Thursday, June 30, 2016
The Benghazi Report: "Nothing New"?
Ambassador Chris Stevens
Time to move on?
Hillary Clinton's (public) reaction to the House Benghazi report was that there was nothing new and it was time to "move on" (a favorite saying of the Clintons over the years as they have moved on from one scandal to the next).
In a sense, she is correct. We already knew that the State Department under her tenure had refused some 600 requests for enhanced security from the diplomatic mission in Libya. We already knew that the attack had lasted some 13 hours from the mission to the CIA annex and that only an unmanned drone was sent to observe the attack, which enabled our leaders to watch the attack in real time. We already knew that the security men at the annex had been told by the CIA station chief to stand down when they wanted to respond to the mission, an order they eventually disobeyed. We already knew that no military help ever arrived other than other security elements who responded from Tripoli. We already knew that President Obama, Clinton, Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey were huddled together in Washington holding meetings and talking. We already knew that in spite of all that, no military units responded to Libya to assist against an attack that lasted 13 hours.
We already knew that Mrs Clinton had called her daughter that night to tell her a terrorist attack was underway in Benghazi. We already knew that she communicated with the prime minister of Egypt and the president of Libya within the following 24 hours and told them that it was a terrorist attack. We already knew that she told family survivors at Andrews Air Force Base that they were going to prosecute the maker of "that video". We already knew that Susan Rice was sent on the Sunday talk shows where she told everybody that it was a protest over a video that caused the deaths in Benghazi.
Here is what is new:
We now know that the White House meeting lasted from 7:30-9:30 pm. A number of action items were discussed, half of which dealt with the infamous video that the administration later blamed for the attack.
We now know that Leon Panetta, instead of being ordered to call and order a military response to Benghazi, was told to make calls to try and get the video removed from the Internet.
We now know that there was discussion and concern over sending in troops without permission of the Libyans, using military marked vehicles and whether the troops should wear uniforms. We also now know that troops who were preparing to deploy were ordered to change their clothing 4 times! But they never went to Benghazi.
What kind of military, diplomatic and presidential leadership is that? Does this jive with Hillary's famous 2008 presidential campaign ad about that phone ringing at 3 o'clock in the morning? The phone was ringing off the hook on September 11, 2102 and it was never answered.
And who made the decision that the security men in the CIA annex should not respond to the burning mission as it was under attack? In the opinion of committee members Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mike Pompeo (R-KS) it was likely a certain somebody in Washington with whom the CIA man was on the telephone.
This report is damning not just to Hillary Clinton, but to the leaders under her at State, the President, Leon Panetta, and Martin Dempsey.
For months, Mrs Clinton and her underlings were negligent in ignoring requests for more security from the Libyan mission. During the attack, she and the above-mentioned officials failed to send the necessary help. It certainly would not have saved the lives of the two men killed in the initial attack, but it might have saved the lives of the two heroes killed while fighting off the attackers at the annex.
Subsequently, Mrs Clinton and the administration have been involved in a massive cover-up, initially claiming that the attack was a video protest gone awry, and since trying to conceal the details of the attack even trying to keep survivors from being interviewed.
Keep in mind that this attack happened two months before Obama's re-election as the administration was promoting the theme that "GM was alive, Bin Laden was dead and Al Qaeda was on the run".
Hillary Clinton is not fit to serve as our Commander-in-Chief. This report makes it as obvious as that smoking gun tape that resulted in Nixon having to resign the presidency. How times have changed.