The Shameful Politicization of the Benghazi Consulate Attack

The Tea Party Congress, having, with Paul Ryan’s leadership, deeply cut funds for embassy security, held a hearing on Wednesday on the circumstances of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which it tried to point fingers at the State Department and the Obama administration.

That’s right, the Republicans cut funds for embassy security, and now are blaming the State Department for laxity.

Aljazeera English reports on the hearing:

One of the Republican talking points is criticism of Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and other Obama administration officials for saying that the events on Sept. 11 began with a demonstration outside the consulate against the hate film “The Innocence of the Muslims.”

But the fact is that the Libyan Arabic press initially reported that there was such a demonstration, and Libyan officials in Benghazi said so, as well, and I conveyed these assertions here.

The indications that this was a revenge attack for the killing of al-Qaeda number 3, Abu Yahya Libi, were a) that a rocket propelled grenade was deployed against the consulate, which goes rather beyond typical mob violence; and that b) the safe house to which dozens of consular personnel were moved by Libyan special forces itself came under mortar attack. This latter fact was reported later in the week by Libyan journalist Hadeel Al-Shalchi.

But it is natural that there should have been a fog of war around the attack. The one who would normally have been reporting back to the State Department about the details– Ambassador Chris Stevens– died from smoke inhalation.

I frankly can’t understand what the Tea Baggers are driving at here. If their complaint is lack of consulate security, then they shouldn’t have cut the money for it.

If their complaint is that early accounts of what happened were chaotic and ultimately inaccurate, what else would they expect? When would that have not been so in the aftermath of such a disaster? As I’ve pointed out before, lots of embassy attacks occurred under Bush, including one in Athens, and I doubt they GOP even held a hearing on most of them.

One subtext seems to be that Obama naively unleashed al-Qaeda in Libya by helping overthrow Qaddafi, and then was unprepared for its attacks. But July’s parliamentary elections showed that radical Muslim movements are a tiny minority in Libya. The largest single party is nationalist, not Muslim fundamentalist. Libya has a problem with the militias that grew up during last year’s revolution. But many of them, as with the Zintanis or the Berbers of Jabal Nafusa, are hardly pious fundamentalists. I was in Libya in May-June, and it simply isn’t the violent basket case that Americans keep depicting it as.

I don’t know if Americans are finding this politicization of the tragedy in Benghazi distasteful. They should be.

Romney on the campaign trail started telling the story of an ex-Navy Seal who died in the attack, who had been stationed in a facility a mile from the consulate, wand who ran toward the danger. Romney praised his courage and Americanness, attampting to appropriate some of it for himself.

But Romney never ran toward danger in his life. He dodged the draft for Vietnam by trying to convince French people not to drink coffee or wine.

The deceased SEAL’s mother asked Romney to knock it off, saying that she doesn’t trust the GOP standard bearer.

That’s the same response Americans in general should have to the distasteful and cynical attempt on Capitol Hill to deploy Chris Stevens’ killing for narrow political gain at the polls.

52 Responses

      • Not sure. Some reporters saying that demonstrators had never heard of the file. Some, if not most of these, seem like opportunistic protests. That does not mean the film didn’t offend a broad section of Muslims, just that the protests were like flashes, indicating a more provocateur genesis.

    • You are insane. The terrorist attacks on our Benghazi, Libya embassy and the murdering of four American diplomats is simply the worst example yet of the Obama Administration’s incompetence and failed foreign policy, period! Even the Hillary Clinton appointee Ms. Lamb, testified on Capitol Hill this week that EMBASSY FUNDING LEVELS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LACK OF SECURITY AT OUR EMBASSY ON 9/11/12!! Stop trying to cover-up with the BO Admin!! Can’t you liberals be a little bit objective and intellectually honest just once!!?? I can tell you as a Conservative, that if this were a Republican Administration and they were covering up and lying to us, I would be equally outraged as I am now!! Biden was right in the debate tonight … FACTS MATTER!! Too bad he and Obama and their campaign are trying to put the FACTS of the Libya embassy matter under the rug, to (try and) save their political futures. And then Biden lied again during the debate tonight!! Our Intelligence Dept knew within 24 hours of the 9/11 embassy attacks that it was a terrorist attack, and that there were no protests outside the embassy what so ever, prior to the attacks!! That stupid U-Tube video had NOTHING to do with these attacks!! If you think that, you are just stupid as can be, or (more likely) you just refuse to accept the truth and facts!! You liberals make me sick that you can’t even be honest and you put Party Politics ahead of all else. Pathetic!

