Three Reasons Benghazi Still Matters

| May 19 2013
Christopher Cook

The House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee hearings about the September 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya have concluded. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the September 11, 2012 attack.

Supporters of Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say that the hearings, led by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), were nothing more than a partisan attempt to smear the current president and a likely Democratic contender in the 2016 election.

Whether you agree with that or not, here are three reasons why Benghazi still matters to all Americans.

1. We still don’t know what really happened.

The Benghazi attack marked the first time in “more than three decades” that a U.S ambassador was killed in the field. Yet after these hearings and the State Department’s own “accountability review,” we still don’t know why the consulate was so poorly protected and why the military didn’t or couldn’t respond in a timely fashion. Pleading incompetence or “the fog of war” isn’t an answer.

2. U.S. officials keep attacking free speech as the cause of the attack.

Even after it became clear that the YouTube video “The Innocence of Muslims” had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack, Hillary Clinton invoked it as the cause of the attack at a memorial service for the slain Americans. And President Obama told the United Nations that everyone should condemn “those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

3. We still don’t have a foreign policy in the Middle East – or anywhere else.

How does the murder of an ambassador to a country we helped liberate reflect on the way in which we got involved in Libya: President Obama dispatched forces without consulting Congress. As U.S. involvement in Syria and elsewhere heats up, the absolute lack of a coherent — much less constitutional – foreign policy will only lead to more tragedies both in the Middle East and throughout the world.

5 comments
phoenixlaw
phoenixlaw

I'll address just your third point:

You speak both of Libya and Syria.  Libya was handled badly and probably illegally by Obama, that's a given.  But Obama wasn't alone in his pursuit of Libyan regime-change.  John McCain and many other prominent Repubs were also fully on board. 

 

But just as badly as Obama and Co. botched the illegal Libyan war, W. Bush and Cheney started the mess in Syria, as far back as 2007, when Dick Cheney met in Washington with Lebanese proxies of the Syrian rebels to discuss implementation of US/Israeli support, via weapons and cash, to the Syrian regime-change effort. Thus, Bush/Cheney started the mess in Syria, and Obama has kept it going.  If it weren't so tragic, it would be almost humorous how, even though both the Dems and the Repubs have been in this whole mess in both Libya and Syria up to their necks since the beginning, now the Repubs are hell-bent on gaining some political advantage from the tragedy. 

Benghazi was one of al-Qaeda's main headquarters prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi, and NATO planes protected Benghazi from Gaddafi during the Libyan rebellion.  Al-Qaeda is now largely in control in Libya, including Benghazi.  The Wall Street Journal and others have confirmed that the US Consulate in Benghazi was mainly being used for a secret CIA operation which involved finding and procuring weapons and al-Qaeda fighters to send, via Turkey, to the Syrian effort.  Stevens became the official US liaison to the al-Qaeda linked Libyan opposition in March, 2011, and then transitioned into being in charge of the CIA mission to provide weapons and fighters from Libya to the Syrian regime-change effort.  Any effort to downplay or coverup what happened when Stevens was killed was almost certainly because the CIA - and the rest of the US government - was trying to keep an extremely low profile to protect its cover of this mission.  For the Repubs, into this sad, tragic mess up to their eyeballs, and every bit as much as the Dems, to now try to make political hay from this tragedy is almost ludicrouis.

 

The real question that everyone should be asking is why the US and Israel are so obsessed with more regime change in the Middle East.  Dems and Repubs alike have been just as heavily involved in these wars of aggression and regime change.  Why?

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @phoenixlaw (First, as info, those blockquoted points are Reason's, not ours).

 

You said:

 

"The Wall Street Journal and others have confirmed that the US Consulate in Benghazi was mainly being used for a secret CIA operation which involved finding and procuring weapons and al-Qaeda fighters to send, via Turkey, to the Syrian effort.  Stevens became the official US liaison to the al-Qaeda linked Libyan opposition in March, 2011, and then transitioned into being in charge of the CIA mission to provide weapons and fighters from Libya to the Syrian regime-change effort."

 

We have, of course, heard the same thing. So, if that information is out, then wouldn't it be only a matter of time before it becomes generally known?

 

phoenixlaw
phoenixlaw

Certainly, anyone who studies current events in the Middle East, and who understands who the players are  will know and understand this, but the every-day uninformed American neither really cares or understands what happens in the Middle East.  Such Americans get a steady diet of white-washed info from the media which tilts things either in favor of the Dems or in favor of the Repubs, and ignores the reality of what the US is really doing there.

If in fact, Obama and crew, including the CIA, tried to downplay or deny what really happened, it was a stupid decision - since the truth almost always comes out.  But for the Repubs to try to make this into a national crisis as they are doing is equally stupid, especially give the fact that they are as heavily involved in the Libyan/Syrian wars as are the Dems.  Attention should be focused on the bigger picture of how and why Stevens was doing what he was doing in the scheme of the whole US/ Israeli regime change agenda in the Middle East.  All of our leaders, from both sides of the aisle need to be held accountable for this mess we have created in the Middle East.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @phoenixlaw If it does become a generally KnownFact™, it's going to impact the current administration pretty significantly----whatever the culpability of others. That's just how things tend to work.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @phoenixlaw I am not categorically opposed to picking sides in every fight, but it must be extremely judicious, prudent, in our best interests, and with a clear end-game. And it is best if we can come in on the side of a more reliable entity. Few such conflicts exist.

 

In the case of Syria, I don't believe that Israel is pulling our chain the way you do, but I agree that it was a bad play.