Here’s an interesting thought experiment that you might want to try. Imagine the same facts of the Benghazi scandal, with one difference; specifically, that a Republican administration was in power. For two weeks after the murder of four Americans on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, an attack that occurred in a very dangerous place where many previous incidents foreshadowed the terrible event, the President, the Secretary of State and various other administration officials tell us a lie about a ridiculous video being the cause of the tragedy.
Then that same Secretary of State testifies before the Senate. The families of the murdered Americans and most of the rest of the country wanted answers about how this could happen. Her answer is “What difference at this point does it make?” Rather than reacting with shock that she would try to deflect responsibility with this ridiculous question, the Jurassic media swoons over her feistiness. Even today, we still don’t have answers to the questions that we had a year ago.
Gregory Hicks, former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, and the last person to speak to Ambassador Stevens, not Edward Snowden, was the Whistleblower of the Year for 2013. His op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal is a must read. It explains the truth about the lack of security in Benghazi, and it wasn’t what we heard some liberal hacks in our soundbites during last weeks’ show, concerned only about Hillary’s political prospects, say on last week’s show. I’m not surprised that these shills would try to blame the dead guy who can’t speak up. Mr. Hicks is speaking for him, and setting the record straight.
On Aug. 1, 2012, the day after I arrived in Tripoli, Chris invited me to a video conference with Africom to discuss changing the mission of the U.S. Special Forces from protecting the U.S. Embassy and its personnel to training Libyan forces. This change in mission would result in the transfer of authority over the unit in Tripoli from Chris to Gen. Ham. In other words, the special forces would report to the Defense Department, not State.
Chris wanted the decision postponed but could not say so directly. Chris had requested on July 9 by cable that Washington provide a minimum of 13 American security professionals for Libya over and above the diplomatic security complement of eight assigned to Tripoli and Benghazi. On July 11, the Defense Department, apparently in response to Chris’s request, offered to extend the special forces mission to protect the U.S. Embassy.
However, on July 13, State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy refused the Defense Department offer and thus Chris’s July 9 request. His rationale was that Libyan guards would be hired to take over this responsibility. Because of Mr. Kennedy’s refusal, Chris had to use diplomatic language at the video conference, such as expressing “reservations” about the transfer of authority.
At a memorial service for U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in San Francisco, Oct. 16, 2012. Reuters
Chris’s concern was significant. Transferring authority would immediately strip the special forces team of its diplomatic immunity. Moreover, the U.S. had no status of forces agreement with Libya. He explained to Rear Adm. Charles J. Leidig that if a member of the special forces team used weapons to protect U.S. facilities, personnel or themselves, he would be subject to Libyan law. The law would be administered by judges appointed to the bench by Moammar Gadhafi or, worse, tribal judges.
We were fortunate to have his attorney, Victoria Toensing, on the show right after his riveting testimony. She told us that Hillary sent Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi.
I guess it would be different if something really really terrible had happened, say if her aides had caused a traffic jam in New Jersey.