Muckrakers and distraction engineers are having a front-page field day with the so-called "sex scandal." But for surviving relatives and colleagues of heroic Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, it's the national security scandal at Afghanistan's Camp Bastion that deserves headline coverage.
There's been a virtual blackout of the alarming story in the national press. As I reported last month, the meticulously coordinated siege by 15 Taliban infiltrators -- dressed in American combat fatigues and armed with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons -- resulted not only in two deaths, but also in the most devastating loss of U.S. airpower since Vietnam. Six Harrier jets were destroyed; three refueling stations were wiped out; six hangars were damaged.
The attack came exactly six months after a failed suicide attack targeting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and three days after the deadly attack on our consulate in Benghazi.
Yet, on Tuesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced that President Obama is standing by beleaguered Marine Gen. John Allen. He's the four-star general and lead U.S. commander in Afghanistan who is now entangled in former CIA Director David Petraeus' sexcapades soap opera. Allen reportedly exchanged hundreds of "flirtatious" emails with Petraeus family friend and married Florida socialite Jill Kelley. Kelley is the alleged "other other woman" who told the FBI she was harassed by alleged Petraeus mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell.
While Petraeus stepped down, Obama "has faith in Gen. Allen, believes he's doing and has done an excellent job" overseeing security in Afghanistan, Carney said.
Are families of our Marines at Camp Bastion happy with Allen and the Obama administration? Donella Raible, widow of Lt. Col. Raible, was blunt. "I'm not," she told me Tuesday afternoon by phone. "I'm mortified. It shows the corruption in the whole Washington/Arlington culture." Mrs. Raible, who is now raising three children (ages 11, 9 and 2) on her own, said, "I couldn't sleep at night if I were (Obama). If they're happy with things in Afghanistan, they should come look at the faces of those left behind."