  1. For all of Romney’s tough “war-talk”, Mitt’s ability to be commander in chief should be an issue in this election – especially since he received four deferments and spent his Vietnam years in Paris, France waiting on checks to arrive from daddy.

    Obama needs to drop Big Bird and start talking about draft dodging. Remind America that the last two draft dodgers, Bush & Cheney, got America into two unnecessary $4 trillion wars.

  2. Dramatization and exaggeration are typical of the MSM in the US. I visited my family in Beirut in the second half of September. You wouldn’t believe the calls I got from worried US friends. Of course nothing was happening. The pope had come and gone, and Hizbollah held a massive but peaceful rally in the Dahiya. Duh.

    • I agree. Something about the dog not barking, coupled with troop movements.

      Stratfor reports heavy Special Forces deployments from US and France, and there is also the rushed deployment of a third carrier task force (the Stennis), now off the West coast of Thailand.

  3. Last night, Bill O’Reilly on Fox News contributed his share in politicizing the Bengazi incident, suggesting that Hillary Clinton and Obama are trying to cover up their incompetence in failing to protect the consulate against this second 9/11. On top of the hypocrisy that Juan Cole describes above, one can add O’Reilly’s hypcrisy in “forgetting” Bush’s inattentiveness to intelligence warnings in late August 2001 of an impending al-Qaeda attack!

    • I think the memo, “Osama determined to strike in USA” was in August 8th or thereabouts. Not that it makes any difference as the Bushies didn’t read it or decided to utilize the information to get make Dubya the “war president” he wanted to be. Nasty beast.

  4. Democrats voted in equal numbers to cut the funding. Also the funding for the 16 member team (contractors) was thru defense budget Sorry your argument does not hold water. There are thousands of contractors in Mideast In its 2013 budget Obama did not request additional staffing (only more money) indicating that the staffing was ok for protection of ambassadors

    • Even the reactionaries at the Heritage Foundation don’t take the claim as far in the partisan “you did it too” direction as your comment does. The link here gives some pretty telling details on who paid what for what purposes, and gives the lie to your claim, including the part about Democrats voting in equal numbers to majority Republicans in the House appropriations activities. link to blog.heritage.org

      Where did you get your talking points?

    • Democrats voted in equal numbers to cut the funding.

      Democrats didn’t turn around and blame the State Department for not having enough security. It takes two actions to by a hypocrite.

      Also the funding for the 16 member team (contractors) was thru defense budget

      So?

  5. The substance of Romney’s actions and assertions are making it increasingly and blazingly apparent how he is both desperate and incompetent.

    HOWEVER. That’s rather not the reality of things. Romney is saying whatever he is told to say to inflame the Yahoo vote. And the WAY he says it washes away whatever he said factually: he looked and sounded like a guy who knew the Truth and the right Course, versus Obama, who visibly wavered and equivocated in his presence. Romney got away with looking like a Winner and the man with the winning Plan, appropriating the expectation of that reality.

    Romney’s not dumb, just cynical, and as the Quintessential Company Man, he knows how to administer through staff. When (?!) he inherits the federal bureaucracy he’ll be provided the same options Obama would have been given. At which point his courtiers (appointees) will with varying degrees of success work to mound his thinking. To The Manor Born, he may very well be able to play these people off against each other.

    As with Bush, only in foreign policy will the crazies be in a position to do any real damage. Then there are court appointees he’s bound to get. And the chance of gaining more power in the congress.

    We can be hoped for is that the King will do whatever he wants, regardless of his GOP allegiances.

  6. The “shameful politicalization” actually, imho, began with Rice and the State Department’s attempt to appear “in control” in the face of this successful attack.

    By using the anger anti-muslim film as a cover, a politically convenient “clash of civilization” meme, the State department reinforced just that. Anyone whose “news” is limited to American media was told for days that outrage over the film has spawned this violent attack … in fact, in several venues, I had to repeatedly remind people that “demonstrating” is not “rioting” and that many, even most, of the anti-film demonstration were not violent, either to people or property.

