My problem with the Administration’s story about the Benghazi attack is rooted in the question, “What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi?” Last week we saw a Ben Rhodes Rhodes email that instructed Susan Rice “to underscore that these protests are rooted in [an] Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” After almost two years I think the case for a broad policy failure is getting stronger and is rooted in these unanswered Benghazi questions.
- What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi when Britain was pulling out?
I partially accepted the State Department admission that they were stupid when they sent Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi. Considering that Britain and others had pulled out of Benghazi due to attacks, this implies that the State Department deliberately ignored the security situation in Benghazi. So far I have not seen any action by the Administration or the State Department that shows that they have learned anything from this fatal attraction with insularity. So when is the State Department going to start sounding like they have read and understand the local intelligence reports and are listening to what our friends and foes are saying? That is their job.
- What was our foreign policy at the time and has it changed for the better?
If we move from the local intelligence failure to policy failure, I am still not sure what our foreign policy objectives are in Benghazi, Syria, or the Ukraine. It looks like we are making it up as we go along and Mr. Putin noticed. I do not think it is much of a stretch to think that our flopping around in Benghazi and Syria gave Mr. Putin the green light to invade Ukraine. Underestimating Mr. Putin was a policy failure. I realize the Administration wanted to distinguish itself as different than the previous Administration but you still have to be a winner. Mr. Putin looks at foreign policy as a war by another means and the Administration looks at foreign policy as t-ball! I doubt that even the most ardent Administration supporter will try and make the argument that the foreign policies decisions in Benghazi, Syria, or Ukraine are working.
- Was there a cover-up so that the President could get re-elected and what political changes need to happen to prevent cover-ups by future Administrations?
This is an unforced error by the Administration. Everything they have done to impede the investigation has made the case for a broader policy failure more apparent. Are those four men deaths collateral damage from a Presidential campaign?