Benghazi Lessons

The Benghazi Tragedy seems to be an event that keeps on giving.  While the GOP’s interest in holding one select Congressional committee meeting after another seems disingenuous, the behind the scenes details of the Obama Administration leadership is equally sad.  The whole event seems more an attempt to convince Americans that government (read big government) is better when it is small or not at all.

Yesterday’s release of the “talking points evolution” revealed an absolutely useless roll for government.  Middle level managers once again proved why they are middle level.

There was not one revision that had to do with incorrect or inaccurate substance.  The revisions had everything to do with potential interpretations by persons with no direct involvement in government operations.

Apparently this practice of “not breaking into jail” is routinely done in all Administrations.  Sometimes we call it “spin”, other times we are hypnotized by the verbiage and don’t even recognize we have just been spoon fed a dose of nothing (zero content information).

Such is life.

The lesson from my vantage point are (1) either these middle managers are spending too little time on their principle duties since they have time to guild these lillies, or (2) they are simply not needed at all.  Reviewing talking points for accuracy or the inadvertent release of truly classified information is, of course, necessary.  But when work such as the talking points revisions occurs, a line has been crossed and almost always nothing good will come of it.  The outcome appears more consistent with seeking to embellish ones own importance or inserting raw political calculations into important government messages for a similar purpose.

Bureaucracies tend to be the same whether in private business or public government.  Work expands to fit the resources available.  I guess it is human nature.    With Benghazi, it was simply naive and totally unnecessary to avoid mentioning terrorists.  Sooner or later the truth would be known, so initial denial was an unnecessary risk.

What is shame, shame on the GOP is that even if President Obama himself had ordered the removal of any mention of terrorists (which there is no evidence that he did), revelation would not change anything on the ground nor would it be supportive of getting involved in Syria.

Libya was the wild west.  Lawless.  And so will be Syria.

It may turn out that the US is moved to enter the Syrian conflict in some manner.  And it may turn out that this involvement escalates.  And it may come to pass that Americans lose their lives.  How could the GOP have supported this?

The fact is that all the inquiries into Benghazi will not have informed us sufficiently well to avoid the natural consequences of a lawless world.  If you are worried, don’t go there.  I just wonder what the next middle level managers will write then?


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5 Comments on “Benghazi Lessons”

  1. Sean Breslin Says:

    It wasn’t a tourist that was murdered, it was an embassy worker. The embassy was stormed by a mob who were bent on murdering American embassy workers. That is supposed to be protected by armed troops if it’s in a dangerous land. Our leaders didn’t send help, even when they knew those folks were in trouble. Sorry, but someone should be held accountable for that, and the hearings should go on until they get to the bottom of this.

    • Sean, thanks for your comment… You make a good point although I think you are making assumptions that are not founded.

      We have diplomates around the world who cannot be protected if a terrorist organization decides to strike. The Middle East and most of Africa are places to start. Afghanistan and Pakistan are two more.

      Please remember that this issue began over calling the Benghazi attack “a spontaneous demonstration gone wrong”, not a question on why the Ambassador was not hunkered down in the Embassy in Tripoli… (I have read the belief is that Stevens was in Benghazi to meet with insurgents Americans felt would be helpful… This, if true, is an inherently dangerous undertaking…. and one that would be classified…)

      While you have every right to “try and get to the bottom” of this, I think you will be surprised at the futility. Until the US decides to become an isolationist country again, there will be more tragedies… The GOP can’t have it both ways.

      • Sean Breslin Says:

        There should be measures in place to help any American workers in danger at any embassy around the world. That shouldn’t even be a question. They had troops nearby and didn’t send them. That’s a major problem.

    • List of X Says:

      Actually, the host country is supposed to protect the embassies from situations like that. You wouldn’t want Chinese or Pakistani military detachments protecting their embassies in Washington, would you? I mean, DC isn’t exactly the safest place in the country.

  2. Sean, you have an interesting view of the world, that is that American military can go any where in sovereign countries and use force… The reports I have heard say that the nearby troops lacked “fire power” compared to the terrorists/insurgents… So what would six more possible deaths prove?

    I do subscribe to what I think your view is… if we believe we cannot protect our diplomats, we should not send them. But please appreciate that means a wholesale withdrawal from large parts of the world…

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