Benghazi was a very dangerous city. The Red Cross had already pulled out, as had the UK. An American facility had already been attacked by a firebomb. Al Queda training camps were known to exist nearby. Despite this, the US consulate in Benghazi was left open and without sufficient security. Whatever security they had was outsourced to Libyan militias. Nor was there a plan of extraction. There were no military assets nearby to respond quickly. Over 600 separate requests from the American ambassador for additional security had been ignored.
The details of what happened that night are now fairly well known. The attackers at the consulate were able to penetrate the defenses very quickly. The Libyan security force that was in place to protect the Americans deserted their posts or joined the attacking force. Ambassador Stevens was gravely injured and later died, while Foreign Service officer Sean Smith died in the assault. Smith had typed a message to the director of his online gaming corporation that read, “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures”. Later that night, the attack continued at a nearby CIA compound. Two former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and others helped protect and evacuate about twenty administrative personnel from Consulate. These two men were eventually killed by mortars but not before killing 60 or so of the attacking force.
Why were over 600 separate requests for additional security ignored? How could Clinton not be aware of them? During the assault, a stand down order was given by a “senior CIA officer” … an order which was ignored by Tyrone Woods and Glen Dougherty. Who initiated this order and why?
After the assault and on the same night, Clinton emailed her daughter saying an Al Queda like group made the attack. The next day she told the Egyptian prime minister the same thing. However, the narrative given the American people for many days after the attack was that it was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over a video. Grieving family members were given the same lie. The lie was perpetuated on multiple talk shows that Sunday by National Security Advisor Susan Rice and by the President himself before the United Nations about 10 days later. There was no evidence whatever that a video inspired the attack, so who started the narrative and why? The Administration did not want it known that organized terrorists capable of threatening the interests the United Stated still existed in Libya. This would point to the failure of Clinton’s efforts there in 2011 and mock the Democrat’s slogan “Osama Bin Laden was dead … GM is alive and well”.
It was presented in the hearings that Clinton’s massive volume of emails showed her keen interest in Libya in 2011, but by 2012, her interest seems to have vanished. In her testimony to the American people, she claimed others were directly responsible for any security failures in Benghazi … yet to date, no person has lost their job or even a single paycheck over what happened.
After her testimony, the following comment was made in the media:
“As a matter of pure political theater, yesterday’s Benghazi committee hearing was a victory for Hillary Clinton and an overwhelming defeat for House Republicans,” write NBC’s Chuck Todd and Mark Murray. “The hearing was, in a word, boring. And that’s exactly what Clinton wanted,” Chris Cillizza declared. But I say NBC is wrong. The hearings were necessary to find out why four Americans had to die. To the extent such information became known, it was a victory for Americans seeking to know it.
For the media, the Benghazi hearings allowed Hillary Clinton sufficient “plausible deniability” of the absurd propositions that she was not personally aware of the need for additional security at the Benghazi consulate … or that she knew nothing of the “stand down” order … or that she was not personally responsible for perpetuating the lie about the video. For those who believe this, other nameless faces must bear the blame. Only for a biased media, supportive of her presidential bid, does such supposed “plausible deniability” constitute a “victory”.
She herself once asked “What difference does it make?” The answer to her question is that character, competence and integrity matter greatly in anyone seeking the office of President of the United States. God once offered the principle that in a free society citizens are to appoint “wise, understanding, and knowledgeable” leaders “in all your gates”. God warned against appointing a “stranger” to high office. A “stranger” might easily depart from the core values and traditions of the nation and introduce “alien” values and traditions. Our leaders must continue in the values that have strengthened us for generations, if we are to continue to thrive as a nation.
Two kinds of people were on display that night. The actions of high officials before, during, and after the attack in Benghazi show a systemic rejection of traditional American values. Their actions stand in stark contrast to the heroism and sacrifice of those who died that night in the service of their country. The hearings were a resounding success because, more than just telling us what happened, they clarified for the American people the character of the person who now seeks to be their president.
Will the American people elect her to be their leader? If they do, what will this say about our own character? Chairman Goudie said: “Understanding what went on in Benghazi goes to the heart of who we are as a nation”.
Knowing now what we know and for the same reason, so will the election of the next president.