September 30, 2012
WAPO Attacks: Benghazigate?
Evidence is growing that the death of four American officials in Benghazi, including a charismatic and talented ambassador, came at a time when appropriate security procedures and precautions were not being taken. That at least is the burden of this story in the Washington Post, a story that few in the White House will enjoy reading.
As reporters Ernesto Londoño and Abigail Hauslohner put it:
U.S. officials appear to have underestimated the threat facing both the ambassador and other Americans. They had not reinforced the U.S. diplomatic outpost there to meet strict safety standards for government buildings overseas. Nor had they posted a U.S. Marine detachment, as at other diplomatic sites in high-threat regions.
The article only gets more damning; in a paragraph that must have raised blood pressure from Pennsylvania Avenue to Foggy Bottom to the Obama election HQ in Chicago, the Post reports that:
Insecurity has beset Libya since the country’s civil war ended in October 2011 with Gaddafi’s dramatic execution. Militias have been reluctant to disband or surrender weapons. After the U.S. Embassy formally reopened in Tripoli last fall, the U.S. military’s Africa command dispatched a team to help build its security infrastructure. The troops, however, were never assigned to bolster security at the site in Benghazi, said Eric Elliott, a spokesman for the Africa command. Elliott and the State Department could not say why.
There is more. The office in Benghazi was neither an embassy nor a consulate; it was a “liason office” and so did not come under the rules and regulations governing larger and more formal American installations overseas. Yet there was plenty of evidence that the threats in the area were substantial and were growing:
Security in eastern Libya deteriorated sharply in recent months. A string of attacks, some linked to fundamentalist groups, made clear that Westerners were no longer safe. The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended operations and evacuated staff in the east after an attack June 12 on its compound in the port city of Misrata. In Benghazi, convoys transporting the U.N. country chief and the British ambassador were attacked in April and June, respectively. The British government shut down its consulate soon afterward.
The U.S. outpost had a close call of its own June 6, when a small roadside bomb detonated outside the walls, causing no injuries or significant damage. But the Americans stayed put.
Even so, the American response was minimal:
Instead of signing a costly security contract similar to those the government has for facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, the State Department this summer awarded a contract to Blue Mountain, a small British security firm, to provide local guards at the Benghazi compound. The year-long contract, which took effect in March, was worth $387,413, a minuscule sum for war-zone contracting. Blue Mountain and the State Department declined to comment for this article.
It’s clear — as it always is when something goes this horribly wrong — that serious mistakes and misjudgments were made, and no doubt both the executive branch and the Congress will poke in the ashes until we have a pretty good idea what went wrong and how we can prevent a repetition.
But over the years I’ve spent my fair share of time with American diplomats in some tricky places, and there is always a tug of war between prudence and the desire of diplomats — often our best and most dedicated diplomats — to get out there in the field and meet the people face to face. After all, we send diplomats abroad to engage, not to hide behind concrete walls, and people who are serious about their mission are always pressing the security officials to give them more room to interact more freely and spontaneously outside the embassy walls. I once visited a madrasha in Pakistan, and the powers that be insisted that there be a squad of armed special police with automatic weapons in the room at all times.
I have to say that I thought that my message of peace and friendship was a little undercut by the presence of so much heavy metal in the room and would have preferred to take my chances with the kids, but security officers are constantly balancing risks. They aren’t omniscient, and they make mistakes.
The problems in Benghazi, though, seem to lie deeper. There was a failure to connect the dots: the deterioration of the security situation in eastern Libya was marked and ongoing, and the liaison office in Benghazi was exactly the kind of soft, prominent target that would draw the wrong kind of attention. And while all the facts aren’t in, one gets a persistent sense that the bad guys knew entirely too much about what was going on there.
The press has started digging now, and it won’t stop until it reaches bottom. The problem for the administration is that the hole keeps getting deeper, and we don’t seem to have touched bottom yet. Some of the trouble may be that the State Department and the White House haven’t finished their own investigations yet, which makes it hard to give convincing answers to reporters. But this doesn’t look any prettier the more of it we see, and it doesn’t reinforce the image of calm competence that the administration was hoping to project as the election draws near.
This story gets no traction. People are tired of Arabs, and Arabia, and are more interested in who can get the country back to work.ReplyDelete
It appears Obama is incapable of doing either.
