Monday, December 30, 2013

Still More Questions Than Answers in Benghazi

Now that The New York Times has stirred up the Benghazi debate once again (and for that, I'm glad), Allen West has a few questions:

  • Why was U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi on 9-11? It should be standard practice that high value targets do not move around in hostile terrorist territory, which Benghazi was on that day. 
    When the message came that the consulate was under attack, why were all immediate resources not allocated? As a former career Soldier who sat on the House Armed Services Committee, I am well aware of security protocols. Why weren’t they followed? 
    Where was President Obama the evening of the attack? We were treated to all the White House situation room pictures of the raid on Osama bin Laden — but where are the photos from that night? 
    According to the president, he ordered Secretary of Defense Panetta and CJCS General Dempsey to get the Americans in Benghazi the support they needed. If true, then who disobeyed the president’s order, and why did Obama never follow up with Panetta and Dempsey? 
    Who came up with the video scapegoat excuse, and why was the U.N. ambassador called out for the Sunday shows and not the person responsible, the secretary of state? 
    Ambassador Stevens had met with a Turkish representative in Benghazi, but why were his requests for additional security denied, and by whom?

Ed Morrissey has a few questions as well:

  1. The State Department was repeatedly warned about the chaos in Benghazi and the increasing aggressiveness of the Islamist militias and terror networks in the area after the US-prompted NATO mission decapitated the Qaddafi regime — including escalating demands for security from the US mission in Libya. Why did State ignore these demands?
  2. Other Western nations bailed out of Benghazi because of increasing terrorism. Why did the US stay put when even the UK pulled out? Especially without increasing security?
  3. The attack took place on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 in an area with active al-Qaeda affiliates, as well as terrorist networks with murkier alliances. Why wasn’t the US prepared to respond to an attack on its most vulnerable diplomatic outpost?
  4. Where was Barack Obama and what was he doing after his 5 pm meeting with Leon Panetta at the beginning of the attack?
  5. If the YouTube video was such an issue, why didn’t anyone in Benghazi or Tripoli know it, and why did the White House end up retracting that claim after a couple of weeks?
  6. Who told the Accountability Review Board to ignore the actions of higher-ranking State Department officials such as Patrick Kennedy, who ignored the pleas for more security, and focus blame on lower-ranking career officials for the unpreparedness of State for the attack?
  7. What was the CIA doing in Benghazi, and how did they miss the rise of Ansar al-Shariah? Kirkpatrick notes that no one seemed aware of its danger until after the attack.

All valid points.

Maybe we can get Hillary Clinton to answer those once she hits the presidential campaign circuit.

Don't hold your breath.

More at Memeorandum.

No comments: