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?

Quotes of the Day

“We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got, and some that we didn’t get, concerning evidence that was overwhelming leading up to the attack on our consulate.”

Sen. John McCain after meeting about Benghazi with Ambassador Susan Rice, who was accompanied by Michael Morell, acting director of the CIA.

Senators Lindsey “Butters” Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) also were there, so the GOP had the gay and female demographics covered.

Butters said, “The bottom line is that I’m more disturbed than I was before.”

This meeting was supposed to smooth the way for Obama to nominate Rice as Secretary of State.  Looks as if O still has a fight on his hands.

Obama needs to address Benghazi himself.

Another Shoe Drops

The woman whom Paula Broadwell warned to stay away from Gen. Petraeus is an unpaid social planner at McDill Air Force in Tampa.  Gen. Petraeus was head of Central Command (“Centcom”), based in Tampa, from 2008 to 2010.

Kelley says that she and her family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for five years.

Just a Little Defensive Over at State

From an email exchange* between Michael Hastings at BuzzFeed and Hillary’s personal spokesman, Philippe Reines.  This is Hastings to Reines:

“From my perspective, the scandal here is that the State Department had such inadequate security procedures in place that four Americans were killed. And then the Ambassador’s diary–and who knows what else–was left behind for anyone to pick up. Thankfully, it was CNN–and not Al Qaeda or some other militia–that found it and was able to return it to the family. That CNN used portions of the material in the diary they found at the scene–material that appears to contradict the official version of events that State/WH has been putting out–is completely in line with practices of good journalism.

“I don’t know how involved Arwa Damon has been in this. But for what it’s worth, Arwa is one of the best war correspondents working today. She’s consistently risked her life to get these stories, and to find out what actually happens in these conflict zones.I do agree that the media has lots of responsibilities, and CNN fulfilled its responsibility by returning the diary while still managing to inform the American public of newsworthy information. So it’s unfortunate that you are trying to make a scapegoat out of CNN. That State was forced to flee Benghazi–again, because of such inadequate security, leaving behind all sorts of sensitive information–tells us more about DoS than CNN.

“The misinformation here seems largely to be coming from State and the administration. The defense that the administration has offered that there was no intelligence warning of an attack is weak. If there was no intel, then clearly the CIA and other intel agents stationed in Benghazi weren’t doing their jobs well. If there was intel, then we have some kind of cover-up–whether out of incompetence or ass covering before the election or just the trauma of losing four good men, it’s hard for me to say at this point.
”

Reines really loses it with Hastings, calling him an “unmitigated asshole,” telling him to “Fuck Off,” and finally advising him that “Inside of 5 minutes when I can log into my desktop, you’ll be designated as Junk Mail.  Have a good life Michael.”

* “Hillary Clinton Aide Tells Reporter to ‘Fuck Off’ And ‘Have A Good Life,'” BuzzFeed