Who would that be? The Dims want to keep all the useful idiots down the plantation. Keep giving them free stuff.ReplyDelete
Obama kept the auto industry working - and he's created more jobs than did Bush.ReplyDelete
Obama kept the Tire Industry working, and the Solar Panel Industry. And, the Steel Pipe Industry.ReplyDelete
And, the Wind Tower Industry.ReplyDelete
Of course, Romney was AGAINST all of that.ReplyDelete
In fact, If I'm not mistaken, there have been more jobs created since the bottom than was created in the entire 8 years of the Bush Presidency.ReplyDelete
Well, gee, when you put it that way I guess the guy is doing a bang-up job.
Of course, I had heard that unless you are creating 150,000 jobs a months you are not really keeping up with population growth or cutting down on the number of unemployed. Also, average hours worked per week is still pretty miserable. And, of course, average hourly earnings are also down. And the labor participation rate is still hovering around 63%. Of course, unemployment was down to about 8.1% (Obama's new normal?) or 12.5 million. But then, 40% of those unemployed were considered long term unemployed. And then add in another 8 million or so who are working part-time not by choice. And you also have to add a few million long-term who were discouraged and have stopped looking for work.
Yep, things are looking good.
Of course, they did just revised August GDP down from 1.7% to 1.3% and are revising the full year GDP estimate.
But then the stock market is up.
Of course, there is a pretty large consensus that expects business earnings to drop during the fourth quarter.
But your point about jobs was a good one.
And, I love how Dems always say 'since the bottom'.
However, CNN fact-checked that claim and found it to be "not the whole picture." Instead, CNN found that there has been a net increase of just 300,000 nonfarm payroll jobs since Obama took office. And if you count government jobs, there are actually 400,000 fewer people working today than in January 2009.
But as you say, don't worry, be happy.
I thought your whole idea was that we needed to cut gummint jobs.Delete
Vote the way you want, Q, but I'm convinced that things would be many, many times worse if the guy I voted for had gotten elected.
Of course, it hasn't helped that the pubs have blocked Obama's Jobs Bills, even the bill to help Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans find jobs.ReplyDelete
I got news for youse guys, it's not the Dems that want to keep you "down on the plantation."ReplyDelete
I got news for ya buddy..Delete
the democrats fought civil rights every step of the way
Obama is lazy. He missed this. Had Bush done so, there would be MSM-generated hell to pay. But because we have one of the most dishonest and corrupt press of any modern industrialized country, Obama will get a pass until the shadow -media, of which we are proud members, gets their attention.ReplyDelete
Pitch a bitch.
Since 2008, World Crude + Condensate Production has grown 1.58 Million bbl/day. Over 2/3rds of that has come from an Obama-led United States of America (1.11 mbbl/day.)ReplyDelete
Add in the roughly 1 million bbl/day of ethanol brought online, and the fact that we've managed to cut our oil use by 4.5 million bbl/day (while actually accomplishing a modicum of growth,) and it becomes apparent that the United States, under Barack Obama, has pretty much, single-handedly, kept the world out of an out-and-out Depression.
A minor consulate in Libya? "Obama" didn't miss that. Somebody way, way down the line missed thatReplyDelete
(my vote would be that the dead Ambassador would be the one that missed it - and, unfortunately, paid the ultimate price.)
A minor consulate in Libya, and you forgot to mention there were 'only' four dead Americans.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
so what if the ambassador was raped before being snuffed out? it's just a bunch in the road.Delete
I remember when the President used to say the buck stops here... Now we have President Blameshifter..
or is that President Shiftless?
What I meant, Quirk, is that the President of the United States doesn't, personally, supervise the security arrangements for U.S. Consulates.ReplyDelete
As I said, our authority in that country was the Ambassador. I would have to put the responsibility for Security on his shoulders.
The responsibility for the US diplomatic missions, in foreign lands lies with the Ambassador. Unless he is given directive from Foggy Bottom.ReplyDelete
That is the reality.
Mr Stevens knew the risks, wikileaks published the memo he wrote outlining the danger brewing in that part of Libya.
I posted articles from State as well as from other publications showing who was responsible for security at US embassies. You miss the point. The security failures were the responsibility of the Obama administration just as the initial story was their responsibility, whether due to incompetance or cover-up.
You talk as if the Ambassador is king of some foreign country. Whether it was Obama, Hillary, the RSO, the Ambassador, or someone else, it is still the responsibility of the Obama administration. Obama appointed the ambassador. The guy's been around a long time. He's been thoroughly vetted and they new what they were getting.
If the guy was such a cowboy, how do you justify putting the live of so many people, military and civilian, in his hands? Security at the mission was the responsibility of the RSO. It is ridiculous to believe he was unaware of the warnings that were out or that he wouldn't have recommended tighter security to the Ambassador given it was 9/11.
