THE BENGHAZI OBSESSION – How Everyone Has The Story Wrong

On September 11th, 2012 our diplomat and some CIA agents got attacked in Benghazi, Libya – a town in a country fresh from a civil war that toppled Omar Gadafi...

On September 11th, 2012 our diplomat and some CIA agents got attacked in Benghazi, Libya – a town in a country fresh from a civil war that toppled Omar Gadafi and his decades of tyrannical rule. That same day our diplomats and countrymen where attacked in Egypt, Yemen and throughout the Middle East as protests had erupted over the release of a video depicting an anti-Muslim interpretation of their religion and it’s founders.

Here is a map from Wikipedia depicting the scope of the attacks and protests:

Egyptian President Morsi called for the U.S. to arrest and prosecute the creators of the video even as he called for a peaceful reaction by those in his country who were protesting. After Morsi’s comments the Obama administration put pressure on the newly elected leader and he walked back some of his comments.

In fact fallout from that video and the protests continued as just a few days after the September 11th Benghazi attack there was a female suicide bomber in Afghanistan on September 18th who killed 9 people – including a British woman in direct response to the video. Camp Bastion came under attack on September 14th when several Taliban fighters, disguised as American soldiers, infiltrated the camp and killed 2 marines while destroying military equipment and facilities including some fighter jets – this was apparently in direct reaction to the anti-Muslim video. Other attacks like these, though many less severe, were occurring the entire week of September 11th, 2012. So why no investigation into any of these? Why no concern? And why is Benghazi not included within the larger context?

Why no concern for the over 30 attacks on our embassies and consulates that resulted in deaths during the Bush administration? Why is no one in the media even drawing parallels to those attacks and answering the question of “why we didn’t care before but we do now”?

I don’t care that the Obama administration, the CIA, the State Department and the FBI were working on “talking points”. There was every reason to downplay the attack, regardless if Al Queda was behind it, lest any more occur or the small fractious groups depicted on that map suddenly became a united enemy. Yet the media and Republicans continue to focus on one attack on one day that week. They do so always in a vacuum – as if the other protests and attacks that happened around the world (including here in the United States) were not happening at the same time as Benghazi.

Republicans keep citing politics as the reason they feel the Obama administration tried to downplay the attacks as not being linked to Al Queda – despite the fact that no one in the Obama administration nor the CIA were 100% sure of anything that week about the attacks as they were following leads and at times needing to deal with groups falsely claiming responsibility – but Republicans wish us to believe it was Politics and not national security as the motivating factor behind the “talking points”. They forget their own candidate, Mitt Romney, the day of the Egypt protests, botched his attempt at garnering political points when he tried to use the attacks against his opponent, President Obama. This obvious bit of political theatre, found to be filled with falsehoods by Politifact, even frustrated some in the Republican party like Peter King who thought Romney acted too soon.

And yet the Republican party and the media continue to only focus on Benghazi and only focus on Obama. This is why modern journalism and the Republican party are both dying. If they wish to be relevant they need to do a better job and not confuse sensation with news and leadership.

What’s more tragic is those men who died in Benghazi have had their bravery undermined by trivial political theater. It is a disservice to their conscious and active choice to be of service to this country, knowingly risking their lives, to focus on the political spin rather than the reality that these men knew what they signed up for and would most likely rather we focused on catching those who actually killed them rather than quibble over “messaging” and “talking points”. They would rather, I would assume, want us to keep groups like Al Queda and other terror gangs from harming not just people like Ambassador Stevens but the innocent men, women and children that are terrorized every day by suicide bombers and attacks throughout the world. They would rather we tried to keep people like those who launched the attack on the Boston Marathon from ever wanting to do such a heinous thing in the first place. They would rather we had peace….

…..not politics.