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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Benghazi Won't Go Away

For John, BLUFThe Benghazi Imbroglio may fade in history, but if it doesn't it will be seen as a time of confusion and partisan bickering.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At The Huffington Post we have an article about Fox News interviewing "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas Ricks". 

A Fox News interview ended rather abruptly on Monday after a guest took not one but two jabs at the network hosting him (see update below).

Co-anchor Jon Scott interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas Ricks, who has covered the military for decades, about his new book "The Generals." Scott asked Ricks weigh in on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and Sen. John McCain's criticisms of Amb. Susan Rice.

"I think Benghazi was generally hyped by this network especially," Ricks said.  He added that he thought McCain seemed to be "backing off" from criticizing Rice since "the campaign [was] over."

To challenge the views of a "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author" may seem a little forward, but I feel I must.

I agree with Mr Ricks, the death of a US Ambassador notwithstanding, Benghazi was a small fire fight, but I believe the long term consequences of our responses are of importance.

Further, I have maintained that Amb Susan Rice was not lying, but the victim of what the Administration gave her as Talking Points.   (Check this blog for confirmation, if needed.)   That said, several people I respect, and with insight into the issue, have told me that they don't think Amb Rice is suited for SecState.

Yesterday Scott Helfstein (Director of Research at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point) published an article on the 11 September demonstrations across the MENA area that offered some good insights, but started with the meme that what happened in Libya was a riot, as a result of "the video".   This isn't true.   This isn't helpful.   It obscures the role of terrorist groups in North Africa.   It also obscures what the demonstrations across the MENA Area are about.

The use of "the video as cause" meme has resulted in us brushing aside First Amendment guarantees, almost like it was WWI.

And, the apparent confusion about Benghazi, which went on for weeks, suggests that the Administration was fumbling.

The inability of the MSM, with Candy Crowley in the forefront, to comprehend these contradictions is troubling, but not shocking.

Fox is not my ideal, but others are wanting as well.

Regards  —  Cliff


Repack Rider said...

It is understandable that the CIA preferred not to tip off terrorists in a press conference.

It is NOT understandable that FOX and several sitting senators wanted Al Qaeda kept in the loop.

How does the Libya tragedy compare to Ronald Reagan ignoring advice and getting 250 Marines killed in Beirut? (Reagan was re-elected.) How does it compare to the Trillion dollars, 4500 dead Americans and 100,000 dead Iraqis over GWB's bogus claims of WMD? (W was re-elected.)

Congratulations to Mr. Ricks for telling it like it is.

Disclaimer: I am a United States Army veteran (E-5, Honorable Discharge). Your patriotism may vary.

Jack Mitchell said...

@Redpack Rider Huah!

@BLUF (aka Cliff)
As Ambassador Susan Rice prepares to meet with GOP senators today to discuss the administration's handling of the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, a new CNN/ORC poll finds 54% disapprove of the White House's actions.

However, 54% also do not believe that the administration purposefully misled the public.

C R Krieger said...

Re Repack Rider—My Patriotism never varies.

Re Jack—I think that the confusion is a concern.  That and the Constitution.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

Likely "confusion" stems from dealing with a savagely hungry press corps, whilst politcal opponents make tawdry hay out of a national security matter on the brink of an election.

What I see, in the actions and motivations of the GOP and other media whores, is the equivalent to the acts of desecration committed in Mogadishu & Fallujah.

Some cover ups are good, while others are bad. Manhattan Project - good. Ruby Ridge - bad. When unsure, follow the Executive for a reasonable amount of time. 6 months? Trust maybe be scarce, but elections must stand for something. Congress should evaluate the "driving," but certain terrain mandates they keep their "hands off the wheel."

You poking at it, is surely out of some professorial fascination. It is, though, as you say, "gamey."

C R Krieger said...

I know how to keep a secret.  My wife still doesn't know how I earned my DFC.  This, on the other hand, is risible.

Elections have consequences and one from the recent election is a Republican House of Representatives.  The "driving" metaphor doesn't work for me.  The President balances the Congress.  In the past Congress has waited "six months", which was 179 days too long.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

I'll amend my position. Specific select committees, and leadership with appropriate clearances, should be kept in the loop in a matter of hours, not months.

Of course, Congress has to be step up and participate: While Sen. John McCain was giving a fiery speech on the Senate floor slamming the Obama administration's handling of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, he missed a committee briefing on the investigation from officials from the State and Defense Departments.