I’ve not written much about the September 11, 2012 attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Mostly, this is because there is a lot of reporting, but very little information. Almost everything we know about that attack that cost the lives of four Americans is from second hand. And that’s a major part of the problem- the Obama administration is doing everything they can to conceal, deflect, obfuscate or deny any and all information about the incident. And so, scads of people around the internet speculate, or take one small piece of information and either use it out of context, or extrapolate far beyond what might reasonably be deduced.
So, I don’t have any answers. I can guess and speculate with the best of ‘em, but won’t in this forum (though you’re welcome to!).
But I do have questions. Those questions fall into three main areas- 1. Security on site prior to the attack; 2. Actual events on the ground in Benghazi during the attack; 3. Post-attack information by the administration and its surrogates.
1. Who made the decision as to the level of security for our diplomatic mission in Benghazi? As I understand it, Charlene Lamb has already claimed responsibility for that, but no clear message as to how she made her assessment has been forthcoming. What other agencies gave input into the force level? CIA? DoD? What was their assessment? Did seniors in DoS or the White House have input?
2. We know the four Americans killed in Benghazi, but what of those Americans wounded? Do we even know their names? Why have they not been heard from? Did the security personnel in Tripoli and Benghazi have a contingency plan for an assault on our mission? Had they rehearsed it? Did they coordinate with EUCOM or AFRICOM for reinforcement or rescue? What supporting arms or units were tasked as the ready alert force? Did they even know they were tasked? Were they alerted? Did they rehearse for an alert? What requests were made, and when were they made? And finally, and most obvious, when will we get a firsthand, unspun account of what actually transpired?
3. Why has the administration and its surrogates worked so hard to tell the American people that the assault was the result of a youtube video? Why have they made even asking routine questions as to what transpired a no-go zone? Who told Susan Rice to go out and flat out lie to the American people? I’m sure most of my audience has their own questions as well.
I don’t think it is reasonable to expect perfection in the protection of US diplomatic facilities worldwide. It’s a human endeavor, and mistakes and misjudgments happen. But the American people have a right to know that reasonable steps are being taken to protect our missions, and that when attacks occur, the administration in power responds in an open and honest fashion. I can forgive failure. I can’t forgive malfeasance.