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home : opinions : letters August 28, 2014

5/11/2013 1:01:00 PM
Letter: Benghazi matters to those still in the line of fire



The Obama administration told us for two weeks after the attacks that they were nothing more than a demonstration turned violent. Instead, it was a successful, well planned and well executed terrorist attack specifically targeting the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Before a congressional panel, not under oath, Hillary Clinton asked, “What difference does it make?” It was that callous response that will come back to haunt her as she seeks the Democrat nomination for the 2016 presidential race.

The “difference” it makes, Madam Secretary of State, is whether or not you are fit to lead. In the eyes of those who were down the chain-of-command the night of Sept. 11, 2012, you fail that test miserably. Eric Nordstrom, the former Regional Security Officer for Libya that night, before the Congressional committee Wednesday, choked up recalling the incident when he said, “It matters to me, personally and it matters to my colleagues at the Department of State.” Commanders of personnel who are in the line of fire tend to be touchy when casualties result from stupidity and the response is “What difference does it make?” Those people understand that they put their lives on the line in the service of their country, for national security. They don’t understand leaders who throw them under the bus to preserve a fiction being pushed in a national election to bolster a candidate. So yes, it matters - to them and to those still serving.

What kind of leadership begins a cover-up to hide a politically based policy decision even as their personnel are still under fire? The decision to, not only withhold increased security for the Benghazi consulate compound and Ambassador Stevens himself, but to actually reduce security personnel in the face of recent terrorist activity against westerners and the compound, itself, was purely political - the president assuring American voters that “Bin Laden is dead - and al Qaeda is on the run.” The attack in progress at the Benghazi compound was a direct rebuttal of that assertion and had to be explained as something else. In the process of inventing a narrative to fit their needs, the State Department refused to send aid to the beleaguered survivors who were still fighting to survive, saying that help would arrive too late to matter. One special operator, speaking anonymously because he is still on duty, said that in any situation such as this, a relief unit would be sent in any event, in order to help the survivors.

Mark Thompson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter-terrorism at the State Department, testified that he emailed Patrick Kennedy, the Undersecretary, and asked him why he had so swiftly rejected the option suggested by the FBI and Defense Special Operations Command to deploy the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). Kennedy told him it was too late. How Kennedy could have any idea how long the attack would continue is unknown. A quick reaction force composed of Special Operators and specially trained (probably ex-special ops) embassy personnel at Tripoli had started to deploy to Benghazi but were held up at the airport and told to stand down. Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission under Ambassador Stevens said the team was “furious.” Lt. Col. Gibson was quoted by Hicks, “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more b---s than someone in the military.”

Was there a “demonstration?” Hicks testified that he had spoken to the ambassador a couple of times on the 11th. Stevens never mentioned any demonstrations in progress. At 3 a.m., the Libyan president called Stevens to inform him that Ambassador Stevens was dead. The narrative - the lie - was formulated that Stevens was the victim of an outraged mob protesting an anti-Islam video on the Internet. The leadership, from Obama down, fell in line and stuck to that narrative for two weeks until the president was safely re-elected. Then the cover-up was starting to unfold.

Unfortunately for Ms. Clinton, Beth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Mid East, had sent an email dated Sept. 12, addressed to all the major parties of the cover-up. “When he (the Libyan Prime Minister) said his administration suspected former Khadafi regime elements carried out the attack, I (Jones) told him ‘The group that conducted the attacks, Ansur al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” And, the Weekly Standard released a statement by the CIA made on Sept. 14, “... (We) do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.”

How high and complex did the cover-up go? Hicks, the man on the spot, “was stunned and embarrassed” when UN Ambassador Rice told the world the attacks were due to the video and was never questioned by the FBI (and, subsequently, demoted to a desk job). Mark Thompson says his counter-terrorism unit was kept out of the loop soon after the attacks. Hillary Clinton did her best to avoid appearing before a congressional committee. When she did, she wasn’t under oath. Former JCS Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen and former UN Ambassador Thomas Pickering, joint heads of the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi, never called Clinton to testify before finding her not guilty of any negligence.

Do Messrs Hicks, Thompson and Nordstrom have an ax to grind? Hell, yes! They were prevented from coming to the aid of fellow Americans who were dying for their country. In the process they have been threatened, coerced and their reputations have been damaged by leadership too busy covering their own hind-quarters to worry about those for whom they were responsible.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Danny Smith

@ John "no sense" Bond
I never stated Nixon's resignation was dignified. I only pointed out that he had more dignity and integrity than Obumma has. Which is very,very little on Nixon's part and absolutely none on Obumma's. reading slow may help.