Blame who you want. To say it wasn't a major mistake on the part of someone in this administration, well...
It used to be, "The buck stops here". Now it's terrorists or even a movie to blame. Or, as you now say, the Ambassador.
It used to be Bush.
I am quite sure that Mr Stevens did not call Mr Obama to tell him he was traveling to Bengahzi and not taking a adequate security detail with him.Delete
He didn't have to. There was a process in place. Either the process was flawed or not adherred to or Stevens went off the reservation. Either way, the FUBAR was the responsibility of the administration.
Yet, initially we heard it was all the responsibility of some American Copt and his 14 minute cartoon.
You haven't a clue what Stevens' RSO told him or what Stevens told the RSO in response. And based on the current performance by the White House, State, and the CIA it is unlikely we will have any of that info until Wikileaks comes out with the next round of dispatches.
As to Mr Obama and job creation, this is not the Socialist nir ana you all imagine it to be.ReplyDelete
The president does not run the business cycle of the US.
Mr Ryan has been in charge of that branch of the government, since 2010.
And, they've been shooting down Obama's Jobs Bills left and right - even the relatively inexpensive, paid for Veterans Jobs Bill.Delete
They didn't want to give him a "positive talking point" for his campaign.
Where do you come up with this stuff, rat?
Ryan runs the business cycle of the US? I'm assuming that was a typo.
To a legitimate point, of course, Obama doesn't run the business cycle but he is sure willing to take credit for it if there is some way to spin the data in a positive way. When you can't spin the negatives? Well then, not so much. Then it is Bush or the GOP to blame.
The man has been in office for four years. He's spent billions on stimulus.
Where's the beef?
Ryan runs the Federal bodget. All spendi.g legislation originates with him. If any Fed has responsibility for the economy and its state. It is Mr RyanDelete
Well, at least, you now recognize Ryan doesn't control the business cycle.
However, you still give him too much credit.
The budget process starts with the president and ends with the president. Each year, he submits a budget proposal for the following fiscal year.
That proposal is then reviewed by the Budget Committee. They project 'under existing law' what the dollar cost of the budget will be for the next 10 years. They then split and allocated the 'proposed' money among the various legislative committees by means of the budget resolution.
It is the committees of the House and Senate that determine how their share of the budget resolution will be actually spent. The Budget Committee is not responsible for spending one dime.
Likewise, when a final budget proposal is finalized, it is submitted to the President who has the power to accept or veto it. If he vetos it, the proposal is sent back to Congress and in the absence of a veto overide, the process starts over.
Ryan is basically a policy wonk. He is influential in setting policy; however, his job is to look at existing law and the budget proposals submitted to him, determine the costs, and then divide the pot, again within the constraints of existing law, to the appropriate committees. He is not responsible for any specific legislation. That's the responsibility of the various legislative committees.
Without breaking from its farce, Onion Editor Will Tracy wrote in an e-mail that Fars is a subsidiary and has been "our Middle Eastern bureau since the mid 1980s, when the Onion's publisher, T. Herman Zweibel, founded Fars with the government approval of the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini.ReplyDelete
Anything to deceive:ReplyDelete
The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors Friday afternoon, reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration.
The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffstied to sequestration cuts. But a few contractors, most notably Lockheed Martin, said they still were considering whether to issue the notices — which would be sent out just days before the November election.
But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.
The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.
Senate Republicans, who accused the White House of trying to hide job losses after the first guidance, said Friday that the new OMB statement “puts politics ahead of American workers.”
“The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement. “The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.”
The fight over WARN Act notices began in June when Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens said his company might send the notices to all 123,000 of its employees.
Some companies were hesitant to follow Lockheed, but several others told McCain in letters earlier this month they might send the notices, too, despite the Labor Department guidance.
But the new guidance would appear to address one of the chief concerns from the companies — that they could be liable to compensate employees who were laid off if the companies don’t issue the notices.
The GOP senators complained, however, that this tactic would push the cost of the layoffs onto taxpayers.
A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman told The Hill that the company is still reviewing the documents.
Locheed still smarting over the F22.ReplyDelete
Bet General Dyhnamkics plays ball?
In fact, If I'm not mistaken, there have been more jobs created since the bottom than was created in the entire 8 years of the Bush Presidency.ReplyDelete
Happy Days Are Here Again. But perhaps you would be even happier in a place called the Donkey Bar?
