Symposium 2012: What are your thoughts on Benghazi?

Cartwright: It’s a tragedy that we lost our first ambassador in almost forty years and three other Americans. You have to ask yourself why did Washington not send Marines who where only an hour or so away to help the ambassador once they knew there was trouble? Remember, eight hours elapsed from the time the trouble started until the ambassador was dragged out of the compound and murdered like a dirty dog. 

Why didn’t the United States send help for him? I think it only suggests one conclusion. Washington wanted the ambassador dead. And now the question naturally follows, why? I suppose he knew too much about something. My theory is that this was all about gun running, much like the fast and the furious. We were supplying arms to the people we thought were ‘freedom fighters’ that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, but these people actually turned out to be al-Qaeda terrorists. The ambassador was probably the front man for this operation, so when the troubled started and these people turned on us, Washington had to sacrifice the ambassador.

Sound cynical? Sound conspiratorial? Maybe so, but what other logical explanation is there? You don’t just strand your ambassador to be murdered without trying to help. There’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to the truth, but I certainly hope that the Congress investigates this fully and get to the truth, where ever that may lead regardless of how high it goes in the government. I honestly don’t think that will happen. The liberal media has pretty well swept this whole thing under the rug and tried to make it a non-issue, because they’re afraid it may compromise the reputation of their ‘chosen one.’
Besides, I find it very strange that Secretary Clinton has yet to appear before the Congress to give testimony on this issue, and how convenient that she has a concussion that prevented her from making an appearance this past week. Why doesn’t she want to testify or why is she stonewalling? If there’s nothing to hide, come forward and tell us what you know and when you knew it. No, this whole thing just smacks of a cover up. And remember, it’s never the actual act that gets you in trouble—it’s the cover up.

RMC3: I’m not sure I’ll go as far as our esteemed colleague here, but here’s one sure thing about this matter. The American people have been lied to from day one about what happened in Libya. So many lies have been told that no one can tell what is true and what’s a lie at this point. Susan Rice goes on five different media programmes and says this was a riot instigated by some video on Youtube. I never bought that explanation from the start. I think it’s pretty clear that Ms. Rice was sent out there to mislead the American people, and I hope she feels like she’s been hung out to dry by the Obama folks, because they did this to her. I don’t necessarily think she’s a bad person. I just think the administration used her as the sacrificial lamb to put misinformation out there.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some conspiracy as was suggested by Mr. Cartwright, but we’ll never know if that’s the case. If it did have something to do with gunrunning, they’ll pin the blame on the now deceased ambassador. They’ll say he was heading up this operation unilaterally. There might be a couple of resignations at the State Department or the Pentagon or elsewhere, but it’ll be largely dismissed.

I actually think this is just a matter of incompetence on the part of the Obama Administration. They knew there were problems in Benghazi. The ambassador knew there were problems with terrorist cells in the area. And while the ambassador was holed up in the safe room before being flushed out and murdered, the President was campaigning in Las Vegas. Everyone seems to conveniently forget this. I think the President’s priority was his re-election campaign first and everything else second.

But look, this can’t fall completely on him. There’s a chain of command here, and I think Secretary of State Clinton dropped the ball as did others at the State Department in ensuring adequate protection and resources for the ambassador. The ambassador’s call for help went out that day, and let’s not forget that this was on 9/11. I would have thought that all our embassies and personnel would have been on heighted alert and security on that day. Guess no one thought there was any danger of us being attacked by terrorists again. But be things as they may, the call for help on 9/11 went unanswered, and we have four dead Americans as a result while Secretary Clinton appears to have been missing in action and while the President was living it up at a campaign event in Las Vegas.

I’m all for a formal independent investigation into this matter. We’ll never get the truth, but we need to at least make an effort. If it shows how incompetent and inept this administration is, so be it. That’s nothing that anyone with half a brain hasn’t already figured out on their own.

Michigan: An incompetent administration not only failed to increase security prior to the 9-11-12 attack, they had actually reduced security. The cover-up after the event is a sham. This issue will go away with no resolve and no one held liable like so many other issues under this administration.
Sydney: It is easy to condemn the government for the obvious security failures in Benghazi that led to the death of four Americans, including the U.S Ambassador to Libya, however the issue is wider than that. We should really be looking at the security of U.S consular officials across the Middle East, particularly in countries that are unstable, such as Afghanistan. The fact is that Diplomatic Security—the government’s diplomatic security provider-simply does not have the resources it needs to effectively protect U.S officials in dangerous countries. Currently, less than 1,000 Diplomatic Security agents protect officials in 275 embassies across the world. Financial difficulties mean that the government has been reluctant to increase this number. As a result, security is being increasingly outsourced to local authorities and other armed contractors. The lesson from Benghazi is that the government simply cannot rely on local contractors to provide adequate security for its consular officials. The only option is to hire more Diplomatic Security agents to replace them or to move these diplomats out of harm’s way. If the government is unwilling, or financially unable to do the former then the latter is the only option if we want to prevent a repeat of Benghazi.

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