What the hell happened in Benghazi? Even the omniscient* Gormogons are baffled. However, unlike the media, which has looked at the attack and its aftermath largely through the prism of the Obama administration’s cover-up, the Gormogons look to the past. (Or as GorT calls it, “kind of up and to the left.”)
The Obama-Clinton cover-up, with its clumsy and stupid insistence of the Innocence of Muslims YouTube trailer as cause—pulling one of the pretexts of the simultaneous Cairo riots like a tarp over a paramilitary assault—has been taken apart on the assumption that what it was intended to cover up was the assault itself or al-Qâ’ida’s successful murder and corpse-rape of a U.S. ambassador on what is legally American soil.
But what if that wasn’t the real embarrassment-cum-scandal that the administration was so frantically trying to hide?
GorT today conveys the Fox News report showing that CIA operatives were three times told to stand down when ready to attempt to relieve the assault. AC-130 gunships were available and unused. Targets were painted with lasers, and yet, nothing.
Why? Is it because Obama is a passive, depressive personality, as virtually every account of his life (especially his own) shows? It seems doubtful, given the fact he’s been more than willing to drone-strike al-Qâ’ida guys left and right and presumably had advance approval of the Bin-Lâdin operation. Institutional inertia? One would think that even State, the official make-nice agency, would approve some bloodshed to save one of their own.
Is it possible they let the assault go forward with the hope that whatever was going on in Benghazi would be buried with the dead? There hasn’t been a completely convincing explanation of what our ambassador (and a CIA installation) was doing there with (effectively) no security in the first place. It seems logical that Chris Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate with Benghazi-based elements of the Libyan resistance that overthrew Qaddafi. These elements are exactly the guys who turned around and killed Stevens, presumably having lured him into a September 11 meeting (and possibly having dictated the terms of security?).
What would Stevens have been negotiating with these guys? Obviously, terms of their participation in the new Libyan order. But in that case, where was the Libyan government’s representative, and why not in Tripoli? It seems more likely that he was there to negotiate with them as a section of al-Qâ’ida, Inc., not as a Libyan player. But why would we be negotiating with al-Qâ’ida?
The Obama administration has had a chip on its shoulder since Day One about removing “misunderstandings” between us and the Muslim (and particularly Arab) world, choosing to believe (in a textbook example of the Fallacy of Foreign-Policy Egocentrism) that by making the rampant anti-Americanism and dysfunction in the Middle East our fault, it can be magically undone by us through incantations (like the Apology Tour), occult names (like “Hussein”), and gestures (like a middle finger to Bibi Netanyahu). Moreover, there are non-trivial strategic reasons to get an idea of what the heck al-Qâ’ida is thinking (provided we think we can get them to give us a straight answer—which one suspects is not bloody likely).
First, radical Sunni and Salafi groups are a huge component of the anti-Assad rebellion in Syria. We’re apparently supporting them; al-Qâ’ida is definitely supporting them. We are consequently—very—strange bedfellows. Benghazi might have seemed a perfect, remote location to talk. Also, what’s that place next door to Libya? Oh, right, Egypt. Whose new government is the Muslim Brotherhood may have broad sympathies towards the radical-Sunni fringe but is tactically locked in a battle with their own purist Salafists at home. It’s not inconceivable we were trying to help out Morsi by negotiating with al-Qâ’ida over their assistance to the anti-MB radicals in Egypt.
So, when negotiating with al-Qâ’ida blew up in the most nightmarish way possible, retroactively making their policy look not merely foolish but actively damaging to American interests (and losing American lives), the administration might have had compelling, if craven and wicked, reasons to sit on its hands and cut the whole operation loose, classify the hell out of everything on the back end, and publicly blame some jackass, sleazebag Copt in California for hetting up those crazy Muslims. (Of course, by blaming the CIA when their cover-up began to unravel, they assured their defeat in the media because, whatever you think of the Lost Boys of Langley, they are utterly superb at Washington warfare. More will appear in the press towards election day, just wait.)
Whatever was going on in Benghazi, our actions—and lack thereof—during the battle and the Administration’s post-facto cover-up almost certainly have something to do with what exactly we were doing in there in the first place. The cover-up may be the crime, but the policy is likely to be the Talleyrandian blunder.
*Note: Omniscience not guaranteed. No refunds. Receipt required for dry cleaning. Not valid in NE, OH, AK, HI and ME.
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