    There was much outrage and disgust on this side of the Atlantic that those people were angrily demonstrating, shouting “frightening” words — as if such “free speech” were not one of our proudest freedoms.

    As the demonstrations were expanding that weekend, I listented a state department representative asserting that these demonstrations were ONLY about the movie, that they did not represent anger wrt any deeper historical or economic or geopolitical disagreements.

    No, this was all about religious Muslims angry about a film — how silly, how infantile, how intractable they are.

    Now, I think that intolerance is Islam’s Achilles heel and likely to hobble economic and social development in many Islamic countries who will use religion to justify the maintenance of castes, and the subjugation of women AND the self-exile of many of their best and brightest because of the dangerousness of independent and innovative thought.

    However, the State Department attempted to shield itself from criticism by hiding behind the drapes of the ever popular Islamophobia clash-of-civilzation stereotypes.

    I don’t know what to think about the following:

    Tripoli Post 09/10/2012

    On September 11th, the day he died, Mr Stevens wrote to Washington officials detailing a dispute involving the leaders of two prominent Benghazi militias who were responsible for security in the city.

    The two men, Wissam bin Ahmed and Muhammad al-Gharabi, claimed that the US was lobbying for centrist politician Mahmoud Jibril to become Libya’s Prime Minister.

    They said that if he won the vote, they ‘would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing,’ according to Mr Stevens.

    Despite that warning, Mr Stevens did not ask for more US troops, and commented that Benghazi officials believed the city was becoming safer.

    The Irish “The Independent” cast detailed doubt on Rice’s simplistic explanation of events within a day or two… the State Department’s obvious stonewalling was shameful, imho.

  7. Professor, reading your articles always help me to understand topic you are writing about in more detail. For instance, I did not know that reasons for less security was a result of less funding because of congress with Paul Ryan’s leadership at the helm. Wouldn’t it be great if President Obama made it a rule to read your articles on the middle east and more to be more informed. Our President would win the next debate hands down. Back to your article, some of our media and other political bases are using the attack on US consulate in Benghazi to portray President Obama as a weak President. Which is completely false. My opinion, he in fact tougher on terrorism than our former President Bush. The use of over use drones alone prove my point. The American people need a more honest debate on the middle east and the root causes of what is happening there. An example for instance is the shooting of Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan. Fox is focused on making Pakistan look like a terrorist state, but that is far from the case. There is a mini war going on, especially in the Swat region between the government and the Taliban over the simple rights of girls to go to school. Was that reported? No. Mohammad Ali Jinnah had a dream of a democratic modern Islamic state. Was that reported? Again no. What we I am trying to say, that the media likes to see themselves as the forth branch of government that services as a checks and balance toward are three branches of government. But how can that be when they do not inform, but direct the American masses in an uninformed way. A la Iraq. I am fortunate to have seen you speak once at FAU and have reading your articles ever since, but their are many of us Americans who rely just on the news on TV. I guess my point is the media needs to be more unbiased to truly inform us as American citizens. As you pointed out in an earlier article, their are more wars that can be started under the wrong President being elected if our media does nor correct itself by being more unbiased and more informative.

    • “that the media likes to see themselves as the forth branch of government that services as a checks and balance toward are three branches of government. But how can that be when they do not inform, but direct the American masses in an uninformed way.”

      Nice way to portray the problem. Lost of commentators, like Fallows at The Atlantic are criticising ‘false equivalence’ : the media always has to get two views even if one of them is against facts and reason. The ‘checks and balances’ argument cuts through this problem

  8. Political opportunism and exploiting even the most personal tragedies has been a GOP staple in recent decades. However, it’s also been rare for commentators to point this out, let alone emphasize the hypocrisy, inconsistencies, and overall distastefulness of this kind of attack.

    We are all able to get the word out to our friends, relatives, f*book friends, etc. If the “lamestream media” (thanks, Gov Palin!) won’t do it, whispering campaigns have always been extraordinarily effective. The GOP is big on those, too…

  9. “radical Muslim movements are a tiny minority in Libya.”
    This bears out my experience, albeit from 1978-79 when I lived and taught at the university in Tripoli. The only devout Muslims I knew were a very nice Egyptian couple. And I was told by many people that Benghazi was much more free-wheeling than Tripoli.