I know where I'm "happy." Some others I could name haven't always been able to say the same.Delete
Rasmussen reports ...ReplyDelete
Romney @ 47
Nat Gas at $3.42ReplyDelete
UP 78% from the "Rufus Low." :)
Moving rapidly towards that $20 projected for February.
Better go back and look; I didn't predict $20.00 for Feb. I did, however, say that nat gas could get to $20.00 (and, it could.)Delete
Very few people that bought nat gas at $1.92 would object to a 78% gain in less than 6 months, I think.
I don't need to go back, Ruf. I have totall recall.
Suggest you might want to go back.
I admit I used the '$20 by February' for effect. In fact, you did come back a couple months after that initial prognostication and state that it could reach $15 within a year. That would put it at $15 by about July. We can revisit it at that time.
Well, you're obviously ahead of me. I can't remember what I had for breakfast, and it's only 10:04 AM.Delete
In the real world, although the last couple of nat gas spikes have topped out around $15.00, the rapidity with which shale production could, conceivably, be ramped up might argue for caution around $6.00 or $7.00.Delete
T-Boone was saying last night on the radio, people like Rufus forget that 70% of the oil use in the world is for transportation.Delete
We, and the world, are going to be using oil for a long long time.
Please don't respond to this Rufus, it wasn't my intent to get you up on your soap box again.
T-Boone seems big on natural gas.
Also, reading Campbell late last night, I came on some stuff about how and why our society is falling apart. I'll bore you with it when I get the time.
And he was writing this back in the seventies.
Before we started to open the recently opened US Resort of Absurdity, with B-Ho at the helm.
The Ambassador died in service to the Obama foreign policy, which Ruf mentioned as an Obama strength.ReplyDelete
Hell of a way to die, for nothing, then get buggered too, if those reports are so.
His diary said he was fearful for his life, and the lives of his employees.
B-Ho took off after the incident to Vegas, and the golf course.
He is going to Vegas so much, one wonders if they think Nevada might be in play.
The Republican seems to be winning the Senate race there.
When is B-Ho going to give us a program to get us out of his mess?
Just keeps saying he needs more time.
Over the cliff.
Every day we read of some new incompetence by B-Ho. Now it is coming out that there is a lot more to this Fast and Furious stuff than we knew before.
Brilliant foreign policy move there, too, by B-Ho.
Rufus must approve.
Bob, I'd be more concerned about One dead Marine in Afghanistan than I would be fifty dead Ambassadors. That guy knew he was in a dangerous spot, and drove with minimal protection to Benghazi on his own initiative.ReplyDelete
I'm concerned about our guys in Afghanistan. Bush put'em in there, and cared so much about them that he forgot to put them in the budget one year. "Ambassadors" are so far down my give-a-shit list that they have to look up to see Kim Kardashian, and Justin Beiber.
Give me a break, Rufus.Delete
You and B-Ho own Afghanistan now, and have for the last for years.
I believe it was #4 on your list of reasons to vote for B-Ho --Foreign Policy.
He ran on the idea it was 'the necessary war', if you recall.
The truth is B-Ho couldn't give a small shit even about the deaths of Marines or Ambassadors.
Just a 'bump in the road', he said.
I must go register voters now.
Have a good one, everyone.
And, American Thinker readers would have to look up to see the French Ambassador's ass.Delete
No, you're misrepresenting, again. I support BHO because he ended the war in Iraq, and is getting OUT of Afghanistan. I've said for years that Afghanistan is an unwinnable goatfuck.Delete
You might as well just go get a beer. Ohieyo is a lost cause.Delete
B-Ho has lied about the Benghazi attack for 15 straight days --ReplyDelete
Nat Gas at $3.42ReplyDelete
We're about to get a 15 pct cut in gas rates in Washington. Power bills down six bucks on average. Alleluia, thank God for fracking.
I agree, frackin' is a good deal (temporarily,) for the country; but you can't frack for $3.42.Delete
"Ben Bernanke listens to his critics.ReplyDelete
The Federal Reserve chairman’s speech Monday to the Economic Club of Indiana in Indianapolis is a response to the firebombs that are routinely hurled at the Fed.
Mr. Bernanke takes a stand against the most common criticism of Fed policy: that all the central bank’s money printing will cause inflation.
Fair question, Mr. Bernanke says. But the Fed’s quantitative easing policies don’t actually flood the economy with billions in cash, he notes. The Fed actually creates electronic credits at banks to buy financial assets, and the banks have been hoarding these credits rather than pumping out loans. The money supply hasn’t grown that quickly, Mr. Bernanke said."
oy vay, the banks are hoarding the credits - no wonder why business sucks!