinton with her own close connections to the Brotherhood leadership through her principal aid, Huma Mahmood Abedin.].

Recognizing Islam’s relationship to the Muslim terrorists is critical if the U.S. and the world is to defeat this aberration before it destroys Western civilization through its steady depredations, always forcing restraints on our liberties in order to defend ourselves.

sws-01-11-15

 

 

 

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The U.S. polity: a wonky fit


The polls tell us that those Americans interested in politics are split almost evenly into two groups: those who approve of President Barak Hussein Obama’s leadership and those critical of it.

Further analysis shows quite basic differences between the two groups – and disturbing for those of us who want a country rich in diversity but engaged in a constant healthy exchange of ideas.

The President’s supporters are what my Mom in her retirement among the elderly in Florida, with some envy, used to call “the alright-nicks”. They are members of an elite who either financially or politically – or both – have disproportionately profited from the system. They see themselves, and their nominal leader, Obama, as tapped by some unseen but knowing source to lead — especially to guide a rabble [excluding themselves, of course] which does not know its own interests and therefore what is best for them.

In fact, their numbers have recently been reinforced as the economy has marginally improved and the noise around Administration scandals and policy failures has dissipated with time in a fast moving society. [IRS persecution of political opponents, veterans dying because of illtreatment at the VA, the sacrifice of lives at Benghazi, massive infractions of border security, mishandling of government lands, near collapse of the president’s personal security – Poof! Gone With the Wind!]

The other half of the politically oriented are fervent, if sometimes highly prejudiced, critics of Obama’s policies – or, indeed, the lack thereof in many avenues of leadership where he is counted among the missing. Domestically, they perceive inhibiting bureaucratic intervention or neglect of the always marginally effective governmental actions which could speed the economic recovery out of the disaster of 2007-08. Abroad, they see perennial crises deepen with a strategy of withdrawal of American power in areas where it has long been the arbiter, indeed, the presumed leader by the other foreign participants.

Any attempt by the critics to entertain a meaningful debate is largely ignored by the Obama followers whose allegiance to their leader lies elsewhere than in loyalty to issues. In reality, the Obama coalition is a motley crew whose interest in their leader is largely pro forma – that is, loyalty as a member of an ethnic or an interest group rather than based on broader issues or an attachment to ideology.

Some might take issue with this argument, of course, claiming that Obama, himself, is an ideologue of the left and has the support of what constitutes the American left in politics. That has some validity, of course. But as a scion of the amateur radicalism of the 1960s, I would argue Obama and his followers’ allegiance to leftwing politics is more sloganeering with as little understanding as their 60s mentors had of the long traditions of socialism and its offspring in Western thought.

Rather, the Obama coalition is a collection of Alrightnicks. There is the rapidly growing political class of government employees headed by his appointed superbureaucrats, many circulating through the revolving door of Washington government appointments and lobbying. It doesn’t take long for a visitor Inside the Beltway, the anointed circle of Washington, D.C., and some of the country’s wealthiest counties in Maryland and Virginia that surround it, to know that they are passing through a world all its own – often inured from the rest of the country’s trials and tribulations.

There is, of course, Obama’s following among Afro-Americans – who however disenchanted with the little accomplished by the Administration in pushing the economy, and therefore the fortunes of their impoverished and crime-ridden ghettoes, feels it has no choice but loyalty to the first Afro-American chief executive. The media, of course, are kept – best explained by Pat Moynihan’s dissection more than a generation ago of the capital press corps. He saw how – even before the print media began to collapse under the dynamics of the digital revolution – working class newspapermen had turned into media elite as they moved off to the suburbs to join the ruling class. There is Hollywood glitz, of course. Recently revealed cynical backstage exchanges have shown just how meaningless on both sides of the footlights Tinseltown’s is the glamor that rubs off on the Administration. More difficult to explain, of course, are the small but highly influential Jewish followers of Obama – although they have in so many ways built themselves into the Establishment in the shortest order, perhaps, of any once discriminated American minority. That they ignore Obama’s war on Israel is camouflaged by the increasing lack of liaison between younger Jews and Israel and the continuing barrage of empty statements from Obama’s spokesmen [some of them Jews] of the unbreakable U.S. alliance with Jerusalem.

