The Benghazi Attack

(Note: This is a “working post” that was not actually intended to be published yet. I’ll come back and add links to it over the next 24 hours or so.  There are many differences in the story as it evolved — for example, the flown-in six-man (or seven-man) SpecOPs team that was talked about on September 12 seems to have dropped from the narrative published later.)

We’ve learned a great deal (and had to unlearn many early “facts”) about the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya during which the US ambassador was killed along with three other Americans.  Not much of this appears on the news anymore, but there are many troubling aspects. Among them:

Prior to the attack:

  •  Apparently Hillary Clinton personally approved the reduction of US military protection of the Benghazi consulate a few months before.
  • Despite repeated requests and warnings from the staff to their State Department superiors, the security force was removed the month before.
  • The person in charge of that removed security force was adamant that it should have stayed.
  • Repeated warnings of deteriorating conditions there did not affect this removal.
  • Attacks on the consulate had occurred over the previous few months, including a small bomb thrown into the compound.
  • Ambassador Stevens had received death threats, and had changed his schedule to try to reduce the risk.
  • The ambassador’s own journal revealed other threats and concerns in the days prior to September 11.

The attack itself:

  • There were no video protests reported at the consulate just prior to the attack taking place; at 8:30pm local, things were “calm.”
  • The attack came in force, and was organized, and the attackers sought out Stevens who had gone to the “safe room.”
  • They set the building with the safe room on fire, and apparently drove Stevens out.
  • Ambassador Stevens was apparently taken from the compound, and hours later was brought to a local hospital where he died.
  • The arrival, by plane, of a team of six (or seven) SpecOps soldiers was enough to cause the attackers to flee, suggesting that a greater on-site presence would have been enough to stop the attack. (Note: This group disappeared from later reports.  It seems to have been part of the much-garbled narrative, though that’s not clear yet.)
  • A timeline has just been published — with some details previously “established” now omitted.

Post-attack descriptions:

  • The State Department apparently never considered this attack (which occurred on the 9/11 anniversary) to have anything to do with a video.
  • The president of Libya stated publicly that this was a planned attack, not a protest, and that the video had “nothing to do” with it.
  • The Obama administration apparently decided to use this story anyway, despite the lack of evidence and contrary statements from State.
  • Even after the Obama administration was officially informed that it was a planned attack, not a protest, he continued to have his people propagate the false story to media outlets.
  • Obama’s UN speech, weeks later, still carried references to this video as being the “cause” of the attack.
  • He referred to this video in that UN speech in his famous comment “the future must not belong to those who insult the Prophet of Islam.” (It would have been worse had he added “peace be upon him.”)

Joe Biden, in the debate last night, told a story completely at odds with sworn testimony from the State Department. I’m not usually on their side, but the evidence suggests that Joe Biden was lying last night about this, too.

It occurs to me that a video cannot “cause” people to attack and kill others; those people each make that decision individually.

But another factor is evident here — the State Department and the rest of the Obama administration making bad decisions, then fabricating another story to cover up these bad decisions.  If it was really a video that no one could have anticipated, then “no president, not me, not anyone” could have solved the problem.  But if Obama’s team made a stupid decision to remove our military protection from a country run by jihadists (that we actively put in power!), then this cover up became “necessary” to keep the bad decision out of the public eye.

Keeping it out of the public eye is not quite working. News sources had carried the video controversy angle, but when the duplicity surfaced, they instead jumped on Mitt Romney’s 47% comment. But now it’s getting so bad, so large in the blogosphere, and coming from so many sources that you’d have to be the New York Times not to do something significant with the story.

(To be updated…)

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle