A foreign policy/war powers law establishes that the unnecessary deaths in Benghazi were Obama’s responsibility

Here’s what didn’t happen in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:  Despite advanced warning of the attack, and despite urgent, detail rich phone calls from the CIA/former Navy SEAL operatives under attack, and despite real time video feeds of events unfolding on the ground,* no one came to help.  No one came to help the 30-odd people trapped in the embassy, no one came to help Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, and no one came to help Glen Doherty and Lance Woods as they rescued those trapped people and then spent seven terrifying hours on the roof of the administration’s CIA outpost, holding off an al Qaeda affiliate’s attack before they were finally killed.

During this long night, Obama seems to have hung out a bit watching events before going to bed in preparation for a campaign junket to Las Vegas.  (One Las Vegas paper does not appreciate that effort.)  The next day, the administration started playing the blame game.  First, Obama and his shills blamed a 14-minute nothing of a video.  To add verisimilitude to an otherwise unconvincing narrative, the government ignored the First Amendment, arranged for the video maker to be arrested for exercising his right of free speech and, seven weeks later, keeps him imprisoned.  (And yes, he was ostensibly jailed for a parole violation, but I think we all know that the way he was treated was a farcical overreaction that can only be explained as part of a larger cover-up.)  Just so you know, they do the same kind of thing in China, which is not blessed with a First Amendment.

When the video story fell apart, Hillary said events in Benghazi were her responsibility (although she was careful to blame unnamed subordinates for the actual security failure).  Interestingly, neither the administration nor the media demanded her resignation or even an investigation.  When the Obama administration started to turn its knives on Bill Clinton for allegedly giving bad campaign advice, Hillary leaked that, well, no, really, she’d done everything she could to increase security, but nobody (read:  the White House) would let her.

With the State Department pushing back, the next obvious culprit was the CIA — especially once we learned that Woods and Doherty had begged the CIA for help.  The media and the White House were thrilled.  Thrilled, that is, until General Petraeus said that no one on his watch had refused help.  Suddenly, all eyes (except, of course, for mainstream media eyes) were back on the White House.

Next up for blame?  The Pentagon, of course.  Leon Panetta lamely explained that “Golly, it was dangerous out there and the military never sends its troops into danger, don’t you know.”  Panetta’s excuse was ridiculed by people who care and accepted as the God’s honest truth by the mainstream media.  The White House again heaved a sigh of relief.

But then, darn it, Lance Woods’ father refused to slunk back into the night.  Instead, he told a few home truths:  Obama was a cold fish, Hillary lied again about the video, and Joe Biden . . . . Well, there really aren’t words for a man who walks up to a bereaved father and makes vulgar remarks about his dead child’s anatomy.  The MSM kept silent on this one too, but enough people (plus Fox, of course) were agitating that the story suddenly started to spread — and that despite the media’s by now quite valiant efforts to ignore it to death:

Mother Nature suddenly seemed to send a reprieve to Obama: A Category 1 hurricane that, while not strong, managed to blow directly landward, wrecking havoc across vast swaths of the heavily populated Northeastern seaboard.  While Obama has not been forthcoming with pictures of him handling Benghazi, he rushed out photos of him meeting with his Council about Hurricane Sandy, hugging bereaved Hurricane victims, and generally looking manly and noble amidst the rubble.

Too bad for the President that, four days before the election, things aren’t going so well in those areas damaged by the Hurricane.  People on Staten Island are suffering terribly and vocally. This may well be because, as Danny Lemieux suggested to me, Staten Island is staunchly Republican.  However conservative political leanings certainly don’t explain the disaster in New York’s Public Housing apartments, which have no power and no plumbing.  As always, Matt Drudge neatly sums up the situation:

So, here we are, President Obama, four days before the election, and you’re still not off the hook. Indeed, as of today, it’s entirely possible that things are about to get a whole lot worse for you. Your blame game started falling apart when all the other suspects (the State Department, the CIA, the Pentagon) seemed to have followed your absent lead.  That was all negative evidence, though, that you weren’t doing anything to help Americans under Jihadist attack in Libya.  That is, there was no smoking gun pointing to your involvement and subsequent dereliction of duty as Commander in Chief.  But now there is (emphasis mine):

The Benghazi debacle boils down to a single key factor — the granting or withholding of “cross-border authority.” This opinion is informed by my experience as a Navy SEAL officer who took a NavSpecWar Detachment to Beirut.

Once the alarm is sent  – in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi — dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.

That is the clear “red line” in this type of a crisis situation.

Please read the whole thing.  What’s apparent is that, as a matter of law, the only person who could have helped in Benghazi was the president himself.  The President’s authority in this regard is the equivalent of the famous nuclear brief case or red phone or red button that featured so prominently in voters’ minds during the Cold War years.  Back then were always asked to consider “whose hand should be on the button.”

Regarding Benghazi, everyone else could plan and argue and organize, but only the President had the power to make it happen.  And nothing happened.  Hillary was right:  it was 3 a.m. and Obama didn’t answer the phone.  Damn him!