Bringing up the rear is the traditional support for any president which is part of the American political scene, backed by the increasing influence of what Harry Truman rightly described as the most powerful executive in the world, accumulating strength contrary to the efforts of the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to limit it, as the world and the U.S. becomes an increasingly complex society to govern.

Looking at these two bumping mobs, we may well be at an historic crossroads just now.

For all the myriad reasons, the electorate has seen fit not only to give the Congressional opposition its greatest strength since the 1920s, reinforced with similar movement in most of the state legislatures and governors’ mansions. With what has been an all too incompetent leadership, that powerful control of the legislature branch – and has so often been argued, the courts, too, follow elections – the Republicans now have an opportunity to force a discussion of issues rather than of emotional loyalties. If they avoid the siren song of its few media sympathizers and reject “comprehensive” solutions to vast problems, but instead tend to the nitty-gritty of legislative minutiae, there will be a contest. It means avoiding such catastrophes as the pretension that myriad problems of one sixth of the economy could be solved with the bumbling as well as bogus ideology of Obamacare in a single piece of legislation.

Obama – or his most intimate counselors, whoever they are – has had a great deal of luck. But he does exhibit the art of a demagogue in directing the Greek chorus from his bully pulpit. Whether by happenstance or design, he has managed by moving immediately without the Congress on such issues as immigration and environmental regulation, to obscure the massive electoral victory of his opponents last fall. [The prostituted media helped, of course.] Someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue obviously sees what otherwise would be a gross violation of separation of powers as the way to bull through the lame duck years.

But, for the moment at least, the ball is now in the Congressional Republicans’ court. Let’s see if they know how to ace it!

sws-01-05-15

Transformation of U.S. foreign policy


Barack Hussein Obama, with a group of largely ideologically primitive amateur policymakers but skillful media manipulators, set out in 2008 with the stated purpose to “transform” the American Republic. Although their emphasis was more related to domestic issues, their goals also required a linked fundamental reorientation of American foreign policy.

With the prospect that in a few days, another defeat in Congressional midterm elections will severely limit his further initiatives in the remaining two years of the Obama Administration, it must be acknowledged that at least temporarily Obama & Co. have succeeded in their overall aims in the international arena.

That is a stark contrast to the domestic scene where most Obama policies have either failed spectacularly or are in a state of continued dispute in the face of, however eroded, traditional values, the weight of inertia, and that incredible American entrepreneurial utilization of technology. In energy, for example, perhaps the most important ingredient of economic policy, the technological breakthroughs in the exploitation of gas and oil – the shale gas revolution – have completely upended Obama’s energy strategy. Not only is the outlook for fossil fuel reserves, worldwide as well as domestically, been completely changed, but the always volatile energy costs now appear headed for a long period of falling real prices. Obama’s attempt to stampede the U.S. economy into highly government subsidized so-called alternative sources of energy are in shambles – at an untold cost to the taxpayer, or course.

The Obamaites have been far more successful in their pursuit of a dramatic reorientation of U.S. foreign policy. It remains to be seen, of course, whether those initiatives are a permanent feature of the international scene. But, for the moment at least, Obama has accomplished his goals: Gone largely is continuing recognition of Washington’s post-World War II leadership of the coalition of allies which not only won the greatest war in history against the Nazis and Japanese militarists but also outran the threat of another totalitarian enemy, Soviet Communism.

The Obama view was that in the half-century-plus of Washington world leadership, if not in its longer history including slavery, America had made too many mistakes, that its worldwide dominance was on balance deleterious, that a better role would be one of, at most, primus inter pare. Furthermore, reaching out rhetorically to former perceived victims of American actions would be a pathway toward peace and stability. In short, what he and his colleagues saw as a more compassionate and understanding American executive could go far in curing the world’s problems rather than using its power to help stabilize the world scene. [Never mind their dismissal if remarked at all of the enormous extension of aid to the world over previous decades.]

To a considerable extent, Obama – with the aid, however reluctant she now says, of his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton – has been able to achieve these policies.
But the daily headlines also tell us that the goals of this strategy has not been achieved in any quarter of the globe. But to the contrary, the world has hardly ever been in such disarray with or without an activist U.S. leadership.

