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Monday, October 19, 2015

If I was questioning Mrs. Clinton About Benghazi

My state department credentials are honestly acquired. I watch Homeland and Madam Secretary. Not to mention I have read spy novels my whole life. From "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" to all of Nelson DeMille, everything Leon Uris, most of John LeCarre, and of course Tom Clancy. I wanted to be a spy but aversion to pain precluded any serious involvement, I would have been more agent 99 than James Bond.

As you can see this resume qualifies me as a Benghazi committee member. Because of my extensive background any questions I have about the attack are appropriate and should be answered. Understand this is all very partisan....if you love Mrs. Clinton then you think this is much ado about nothing. If you are running against Mrs. Clinton then you think this is a way to derail her candidacy.

And if you are a frustrated spy like me you have questions, just actual questions. None of which have been answered because the other members engage in sound bites for the folks back home.

Let's start with my assessment of the situation. Libya is of course incredibly dangerous, but the United States has to have embassies everywhere. The Ambassador of Libya, Chris Stevens, asked for more security sometime during the summer as he could see things were deteriorating. At this same time President Obama was involved in his re-election campaign. Part of his platform was terrorism is on the run. The state department is like any bureaucracy, lots of maybe Ambassador Stevens request never made it to anyone who could really help him because the lower levels wanted the illusion of safety to continue. Could be. September 11, 2012 comes and the embassy is overrun with Islamic terrorists. The people inside were boxed in for hours and eventually the Ambassador and 3 others were killed. There are tons of details I am not privy to but I doubt a whole lot of people really know what occurred anyway. My sketchy explanation is about what you usually hear, right? I don't know how long the attack lasted, for some reason none of the people who were there have said a word. Not a word, and there are a lot of survivors. That seems odd. We have never had a clear idea of what really occurred there. Like a "Black Hawk Down" eye witness kind of thing.

Then it gets political.

Someone makes up a story that never sounded right to me. A cartoon like video mocking Mohammed made by a low level criminal (who is still in jail) stirred up some religious folks in Libya and they protested outside the embassy where it got out of hand. That was the story. Some guys walking by, got agitated and ended up burning down the embassy and killing the ambassador. No one I know believed it was a video. Or that it was a spontaneous riot. Not a person, not a democrat not a republican, no one.

That's my only question, "Why did you stay with that story, the video story, when you knew it wasn't true right from the start?"

I felt terrible for Susan Rice who got the short straw and had to go on every Sunday morning show and repeat the exact same "it was the video" story. I have told you what my credentials are, I can barely get dressed in the morning and I didn't believe it for a second.

Having an American Embassy overrun and the Ambassador killed looked bad during an election.
And it seemed most folks chalked it up to, "this is the way things are done".  Mrs. Clinton saying "what difference did it make?" at the first hearing is more true than not.

In fact what difference does it make? Does it matter to you that the entire Obama administration sited it was a video for weeks when they knew immediately it wasn't? Maybe not, what would have changed? What difference would it have made if they said it was Islamic militants?

It didn't matter to Mitt Romney who could have used it in his debate.

Several Republicans have proven "it doesn't matter" to them by admitting they see the committee as a way to disrupt Hillary Clinton's presidential bid and not really a way to find out what happened that night.

The only people this really matters to are the families of those men who were killed.

If it turns out Ambassador Stevens asked for more security and was turned down, that needs to be addressed. Protocol needs to be altered....right? No politics, just fix it. Danger occurs in every administration. Lives are lost all over the world in every administration. Ambassadors understand what they do is dangerous.

But why this crazy story when they knew it wasn't true? That is my only question.

I guess, the folks in power want to stay there and the folks out of power want to get there.

Is this about right?