Another Benghazi Report

The House Armed Services Committee released an interim report today (full report here).  Bridget Johnson at PJ Media posted an outline of the highlights from this report (her article here).  Did you know the Obama administration saw fit to upgrade embassy security in Yemen prior to 9/11 in 2012, but didn’t bother with upgrading security in Libya?  Leon Panetta visited Libya with General Ham in December 2011 and noted:

Although General Ham cautioned that he was not speaking for Secretary Panetta, he recounted to the committee that it was his impression that the secretary shared the general’s sense that a weakening Libyan government was a “dangerous development”  which “created opportunities for Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist organizations to, in some cases, reinsert themselves or operatives into Libya.”

Each additional report on Benghazi raises more questions, not only on the inept Obama administration, but as to what the true state of our military readiness is to respond quickly in a crisis.

12 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, Military, Politics

12 responses to “Another Benghazi Report

  1. Minta Marie Morze

    Let’s see: Libya, 9/11, American Ambassador, weakened government, Islamist extremists—it’s obvious nothing could go wrong, right? Nothing to worry about, nothing to see, no one needs to be on alert, or nearby in case.
    And if something did go wrong, the enemy knows that America will be there quickly with a rescue group, and then the specialists will immediately track down the enemy and make it pay the price for its actions, right?

    Why is every part of these sentences wrong?????

    Couldn’t they have gotten something right?

  2. JK

    Security was upgraded during that same period for Pakistan.
    In other news, if you check the budget recently passed by Congress you’ll note, State’s Security “Stash” was reduced. With bi-partisan support.

  3. Minta Marie Morze

    JK: “Security was upgraded during that same period for Pakistan.”

    MMM: So? Irrelevant and immaterial. The essence of the State Department’s duties is to meet the needs of each location as unique to that location, to what is going on in the surrounding country, to the capabilities of the individual building complex housing our people, to assessments of local threats and dangers, to evaluated requests from the individual location, to changing conditions in the polity of the specific country and its governance, etc.

    
JK: “In other news, if you check the budget recently passed by Congress you’ll note, State’s Security “Stash” was reduced. With bi-partisan support.”

    MMM: So? I hope you’re not trying to say that each of our Foreign Service locations are currently living with dire frugally, it’s furnishings bare and sparse, its vehicles modest, its decorations, ambience, ceremonies, and banquets Spartan, and—Oh Horror!—reducing spending will be absolutely devastating to them!! Because it’s just not true. The embassies and consulates are important representatives of our country, and we have made sure they are seen to be proper representation. But there has been more than enough overspending for years to have allowed proper security for Libya. (I mean, have you seen just the art collections that have been gathered by our embassies all over the world?) The State Department knew Ambassador Stevens needed more security, they knew it, and they could have relocated physical assets or funds.

    Moreover, the whole idea of a budget is to allocate funds in a rational way, with things like security coming near the top of the list of essentials. I’m certain if you examine the last few yearly lists of expenditures for artwork, fleets of new vehicles, electric car infrastructure, opulent entertainment, and other such outlays throughout our Foreign Service, you could find more than enough assets that could have been rerouted for necessary security wherever it was required, and can certainly now be re-evaluated in all areas for the future budget details.

    Because the truth is that there has been so much overspending by all US government departments up to now that having to limit future expenditures has become imperative for our government, which is now and has been borrowing billions of dollars a day for a long time.

  4. Minta, I’ll jump in here and say I think JK mentioned Pakistan to indicate another high-risk area where the State Department increased security before 9/11/2012 – indicating they were well aware of the elevated threat situation. Yet, in Benghazi, with it’s deteriorating security situation – nothing. It certainly would seem likely that Ambassador Stevens was orchestrating some gun-running for the CIA or something like that out of that Benghazi facility and that is why the State Department has tried to deflect attention throughout these investigations.

    As to the budget, I don’t know if the allocation of funds for the State Department is earmarked for specific purposes and thus must be used for that purpose. Security funding for State Department personnel abroad should be top priority, especially in light of Benghazi.

  5. Minta Marie Morze

    I am so used to comments where someone tries to justify the absence of one action by pointing out that another WAS carried out, and the idea that the lack of security in Libya is blamed on the Republican budget cuts, that I reacted to that misapprehension immediately.

