Sunday, November 18, 2012

Say The Magic Words

I'm quite sure a whole lot of oxygen will be wasted on the Sunday blather hours about Benghazi.

I'm still trying to figure out what, precisely, has John McCain's and Lindsey Graham's panties in such a bunch.  My impressing is they are really really mad that UN Ambassador Susan Rice didn't go on television the Sunday following the attacks and screech, "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!  AL QAEDA!!!"

That's the scandal.

On Friday, former CIA Director David Petraeus went to Congress and said that the main points Rice hit in her explanation were vetted not just by his agency, but all the intelligence agencies investigating what happened.  While there was a growing consensus that the events of September 11 were more than just a spontaneous demonstration, there wasn't evidence enough to make any conclusive statement one way or another.

The President came out the day after the attacks and called them . . . acts of terror.

The US and Libyan law enforcement were working to find out who carried out the attacks, with an arrest made in Tunisia in October.

As actual events unfolded, and more definitive evidence came to light, it became clear that, whatever else was going on around the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, there was a concerted effort by a cell of terrorists working in that city to wreak havoc.  No one, as far as I know, is saying otherwise.

So, still, I wonder.

Do any of those carrying on about Benghazi actually read news papers or pay attention to what officials are telling the American people?  Because everything I just wrote is and has been out there for anyone to read.  It all came out before the election, so it isn't like it only emerged after so the news wouldn't hurt Pres. Obama.  And, since we're talking about that, how does an event that demonstrates a big intelligence failure as well as a lack of appropriate security for our officials, regardless of the specifics of the event, somehow help the President?  Even if no terrorist group had been involved, perhaps especially so, the killing of four Americans in this manner isn't exactly proof that the Obama Administration had it going on in a very dangerous part of the world.  Which isn't to say that the President, or anyone else, is directly responsible for their deaths, either.  All I'm saying is . . . well, there may be a scandal here, but it's more along the lines of allocation of resources and communication among intelligence agencies, rather than going on TV after the event and telling the world what we know based on evidence.

There has been a whole lot of talk that the President, or someone associated with him or his office, directly intervened to prevent some kind of military response.  Now, I have no idea if this is true, or if it is, why it's important because, honestly, I can imagine all sorts of reasons that might have occurred.  The thing is, there is nothing more than a bunch of unsubstantiated claims made by people who either cannot have any such knowledge or are not providing all the details.  The thing is - there's no real evidence that a military response was even planned.  There's no evidence that the people on the ground in Benghazi called for assistance, and if they did, none was sent.

I seem to be returning to a theme here: no evidence.

There's been a whole lot of speculation and questions usually beginning, "Isn't it possible . . .?"  To repeat myself: Even Santa Claus is possible.  Most such questions, however, are either unanswerable or contrary to available facts.

So, what this boils down to, again, is Ambassador Rice went on TV, saying things she was given by our intelligence agencies.

And that's wrong.  Unlike John McCain screaming that he doesn't have any information while missing a meeting at which he could ask questions of people directly involved so he could get answers.  And getting made at reporters who point this out to him.

As soon as actual evidence emerges that anyone in a position of authority did something wrong, I don't see a scandal or a cover-up.  All I see are morons who lost an election stomping their feet because they didn't get their own way.

Virtual Tin Cup

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