About Benghazi – Tragedy, Misinformation, and Politics

Wars of all kind are ugly. What it takes to prevent fighting real wars is also ugly.

What happened in Benghazi, Libya on the evening of September 11th, 2012 is a tragedy.

It has also been a tragedy that this happened during a major election season. At any other time we would have publicly had some political disagreements and then moved on to a congressional investigation that took so long to report back that most people had forgotten that an incident occurred.

About Benghazi – the CIA gave its presentation of our response during the Benghazi attack yesterday (Thu Nov 1st). Its spokesman acknowledged the fact that yes we had a large number of folks there doing stuff, and its available resources were used to respond immediately. About the time delay – the CIA undoubtedly delayed giving an accounting of what happened on the ground so that it could fully withdraw all of its assets from the area. That includes locals and their families that we had worked with. // Accounts of the CIA briefing and the unfolding story: Story 1 / Story 2 / Story 3

There has been a lot of misinformation about Benghazi.

Every administration waffles when it is not in control of all the facts. Most of the misinformation has been by those that want President Obama gone.

Misinformation such as:

  • Obama watched it happening live.
  • Obama told the troops to stand down and not to assist.
  • We had an armed drone over the area that could have come to the area and shot up the attackers.
  • That we had troops just one hour away. Kinda, sorta true but mostly not. We had troops one hour away at jet fighter aircraft speed in Sicily, Italy.
  • That the ambassador should have had armed Marines with him. This changed back in 2006 under the prior administration to where our diplomats travelled in the field with primarily contracted security.

Yes, there have been misjudgements, although the bigger story of Benghazi is yet to emerge.

Ugliness happens. Each administration has its foibles.

In Iraq, we lost 4,486 dead, 31,925 wounded and 350,000 with diagnosed traumatic brain injuries from a preemptive war to take away another country’s weapons of mass destruction. We are still looking for weapons of mass destruction, almost 10 years later — even though our own Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) issued a report months before the start of the war that there were no confirmed WMDs in Iraq.

The real story in Benghazi is probably one that we as a government are not ready to deal with, regardless of who is in government at the moment: the CIA was running an operation out of Benghazi, trying to keep it low key by making it seem that we had just a small consulate occasionally visited by our ambassador.

In Benghazi the bad guys found out and decided to take us out. As in all such operations we try not to discuss our intelligence operations. For the CIA to discuss the attack itself and what we really did to respond — which the CIA finally did do on Nov 1st — forces into the public discussion the larger story of what had been a covert operation to begin with, and obviously to acknowledge our presence there now is to say now that we no longer have that presence.

Wars of all kind are ugly. What it takes to prevent fighting real wars is also ugly.


1 Comment

Filed under International, US of America

One response to “About Benghazi – Tragedy, Misinformation, and Politics

  1. George S. Harris

    Bill–thanks for this excellent piece and the links, which explaIn a lot. Sadly folks won’t pay any attention to this but will swallow hook, line and sinker ther misinformation out on the street.

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