  10. Its the usual political theater. The truth of charges does not matter, just the theatrical effect from making them. Its well known that a person accused, then acquitted of a crime, never regains his reputation. This is an attempt to make the administration look bad, using any excuse they can drum up.

  11. “the Benghazi consulate”

    There is no US consulate in Benghazi, which is why State didn’t care about security and why State tried to avoid responsibility. It was a CIA operation with a dozen agents. (Ineffective, of course.) Why should State provide security for CIA? Besides, the Agency likes to keep a low profile.

    The US does not have an embassy, a consulate or a diplomatic mission in Benghazi. There are none listed on this State Department list of all the US embassies and consulates in the world.
    link to usembassy.gov

    On September 12, 2012, SecState Clinton made two statements. She never used the word “consulate.”To describe the place that was attacked in Benghazi she used instead the words ‘U.S. diplomatic post, compound, our buildings and our office.’
    link to state.gov
    link to state.gov

    There is (and was) no US consulate in Benghazi. No consul. No consular officials. No commercial officers. No diplomats of any kind. No consulate. It was CIA.

    That’s why the stupid congressmen reacted negatively yesterday, during their hearing, to satellite photos of the facilities in Benghazi (they’d already been televised).

    Why did State take the fall for CIA incompetence? I guess I would too if faced with the probable alternative.

      • Excellent question.

        In early September Stevens went on a trip to Stuttgart (AFRICOM probably) and the to a friend’s wedding in Sweden, and then to Vienna. Vienna?? UN offices there, and probably lots of spooks.

        When he came back to Tripoli there was a new President and Prime Minister, trying to form a government. But Stevens decided not to participate in those important activities. Instead he went to volatile Eastern Libya to stay five days at the old insecure house, then a CIA haven, where he spent six months last year assisting jihadists to overthrow the Libya government. (They include the militia accused of attacking the Americans in Benghazi.) The CIA was presumably in Benghazi, currently, to track down missing weapons.

        While Stevens was in Benghazi the ship Intisaar´(victory), with 400 tons of cargo which included ´SAM-7 surface-to air anti aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG`s), sailed from Benghazi to Iskenderun, Hatay province, Turkey, a stone’s throw from Syria. (I guess they found the weapons.)

        Stevens’ last official function the evening of 9/11 was a discussion with the Turkish ambassador. How interesting that the US ambassador to Libya would have a discussion in Benghazi with the Turkish ambassador to Libya. How very interesting.

        So who was Stevens? State or CIA?

        • Oh, I forgot to mention — why did Stevens supposedly go to Benghazi?

          In Obama’s UNGA speech he said that Ambassador Stevens “traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital.”

          Sure, Barry.

  12. American Embassy facilities throughout the Middle East have historically been targets for terrorist attacks.

    The bombing of the U.S. Embassy in April of 1983 in Beitut via suicide bombing, the abduction and killing of U.S. Ambassador to the Sudan Cleo Noel in 1974 and the more recent Al-Qaeda attack on the American Embassy in Pakistan are examples of political violence directed at State Department reprsentatives.

    The United States Foreign Service employees deserve the highest level of security during their respective missions.

    • Maybe if the a–holes who make “policy” inside the Imperial Beltway gave the embassies something actually useful to do, stuff that looks beyond the Great Game and all the business-as-usual sh-t that has been the stuff of American Exceptionalimperialomanifestydestiny for generations, something that trends toward stability and sustainability (check the 3×5 cards — got those points, good.) and survival of the species, maybe the embassies and consulates would not be such inviting targets and would actually require a lot less “security,” something that at that distance (see: Iran, November 4. 1979) that can’t be given? Rather than just stirring things up and carrying out the stuff that Mr. Bill tells us is the all-wise best that “we” can do “to protect the US and US interests,” which neither he nor any other AllWiser has chosen to tell the rest of us what they are? Continually using his little set of catchphrases, like the Sneaky-Petes in DC do, to cover and obscure with the stink of “patriotism” and “homeland security” and “national interest” all the secret deals and murders and other crap?

