“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?