The recent escalating arguments over whether there should be further congressional hearings on Benghazi are troubling. The fact that there are substantial numbers of people who feel that there is nothing more to investigate when four American lives were lost and no one has answered for this crime provides an indication of how far our sense of justice has slipped.
This should not be a partisan issue, because the implications of ignoring or prevaricating about the underlying mistakes will have far-reaching consequences. The United States has diplomatic establishments throughout the world, and if they can be attacked without consequences, it greatly diminishes our influence despite any protestations to the contrary.
What does it say about our judgment if we have diplomatic establishments for which we make inadequate provisions for protection? This is especially disturbing because it was revealed that requests by the consulate in Benghazi for more protection were refused. There had been attacks on the consulate not long before the fatal attack, and hostile actions had been taken against the British, which they were wise enough to react to appropriately.
Even more confounding was the decision to abandon our personnel at the consulate because someone decided that our military forces could not reach them in time to effect a rescue. How could such a decision be made when no one knew how long the hostile action would last? Several military personnel who were in the area ignored orders to stand down and instead rushed to the consulate with assault weapons and resisted hostile forces long enough to allow some of their colleagues to escape, while sacrificing their own lives. Their heroic actions demonstrate the bravery and loyalty that characterize American military forces. I feel certain that those men had no doubt in their minds that reinforcements were on the way, and that if they could just hold out long enough, their efforts would be rewarded.
When our top officials make decisions to abandon our own people because they feel the situation is hopeless, they also abandon the concept of American exceptionalism and create doubt in the minds of all future military participants about the intention of their superiors to expend maximum effort to preserve their lives when they have sacrificed everything for our nation.
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