The Scapegoats at State

“It’s not the military’s job to protect diplomats; it’s the host government’s.  But in the absence of a real government, we never asked the question, ‘So how do we do this?'”

A “senior Pentagon official” quoted in the NYT, “4 Are Out at State Dept. After Scathing Report on Benghazi Attack,” Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt

I am tired of these insulting and infuriating whitewashes like the Pickering-Mullen Benghazi report that merely create scapegoats without addressing the real issues and speaking the honest truth.  I’ve seen too many of these in my lifetime, going back to the Warren Commission.

The truth is that why they call a “diplomatic compound” in Benghazi was just cover for the extensive CIA operation there.  To explain why there were so many Americans running around, we had to pretend to have a diplomatic presence.  When you join the CIA, you know that if you get into trouble overseas, you’re probably on our own because you’re not supposed to be there.

The four State Department officials who have now lost their jobs had no control over the CIA’s activities in Benghazi.  They couldn’t adequately protect diplomats in countries like Libya that don’t have a real government.  It was up to officials above their pay grade to decide what our diplomatic and intelligence presence would be in both Tripoli and Benghazi, and how we would protect those people.

Ambassador Stevens probably shouldn’t have been in Benghazi at all, but he sure as hell shouldn’t have been there on 9/11.  He had many friends there, but he also knew it is one of the major terrorist centers in the world right now.

Why isn’t anyone complaining that the Pentagon’s Africa Command, which is responsible for Libya, is the only one of our commands without a Commanders’ In-Extremis Force (CIF), which is designed to send special forces quickly in an emergency?

The Benghazi Speech

I know the Prez is doing a press conference next Wednesday, but he really needs to do a speech about Benghazi.  It needs to be an air-tight, comprehensive speech that will stand up a month, six months, a year from now.  No drip, drip, drip.  He needs to explain exactly what happened, what went wrong, and what’s being done to fix it.  The White House should release documentation to supplement and back up the speech.

He will never have more good will from the American people than he has right now.

Having executed a brilliant campaign, I worry that his people will drift back into their first-term crappy communicating.

He needs to explain why the Africa Command (Africom), established in 2007 under Bush 43, was the only command not to have its own Commanders’ In-Extremis Force (CIF) and  had to rely on help from the European Command, which meant forces that were on a mission to Croatia.

As for the members of the GOP who have been critical of Benghazi, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, they had to have known that Africom didn’t have a CIF.  I’ve heard John Bolton rant about a lot of things on Fox News — why wasn’t he complaining about this?