The headline is what Foreign Policy magazine (that paragon of potty mouth journalism) used in its analysis of the Benghazi circus, the latest main event being Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before another incoherent Republican led committee “investigating” the attack in Libya.
The six points come from:
Malcolm Nance: a former Naval Intelligence officer with 34 years of experience in the Middle East and North Africa. He speaks five dialects of Arabic. In 2011, he was a strategy advisor to the Libyan Transitional National Council in Benghazi and at the Ajdabiyah battle front.
Nada Bakos: a former CIA analyst and targeting officer who served on the team charged with analyzing the relationship between Iraq, al Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks. During the Iraq War, she was the chief targeting officer following Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She is currently working on a book scheduled to be published by Little, Brown and Company in 2016.
And the six points are:
Benghazi was the greatest cover-up in history. Sen. James Inhofe claims that this relatively small terrorist attack in eastern Libya is one of the greatest cover-ups in U.S. history. Really? Worse than hiding the sale of 120 Hawk surface-to-air missiles and 1,000 TOW anti-tank missiles to the ayatollahs in Iran in exchange for hostages held by the terrorist group Hezbollah, then funneling the profits from that sale illegally to Nicaraguan contra guerrillas behind Congress’s back? Some people need to read a book.
Benghazi was one of the worst incidents of terrorism. Former Vice President Dick Cheney overstated the significance of the attack as “one of worst incidents I can recall in my career.” I guess he forgot about 9/11 (2,977 dead), the Iraq War (4,886 dead), the war in Afghanistan (2,326 dead and counting), the Oklahoma City (168 dead) and Beirut barracks (241 dead) bombings, and the Pan Am flight 103 bombing (178 Americans dead). That’s almost 11,000 Americans killed… plus the four in Benghazi.
Americans were deliberately left to die. This conspiracy theory is so absolutely reprehensible that it does not bear dignifying with a response. Speaking the words dishonors the memory of the dead. That’s how it is in a Tom Clancy war novel, but not in the real world where adults can differentiate the two concepts.
The anti-Islam video had something to do with the attack. On the day of the attack, one of us (Malcolm Nance) was leaving Abu Dhabi for Benghazi and Tripoli to conduct a security assessment that was canceled as news of massive protests in Cairo culminated with the U.S. Embassy compound being stormed. News networks Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya showed the Muslim world aflame with disgust over the insulting video Innocence of Muslims. From within the punchbowl, everything around us looked like punch. It was not until much later that we learned the terrorist group used the outrage of the video as a mask to conduct a preplanned attack. That’s the nature of terrorism. We could go into the squabble over the talking points, but you can read more about that here.
The CIA’s Quick Reaction Force was ordered to “stand down.” This has been proved false by no less than the House Intelligence Committee and six other congressional investigations. No such order was given. The local CIA commander told his security contractors to not rush into the consulate site until local militia support and heavy weapons could be found. Even with that reasonable caution, the QRF was on-site 24 minutes after the first radio call for help. That is a near-miraculous and instantaneous response.
The Department of Defense could have changed the laws of space and time. Air Force bombers and National Missions Force personnel deployed to Sicily arrived well after the attack ended and after survivors had left Benghazi and were out of danger. Many pundits believe that if the president had snapped his fingers, fighter jets would have miraculously appeared over Benghazi, with adequate fuel, bombs, intelligence, and targets to stop.
Not to overstate the point but the GOP obsession with Benghazi is that it’s simply away to attack Hillary Clinton, who, the way things are going now, is going to be the next president of the United States. And if there’s nothing on Benghazi, they’re going to harp on her e-mail server, because special investigations of Clintons are what Republicans live for. Remember Whitewater? Let’s see how long it is before they resurrect that.