      Since our fearless leaders are apparently to freakin’ stupid to identify real threats and real enemies and figure out how to do anything other than be ready to blow stuff up. For the fearful: link to smithsonianmag.com

      I know, it’s just like nukular weapon technology — the cat’s out of the bag, everyone supposedly wants it (or at least some of their rulers do), and only now are people, PEOPLE, starting to accept that a few of the smarter rulers see the wisdom of standing down from perpetual Defcon 3.3.

      • Yes, yes, we know – if the American ambassador wasn’t wearing such a short skirt…

        Rule of thumb: never listen to somebody who answers every question with the same answer. Talk about reading off note cards…

        • Does that include people who answer any challenge to the Conventional Foolish Stupidity with the good old unsupported “You’re too dumb to understand, I’m much smarter and better informed (from the sources and beliefs that I choose to believe) about policy and politics, and what our rulers are doing is just fine, by definition, because they are doing it” line? Any particular reason you and Mr. Bill feel impelled to spend effort on impeaching what I and others might offer here by way of a different view and path forward?

          And it’s got nothing to do with smartass remarks about the length of the ambassador’s skirt, and everything to do with a set of policies and behaviors and power-projections that really don’t actually seem to “advance or protect U.S. interests” (maybe YOU can take a shot at laying out what those are supposed to be?) even a little bit, as opposed to making a few people rich and a lot more people dead or injured or starving, or lead to anything more than more of the same more-and-more. Which demonstrably is not working and is not going to. My country, according to what I was taught in civics and history, is supposed to be better than that. Obviously, my teachers did not understand the “gritty reality” you people have been able to force or sucker the rest of us into living in.

          That’s a four-note bass line that I will be happy to keep playing in the hope that stuff like the New American Century gets finally shoved up the backsides of the SOBs who have peddled it.

          It’s not like you or Bill can point to any great “policy successes” as a result of the way the Players, who ascribe to game theory among other sources of illumination, are playing the Game, or even show that what’s going on now, where Romney can say with conviction that Russia is the US’s greatest adversary, is anything more than a clumsy and doomed continuation of the Great Game that has wasted so much of the planet’s resources and kept people who are trying to find ways to do things better, or simply to live without a Hellfire warhead in their noncombatant ear, from making any headway. Or maybe you want to take a shot at that advocacy too?

          OOOOOh, let me check my 3×5 cards to make sure I didn’t miss anything….

  13. Perhaps some perspective is needed from the Republicans about the difficulties of protecting our personnel in the Middle East from terrorism.

    A former defense secretary for Ronald Reagan says he implored the president to put Marines serving in Beirut in a safer position before terrorists attacked them in 1983, killing 241 servicemen.

    “I was not persuasive enough to persuade the president that the Marines were there on an impossible mission,” Caspar Weinberger says in an oral history project capturing the views of former Reagan administration officials.

    But then Reagan was a saint for the GOP, and Obama is much more blameworthy.

    • Reagan was scarcely the only president, and Weinberger scarcely the only post-hoc history revisionist war promoter concerned near the end of life about his “place in history,” to send “our people” on an impossible mission.

  14. Just right, Dana. The only people able to comment sardonically or otherwise on this negligence and blowback are traditional non-interventionist conservatives like Dan Larison of American Conservative, consistent libertarian non-interventionists like Ron Paul, and the occasional hard lefty like Dennis Kucinich, all of whom opposed Obama’s and Bush’s interventions across the board.

  15. Either Romney is saying America should have kept Marxist terrorist Gadaffi (what the GOP had called him for decades) in power…

    Or Romney is saying that we should keep ratcheting up the military budget to infinite levels to create an infinite state of deterrence. In other words, the solution was not to improve consular security, which is hardly an issue worth changing presidents over. His solution, implied by your Romney quotes from previous days, is that America must be feared at Machiavellian levels by everyone on earth, so that no person dares lift a gun or a hand against any lackey of our empire. Including protesting US crimes, or striking at US-owned factories, perhaps?

    Wow, that’s a big issue, all right. Obama can say he’s spending more on state violence than all the other countries in the world put together, but we cowardly, greedy, self-centered Americans can always escalate our demands from simple national security, to our current global domination, to a fantasy future of divine omnipotence, where just looking at an American the wrong way can justify mass murder.