    Later, I re-read the comment from JK in a different “voice” in my mind, and realized it could be read with an entirely different interpretation. LOL

    Sorry, JK. Read another way (other than the way I first did), it’s a great comment.

    About budget items and their allocation, there has to be a certain wiggle-room for emergency situations.

    An American Ambassador was assassinated. That is a very, very serious matter. There should have been official outrage, and a lot of (skilled) ferocity in the reaction.

    • JK

      Not to worry MMM.

      My mainest point was intending importance to, “a decade on to the day” should’ve been a clue – and it apparently was to an extent. The security footprint in Yemen increased was a natural if only due to the Saudis recognizing such – Pakistan a natural even to “us” because of who “we” asked the area code for to call the Northern Alliance.

      Benghazi (and places like it) should’ve been reinforced far earlier than the ten-year anniversary particularly in that region. Very particularly due to a Spring becoming a Fall.

      Leaves are known to change from green to some other color at such times.

      I’d answered earlier y’all but I had a last couple of, not so wonderful days with a dentist. The first day not unlike a 10th of September (in that it was scheduled and therefore expected) … the second more like an 11th except that it should’ve been.

  6. JK

    MMM?

    Don’t know you’re familiar (enough) with all who’ve become “friends of this site” – for reasons not particularly apparent but, Ms [or Mrs as the case may be] Asbury made a “mighty contribution” elsewhere – & though she’d demur ol’ JK found himself unaccustomedly impressed.

    MMM? Admittedly it’s somewhat difficult to discern where (and why) JK lurks here and there so I’ll offer up (as best as anyone is likely to get) a clue to where one might look. After MMM you read this link, click the heading title then, having brought up the homepage enter “JK” (without the quotes) into the Searchbox, click “Search” & I’m certain MMM you’ll find the sorts of things JK finds “interesting” and perhaps, something more.

    http://malcolmpollack.com/2012/09/13/a-glaspie-moment/

    At any rate – no harm, no foul.

    • JK, I got lucky finding one of those odd “connections” and commenting on it – it comes from that childhood fascination with wanting to “know” all about people. Always want to know people’s bio, lol. The bimbo, in question, reminded me mightily of Monica Lewinsky with her bubbly, airhead personna, that’s why I googled her – “renowned Syria expert, indeed”. The thing that bothered me the most about all that was that map she put forth, as to the lay of the of the land among Syrian rebel forces. It sure looked like in officialdom in DC her map became the accepted “facts on the ground” by John McCain, General Jack Keane, John Kerry and the Obama administration. Why no one else checked out this young woman’s bio, I don’t know – our government pays big bucks to “experts” to check this stuff out. Maybe, I should have pursued an intelligence career, instead of baking cookies and doing needlework, rofl.

  7. JK

    This for instance was inevitable:

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/islamist-threat-home-forces-saudi-rethink-syria-165855672.html

    That squeeze combined with Yemen is what pushes the House of Saud – without ever saying so explicitly – into a Israeli/Saudi Alliance.

    It’s getting increasingly difficult to be a “Nice Mister Saudi Government Fellow” when, everybody else sees the only possible product as further – Anti-Americanism.

    Neither Afghanis or Iraqis flew planes into buildings – those who did were Saudis – hopefully …

    Hopefully. The Saudis will get this ironed out.

    • JK, It seems to me that the Saudis very much view their role as the leader of the Sunni world of Islam and, of course, Iran sees itself as the leader of the Shia world of Islam and that house divided is going through one of their major domestic disturbances, throughout a very rocky family history. Syria is the ugly rug neither spouse likes, but in the midst of the divorce it becomes the object over which they will fight to the death. Israel, being the real politik player, with a security framework compromised by collapsing autocratic Muslim regimes in the neighborhood, must make alliances wherever they can – turning to the Saudis, cozying up Russia, etc. Who can blame the Israelis after being abandoned by the Obama administration. As far as the Saudi royals, watching the unfolding collapse and US abandonment of fellow Muslim autocratic neighbors must surely have changed the family’s security equation. Staying in power trumps heartfelt Islamic fervor within the House of Saud. No royal family wants to be the Romanovs.

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