*A spokesman for the National Security Council denies that there was a real-time video feed.

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  • b.

    Bloomberg’s decision to go ahead with the marathon seems right up there with Obama’s decision to go ahead and fly to Vegas. Another point of interest since Benghazi has been the misuse and abuse of the word “politicization.”  To investigate the job performance of a man who is Commander in Chief, while he is trying to get re-elected to be Commander in Chief, is “politicizing” his performance?  I don’t get it. He performed his job as best he could, and it’s politicizing it to investigate his performance (Foxnews) and it is not politicizing it to “ignore it to death” (NYT et al)?  Wow. Words have become so degraded.

  • Spartacus

    Barack can make most of this Benghazi stuff blow over with a simple phone call: one to Mitt Romney on Tuesday night, graciously congratulating him.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    @Spartacus:  I’m going to be VERY cross if the GOP allows this to happen.  Perhaps we let him off the judicial hook, but there are a lot of folks like me who want a full accounting so that we know EXACTLY who is the responsible party in this debacle.
    I think this post has made it pretty clear, but Congressional hearings, with the people involved testifying under oath, is the minimum that will satisfy me.

  • Spartacus

    Agreed.  Trust me, it was an observation on how these things tend to go, not a recommendation.  It is considered ungracious to go after previous occupants of the Oval Office, but it would be completely appropriate to investigate fully and get a full and detailed report.  And should enough targets of investigation not feel like falling on the sword, and offer up several hundred tons of (true) slime to coat the public memory of The One and all that he stands for, so much the better.
    It is my understanding that post-Watergate polling indicated that Nixon must have been re-elected in ’72 by very, very elderly voters who had since passed away, because hardly a soul could be found who would admit to having voted for him… I would love to see a similar effect here.

  • Mike Devx

    If you are thinking that David Petraeus is honorable, trustworthy and wise, read this and let me (and all readers here) know what you think of his involvement in the Benghazi coverup.


    Why did he participate?  Why did he say what he said? 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    zThe GOP will allow it to happen because more than 50% of their inside political operatives and gopher hacks work for the Left, not the nation. Remember Sarah Palin’s campaign. And that was just with Maverick Boy there.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Given that Leftist operatives engineered Watergate (the guy who was in charge of illegally prosecuting and thus saving Ayers and Dohr from the chair), that’d be interesting, but impossible, to see. The only way something like that can happen is with the aid of Leftist operatives and Democrat propaganda machine. Both of which are on the side of Obama. So how is Obama going to get smashed with the weapon used against Nixon given all the weapons used were controlled by Democrats?


  • Mike Devx

    The election is not over, and I’m not counting my chickens just yet.  (Though Obama’s chickens look to be COMING HOME TO ROOST, BABY!)   So it may be too soon to ask this particular question… but I will anyway:

    How are we going to stop Barack Obama from executing a truly outrageous agenda during his final two months in office?

    This is a man who in these four years has shown no respect for the Constitution, and has willfully run roughshod over the laws of this country.  “Stop me if you can”, has been the attitude of this wanna-be dictator.  That was when he was constrained by the need to be re-elected.  What will he be like, free of constraint, during the lame-duck two months?

    We have few worries about Harry Reid’s Senate.  There isn’t much the Senate can do without the House’s agreement.  And the House will NOT agree.  It will stop Reid’s perverse lame-duck actions in their tracks.

    But Obama and his Executive Branch will have free rein to gallop away like the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.  If we do get our victory on Tuesday, how do we stop THEM for those two+ months?

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    @Mike:  First, I’m truly sorry to have read that piece about Petraeus, whom I had pegged as an honorable guy.  Not so much, at this point.
    Second, I’m not enough of a Constitutional scholar to know what the House and Senate CAN do to prevent lame-duck shenanigans by the narcissist in chief…..of course, even if there are avenues for action, the real question is whether we have men of sufficient courage to use them.
    I’m not expecting much, sad to say.

  • Mike Devx

    Earl, we can always redeem ourselves by admitting our mistake, offering a heartfelt, sincere apology, and perhaps even offering – what is the word? – restitution for it?  I have always had an immense amount of respect for David Petraeus, so this story shocked me and I am still waiting for the real story.  He can redeem himself in my eyes, but at this point it remains extremely troubling.
    As Ricky would say, “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do!”

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    I DO agree, Mike…..however, this is going to take some kind of apology!!
    Four Americans are dead – reports indicate that at least two brave men’s lives could have been saved with prompt action.
    And I have no doubt that Petraeus could have caused that prompt action to take place. 
    Consider: what if the General had said “Mr. President, we can bring fire and brimstone down on those terrorists who are trying to kill our guys, and all we need to do it is for YOU to give permission to cross the international border.  If you do not do this, I will leave this meeting and immediately call a press conference to resign my position as head of CIA.  Your call.”?

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