published Monday, December 3rd, 2012

What really happened?

The investigations continue unabated as the accusations and defenses multiply in the aftermath of the murderous attack on our consulate in Benghazi. But this much we know: American lives, including that of our ambassador to Libya, were lost. Chris Stevens was respected at home and loved in Libya, where he had become a symbol of America's good will and, more important, the ability of this country and the West in general to act in freedom's cause, not just talk about it.

The vivacious, energetic and courageous American ambassador had played an important role in Libyans' liberation from the Gadhafi era, whatever the uncertain and tumultuous aftermath of that revolution. And he was playing an even more important one in Libya's uncertain quest for stability and democracy in a part of the world not known for either quality.

Chris Stevens was the kind of American envoy we need, and the kind we lost this September 11th thanks to the incompetence of this administration, whatever is discovered about its explanations afterward. That much we know, and should not skip over lightly.

Competing narratives of what happened at Benghazi still flood the news, often providing more heat than light. But in all the controversy, one obdurate conclusion cannot be denied: This administration, this State Department, this president failed in their first duty: to protect American lives. That is the starting point of this story and it could be the end after all that has been said, is being said, and will be said about what might now be called Benghazi Continued.

First our envoys were killed; now it looks as if any hope of finding out just what happened in Benghazi and why may be lost in all the political infighting.

Our ambassador to the United Nations, among others, was still repeating a dubious account of that attack's origins days after she and perhaps the White House knew better. Or certainly should have known better.

Now the word is that the Hon. Susan Rice, that font of misinformation, may be nominated as the next secretary of state to succeed Hillary Clinton -- a possibility, perhaps probability, that has understandably infuriated senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Not to mention the growing segment of American public opinion that does not get its news pre-masticated by White House spokesmen, NPR and the usual apologists for whatever liberal theory is in danger of being exposed at the moment.


For the moment, the president has taken refuge in the first resort of a leader under fire: huffy indignation. "If Senator McCain and Senator Graham want to go after somebody," said Barack Obama, "they should go after me."

No sooner suggested than done. Senator Graham immediately took the president up on his suggestion: "Mr. President, don't think for one minute I don't hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as commander-in-chief before, during and after the attack."

Senator Graham's direct words to the president are less an accusation than a fact, for this president failed to provide adequate protection for our diplomats on the ground, and then failed to level with the American people for a remarkably long time after the bloody disaster at Benghazi. Even days after the attack, Ambassador Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were still emphasizing the supposedly spontaneous nature of the attack at Benghazi -- without fear of contradiction from the White House. Even now a shred or two of that old story, full of holes as it is, still surfaces among the administration's defenders.

The president's claim to have told the American people that the attack on Benghazi was a terrorist raid from the first won't wash. Just because he added a little boilerplate about this country's standing fast against terror to his initial statement scarcely constitutes candor; it was just an empty rhetorical gesture from a president who specializes in them. The smoldering ruins of our mission and those four coffins arriving home were much more eloquent.

— Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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Borrowing other people's commentary?

You know what? No matter how much you try to make political hay over this, you'll never get the American people to accept your own false narrative.

Like the little boy who cried Wolf, the Republican ability to criticize has been lost to its own dishonesty. Your partisan bias has been oozing extra hard lately.

I wonder if you've been told to toe the party line and live in the same world that produced Mitt Romney ponderously declaiming the President living in his own reality while Romney was indulging in his own fantasies.

December 3, 2012 at 12:14 a.m.
nucanuck said...

When we expect our diplomats to act as CIA station chiefs, should we be surprised when blowback occurs? That makes our diplomats warriors and fully vulnerable for the unspeakable deeds of the CIA. We will never get the straight story since a CIA operation was deeply involved with the Benghazi US consulate.

December 3, 2012 at 1:39 a.m.
Livn4life said...

No no no stop all this nonsense! It was either Mitt Romney's fault for the inaction and ineptitude of the administration or it was George W. Bush that did nothing and tried to deflect the blame to some lame video Muslims hate. We all know anything of truth against this administration is just fabricated FOXism and not to be considered. So now let's let this woman become our next Sec. of State and continue her vaunted career. One day we will pay a huge price for all the stuff which has and will continue to go on with this marvelous second termer as president. When leftists are truly made to be accountable instead of deflect their misdeeds toward someone else, we may begin to clean up some of the messes that are national politics in this country. If we continue to blame republicans and stuff that happened years ago, not related to the irresponsibility of this mess, we stay on target for more chaos. I hope all you who support this administration are proud of them and of yourselves.

December 3, 2012 at 9:47 a.m.

Sorry Livn4life, but you're just demonstrating why the right has no ability to effectively criticize.

You ignore the conduct of George W. Bush, and expect us to not hold him accountable. You pretend Mitt Romney's mendacity was not something you were silent on.

The huge price we're paying is from you not holding yourself accountable, but rather expressing the same attitude I saw from conservative over on the Robin Smith column.

Finding somebody else to blame.

I hope you're proud of yourself.