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013
Article comment by: Jasmine Tea

Mr. Bond,
I will go along with your call on Bush and Cheney … if you will agree to charge everyone in Congress who voted for the war.

I was not in favor, and past wrongs do not excuse current crimes.

Try that excuse in a court of law and see how far it gets you.

Furthermore if you think Obama is not beholding to the Industrial Military Complex as much as any of the Presidents since Kennedy… you are sadly mistaken.

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Article comment by: John A. Bond

@ Jasmine Tea:

I am waiting for your condemnation of Bush II, the war criminal, and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney!

When are you going to call for the arrest, prosecutioin, conviction and imprisonment of Bush II, and Cheney for war crimes?

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Article comment by: M J

Re: Perhaps MJ could refute the fact? -
Hummmmm.... so you say.... "there was in fact a large increase in filings"

And THIS is the group of clowns you want in charge of enforcing obamacare??? Geeeee.... what do you think will happen when there is a 330 MILLION increase in fillings.....

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa is that really the best your side can come up with???? A kid who forgot to do his homework can come up with better LIE then that... and in a shorter amount of time!!!


Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: Jasmine Tea

Mr. Bond, if I had the LEGAL proof of Obama’s crimes, I would not be talking to you about it… I would probably be dead.

But let’s start with the lies, which are a good basis to have an independent counsel.

Obama’s statement in the speech at the Rose Garden after the attack: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for”

Note that he carefully avoided directly calling this attack a ‘terrorist attack”. This was as deliberate as his and Hillary adamantly blaming the attack on an American who made a you tube video… which he continued to do for two weeks, all the while knowing that it was false.

The Stand down order: This was made by him or someone with his blessing… why? They did not know how long the attack was going to last. Most experts say that for a stand down order of this magnitude can only come from the POTUS. Why won’t he tell us where he was that night?

Why wouldn’t he let the FBI in the compound for at least two weeks? These people are paid to be in dangerous situations… like combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan… apparently it was safe enough for reporters, what was he hoping not to find?

He said “justice would be swift” yet in December there was a video of the ringleader on the attack mocking the USA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6TvYUIvFj8&noredirect=1
Why don’t we arrest or kill him? Seems like dereliction of duty to me.

Now… compare this to his actions regarding the death of Bin Laden. He acts like he was with the team that killed OBL, at the very least he is gloating about it for months.

Furthermore the attackers on 9-11 at Benghazi were heard shouting “we are all Osamas” This is likely one of the main reasons for the attack… your man child POTUS bragging!

What kind of proof would it take for you to see this charlatan for what he is or rather do you even care?

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: Re, P F

P F,

When you know little or nothing about something, as you admit, it is prudent to keep quiet.

"T'is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

Damn P.F.
Isn't that calling the Kettle Black? It fits your statements to a "T"!!!

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: Perhaps MJ could refute the fact? -

Rather than side step the issue?

Thanks to the citizens united case there was in fact a large increase in filings for these 'charitable' tax exempt organizations... and while there were "liberal" groups as well- the majority were in fact conserva-tea party "named" organizations.

Here is your chance to really skewer a liberal with facts... please... proceed.


Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: M J

Re: For all MJ's protest -
It was because of "the huge spike in apps for 501-c's" your quote.
That was, without a doubt, the lamest excuse I have heard yet....
that excuse was paralyzingly stupid.

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: For all MJ's protest -

His logic does not pass the test

The huge spike in apps for 501-c's
Left the Bush appointed IRS man in the weeds

So it is simple math that tells the story
Sending MJ's theory down in a blaze of glory

If the largest part of your influx
Of groups used to hide donation bucks

Then they may get to the top of the list
No matter how hard MJ slams his fist

So move along to the next conspiracy
While MJ claims these words as heresy

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: John A. Bond

@ Danny Smith:

Your revisionist history concerning the resignation of Richard Nixon is duly noted.

You call Mr. Nixon's resignation "dignified". However, prior to his resignation, he appointed Gerald Ford to be his VP.

He extracted a promise from Gerald Ford to fully pardon him for all current and future criminal charges against him no matter what the source of those crimes might be.

