It’s clear that the security situation was dicey in Benghazi, to say the least. The State Department may be culpable in not providing more security leading up to 9/11 given the information it appears to have had. Perhaps something could have been done to help Woods and Dougherty after they returned from the initial attack, once Smith was killed and Stevens mortally wounded:
‘On the night of the 9/11 anniversary assault at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Americans defending the compound and a nearby CIA annex were severely outmanned. Nonetheless, the State Department never requested military backup that evening, two senior U.S. officials familiar with the details of military planning tell The Daily Beast’
More from HotAir here, with video links. There’s likely some incompetence involved, and bureaucracy moving slowly as it can do, and perhaps some unsavory political CYA behavior leading up to the election to deflect the matter until after the election. Such is politics.
More information will no doubt be coming out, and I still think there’s a worthwhile conversation to be had about our current Middle-East strategy, and how the administration’s liberal internationalist approach is aligned/not aligned with the War On Terror, the continuation of many of Bush’s policies, and the threats we face. There are questions of free speech, national security, competent leadership capable of a bigger strategy that lines up with developments.
It’s also a quite politicized matter in a highly polarized time.
Addition: David Ignatius has a CIA timeline here.
Another: Yet, that timeline is questioned by security officials on the ground, who say that an armed militia began getting itself ready 3 hours before 9:40 pm.
Another Addition: Via CBS News:
‘In the days after the assault, counterterrorism officials expressed dismay over what they interpreted as the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to acknowledge that the attack was terrorism; and their opinion that resources which could have helped were excluded.’
People like Tyrone Woods’ father, Glenn Dougherty’s family, and those ready to come to their aid likely have concerns about the decisions made. I”m still leaning toward dithering. The administration did respond, but the media’s job is precisely this kind of journalism.
More: Thomas Sowell is not convinced that Obama isn’t just “cooling out” the voters until after the election, throwing anything up that will stick in order to maintain the idea that his foreign policy is working, and that terrorists are no longer a threat.
Still More: The Mysteries Of Benghazi.
I am not a fan of many of Mr. Obama’s policies, but I still think preserving the integrity of our institutions is the primary focus here, even if the Commander In Chief is making decisions that place certain goals above others (international cooperation and the risks Obama took to get it and impose his foreign policy vision upon Libya and partnering with Libyan forces for security purposes…above apparently protecting American lives at all costs). I think Obama has had some success and there will be some arguable advantages to his approach, but this success is increasingly cast in doubt by realities on the ground, the rise of Islamism, and the apparent lack of leadership. The way this incident is unfolding is enough to make me want new leadership, other concerns aside.
Related On This Site: Jamie Dettmer At The Daily Beast: ‘Was Benghazi Attack on U.S. Consulate an Inside Job?’
From Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘Exclusive: Libya Cable Detailed Threats’‘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’