With All of Our Deployments, We Couldn't Get to Benghazi in Time?

Bill Tatro
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Posted: May 10, 2013 12:01 AM

Well, it’s happened again.  Regarding those fateful hours in Benghazi, I just listened to the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya.        

I’ve read the responses from the Pentagon officials and also revisited Hillary Clinton’s testimony, including her infamous statement, “What difference does it make (they’re dead anyway.)” 

This ill-advised declaration from Hillary will eventually gain the same legendary status as another notorious quote from the Clinton family, “It depends upon what the definition of ‘is’ is.” 

Yet, I’m still confused as ever after having regurgitated the classic John McCain sound bites about our role in foreign countries and how we need to put thousands of more young soldiers in harm’s way in order to rationalize the deaths of those that came before. 

All of that is being reiterated on Fox News, Twitter, Townhall Finance, conservative radio, and myriad groups of other outlets — that’s not my confusion.  The answer regarding Benghazi could be quite simple.  It deals with possible “deals” being made with Al-Qaeda, but that’s for another column.

My bewilderment is in regards to the logic of military deployment.  In the fascist (no specific political philosophy, every action justified, and all for the benefit of the state) regime of Barack Obama, we are once again witnessing the Roosevelt approach to politics and the world. 

High taxes, increased spending, the acceptance of being a welfare state, and the punctuation of war highlighted FDR’s multiple terms in office.  However, it was Teddy Roosevelt who introduced gunboat diplomacy with the Great White Fleet in the early 1900s, greatly demonstrating American military might.  Recently, two B-2 stealth bombers departed from Missouri in order to conduct military exercises along the Korean DMZ, signifying our military superiority.  Yet, the show of force does not interest me. 

I was much more concerned about the amount of time required for the B-2 bombers to arrive over South Korea from Missouri, which ostensibly was only a few hours.  We’re continually told that one of the main reasons the U.S. currently maintains a military presence in so many countries — and probably the only reason that I can buy — is that the closer in proximity that we are, it allows us to react to events more quickly.     

Hicks asked, “Is anything coming?”  He was then told the nearest fighter jets were in Italy, and it would take two to three hours for them to make it to Benghazi.  Pentagon officials also said the military wasn’t in position to mount a rescue effort on that particular night. 

So here’s my dilemma: We can send a military show of force from Missouri to South Korea in a matter of hours, but not from Italy to Libya.  (The last time I looked, the distance was shorter from Rome to Benghazi than from Joplin to Seoul.) 

We station military troops for immediate action, yet when the time comes, we can’t or won’t take action.  Finally, we’re asked to rationalize all of it with the response, “What difference does it make (they’re dead anyway).”     

I have to believe that all the war veterans of the Greatest Generation, either living or dead, are shaking their heads over this one — if they could ever understand it — because I certainly can’t.