Benghazi–What Difference Does It Make

I have been astonished at the lack of attention given by several major media outlets to the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including our ambassador to that country. I understand that many in the media did not want anything to distract the voting public from re-electing Mr. Obama. They apparently now do not want anything to get in the way if Hillary Clinton chooses to run in 2016. Perhaps that’s why there was little media criticism when Clinton responded to a question whether the attack was a spontaneous protest or an organized terrorist attack. “Was it a protest or is it because of guys out on a walk one night and they decide they would go kill some Americans?”What difference, at this point, does it make?” The media celebrated the “brilliance” and emotion of her response. I was appalled at her response.

It is quite easy to understand what difference it makes. The U.S. military has a formal process for evaluating actions and events for the purpose of learning what should be done in future responses. The evaluation is called “After Action Review.” The review is described as “…a professional discussion of an event, focused on performance standards that enables soldiers to discover for themselves what happened, why it happened, and how to sustain strengths and improve on weaknesses. It is a tool leaders and units can use to get maximum benefit from every mission or task.” The review also allows every member involved to analytically evaluate whether what they did was adequate or lacking.

An article in the Wall Street Journal reports the President was told about the attack in a prescheduled late afternoon meeting and had no interest in the matter until the next day well after the attack had ended with four Americans dead.  “President Obama failed in his basic responsibility as president and commander in chief. In a crisis, the president went AWOL.” “Not a single presidential finger was lifted to help Americans under attack.”  Hillary Clinton, who the dead ambassador had worked for, also had no contact with the Defense Secretary or the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman that evening or night as the attack progressed.

It is obvious that major mistakes were made before and during the attack, and our leaders should be looking at their actions to learn and prepare for the next time. The terrorists won and Americans died. We need to prepare for the next time. We shouldn’t hide behind questions that have no purpose other than to show how emotional we are that people died.

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