I'm glad to still have this blog as I shoot from the cuff a bit more and obviously more freely. I still cite my sources here are you are free to find your own and disagree - even with MormonDems for that matter. I had one other point about this Benghazi mess that I will save for insertion at the end of this piece. Enjoy! (or whatever):
The American people and press have been slapping the suffix “gate” on any real or pretend political scandal since the famous political burglary at the Watergate Hotel in
|Frank Church of Idaho|
Senator & Statesman
Let’s look at couple of the issues:
The Republican critique of the Administration for not labeling
Terrorist crises tend to support the president politically. It is interesting that President Obama did not use this event as did his opponent in the initial hours after the attack on our Ambassador. The George W. Bush Administration’s gross mishandling of the
Secretary Clinton testified previously, “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?” Clinton is right. Whether it was a terrorist group that plotted and planned the attack or a spur-of-the-moment idea of radical Islamist thugs, it was equally reprehensible. The effect is the same.
History has shown that with any such attack– like the ones on our embassies in
Was the administration wrong in saying
The Obama Administration has been far more aggressive (and successful) in pursuing a counter-terrorism agenda than the previous administration (Bin Laden raid, scores of successful drone strikes taking out top Al Qaeda leaders, devastation of Al Qaeda ranks in Pakistan, and successful cooperation with other governments). Yet the public needs to understand that the fight against violent Islamic extremists (not the Islamic Faith) will continue for decades and terrorists will launch successful attacks. Bin Laden successfully launched a global jihadist movement and it is impossible to prevent all terror attacks. Yet we need to do what we can to minimize future terror attacks to diminish the ability of terrorists to conduct attacks, deny them safe havens, disrupt plots when we uncover them, capture/kill them when we can, and try to prevent radicalization of future violent jihadists by changing hearts and minds just as we will do with the declining gun culture.
The GOP should focus their attention towards perpetrators and discuss support for eliminating threats, rather than scoring political points against the President. The Republican House voted to cut the State Department embassy security budget prior to Benghazi and ironically attack the administration for not providing enough security at diplomatic posts in Libya. The GOP’s support of sequestration weakens our military and intelligence capabilities and will directly impact our ability to find those responsible and prevent future occurrences. Furloughing personnel involved in these efforts will not help resolve
The Republican leadership alluding that the Administration withheld resources to assist Benghazi.
There was a first response security team at
Former Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates, who served under several Republican presidents in various capacities including as Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush and President Obama, refuted the suggestion that the Pentagon could have scrambled jets or special forces during the attack as a “cartoonish impression of military capabilities.”
“Frankly had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Frankly, I’ve heard ‘Well, why didn’t you just fly a fighter jet over and try and scare ‘em with the noise or something?’ Well, given the number of surface-to-air missiles that have disappeared from Qaddafi’s arsenals, I would not have approved sending an aircraft, a single aircraft over
Republican administrations frequently deflect the constitutional principle of civilian control over the military to “rely on the generals on the ground.” Yet now, they tend to disbelieve the military explanations that there was no additional aid that could have come to
As Secretary Clinton said, “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”
Rather than politicizing the tragic event at
Addendum: There is a further interesting twist in that the Administration may have been hesitant to reveal all they knew about the facility in Benghazi as it may have been more of a CIA operation than of the State Department. An article in the Atlantic caught my attention on this. While I don't agree with all of Friedersdorf's generally Libertarian views, this does raise some interesting questions and further support for the idea that the politically motivated hearings could possibly threaten national security interests more than they could possibly help.
Addendum July 12, 2014:
Over a year from posting this piece, the Republican-lead investigations continue to support the lack of any scandal at all: