Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘Despite Threats, U.S. Cut Security in Libya Before Attacks’

Full post here.

There’s now a House Committee on Oversight panel looking into the security situation in Benghazi.

‘Chaffetz went further Wednesday, saying in an interview that the number of American diplomatic security officers serving in Libya had been reduced in the six months prior to the attacks. “The fully trained Americans who can deal with a volatile situation were reduced in the six months leading up to the attacks,” he said. “When you combine that with the lack of commitment to fortifying the physical facilities, you see a pattern.” 

Some Libyan guards were shady, and much like some Afghan National Army troops, you can’t be sure who’s on the Taliban’s payroll, and who’s calling ahead to Ansar Al-Sharia when there’s a chance to attack.  Ambadassor Stevens did assume a lot of risk traveling the way he did to Benghazi knowing how bad it was getting on the ground.  This was a pattern of his.

‘On Tuesday, Clinton wrote in a letter to Chaffetz and Issa that she intended to cooperate with the House committee’s investigation. But in the letter she did not promise to turn over all of the cables and documents requested by Chaffetz, saying she had empowered her own accountability review board to find out what had happened in Benghazi. “Nobody will hold this department more accountable than we hold ourselves,” she wrote.’

I don’t necessarily mistrust the State Department, as this also seems to be our bureaucratic administration system in action.  I think this administration is doing everything it can to keep its foreign policy platform alive, and it’s simply meeting realities on many fronts.  A Republican Congress may also bear some responsibility, apparently, for slashing the budget.

Here’s a quote by Samuel Huntington with some relevance:

“Although the professional soldier accepts the reality of never-ending and limited conflict, “the liberal tendency,” Huntington explained, is “to absolutize and dichotomize war and peace.” Liberals will most readily support a war if they can turn it into a crusade for advancing humanistic ideals. That is why, he wrote, liberals seek to reduce the defense budget even as they periodically demand an adventurous foreign policy.’

I think many liberals are still saying they are winding down the bad wars, and slowly leading us to “peace,” through strong international institutions, which ignores a lot of reality.

Addition:  Why decrease security with a worsening situation on the ground?  Did the State Department act negligently?

It’s one thing to protect your foreign policy platform by putting your head in the sand, it’s another if American life is lost.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Related On This Site:  Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘U.S. Officials Knew Libya Attacks Were Work of Al Qaeda Affiliates’ From The BBC Via Michael Totten: ‘Libya: Islamist Militia Bases Stormed In Benghazi’

Via Reuters: ‘U.S. Ambassador To Libya Killed In Benghazi Attack’

Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest Online: ‘Obama’s War’From The WSJ: “Allies Rally To Stop Gadhafi”From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And PakistanFrom The New Yorker: ‘How Qaddafi Lost Libya’

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