December 3, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Happy, Happy, Happy, I personally have not in any way suggested that W. or anyone else who is in leadership not be held accountable. It is the leftist regime which gets away constantly blaming others for their blunders. I don't know about Robin Smith's columns or the columns on the federal courthouse building for that matter. As for not keeping myself accountable, laughable, like you know what my life is like. As I look at the situation from Libya, I am not blaming someone else for what occurred. That can be debated until the Mayan calendar runs out the second time. I am merely following the inaction, for whatever reason by the administration. So people have been killed and not in a war zone. We just let that go or blame a House Sub-committee that recommended defunded last decade, or whatever. I think not. The president and leaders should be forthright and just tell the truth. The election is over, he is still in. What bugs me happy, is the way in which such items are now treated as compared to the former administration. You know the one responsible, supposedly for all bad happenings(nullifies that I do not want W. to be held accountable). That's all that bothers me. We live in a state of thorough deception wherein one side does it over and over and over but are not called on it by most national media. The other side is demonized even before they act. That's the deal. I am proud of myself happy and thoroughly disappointed at how blind persons such as you are. But hey it's the US. You have a right to be blind if you choose. Keep on Leftin' and let's see how we end up.

December 3, 2012 at 12:45 p.m.
dao1980 said...

And if ol' JonRoss gets to choose the new rules, we'd all have our own ticklin-goat, and cousin kissin' would be protected by law durn it!.. and filing for chapter(whatever) would be viewed publicly as a proverbial "feather in the hat".

December 3, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
rolando said...

Good Lord. Get over it. Absolutely NOTHING will be done against ANYONE but the little guy. "Fast and Furious" Two.

You know it, we know it, everyone knows it.

So let the poor guy die for the criminals.

Find something new for the government to cover up/hide/deny/rant about.

December 3, 2012 at 1:11 p.m.
rolando said...

Hm-m-m. The TFP is operating on dial-up again, I see.

December 3, 2012 at 1:11 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"This administration, this State Department, this president failed in their first duty: to protect American lives." - editor

Yes, let's talk about that:

It has now come to light that in the weeks and months prior to 9/11/01 there were several warnings of an impending terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Mr. Bush simply considered those warnings as so much bluster and noise, not to be taken seriously. But then, lo and behold, on 9/11/01 four rag-tag Middle Eastern guys wielding naught but box cutters and with scant flight training (and no actual in-flight experience flying commercial aircraft) hijacked 4 commercial jets and somehow managed to commandeer 3 of them to their targets of choice, killing almost 3000 innocent, unsuspecting Americans.

Now, it was certainly bad enough that this was allowed to happen in the first place, but every one of those planes had been reported as being hijacked and was in the air long enough that our air defense system, supposedly the best and most responsive in the world, could have easily taken down all 4 of them before reaching their targets. But, golly gee, as fate would have it NORAD just happened to be pre-occupied with ongoing "war games" or something to that effect that day and nobody in the administration was able to notify anyone at the controls that we were having an actual attack. Actually, Mr. Cheney had the opportunity to have the plane taken down that was headed for the Pentagon but he repeatedly gave the command to "stand down." Go figure. Anyway, we all know the rest of the story, or at least those parts of it that the bogus 9/11 Commission wants us to believe.

Mr. Editor, you and practically every other conservative seems to have no problem with giving Mr. Bush a complete pass regarding such a flagrant, inexcusable lapse in judgment (or most likely worse than a mere lapse) and allowing almost 3000 Americans to be killed on our own soil, right under our very noses. Yet you doggedly hold Obama and his administration's feet to the fire over this particular incident, which was unfortunate, indeed, but given the circumstances of the tensions and volatility in that particular part of the world, not totally unexpected. You keep crying "fowl" or "conspiracy" or "failure" on Obama's part while you seem to think that Mr. Bush deserves his easy retirement on his ranch playing cowboy or whatever.

I'm not one to quote the Bible but there are actually a few truisms to be found within it. I seem to recall the one about getting the mote (log) out of your own eye before trying to remove the splinter from someone else's. Bush and his administration have a log the size of redwood tree in theirs. How about showing us that you're at least aware of it before making such an issue of this splinter in Obama's?

December 3, 2012 at 1:29 p.m.
rolando said...

Yeah, right. It's all Bush's fault. Even unto the seventh generation.

December 3, 2012 at 2:36 p.m.

Livn4life, you haven't noticed how every time a criticism of George W, Bush comes up that the right goes on a hissy-fit that resembles your post? That Republicans do everything they can to create a fantasy of George W. Bush being g persecuted in order to create the appearance that it's unfair or illegitimate?

Sorry, but it has been the pattern of the right. You continually try to get away from the blame by portraying yourself as the victim.

And no, I'm not talking about your life, but your and other right-wingers conduct here. It's been a rather consistent pattern. Blame and attack, never being responsible, never admitting to error.

You demonize everything Obama does, and pretend to be suffering it yourself.

Thanks for using a tragic loss of life to do it. Because guess what? Terrorism happens. Acting like there was some great failing on the part of the Obama administration is just a Republican farce. You just want another thing to demonize. You don't want answers, you just want to attack.

I suppose you have a right to do that too, but you now what? The rest of us have a right to call you on it.

December 3, 2012 at 3:15 p.m.
Leaf said...

