In recent weeks, much of the mainstream media—which I like to call State Media because it so lovingly parrots White House talking points on almost any topic—has trumpeted the fact that the several hearings have found no actionable material regarding the Administration’s direction of the Benghazi disaster.
How many hearings? Some say eight House hearings and two Senate reports, and most have dug deeply into every bit of arcana discoverable, for political or altruistic reasons. The investigators have looked high and low, mostly low, this observer suggests, and this is not meant to degrade their efforts or intimate that they have been in vain.
When a U.S. Ambassador is cruelly murdered and his body is dragged in the streets through celebratory crowds like so much garbage, and three other American heroes lose their lives defending him and U.S. interests, it is, indeed, a national defense defeat worthy of our intense interest. National defense? Because certain diplomatic properties are considered soil of the nation they represent, our consulate in Benghazi was, most definitely, on U.S. soil. Because our consulate was not properly prepared for an attack and neither was it properly defensible, the slaughter of U.S. personnel became an inevitable defeat of our national interest.
Yet, none of the hearings found any one person, group, or policy directly accountable in their multitudinous reviews of the Benghazi imbroglio. One or more of the congressional investigations needed to be thoroughly conducted, and the more that Administration partisans, operatives, and State Media parrots (journalists might be too strong a word) protested, the more it seemed that something was being hidden, covered up.
This observer will continue to maintain that investigators looked “too low”—that is, they immersed themselves so completely into the detail of the Benghazi mess that they and their political masters missed what was hiding in plain view. Why Benghazi occurred at all, given that it happened in a country in which this Administration engineered regime change and engaged in half baked nation building is for the foreign policy princes and princesses to debate. Whether or not there was a specific failure of certain persons to install concertina wire on the consulate’s walls, or whether the ambassador’s calls for additional personnel and physical security should have been heeded, or whether the ambassador should have been there in the first place—just to itemize the main questions—are for the hearings mavens to parse and protest.
What State Media et al cannot protest, however, is the very fact that Benghazi occurred, and that it is the ugly, unforgettable icon of the Obama Administration’s implementation of its own version of an Andy Rooney-Judy Garland “Let’s Have a Show” foreign policy from somewhere behind the curtain. Benghazi is the concrete result of all that has framed the Obama view that the U.S. should insult Britain (should Prince William have returned Winnie’s bust?), turn its back on Israel, kowtow to China, Iran, Egypt, and yes, Libya, befriend Hamas and the Palestinians, and genuflect to Putin (remember how “flexible” Obama said he could be when he won in 2012?). This was a policy designed to tweak the cheeks of our friends and be obsequious to our adversaries—all to win the world’s likability polls.
Today, the U.S. is neither liked nor respected. And despite Secretary Clinton’s wish to the contrary notwithstanding, her famous rhetorical has an answer: Just as “Remember the Maine” and “Remember Pearl Harbor” had special meaning for generations past and passing, “Remember Benghazi” must make a difference, Madame Secretary, in how the next president views the world. Americans will demand that answer, and that means State Media may have to independently analyze and report news again. That will not bode well for Benghazi policy architects or adherents.
Warren, author of the political thriller, “Turnover,” is an observer with three decades of governmental and corporate experience.