Two points need to be made quickly:

The Obama Administration and its policies are not responsible for most of the world’s political problems, misgovernment and violence. It did inherit what despite one of the longest periods of peace in Europe’s history with its overwhelming influence on world affairs, was a volatile world scene. In short, the world is the jungle it always was. And recent events have shown us political movements demonstrating the ugliest aspects of human nature, too, are still with us. In short, it is clear that no farseeing American strategy could have done more than ameliorate the world scene, as some of us would argue it did for some six decades.

Secondly, the history of ideas suggests that Obama’s international perspective did not spring like Athena fully formed and armed from Zeus’ forehead. Obama’s theories of international relations rely heavily on that strong undercurrent of American thinking which always sought to minimize our exposure to the rest of the world’s problems.

That was the case, rather successfully throughout most of the 19th century with the help of His Majesty’s British Navy, and the God-given geographic isolation that two oceans afforded the U.S. [One has to recall, for example, that only a little over a year before the Pearl Harbor attack, legislation for extension of universal military service passed the House of Representatives by only one vote] Not only was that complicated concept, generally dubbed “isolationism”, part and parcel of American political thinking from the beginning of the Republic, but its supporters in more recent past have included a wide swath of supporters across the political spectrum from “Prairie radicals” to the complex sympathies of the warring parties in the U.S. electorate. [Pacifist and Socialist Norman Thomas sat on the same “America First” – the most active of prewar isolationist organizaions — platform with members of the pro-Nazi German American Bund in Yorkville in 1940.]

Still, the list of successful “accomplishments” of the Obama strategy to diminish America’s role in international affairs is long.

• By abandoning the deployment of anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, arduously negotiated, Washington not only dealt American missile defense a body blow but awakened the old threat of decoupling European security from America’s worldwide strategies.

• The refusal to lead the alliance which overthrew Qadaffi in Libya resulted not only in the tragic and ignominious death of an American ambassador and three other Americans but is leading to an anarchic situation there – with its threat to Egypt and the rest of North Africa and oil markets – with possible jihadist ascendancy.

• An amorphous position toward the U.S.-Israeli alliance, despite pro forma statements to the contrary, emboldened jihadist Hamas and further diminished the possibility of a Palestinian negotiating partner for an accommodation between the Jewish state and the Arabs.

• The refusal to lead a Western alliance in support of Ukraine against the Hitler-tactics of infiltration and puppetry of Russia’s Vladimir Putin has not only diminished the fragile Kyiv government but put into question the guarantees of the NATO alliance to its Central and Eastern European members.

• Neither Obama’s ostensibly seminal addresses in Cairo and Istanbul with apologies for pretended insults to Islam by the U.S. and a more than sympathetic reading of the history of Islam have improved relationships with the Muslim world nor diminished the growing Islam;s traditional jihadist elements.

• Courtship of the controversial Muslim Brotherhood, apparently a critical part of Mr. Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan’s nonconventional view of Islam, has widened the gap with the Egyptian military now ruling what has been the most important Arab country and a leader of the Muslim world and other Arab allies in the Gulf.

• A studied neutral position toward Chinese claims on Japanese occupied territory returned under bilateral postwar agreements to Tokyo and no immediate followup to Clinton’s statement of reorientation of U.S. strategy toward Asia has unnerved traditional Asian allies.

• Continued flirtation with the tottering Communist regime in Havana has encouraged Moscow to try to resurrect its alliance with Castro Cuba, encouraged elaborate Cuban espionage in the U.S., and undermined the continuing dissident democratic movement in Cuba supported by Cuban Americans in the U.S.

It is far from clear that in the kind of volatile world in which we live, the “success” of Obama’s transformation of American policy would not be the object of a concerted reversal by a new administration in 2016. Or, indeed, as despite cryptic language and new names for old crimes [workplace violence for jihadist terrorism], the Obama Administration is now by force majeure is being made to reverse course. The great danger is, of course, as in the present attempt to cope with the ISIL phenomenon in Iraq and Syria, Obama’s half-measures will lead to further disaster.

sws-10-05-14

Why “Benghazi”?


