“The most hateful griefs of all human griefs is this, to have knowledge of the truth but no power over the event.” ~Herodotus, The Histories
Sometimes I get tired of writing about the same topics when it seems to do no good. Especially when others have been writing and talking about the same things- yet those who should be listening and doing something aren’t. But every once in a while when I feel that it’s a lost cause, something reminds me of just why I keep on doing it, whether anyone is listening or not.
What makes one story or event any different, meaningful, or more important to keep it going when there are new and bigger things happening every day around the world? What made me latch onto one particular event, and what makes me keep going no matter how futile it seems? I really have to say that what happened on September 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya has been my main story, my focus and my mission–but why?
I was reminded by a friend a few days ago that what happened wasn’t just an attack on some random outpost in a place not many had ever heard of, because of some video that no one had watched. This was a terrorist attack and it hurt Americans deeply. It changed and broke the hearts of 4 families, but it also shattered a part of our national spirit. It happened on the anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks on America, and many of us were reminded that as hard as our troops have been fighting, the terrorists are still doing acts of evil and our present government and too many Americans just don’t care.
In the first article I wrote about Benghazi, I compared the events surrounding the attack with what happened during Watergate. While Benghazi could be considered the Watergate of our time, the only similarity between the two events is the fact that both involved cover ups and manipulation of witnesses, but everything else is strikingly different. With Watergate, investigations continued with a clear motive to find and seek justice against all involved and the press was clamoring to keep the details on the front pages of every newspaper and on every broadcast. People were put on trial and sent to prison–but no one died during the break in at Watergate.
What’s happened to our country that so many are so apathetic, callous, indifferent, and incredibly divisive? How is it that a terrorist attack, which left 4 Americans dead, has become a non-issue? The morning after the attack, Obama held a hurried press conference in the Rose Garden before boarding a plane bound for Vegas. Next were all those Sunday morning talk shows where the former Ambassador Susan Rice blamed the attack on a movie, followed by over 17 months of sporadic investigations. Throughout all of this there has been very little reported in the mainstream news and Benghazi has been called everything from a “tragic reaction” to “phony distractions”, “phony scandals” and “political posturing”.
We’ve heard incredulous and thoughtless comments from many in the Obama administration, from Obama’s own claim that 4 dead Americans are “not optimal” and ‘bumps in the road’, and the question asked by former Secretary of State and probable DNC Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” And from her successor John Kerry when asked about providing information to congress, “We’ve got more important things to worry about.”
What seems worse to me is the ignorance of so many Americans who still don’t know or care about what happened in Benghazi. Those of us who still want investigations are called conspiracy theorists, calling investigations distractions, claiming those of us demanding the truth are politicizing the dead– and now Democrats are calling for an end to a “partisan witch hunt.”
Since when has death caused by terrorists been political? Politics can be ugly and especially in these last few decades it’s been nastier than ever and more divisive. Yet at the center of all the political posturing is the fact that 4 men died because their repeated requests for help were never sent, and during the attack two heroes fought for hours–alone–begging for help yet no one came.
What we now know is that then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff knew exactly what was happening within 15 minutes from the onset of the attack, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time. They learned via a call received from the AFRICOM Command Center that it was a terrorist attack, not a demonstration over a movie. Despite this, the talking points were changed so the attack could be blamed on the video. This was done for one political purpose: to get Obama reelected.
The truth is that the State Department under Hillary Clinton lied about security measures, and had known 11 months before the attacks that Al Qaida was training nearby and failed to send more security when it was repeatedly requested by Ambassador Stevens, a man she called friend.
It tears me up when I hear people so willing to give up on Benghazi. The families have been waiting for answers and deserve to know the full truth. Many people have been demanding a Select Committee with subpoena powers, including members of our Special Forces; members of congress, and family members- -yet John Boehner and others have refused. Now Charles Krauthammer has thrown the white flag and claimed that “it’s too late… The administration has won.”
Excuse me? I wasn’t aware that there was a time limit on investigations, or that this was some kind of game. Try telling that to the families, that it’s time to let it go, that it’s too late! “I think right now the best thing for Republicans to do is to look at the broader foreign policy of this administration,” Krauthammer said during the latest “Special Report with Bret Baier”.
I know I’m not the only one who understands that what happened in Benghazi has nothing to do with Obama’s foreign policies and actions, and that there are too many important unanswered questions which need to be answered.
We are still waiting to know why military assets, who were ready to go, were told to stand down and why some may have been relieved of duty because they refused. Why was no CBA ever given, when Obama as president is the only person who can give that authorization? And why were there blackouts at a major military operations center as it occurred, and news stations that were covering the attack were switched off? Special Command could have been called but were not. They could have been sent in plenty of time but were not. Why? Special Forces could have been dropped in, or they could have used the C-130 that was on station in Tripoli to disperse the terrorists, but that never happened. Why?
The fact remains, the absolute worst part of this, is that while Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were fighting for their lives and trying to save others, members of the Obama administration watched it all happen, live. For hours, while military jets could have gone in, a drone armed with nothing but a camera was sent and people watched American heroes fight to their deaths. But hey, it’s over. Obama won. And since Hillary will most likely run for President in 2016, she won too, right Mr. Krauthammer?
Which brings me back to my original conundrum; there are few reasons why Benghazi has been my focus since it happened. I couldn’t understand why no one was sent to help, I felt sad for the families who had lost their men. I was angry that it was immediately turned into something political, and that Obama had the nerve to fly off to a fundraising trip the very next day. I couldn’t imagine any President doing something like that after such a horrific attack. I was and still am angry about the cover ups that have been proven, and the questions which remain to be answered. I’m angry that more people who hold powerful positions in media and in Washington haven’t been as dedicated to investigating the deaths of 4 Americans as they were investigating the Watergate burglary 40 years ago. I’m holding on to Benghazi because the families deserve respect by having their questions answered, to know the full truth and finally maybe then have some peace.
It’s not too late. It never will be for these families. Many of us still believe in and demand a select committee, and we will not stop talking or asking questions about Benghazi and this administration’s actions and inactions concerning the events leading up, during and cover ups after.
Many of us still care, deeply. We won’t stop reminding people about Benghazi, because these four dead American heroes aren’t political points, they were loved by their families and deserve better than what they received by this government and our country.