Benghazi probe must not get sidetracked
It is neither “racist” nor “sexist” to question U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's role in the Benghazi scandal. It is, however, almost entirely beside the point.
Rice wasn't making life-and-death decisions on Sept. 11, 2012, when the U.S. compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack; President Obama was.
Nor is Rice likely to be the Obama administration official who first concocted the false narrative blaming a YouTube video for a nonexistent protest in Benghazi, which, the bogus narrative continues, “spontaneously” erupted into “unplanned” violence — the whopper President Obama told for two full weeks.
These are just some of the red flags over Benghazi that can never be checked if GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire continue to monopolize the issue and focus solely on Rice and those not-all-that-interesting talking points. Here are some of the Benghazi questions that still demand answers:
Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone — the White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) — on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?
President Obama stated to an outside-the-Washington-Beltway reporter that “the minute” he found out what was happening in Benghazi, he sprang into action. “Number one,” the president said, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do.”
Did Obama, in fact, issue such an order? If so, it appears to have been ignored. Shouldn't someone be fired for insubordination?
Why was the United States in Benghazi relying on Libyan jihadists for security? This is where we might pick up on the Arab Spring trail the Obama administration followed to this whole disaster.
For example, the small CIA contingent that flew in to Benghazi in the wee hours of Sept. 12 was “aided” (delayed) on arrival by Libya Shield. Not only did this militia fight in the Libyan revolution under the black flag of al-Qaida, but U.S. government analysts believe its leader, Wissam bin Hamid, a jihadist veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, may be the leader of al-Qaida in Libya.
Troubling reports indicate that the U.S. presence in Benghazi may have been part of a secret CIA operation to run weapons to Syria's anti-Assad rebel forces, which, as was the case with Libya's anti-Gadhafi forces, include a heavy contingent of jihadist actors seeking to spread Shariah (Islamic) law. Was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, previously point man to jihadists in Libya, party to this unauthorized operation?
Notice I haven't even mentioned Gen. Petraeus' affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While not entirely unimportant, it is a distraction from weightier matters. For example: How can David Petraeus lie to Congress — a felony — and get away with it?
Ask President Obama.
Diana West is the author of “The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization” and blogs at dianawest.net.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- GM Colbert expects Roethlisberger to end career with Steelers
- Steelers WR Wheaton wants to produce after injury-plagued rookie year
- Steelers hope group of low-budget cornerbacks can deliver
- Roethlisberger ‘prays’ he can stay with Steelers when deal expires
- Rostraver youth pastor accused of sexual contact with teen girl
- Former Gateway coach Smith is ‘perfect fit’ for Penn State football staff
- Confident rookie quarterback Manziel erratic early with Browns
- Steelers notebook: Ben believes rookie WR Bryant can contribute
- Central Blood Bank parent in merger talks with Florida system