Thursday, May 30, 2013

Republicans Benghazi Rage Not About National Security

You will be shocked, shocked I say, when you hear Politico's Mike Allen tell Charlie Rose that the reason Republicans are making an issue out of Benghazi is to damage Hillary Clinton's chances in 2016.
ALLEN: Privately, Republicans say that Benghazi probably wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for Hillary Clinton. Unlike the IRS...

ROSE: If this wasn't for her in 2016, this wouldn't be an issue?

ALLEN: Yeah, because it's something that people don't understand. Even the White House will tell you it's never going to be resolved to anyone's satisfaction, but there is going to be a real effort to make it last.

And when we're talking about these three controversies, we should remember, world event history tells us that world events can change everything. Somebody pointed out to me that if the Boston marathon happened next week, this would all look different.

ROSE: Right.

I wish there actually was a debate on improving security for diplomats and CIA operatives. Instead we are debating talking points. Mitt Romney was more concerned about whether or not President Obama called the Benghazi consulate attack an act of terror. Obama did label the attack an act of terror in a speech.

"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation."

If there were mistakes made by members of the Obama administration then those people should be held accountable. The problem is Republicans are more concerned about blaming the Obama administration for talking points that were partly crafted by disgraced CIA director David Petraeus. The same talking points Republicans asked Petraeus to give them.

Tas wrote a guest post on how difficult it is for U.S. official to move unseen in a place like Benghazi.

As for the Benghazi “scandal”, that attack happened at a time of protests in Muslim majority cities around the globe. There was absolutely no intelligence about an upcoming attack on a US consulate office in Libya’s second city. After all, usually it’s the embassy in a capital city that is targeted, not a minor office. We don’t even know if the Benghazi attack was planned ahead of time or just happened on the spot. I've lived in Cairo, so I’m familiar with how streets in Arab cities in Africa look; and there’s not a lot of opulence in those streets. If an American ambassador is driving into town in a rich American car, with security in tow, then the city residents can at least deduce that this is somebody important. There are a lot of weapons available in a country that just went through a civil war, and from there the only organizing that takes place is a couple of on the spot telephone calls and, bam, you have an attack.

That’s. It. There was no conspiracy to hide information about this attack because there was probably absolutely no information at all until it happened. And it happened at a time of global protests in Muslim cities, which was enough to make anyone question whether it was a protest gone awry or an attack. Period. End of story.

We do need to improve diplomatic security. Republicans don't care about that. If they did they wouldn't cut funding for diplomatic security. A person warning Republicans in 2011 about cutting diplomatic security was Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

Noting her own eight years in Congress, Clinton said she understands the tight fiscal environment and the need to trim spending. “But the scope of the proposed House cuts is massive,” she said. “The truth is that cuts of that level will be detrimental to America’s national security.”

This is why I don't take Republicans seriously on Benghazi.

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