by Sol Sanders
Washington is notoriously a one-crisis town. And it may well be that the growing concern over Russian aggression in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s threats to other former Soviet-occupied areas in Central and Eastern Europe will soak up all the controversy oxygen in the U.S. capital.
But there is increasing evidence that the events of 9/11 2012 in eastern Libya were extremely significant although any effort to elucidate them studiously has been ignored by the mainstream media.
They may, indeed, be an important marker in the longer term development of U.S. politics and American foreign policy and therefore of world peace and stability.
There are two overarching reasons why those events were significant:
An analysis of what happened there – when more facts are available – could well reveal the basis of the growing worldwide perception of the fundamental failure of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. That perception, whether a reflection of reality or not, is increasingly an ingredient in world politics given the central role of the U.S. since the end of World War II.
The Benghazi events could produce in more detail than has been otherwise available an evaluation of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, whatever veneer her frenzied activity of almost constant world travel has given it. If, as might be argued, the events at Benghazi and the conditions leading up to them were a product of Mrs. Clinton’s decision-making at State, even at second hand, they are important indicators of her executive ability. Until now that executive command had never been tested in any other venue since she has had no election to executive office.
What is already apparent is that there is a long list of questions without official answers to the tragedy of the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. None of them have been answered with specificity by either the White House or the State Department. However, there is circumstantial evidence and unverified reports which indicate not only the nature of the events there but how they reflect a much wider view of the Obama Administration’s policies and their formulation and, not least, Mrs. Clinton’s role in their execution.
The questions start, of course, with the whole state of security in the American presence in Libya before the events. We know that contrary to repeated requests for additional security in the face of a growing breakdown of the Libyan domestic scene, those requests were not only refused by Washington but in fact, security forces were downgraded. Why?
It is also apparent that there was no augmentation or particular attention to security concerns on the eve of the anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks despite numerous references to it in jihadist propaganda. What is the explanation for this obvious lack of common sense precaution?
What then was the mission in Benghazi of Ambassador Stevens, a veteran Arabist, on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary in an area already known as a fountainhead of jihadist cadre in both the Afghanistan War against the Soviets and subsequent Mideast violence?
What was the original mission of the CIA detachment in Benghazi, which ultimately [and it has been suggested against orders from its command in Washington] came to the aid of the Ambassador and others in the Consulate-General when they came under attack?
What was the extended deployment of American military forces in the region and the prospects of Africom, the joint military command with overall jurisdiction, to come to the aid of those under attack in Benghazi?
Given the general American military protocol of aiding those under fire, whether or not a rescue could be successfully achieved, were there orders from The Pentagon and the White House, or lack thereof, to Africom to stand down?
During the more than 10-hour attack, what was the disposition of the Secretary of State and the President in Washington, including activities in the Situation Room where we now have Congressional testimony from a former White House official present that the President did not appear?
Last but not least, why has the U.S. government not brought any of the terrorists involved in the affair to justice, despite repeated promises by the President he would do so, and media encounters with sources they have located who insist they personally took part in the attacks?.
As so often happens, particularly at the outset of a scandal or exposure of malfunctioning of a U.S. Administration, attention is now focused on the explanations given by Administration spokesmen during and immediately after the affair. And that could well be the case here. But it would be a mistake if not a tragedy to ignore the more fundamental underlying questions which are of the utmost importance to long term policy.
Contradictory testimony has been presented that the Administration – including all the various branches of government involved – were unaware of the real nature of the attack. That is, the White House and State Department spokesmen continue to insist that Washington had a mistaken belief that the events in Benghazi were part of a general wave of anti-American demonstrations throughout the Arab/Muslim world, allegedly in response to a somewhat obscure video attacking Islamic values. They do concede that that explanation was false and that it was eventually judged that the attack did not arise “spontaneously”. Furthermore, there has already been an admission that the attack was a well planned, long term, terrorist incident, calculated to exploit the anniversary of the original 9/11, and that it has resulted in an important propaganda victory for the jihadists in the Arab/Muslim world..
Former Secretary of State Clinton has rather famously gone on record in a statement to a Congressional committee that “what difference does it make” if there was an earlier mistaken evaluation of source of these events. She continued to insist that the reality is that four Americans were martyred in the event whatever the real explanation of the cause or that provided originally by government spokesmen. That, of course, is undeniable.
But it leads the argument back to the whole question of the competence and administrative acumen not only of the Administration in general but of Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state in view of a widely held belief that she could be a successful candidate for president in 2016.
sws-05-04-14