Ford did keep his corrupt word and pardoned Nixon after his resignation allowing Mr. Nixon to avoid prosecution and conviction for his crimes.

You may deem that to be a "dignified" resignation, I do not. I call it corruption. He should have been held accountable for all of his crimes, including his culpability in the illegal war in camboia in contravention of US law.

The problem with neoconservative like you, Danny, is that your partisan hypocrisy blinds you to the truth about the culpapbility of war criminals like Bush II and Cheney.

I have never heard you call for the arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprionment of Bush II and/or Cheney for war crimes.

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013
Article comment by: M J

ABC News 5/17/2013
Sarah Hall Ingram, the Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit TARGETED tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.

Hummmm... she must have done a good job to be promoted like this...

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: John A. Bond

@ Jasmine Tea:

Apparently, you are incapable are reasoned thinking.

Watergate involved obstruction of justice by sitting US President who ]after learning of the Watergate burglars who were caught attempting to illegally wiretap the Democratic Committee Natinal Headquarters in the Watergate building] endeavored to cover up the crime.

He used a presidential "slush fund" to pay off the burglars to remain silent.

He got caught!

Now, tell us all the "crime" committed by President Obama before, during or after the fact.

Do you recall the Presidential debate in which candidate Romney accused the President of "covering up" the fact it was a terrorist act?

Do you recall President Obama interrupting Mr. Romney only to have Mr. Romney expand on his allegation?

Do you remember President Obama saying, "Please proceed."?

Mere days after the terrorist attack President Obama called it an "act of terrorism".

What precisely did he "cover up". Did he try to deny that our Ambassador had been killed? Did he do anything to prevent disclosure of the facts in the case?

No, he did not! The very best you can come up with this issue is incompetence by the US State Department.

If incompetence is the standard to be used to impeach a sitting US President for the incompetence of salaried, governmental employees, then Bush II, the war criminal, would have been impeached, too.

However, admittedly, in the case of Bush II, he is an admitted war criminal. He admitted he authorized torture in contravention of US and International law.

He even bragged about it. That was a war crime. That war crime is punishable under US and International, as a "crime against humanity".

If convicted by an international tribunal at the Hague, it would allow for the death penalty to be imposed.

However, Bush II, the war criminal has never been arrested, charged or prosecuted for his self-avowed war crime(s),

Neither he nor his co-conspirator [VP Dick Cheney] have been held to account for their war crmes.

More to the point, not one of the rabid neoconservative fanatics [you know who you are] have ever condemned Bush II for his war crimes or called for his arrest, prosecution and imprisoned for those war crimes.

The spirits of 2.9 million Iraqis murdered in the illegal Iraq war cry out for justice. Their lives were sacrificed for GREED in pursuit of OIL!

Now, tell me again about the alleged impeachable offenses of President Obama and provide facts not fantasy to support your allegations.

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: M J

Re: Mary Jane
There is a BIG difference....
insurance companies can not put me in prison...
the IRS can.
insurance companies do not have access to my tax records...
the IRS does.
insurance companies can not garnish my wages for not paying them...
the IRS can.

Hummmm.... let us try this out, shall we? Which one puts a chill up your spine.... some dude knocking on your door in a suit selling health insurance.... or some dude knocking on your door in a suit with an IRS badge?
And goin' by the example the IRS has set lately.... then what if they don't like my voting record - no health insurance? If I vote for the person they like - then I get my heart surgery? ........ good luck with them.... but no thanks.

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Once more the dead horse had been beat... -

The cooks left the kitchen from the heat
The guests have all left with nothing to eat
While the usual nom de' plumes hold the seat

One side howls for more red meat
While the others pray for their defeat

Wasted digital space all over the place
As it runs down their chins and face

Come on folks let the trolls be
Exit stage left and be free

Haters gonna' hate all day
No matter what you say
Day after day after day...

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

I have a question for all you mis-guided T-Baggers out there.

Iffin’ the Insurance industry thinks (or knows) they have the power to block and hinder health care for groups that they don't want to pay for……

Then what would stop them from skimming money from the health care system to enrich themselves and their stockholders at the expense of your life or the life of your loved one, like a mobster skimming money from a casino, if they (the IRS) don't have the power to enforce Obamacare?

Answer: Nothing takes precedence over profits, not even human life!

Why should I trust them? Why should anyone trust them?

Bottom line is There is no excuse in the world for letting the Insurance industry put their bottom line before yours!!!!!

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