American Elephants

Further Thoughts About Benghazi: by The Elephant's Child

Why were so many who wanted to go to the aid of our people under attack in Benghazi told to “Stand down?” Who gave those orders? Excuses, there are plenty of excuses. We didn’t have enough information. There wasn’t time. We didn’t have the right assets. it was too far. We didn’t know who was attacking. We needed more information. We couldn’t put more people at risk. Rescuers couldn’t have reached them in time. Who knew that the attack would go on so long. Woods and Doherty had been told to stand down. We thought it was just a protest that would die out. How were we to know when the attack started — how long it would go on?

We didn’t know. That’s not the point. The point is that we didn’t even try.


Nothing to See Here — Just Move Along. by The Elephant's Child

Fox News: Benghazi, New Revelations by The Elephant's Child

Here’s the complete Fox News coverage to date of the Benghazi scandal as it is known so far. Lots to learn yet, but people are angry, especially the nation’s military families and veterans who now know that their government may not “have their backs.” Political expedience trumps all.

Take the time when you can to watch the whole thing. We need to be well-informed on this scandal, for in a cover-up there always are designated fall guys and attempts to shift blame. This can’t ever happen again.

The Benghazi Scandal Is Like Peeling A Rotten Onion: by The Elephant's Child

The story gets uglier, the questions larger and more insistent. Over at National Review in the Corner, David French had an apt metaphor:”Benghazi is like peeling an increasingly rotten onion. Each layer is fouler than the last.”

He adds”Our embattled diplomats literally had the enemy in their sights, we had military assets in range, and not only were air strikes denied but special operations was told to wait. We abandoned our people, left them to die.”

An editorial at Investors pulls no punches:

Despite real-time video, emails to the White House and desperate cries for help, our defense secretary says we didn’t send rescue forces to our Benghazi consulate because we didn’t know what was going on.

In a statement bordering on the Kafkaesque, Leon Panetta told a news conference Thursday that four Americans, including our Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens, were left to die without a rescue attempt by nearby U.S. military forces because there’s “a basic principle here, and the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place.”…

Excuse us, Mr. Secretary, but your administration had a drone over the consulate on Sept. 11, and you and President Obama had a meeting that included Vice President Joe “Nobody Told Us” Biden in the Oval Office at 5 p.m. Washington time, a little more than an hour after the onset of the attack. There were at least 50 minutes of real-time video of the attack as the battle was sent streaming directly to the Situation Room in the White House.

Real-time emails were also pouring into the Situation Room detailing that 20 armed terrorists were attacking our Benghazi consulate, that Ambassador Stevens was crouched in a safe room waiting for help as the al-Qaida terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia was taking credit for the attack. Most claims of responsibility for a terrorist attack come days after the event. This was, as they say, in “real-time.”

Read the whole thing here. Fox News update of their outstanding timeline report ‘Special Report’ Investigates Benghazi—New Revelations: Watch on Sunday @3PM and 10PM ET. You will notice that the watchdogs of the mainstream media aren’t covering Libya. There are more and more questions, and when cover-ups get white-hot, the search for answers gets more persistent. As they say: the truth will out.

Fox News’ Authoritative Timeline of Events in Benghazi by The Elephant's Child

Politics, statecraft, avoidance, security, cover-ups, falsehoods and the word that must never be uttered — terrorism. The raid that killed bin Laden was to be the great accomplishment of Obama’s first term. With bin Laden’s death and the president’s “kill list” for drone strikes, the administration has assumed that al Qaeda was greatly diminished and no longer a major concern.

But that isn’t true. The widely heralded “Arab Spring” was not a matter of the Arab states of North Africa suddenly deciding that they wanted to be peaceful democracies. That delusion has done incalculable damage. Governments make mistakes, misread events, and fail to understand movements, History bears witness to error.

But real lives are at stake, international  perceptions of weakness or strength. Hauling the maker of the video that nobody watched in on a “parole violation,” and sticking him in solitary confinement where he remains a month and a half later, is not just a” coincidence.” Somebody managed to get a drone over Benghazi quickly enough to monitor at least part of the attack.This was not a “bump in the road” nor can the death of an American ambassador in thirty years, his aide and two former SEALS be described callously as “not optimum.”

I rely a lot on the DiploMad 2.0 whom I have been following since the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami on the day after Christmas in 2004.  He reported from Banda Aceh as the rescue efforts began, with a clear voice that we didn’t get from the media. He is since retired, but writes about these things from long experience in some of the world’s tougher spots —”hard countries,” he calls them. His comments are an important addition to the video.

Fox News has consistently and accurately covered this scandal.

So Much For Obama’s So-Called Foreign Policy Expertise. by The Elephant's Child

Do you recall the years when you were 8, 9, and 10 years old? Think back and see what you learned in those years. Barack Obama lived in Indonesia, a Muslim country, from age five to age ten. This was apparently a formative experience for him and gave him a deep understanding of the Moslem world.

I lived elsewhere than my home from age eight to eleven, and I have distinct memories, but it never gave me a deep understanding of the city where I lived. Yet I think I understand what it means to Obama. In trying to learn just who you are as a person, exceptional experiences can make you feel that you have some unique qualities that others don’t, and that makes you special in a way. Obama, however, has taken it to an extreme. In New Hampshire, when he was campaigning for the presidency in 2007. Obama said earnestly to his interviewer:

I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated…the whole world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country…I understand their point of view….And that will ultimately make us safer.

Obama clearly believed a complete change in direction was called for, and attached enormous importance to his Cairo Speech, an excerpt is here:

A speech in which we are the perpetual villain, heaping praise on a backward society that chooses to explode in anger and riot and kill rather than accommodate themselves to the world in which they live. So we apologize for our progress and development and seek to show our deep respect for the religion whose rules are holding them back. This, of course, from a government that has little respect for our own religious organizations.

We hastened to get rid of Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak who were reliable allies even if they were noxious dictators, with no concern for what was to replace them. We now have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and President Morsi is getting rid of 77 Generals in the army that has long kept Egypt under control. And in Libya, there was nothing to replace Gaddafi, and is now a very weak government  with all factions jockeying for power. It was never about the video.

The press has spent a lot of energy speculating about marines. Marine detachments at embassies are small, and their purpose is to safeguard the most sensitive parts of the embassy, not to stop an assault on the outer walls. That is the responsibility of the host nation.  If the host nation cannot stop the howling mob, embassy staff and marines have to protect classified materials as best they can, preventing their falling into hostile hands. Which, in Libya, they apparently did, endangering the Libyans who have worked with us. It was never about the video.

Our government, our State Department screwed up. Whoever authorized such a vulnerable and poorly defended facility has much to answer for. The anniversary of 9/11 is a very big deal— a day that radical Islam likes to celebrate. That both Libya and Egypt were unprepared is a major unforgivable failure. It was never about the video.

Obama’s great Islamist delusion has borne bitter fruit. His embassy in Cairo has issued a craven apology, the Secretary of State has groveled and blamed it all on a You Tube video that few have seen, apparently forgetting that we have a First Amendment that is not subject to Muslim demands. We had warning, in Egypt and in Libya, but it wasn’t “actionable” intelligence, since they didn’t have a timetable. It was never about the video.

Obama apparently believed firmly that his apologies and his life in Indonesia from age 5 to age 10 was a much bigger deal to him than it was to the Moslems.

Welcome to your Embassy in Tunis— under new flag, new management.

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