    Unfortunately, by embracing drone strikes as a policy tool, Obama is feeding into this psychosis of omnipotence by making it seem less costly. He just wants to maintain the current hegemony as cheaply as possible – which is debatable, but is grounded in rational bureaucratic outlook. Romney is invoking the same spectre that Reagan did with Star Wars – which militarists dreamed of not only as a deterrent against Soviet ICBMs but as a deus ex Americana, establishing us as the Master Race with no consequences at all except cutting all our social programs and raising taxes on the middle class to pay for it.

    • Yes, the Libya intervention was regime change in of “humanitarian aid” clothing and TeamObama is anxious for it to succeed … and for it’s rough spots and failures to receive as little attention as possible

      The actual aid mission took considerably longer and cost much more than was anticipated. Our “rebels” were less capable of consolidating their victory, holding territories, etc.

      Obviously the problem with rogue militias continues.

      I have difficulty with the “fog of war” excuse for the very very slowly evolving (and vastly changing) stories told by state — quite a number of people were successfully evacuated has access to telephones and internet … creating a “mob protesting the film” where there was NONE … a story refuted by the president I believe 2 days later, but which STATE held onto for nearly a week if not longer, is deliberate obsfuscation …

      Saying the FBI was investigating, when in fact it was determined it was too dangerous for ANYONE (other than reporters apparently) to even secure the abandoned compound.

      Issa is an idiot. He’s missing what in my opinion is the bigger story and all the unanswered questions dating back to before we (and NATO) intervened … what assets did we have on the ground that made coming to the rescue of the “rebels” so urgent … or does Team Obama have its own cowboys with dreams of liberating the oppressed … see also Afghanistan and Iraq … Iran … etc

      • What’s with the scare quotes around rebels?

        The contempt for the Libyan people that comes from allegedly leftist voices continues to amaze me.

        • What made you reply like this to a comment focused on criticizing the State Department for its first responses?

        • the identity of the “rebels” in Libya is vague, they do not, as far as I have read, appear to be monolithic or even cohesive, and yet, they are described as “rebels’ much as the Mujahadeen was referred to as “freedom fighters” .. one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter …

          We spent more than a decade trying to promote rebellion against Saddam Hussain in many ways, and yet certainly Iraqi “dissident” (of whom there were many) were similarly not monolithic, much less cohesive, in fact were almost completely unable to work in common cause.

          Hence, until I get some more answers as to whom we supported and why … they will remain “rebels” except when I’m really in a bad mood when I will call them “freedom fighters.”

      • Susan, I bet you know the sleep of the “Cowboys” and “Jackals” is untroubled by any “dreams of liberating the oppressed.” You know what U.S. foreign policy and the actions and obfuscations “our” imperial institutions have carried out under the Foggy Bottom obscurantisms of “national interest” and “state security” and the rest. “We” are collectively Not Very Nice People (the cutting edge being people like Gary Schroen who wrote “First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan,” a brag piece that unwittingly spotlights the evil and complexity and incompetence and tangential thievery and fraud that characterizes our Sneaky-Petes and has since Wild Bill Donovan and Kermit Roosevelt Jr.) And it’s not just “Not Very Nice:” these ‘tards are playing games that advance them and their little cliques and clients for short-term apparent gains, but with long-term costs like “blowback” that they neither anticipate, nor care about even if they do.

  16. Even Romney’s claim to remember meeting the SEAL is phony. From the same ThinkProgress article: “Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale.”

  17. There are quite a few problems with all this and sadly the real issue is not likely to be reformed.

    1) The attack in Benghazi has been politicized and the claims coming from the right are pretty ironic given all the crying over security’s importance. Massive amounts of money have been lost in the black holes known as Iraq and Afghanistan, with little where-with-all by the Tea Baggers to recoup that money and those two countries are not exactly the epitomies of security. The tolerance for the loss of all this massive amount of money during the last administration – notably to contracting companies including those off-shored – has fostered our own economic crisis and worsened political, military and economic security for us, for Iraq and Afghanistan. So of course it makes sense to cut security funding for our missions in post revolutionary Libya, especially when over 200 attack attempts were logged in June/July, yes?? Take that State with love from your fellow Tea Baggers

