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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The politics of Benghazi II

Upon reflection, I have nothing more to add to what I wrote here on Sunday, October 21, 2012

I believe the President was concerned that the terrorist attack on Benghazi would be seen a harbinger of the collapse of his middle eastern foreign policy.  That is why for two weeks his administration conducted a media campaign to convince us that it was a demonstration that got out of hand and not an organized activity.  Being more clever than most he also made a statement the day after which minimized any mention of terrorism and still included some indirect references that could be used, if needed, to claim that he had said all along that it was an act of terror.  Romney’s ineptness and Candy’s expansion of her role from moderator to active participant in the second debate made that work out for the President temporarily.

Perhaps on Monday we will delve into the broader issues centering on the fact that it was an organized terrorist attack.  I think there are two.

First is the question of whether there was appropriate security.  It appears not.  Biden’s defense in his debate with Ryan was that Ryan had supported a $300 million reduction in funding for Foreign Service Security.  This is a silly argument.  How much they had was not the problem.  The problem was where it was placed and that is a presidential responsibility.

Second is that the entire Obama policy for that part of the world is brought into question.  Whether it should or not it will certainly be part of the campaign. 

I do not believe that the murder of the Libyan Ambassador and others is a particularly important piece of evidence that our current middle eastern policy has failed.  (I hope not.)  However, I believe that the Obama administration thought that it was very important in that regard and that it had major political implications.  To blunt the impact of those political considerations is the reason that they have concealed evidence of the nature of that attack in the hopes of convincing the public that it was only a minor incident that grew out of a demonstration. 

As usual the attempt to cover it up is going to be worse for them than the event itself.  

PS  This was talked about by Tom and Rob in comments on the post on Oct 18.


  1. Just a brief note here to voice my support for today's quote by Abraham Lincoln...I intend to share it..

  2. I too have changed my thoughts very little on the politics of the event.
    1. Pre-event preparations – I am slightly more critical of preplanning preparation and the decision to keep our consulate open that I was initially.
    2. Actions during the event - I still feel that our response was inadequate, but I do NOT think that anyone played politics during the event response
    3. The cover up – Very troubling, and in my opinion totally politically motivated, however I no longer feel that the cover up will be worse that the event. I think the administration gets a pass with the public, the Ds and the press. Any reporting by Fox News will be dismissed as shrill and bitter.
    4. The hearings this week may bring new facts to light, but I doubt it. At this point I see no benefit in continuing the investigation (since I believe the military already has it’s lessons learned) and I suggest that we just move on.