A diplomatic mission was slapped down in the middle of a city controlled by terrorists. The diplomatic mission was left mostly undefended, despite multiple requests by everyone in Libya right up to the deceased ambassador, except by a militia gang linked to Al Qaeda which wasn’t getting paid.
At a time when the State Department was spending fortunes on bad art, on Kindles at the bargain price of $6,000 a reader, not to mention renovating the mansion residence of a political donor/ambassador in Europe who would be the subject of yet another cover-up after being accused of pedophilia (but not before causing a public scandal by blaming anti-Semitism on the Jews) there was no money for securing a diplomatic mission that was so far behind enemy lines it might as well have been in the middle of Iran.
And again it was no one’s fault. Despite multiple whistleblowers from the State Department coming forward, most of them left of center types who wouldn’t spit on a Koch Brother, the panels and committees wrote the establishment a blank check.
It was no one’s fault. Anyone who disagreed with the assertion that the murder of four Americans might be someone’s fault was a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Anyone who thought that we should listen to the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the highest ranking diplomat in Libya after Ambassador Stevens was killed, or to Ambassador Stevens’ own messages asking for more security, was a crazed nutjob.
Only a lunatic would think this might be someone’s fault.
“When I arrived in Tripoli on July 31, we had over 30 security personnel, from the State Department and the U.S. military, assigned to protect the diplomatic mission to Libya. All were under the ambassador’s authority,” Hicks wrote. “On Sept. 11, we had only nine diplomatic security agents under Chris’s authority to protect our diplomatic personnel in Tripoli and Benghazi.”
“For some reason, my explanation did not make it into the Senate report,” he added.
Now “for some reason” the testimony and statements of the CIA annex security team, the men on the ground like Mark Geist and Kris Paronto, did not make their way into the House Intel Committee report which once again exonerates everyone under its purview in true Washington fashion.
Was aid denied? Nope. Was there a lack of security? Maybe, but that’s a job for the State Department and State already concluded that it was the fault of three people whom it pretended to fire. The Senate committee concluded it was Ambassador Stevens’ fault despite his multiple requests for security because dead men don’t appear at committee hearings.
Was there a “stand down order”? Geist and Paronto say there was. The Housel Intel Committee however says that there was no stand down order; there were only “mere tactical disagreements about the speed with which the team should depart.”
Those “mere tactical disagreements” according to Paronto merely resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens.
But the report insists there was no stand down order whatsoever, just “some Annex members wanted to urgently depart the Annex for the TMF to save their State Department colleagues.”
Gregory Hicks had stated that a team was prevented from heading to Benghazi. General Dempsey explained in his testimony that it was not told to “stand down”. It was told that it had a new mission of not going to Benghazi.
“They weren’t told to stand down. A `stand down’ means don’t do anything,” the General explained. “They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport.”
And so the idea that there was a “stand down order” has been conclusively and thoroughly disproven. Media Matters has splashed the news all over its front page. American lives might have been saved, but weren’t, because of “mere tactical disagreements” between doing something and doing nothing.
But don’t call it a “stand down order”. That might imply that a decision was made and that the giver of the order is responsible. And that someone above him might be responsible for setting a policy.
The House Intel Committee report, like all the reports before it, are full of such brilliant lawyerese, of technical explanations for why black is white, white is black and why none of it is anyone’s fault. The latest report insists that the administration was always aware that Benghazi was a terrorist attack and that Susan Rice was telling the truth when she claimed it wasn’t because she was misled by the CIA.
The administration was always telling the truth even when it wasn’t. Ambassador Stevens was responsible for the lack of security that killed him even while he kept pleading for more security. No personnel were told to stand down. They were just told not to go.
It’s all perfectly airtight by the standards of a political establishment in which one hand covers up for another, in which holding people in government responsible is a bad precedent. If blame has to be distributed, it can be dumped on the vague infrastructure of the CIA, on expendable diplomatic personnel and on a dead guy. And none of them will be held responsible either.
That’s just the magic of government.
We have an $18 trillion national debt which no one is responsible for. We have a fake unemployment rate of 6 percent and a real unemployment rate somewhere between 12 and 18 percent. And no one is responsible for that either. We have a terrorist group in Iraq that morphed into its own country and is executing Americans who could have been saved and no one is responsible for that.
Not anyone in our government.
We can go through numerous panels and committees that will humor us by pretending to care about the latest government scandal we’re outraged by and after going through the motions, they will announce that it’s no one’s fault.
It never is.
The Saudi visa express program that helped cause 9/11 was revived last year by Obama. The consular officer who issued visas to 11 of the hijackers despite numerous problems with their applications was not fired or demoted. Instead she still works for the State Department where she claims that “shopping” is her “great love” because it lets her snap up unique Middle Eastern items at “local prices.”
And the Senate continued to reconfirm her nomination because nothing is anyone’s fault.
There is simply no such thing as accountability in government. The incestuously corrupt culture of government insiders and the smug political reporters who eat out of their hands make that impossible. No matter how many whistleblowers come forward, how many of the men and women on the front lines tell their story, a group of lawyers with red pens will huddle over a report and use technicalities and word games to ignore the whistleblowers and exempt their government superiors from blame.
Washington can never allow any accountability for Benghazi because once we look closely at the murder of four Americans we might just have to start looking at the thousands of soldiers who died or were wounded in Afghanistan for many of the same reasons; including being denied support to avoid offending Muslims.
The media can never allow any accountability for Benghazi because the buck stops with their chosen presidential candidate for 2016.
Benghazi is the tip of a very nasty iceberg. The Libyan War was illegally fought and backed by lies that have never been addressed including false claims of genocide by Obama. That war has now resulted in ISIS in control of at least one Libyan city.
Benghazi is a political firewall. If the political establishment and the media can stop blame from being assigned here, they can permanently shut down these bigger questions. And if we can break their firewall, then the establishment will burn.
- Debunking the House Intelligence Report on Benghazi by Clare Lopez
A Mike Rogers Cover-Up? by Frank Gaffney
- 5 ‘significant problems’ with GOP’s new Benghazi report by Aaron Klein