Much has been said or written about the massacre that sordid night in Benghazi, but many, many questions remain unanswered. Things like … What was Amb Stevens doing in Benghazi in the first place – no really? Could this have been one of those hypothetical “black ops” with deniability, because the powers at the top are certainly denying!!! What is behind the mass of military “retirements” of those in the know? Why is Hillary still silent? And on, and on …
Predictably, since the mainstream media isn’t covering the story or asking ANY questions, the public has pretty much forgotten the whole nasty affair and written it off as just another sex scandal with fall out. But there are hundreds of thousands of active military that serve under the same government … the same Commander-in-Chief who insists the investigation continues. What are they investigating? What is it they do not yet know? WE know. WE know who is responsible. WE know who ultimately gave the grievous order to “STAND DOWN!” We know, but continue to wait for a hint of accountability, a hint of real character … but I fear we wait in vain! I remain dissatisfied with the administration’s lack of response, lack of action toward those responsible, lack of explanation to US – the people of the United States!
- Where are the OTHER military men and women who KNOW what happened that fateful night?
- Is there not one man or woman with a shred of integrity involved?
By Sen. Marco Rubio
Published December 26, 2012
The report of the Accountability Review Board investigating the terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi concisely lays out much that we already knew: this was the premeditated work of terrorists, not a protest about a YouTube video that spun out of control; the attackers employed military tactics and used rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy weapons; they also used simple weapons of opportunity, such as gasoline used to set the fire that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith.
The report also confirmed that the Libyan government was totally incapable of providing security for U.S. facilities in Benghazi and was barely even in control of much of that city and its environs. The State Department’s naïve reliance on local militias of questionable capacity and uncertain loyalty was, in retrospect, a grave mistake. This was especially true given the recent history of high-profile anti-Western attacks in Benghazi, including one against the U.S. compound, as well as a vast body of intelligence that pointed to deteriorating security conditions in eastern Libya.
That we operated with a skeleton staff in such a precarious environment is clear evidence that we failed to connect the dots. That is a mistake we simply can’t afford to make again – in Libya or anywhere else with an American diplomatic presence. The State Department must adjust the security posture of diplomatic facilities in high-risk regions based on responsible, timely analysis of the best information available. We can no longer expect to rely primarily on host nations to protect American diplomats in all parts of the world.
Conducting U.S. diplomacy abroad is not without risks, and I strongly believe we must continue to represent the interests of the United States in difficult regions. In strategically important but volatile countries like Pakistan – or potentially a post-Assad Syria – it is crucial that the U.S. have an active diplomatic presence. We must be clear-eyed, however, about the dangers our people face in these places and, as the Accountability Review Board notes, we must be able to protect our own people. We can do this by reforming the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to ensure that it is agile, responsive and accountable.
Perhaps most concerning is that the report points to specific failures in the State Department’s chain of command. The Board’s co-chairs have assured us that Secretary Clinton supports their findings and recommendations, and informed us that four senior officials have resigned following the release of the Board’s report. However, questions still remain about why higher level officials in the Department, who were actively overseeing America’s relationship with the new Libyan government less than a year after the death of Muammar Qaddafi, could have been unaware about the security situation in Benghazi and not done more to protect U.S. personnel and facilities there.