Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi: I know nothing about it, but I can't stop saying it

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi: I know nothing about it, but I can't stop saying it

September 11, 2012 was a black day for America.  Each of the four lives lost at our fledgling outpost in Benghazi, Libya that night was a tragic loss.

A lot of folks blame Hillary Clinton for those events.  When you ask them exactly what it is they think she did wrong, you will get answers like, “She lied.”   Or, “It was criminal.”

If you ask what she lied about or what criminal act was committed, you will get blank stares.  Their answers are as vague as Donald Trump’s campaign promises.

Try asking a Benghazi critic to point to the second largest city in Libya on a map of that country.  Hell, ask them to point to Libya on a map of the Middle East.

Today’s “critics” express opinions based on sound bites, bumper stickers and ball caps.  It doesn’t matter if what they consider to be facts aren’t even in the McDonalds next to the parking lot next to the ball park of facts.

Like my friend, Lyle, they can magically transform lies and all forms of nonsense into facts by yelling, “IT’S A FACT!”

Benghazi was a Temporary Mission Facility of the U.S. embassy in Libya, set up to explore the feasibility of opening a consulate in the region.  After his arrival in in Benghazi in May of 2012, Ambassador Christopher Stevens made several requests for security upgrades of that facility.

Ambassador Steven’s requests were granted, including increased personnel and security gates.

When the attack on the facility at Benghazi began at about 9:30 PM that night, it coincided with the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

Those attacks in Cairo were instigated by a release of a video satirizing the Muslim prophet, Muhammad.  Satire may not be as popular in that part of the world as it is in the Western Hemisphere.

The Middle East was and is a tinder box and Arab Spring was in full bloom. Sparks were leaping across continents.  It was a logical supposition that the violence in Benghazi was related to the violence across the border in Egypt and elsewhere.

Secretary Clinton, in uncensored conversations told Libya, Egypt and her family that the attack in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

Clinton’s admissions were used against her in the subsequent hearings, but she was just telling the truth.  That may not be the way it works in Washington, but don’t fault her for that.

In her first public statement, Clinton said that some people believed that the attack in Benghazi was an offshoot of the spontaneous demonstrations in Cairo, but she did not say that that was what she believed.

When United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice appeared on Meet the Press, her version of events in Benghazi was based on a script prepared for her by the CIA.

After a 2-year investigation, the final report by the House Intelligence Committee concluded that the CIA did their job and no specific failure led to the deaths of those 4 Americans.

It was determined that neither the CIA nor the Secretary of State did anything before, during or after the attack on Benghazi to contribute to those deaths or inhibit the security of that facility.

$5 Million and 8 eight committees later, no new information arose. The final hearings of the “select” committee concluded its proceedings with no new findings.

One member of that committee, Kevin McCarthy lost his shot at Speaker of the House because  he admitted to Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the committee was convened to crush Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Trey Gowdy, the chairman of that select committee assured the American public that the committee was not politically motivated, that they were only after the truth.

While 12 senior government officials were scheduled to appear before that select committee, all 12 of those appearances were cancelled.

The committee obviously felt that an 11-hour interrogation of Secretary Clinton was all they needed to arrive at the truth.

Let’s put Benghazi into context.

June 17, 2015 was also a black day for America, when 9 lives were tragically taken in Charleston, South Carolina.  No investigations.

On June 12, 2016 49 lives were tragically taken in Orlando, Florida.  Republicans aren’t even willing to explore measures that might prevent such attacks.

Wouldn’t it be worth doing something, anything if even one such attack could be prevented?

Fox News wants you to think that the Secretary of State was criminally responsible for an attack that occurred halfway around the world, but that the President wasn’t responsible for an attack in New York City where 3,000 Americans died because he’d only been on the job for 8 months.

In August of 2011, Condoleeza Rice put a memo on G.W. Bush’s desk saying that there was credible evidence that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack in New York City.  He knew (or should have known) that they wanted to take down WTC because they tried to take it down in 1993.

During the Bush administration 66 people died in 13 attacks on U.S. embassies.  If any of that doesn’t make you wonder why the hell we’re talking about Benghazi for 44 straight months, you may need to switch news channels.

In 1983, 241 Marines died in an attack in Beirut.  Ronald Reagan was president at the time, George Shultz his Secretary of State.  Neither was blamed for the attack.

Benghazi pales in the shadow of Iraq.  The administration was either woefully ignorant or deliberately lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction.  The Bush administration was so committed to invading Iraq that anyone who presented an obstacle to their goal was punished.

When former Ambassador Joe Wilson presented evidence that Saddam Hussein was not trying to buy nuclear material in Africa as alleged by the Bush administration, Dick Cheney committed an act of treason to punish him.

Cheney leaked to the press that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame was a CIA operative.  Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby took the fall for that, but President Bush pardoned him.

The cost of that ill-fated war was 4,500 American soldiers and about $6 TRILLION.

We can say Benghazi a million more times, but it still won’t make it worth talking about.  It was a tragedy, but it was not Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s fault.

The events in Benghazi, Libya that night were not as dramatic or insidious as some would like us to believe.  It was just a bad thing that happened, as bad things often do in that part of the world.

It’s time to turn our attention to more important things of which we have a better understanding.  Who knows about email servers and State Department protocol?

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