Oliver North
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WASHINGTON -- For better than a month, the Obama administration has been dodging and weaving over what actually transpired in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of Sept. 11-12. Questions have been posed about why Ambassador Christopher Stevens was there and not at his embassy post in Tripoli. Congressional investigators have asked why he had no security detail, why the State Department decided not to send in U.S. Marine embassy security guards when they were offered months before, why contingency plans were not in place on the anniversary of 9/11 and why the O-Team insisted for so long that the attack on our U.S. diplomatic post was a "spontaneous event" and not an act of terrorism.

By now, all should realize that truthful answers to these inquiries will not be furnished by the White House or State Department until after the presidential election on Nov. 6. But there is an even more important question that should be asked and answered now: Once the White House knew about the attack in Benghazi, what action did the president take to protect or save the lives of Americans?

"We the People" need to know the answer because we are about to hire -- or rehire -- a commander in chief. The response is crucial to determining whether the incumbent is competent enough to fulfill the responsibilities of the job or whether he should be replaced. Fortunately, we have a standard of behavior for a commander in chief in a previous well-documented terror event: Ronald Reagan during the Achille Lauro incident.

On Oct. 7, 1985, four radical Islamic terrorists -- members of the Palestine Liberation Front, the organization now calling itself Hamas -- hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. They then murdered Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American passenger. His only offense was that he was an American citizen and a Jew. That was offense enough to spark what the current administration might well call a "spontaneous event."

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Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.