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The Senate and Department of State have both released their final reports on the Benghazi incident. Even after reading the entire State Department and Senate Reports several questions remain unanswered and it looks like they will remain so. Nonetheless it is what is written between the lines to the informed observer that is as troubling as anything said in black and white.

Both reports give a blow by blow account of the events that lead up to the deaths as well as their immediate aftermath. Many initial news reports seem to have gotten many of the details wrong including the idea that the Ambassador was sodomized. There was simply no time it seems where that could of happened. The conjecture and false reports can be blamed on the fog that often accompanies incidents were much is unknown. What is not quite so understandable is what led up to the Benghazi tragedy and the attempted cover-up that followed. In these incidences the fog is not due to lack of information but deliberate and calculated misinformation.


In the months leading up to the attack on the consulate compound the warning signs were as Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy put it, “flashing red,” but still nothing was done. British diplomats had already been attacked and subsequently had left Benghazi. The CIA knew that many of the militias had radical affiliations and had known it since well before the fall of Gaddafi. That these groups had stores of western provided weapons was also no secret. It was also well known that these groups and others were competing for control of the city and surrounding areas and that the government in Benghazi was weak and ineffectual. Even the most rank amateur would of understood the situation was untenable, let alone intelligence and security personnel who have made a career of studying such things.

The fact is that beyond any doubt and despite all claims to the contrary this was not a intelligence failure. Everyone knew the situation and knew how dangerous it was. The fact that radicals had attacked and driven out the British alone signaled the U.S. was next. The preponderance of evidence was overwhelming and the danger signals too clear to miss. The attack that happened on 9/11 was not only predictable it was preordained. To claim that when the inevitable happened it was somehow a failure of intelligence is blatantly false. The CIA might of not have known the exact hour an attack would happen but they knew it would.


The failure to protect the Ambassador and his entourage is at the center of the tragedy. One thing is for certain, it was not for a lack of trying. The fact is within the ranks of government there are no more dedicated personnel than those to whom peoples security is entrusted. This is true whether you are talking Diplomatic Security, DOD (the Department of Defense) or even Intelligence. These are folks who live and are even willing to die to protect others. No one who has ever spent time with these folks would not argue that this is a fact beyond dispute.

The plain truth is those charged with providing security for consulate were not given the support they needed from Washington. For the uninitiated the claims that there was a breakdown at the top seems reasonable. That calls for security would go unheeded by career bureaucrats probably has many shaking their heads and recalling their own experiences with government ineptness. In reality security is given nearly carte blanche to do their job. If they say no, it is no. For them to be overruled is rare and not done lightly. In fact for security to be overruled in the State Department it takes someone at the highest level to do so and by so doing they take on the responsibility for anything that happens. In this case not only did Diplomatic Security declare the situation unsafe and in need of vast improvement so did DOD. That the security was denied was extraordinary in every sense.

Finally it should be noted that an Ambassador, although head of the kingdom in an embassy, does not always have final say. His whims are often served but his word is not law. An Ambassador can’t alone do things that go against security or safety.  In the case of security the RSO (Regional Security Officer) is king. That they went into the hotbed that night was not because they believed it safe (obviously they knew it was not) nor because they were lax. That they escorted the Ambassador in person and with weapons are indicative that they were on an assignment that someone above the Ambassador had said must be done.

The State Department

Leading up to the attack those working in the top floors of the Harry S. Truman building were making fateful decisions. Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy said the situation was flashing red and without a doubt those at the top knew this. In fact from the reports it is known the security question had made it up to the seventh floor, the Secretary of State’s office.

For those that work in this arena it is known that the ship of state is steered by policies and directives both written and unwritten. That if one wants to keep his job there are certain lines not to be crossed. That the extraordinary step of denying security even when both Diplomatic Security and DOD were requesting it meant that one of these lines was not allowing it. This is reinforced by the resignation dog and pony show paraded out on the release of the State Department report. None of the so called resignations have so far resulted in loss of jobs (loss of titles but little else). A clear indication that those in charge are just seeking political cover for what was obviously a matter of policy.

The Executive Office

In the aftermath politics seemed to be in the driver seat. Even though the CIA said from the beginning this was a terrorist attack and not due to some obscure video, the official response was the opposite. Ambassador Rice was curiously picked to go out and spread the lie that Benghazi was just a protest turned riot. Acting as though the public should accept that in the Middle East bringing grenade launchers and machine guns to protests was somehow normal. Of course it was not, that she promoted such an outlandish idea in such a public fashion can only mean her lies were sanctioned from on high. Her excuse has been that her comments were based on strategically edited (or, more appropriately, doctored) talking points. The truth is her subterfuge had to have been spoon fed by the office of the President. A fact reinforced by her and the President’s perfectly choreographed dance of deception in the first couple of weeks following the tragedy.

Just as with the Secretary of State’s office had its patsies, the Executive office had its scape goats too. First it was the CIA that was set to take the fall but when that failed James Clapper was marched out to claim he edited the CIA talking points (that he had denied doing so under oath before the Senate earlier did not seem to matter) Of course there were no consequences for Clapper, he was just doing his job. The truth is the public will never know whether Clapper or someone else edited the talking points but as to who ordered the changes there should be little doubt.


Benghazi is a tragedy of politics over common sense; if anything is abundantly clear in all of this it is that. An example of what happens when those in power attempt to bend reality to fit a world view and/or political agenda.

The lack of security or even the decision to keep the consulate in Benghazi open was a political one. If not by the Secretary herself, by the framework of directives she implemented (likely at the Presidents direction). The attempt to frame the attack as a protest that got out of hand was the President’s and the President’s alone. No one else could of directed such lies to be told on such a grand scale.

The final act of this tragedy is one of the worst. The President’s incredulous claim of ignorance and his seemingly successful attempt to make seeking justice look like a political witch hunt means justice will likely never be served. The lies and deceit used as cover for those truly at fault has left the sacrifices of those who died that day somewhat emptier. They deserved better from their government and so did the American people.

“The Conservative Mind”

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The Senate Report Benghazi Report Can be Read Here

The State Department Report on Benghazi can be Read Here