If not for the heroism of Lt. Col. Raible, Sgt. Atwell and their fellow brothers-in-arms, the entire Harrier squadron and a barracks-full of sleeping Marines could have been lost. Another Camp Bastion Marine wife and mother of two told me: "My husband survived, and I am so grateful, but I am also heartbroken for those who died. ... There is no excuse for this. We are the United States of America and supposed to be the badass of all badasses, and we are constantly made out to be fools and caught off guard. ... I blame this administration for these recent preventable losses of life."
Deborah Hatheway, aunt of Sgt. Atwell, said the family received a standard-issue condolence letter from the White House last week. "That means nothing. This was not supposed to happen," Hatheway told me. She blasted the "negligence, irresponsibility, incompetence and plain ignorance" that led to her nephew's murder, and she believes the failures in Benghazi are tied to the fate of the fallen at Camp Bastion.
Off the record, several family members of Camp Bastion Marines have voiced persistent concerns about security in what was touted as one of the safest places to be in Afghanistan. "It is not a matter of if, but when" the compound is attacked again, one told me. Another relayed how a few weeks before the 9/14 attack, razor wire on the perimeter kept disappearing -- but Marine sentries were barred from firing on suspected thieves to avoid causing civilian casualties. Others wondered why security hadn't been stepped up given the public threat by the Taliban on September 10 to kill Prince Harry, who was stationed at Camp Bastion.
"And after the incident with Panetta, the security should have been so tight there that even a suicide mouse couldn't get through," Hatheway told me. "How could they let this happen? Someone has to speak up."
Obama's military leaders were asleep on the job -- or sleeping with others instead of doing their jobs. Who will answer for this deadly disgrace?