So, some inbred yahoo from Arkansas writes "This administration, this State Department, this president failed in their first duty: to protect American lives."

Well, it's just not true that their first duty is to protect American lives. If it were, we would all live a cowardly existence with no driving, smoking, drinking, shooting, fornicating, warring on other countries, CIA missions, flying, scuba diving, or going outside in the sun. How boring. You yellow-bellied craven milquetoasts want your daddy to protect you from all the bad terrorists? Then don't start complaining when you are locked in a padded room and sedated for your own protection.

And write your own editorial for crying out loud.

December 3, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Merry Christmas (hope I offended someone) and congratulations. We now have the most divided country in our life time. The last presidential election showed we now have more dumb asses and "gimme something for nothings" in history. We also have the most corrupt, stupid ass, bad for America administration in recent time.

Either the administration will implode itself with it's "on/over the edge" tactics and arrogance, or we'll wait out the storm and survey the damage to see how hard it is to return America to the country it once was. I have faith in our country. We'll eventually do what's right, if there's enough hard working people left to do it.

December 3, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

I'm with you, chatt_man. Let's get America back to where it used to be, when we had such a strong and thriving middle class, when we made our own stuff, with plenty of blue-collar jobs that paid a decent wage - good enough to raise a family on and own a house and retire comfortably and securely; when the tax rates on the wealthy were high enough to generate a good source of revenue, when the New Deal policies were in place and working for the good of all of us, not just the wealthy, when the income disparity was not so obscenely out of proportion, when conservatives hadn't fully lost their minds yet and they didn't go around saying the government was this evil entity that needs to be shrunk so small that it can be drown in a bathtub. Yes, good advice, chatt-man, let's get back to those days. Happy Holidays!

December 3, 2012 at 4:33 p.m.

Chatt_man, you may want to look at yourself when asking who is dividing the country.

That and you're blaming the wrong people for brinkmanship. Notice how you talk about the administration, but spend no thought to the Republican members of Congress.

December 3, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.
rolando said...

We have become a nation of workers and drones -- make that "workers against drones"...with the drones in the majority.

December 4, 2012 at 5:19 a.m.
raygunz said...

Why even have an investigation? Faux & Friends have already figured it out!

December 4, 2012 at 7:04 a.m.

Too bad rolando doesn't realize that the drones are the workers.

December 4, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.
joneses said...

I have a nephew who was wanting to join the Marines. I informed him that now is not the time to join as he cannot depend on the current administration to support him and he could be very well left to die like the brave American citizens in Libya. There is one thing obastard hates more than America and that is the American soldier.

December 5, 2012 at 7:41 a.m.
dao1980 said...

joneses imaginary nephew lives next to his imaginary business, full of imaginary liberal employees... that are just cruzin' for an imaginary layoff.

One real thing in ol' joneses life however, is his dangerously high blood pressure, brought on by a multitude of habitual wigglin' conniptions.

December 5, 2012 at 7:59 a.m.

I'd feel sorry for any family of Joneses. OTOH, if he joined the marines, he could learn how to not put up with that crap.


December 5, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Yes, joneses, it's a pity your nephew couldn't have joined the Marines when Bush was in office. His support for the troops was truly magnanimous, eh? Like the way he went into Iraq with not nearly enough boots on the ground in the first place. And then there was that fiasco about the troops having to dig through land-fills to come up with scrap metal to up-armor their humvees because they were ill equipped as they were, and Rumsfeld quipped, "It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the army of desire... As you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have---not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.---You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up." I'm sure that gave great encouragement to all the troops.

And then there was the case of soldiers having to buy their own body armor because the military wasn't providing it for them. And then there was the matter of Bush's constant resistance to providing the funding that was needed and requested by the VA. In 2006 Bush proposed a 0.5% (that's ZERO POINT FIVE percent) increase in funding when the VA was saying that they needed at least a 13% increase in order to meet the massive needs of the inordinate number of casualties coming out of the two ongoing wars.

And then in May 2007 Bush proposed a whopping 2% increase in VA funding and he threatened to veto legislation that was on the table for 10%. The legislation went through and Bush did not veto it only because every Republican but one voted in favor of it.

Indeed that kind of care and support from our commander-in-chief is what any soldier likes to see, isn't it, joneses? Much better than that evil Obama who obviously is the anti-christ and despises every soldier and secretly wants to see America destroyed and is doing everything in his power to bring this nation to its knees and will be eating our children soon.

But let's see...what might Obama's record on VA funding be thus far? I do declare, seems like he's somewhat of a spendthrift. In 2011 he proposed a $125 billion increase, more than 10% over what Congress enacted in 2010. Peter Gayton, the executive director of the American Legion (hardly a liberal organization, that American Legion) had this to say about Obama: "The accessibility with this administration has been outstanding. They listen, they reach out to the veterans’ service organizations, they see the value in communicating."

But jonese, you're right, I'm sure...if there's one thing Obama hates more than America itself it's those gol-danged troops. He's not fooling you, is he? You're too smart for that. Obama...that vile, despicable, child eating, communistic, troops-hating succubus!

December 5, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
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