    2) Dig into State’s bureacracy – it’s time. Our leadership was given misinformation and the way the system works – leadership thinks they are getting accurate information from supervisors and people moved into positions of responsibility. Clearly, that didnt happen here. People died – that shouldnt be lost here. One of the Department employees here asked for whistleblower status after being called to the hearings. Whistleblower status? The guy knows his job can be ruined even though he did the right thing and asked for more security. It’s a shame he did not push the envelope and say “Something is seriously at risk, boss…” Unfortunately at State, too often employees are compelled to choose – do the right thing or save your job because the system there fails to protect the average employee. There is something very wrong if employees can’t raise up issues of concern with their superiors for fear of retaliation, which is supposed to be illegal — but is not. If he was foreign service, he could have used the dissent channel – but a) this is likely weak too and b) it does not apply to civil service. I am one of two employees at State who raised red flags of concern when during the Rice admin, my former office Fulbright wanted to cancel programs for Palestinian Gazans who were in the US that time on their grants. It would have meant stranding them indefinitely in a third country along with their minor age kids because they didnt have Israeli permission to cross the WB-Israel-Gaza corridor at a time when Pas Jerusalem was trying to get crossing permission during the early Gaza border crisis. I was accused of ‘disloyalty’ for notifying PAS and got the door. My local supervisor even had said i would not be able to work in my field. It hasnt been a picnic since then, but it was the right thing to do. This makes employees fear doing their jobs but at the end of the day, it’s just you and your conscience. This guy shouldnt have to ask for whistleblower status – that’s wrong. He shouldnt have to fear for his career when the fault lies with another who clearly hasnt got the integrity to do the right thing here. The system at State needs to be fixed

  18. ha! I really dropped some major grenades in your little blog site that was comfy with all you elitist progressive liberals drinking your own kool aide!! I wonder if it will help any of you get your mind back on track with reality??

    • A little spiked kool aide might not be a bad idea, for recovery’s sake. No, I am not laughing at the notion of “little blog site” or “elitist progressive liberals”, not at all. Really. A State employee asked for more security. Apparently Ambassador Stevens or his staff did too. These requests were denied. Who denied them? Why? Who passed the misinformation up to the White House? If you think the President has his fingers in every single dark office in our far flung agencies, guess again. Even President Bush and Secretary Rice didnt know everything going on – including with the people they installed in federal service. I worked at State in an area headed up by neocons — these guys had NO compunction serving up misinformation to their own bosses and lying when malarkey hit the fan, which it did owing to the lack of integrity and solid judgement often exercised. That’s a dangerous mentality. If you cant serve your country without deceitful behavior, it’s time to look for another job. That’s NOT a protected category in government

      • What’s also sad – at least the officer at State can request Whistleblower protection. If any agencies-that-can’t-be-named were involved here, what happens to any of their people who may have done the right thing and also asked for more security? Whistleblower protections are really thin for employees in the intel agencies, because that was the deliberate idea. Please dont try the excuse no one has a crystal ball and could have foreseen the events — known facts include the country had just experienced a revolutionary phase and approximately 200 serious security incidents occurred in June/July. I’d like to think buried in the other bureaucracy, if this is the case, there was another staff who felt security for the post was being risked

  19. of course, politicalization of the attack is distasteful, but not as distasteful as the attack.

  20. The professor makes it seem like only teabaggers have raised questions about the ever evolving official narrative. Please. Is Glenn Greenwald a teabagger? Michael Hastings? CNN?

  21. Lets rejoice at the demise of Gadaffi.
    In the 70s he was supplying the terrorist Irish Republican Army with weapons by the ton. In the 80s he was supplying the IRA with rounds of ammunition by the million, surface to air missiles, semtex, RPGs plus millions in cash. As late as 2011 was giving millions in cash to the “real” IRA to try to disrupt the peace.
    He ordered the terror attack on a Berlin Discotheque frequented by American Servicemen and Reagan ordered strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi.
    He ordered the Lockerbie bombing.
    Anyone can compare and contrast campaigns in Libya, Iraq and Afganistan.

    Lets express our gratitude for the work of Chris Stevens and those who died with him. Lets express condolences for the families.

    Looking at the big picture – Libya has been a huge success. Politicization of the Benghazi attack is both shameful and boosts terrorism; and those behind it are a disgrace.

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