Streetwise Professor

November 3, 2013

Back to Benghazi

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 10:01 pm

The Benghazi story came back to life last week with a story on 60 Minutes. The new part of the story was an interview with a British employee of the security firm Blue Mountain, who claimed that he went into the US consulate building while it was under attack.  This man, who was referred to by the pseudonym “Morgan Jones”, also stated that it was evident that security conditions around the facility had become perilous in the weeks before the attack.  Jones has also written a soon-to-be-released book about his experiences in Libya.

This implicit criticism of the Obama administration has led, not surprisingly, to a vicious counterattack.  “Morgan” was revealed, through a leak, to be Dylan Davies.  Moreover, Davies’ after action report filed with Blue Mountain was leaked.  In this report, Davies states that he did not go to the US facility because the route to it was blocked by militia checkpoints.  The administration has seized on this to discredit Davies and the entire CBS story.

Several points.  First, one explanation for the discrepancy-that Davies lied in his report because he had been ordered to stand down-is plausible.

Second, even if Davies did exaggerate his role on 9/11/12, his characterization of the degenerating security situation in Benghazi has not been contradicted.  Indeed, it was confirmed by the statements of State Department official Gregory Hicks.

Third, Hicks’s statements are even more damning, because he confirms that not only was the security situation fraught, but that when he asked for reinforcement, he was told that none were available.

Someone in the administration, who bravely made himself (or herself) available for quotation without attribution, made a despicable attack against those who have raised questions about the administration’s actions in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack:

Administration officials seized on the discrepancies to again criticize GOP zeal in pursuing the Benghazi incident. “The people who were injured and the families of those who died are owed an apology” by Davies and “60 Minutes,” said a senior administration official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “There were real heroes that night, including the quick response team that actually got into the U.S. compound and saved lives. Davies was, according to his own after-action report, not one of them.”

Unbelievable. The people who are responsible for the deaths and injuries, and who have not apologized (can anyone forget Hillary’s “what difference does it make?”), and who have in fact offered outrageously false accounts of events (notably, the MoVid), are demanding apologies from others who demand a fair accounting, and accountability?  Do you remember the desperate pleas of Sean Smith’s mother for an explanation of what happened, but was given nothing?

Some people have no shame.  None.

If you followed events last year, you will know that there is virtually nothing new in the 60 Minutes story.  The only news is that a leading news organization decided to run a major piece on it.   The only problem is that it’s over 12 months too late.  And note the immediate fire dropped on CBS’s position for having the temerity to challenge the party line.

The main open question is what was the CIA doing in Benghazi.  CBS didn’t ask the question.  Nobody has, really. The administration appartchik quoted above lambastes the Republicans for their criticism of the administration’s actions in Benghazi, but note that the Republicans like Graham and McCain have not said anything about the CIA operation.  Presumably they have been briefed on it, and are fine with it.  They might have indeed been aware of what was going on before 9/11/12.

Obviously something big was going down there.  Something big means a big target. Which makes the failure to have forces in place to respond to an attack on that target all the more reprehensible.

In brief, the administration was derelict before, during, and after the attack.  60 Minutes rather timidly criticized the pre- and during attack dereliction, and has elicited a very non-timid response from the administration.  No doubt that will convince the rest of the media to continue its adherence to omertà.  The important truths about Benghazi are known, but not told.

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