Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Tears of Benghazi

By Alan Caruba

The Hollywood version of heroes is that of large, muscular men who show no fear and little emotion after a confrontation with the enemy. The images that come to mind are Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwartzenegger, and Bruce Willis who, while not a muscleman, has the swagger we associate with movie heroes.

On Wednesday, on Capitol Hill, three men, Greg Hicks who was deputy chief of mission in Libya, second in command to the assassinated Ambassador, Chris Stevens; Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was formerly the regional security officer in Libya; and Mark Thompson, a former Marine and an official with the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau; sat at a table and gave short statements followed by answers to the questions they were asked.

In real life, heroes often look like someone in middle management. It was wrong—even demeaning—for the media to call them “whistle blowers.” These men were patriots. Who else would go to a war zone to represent their nation or to protect its highest diplomat there?

At the hearing they wore suits and ties. And, when called on to tell the truth, they sometimes choked up from the mix of emotions that flowed through them from memories of colleagues lost in combat and the awful realization that the nation for which they put their lives on the line, the nation they served with honor, left them defenseless to come to the aid of those colleagues.

Looming in the room were the ghosts of the dead ambassador, two security personnel; Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were both former Navy SEALS, contracted by the Central Intelligence Agency, and Sean Smith, a ten-year veteran of the State Department and on temporary assignment in Libya as an information officer for the embassy. Smith, an Air Force veteran, left behind two young children.

The testimony was emotional at times as the witnesses had to pause to regain their composure. They were a sharp contrast to the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who became annoyed by the questions she was asked at a hearing on Benghazi. “What difference does it make?” she replied angrily to a question from Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” Clinton asked the Republican Senator. “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”

Did she really believe it was just “because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill Americans”? On the anniversary of 9/11? Did she and the President really believe that the attack was because of a video? That is what they told Americans in the wake of the attack. That is what our ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, was sent out to say on five Sunday morning news shows.

What emerged from the hearings was the failure and the refusal of the State Department, the CIA, and the Department of Defense to activate any of the resources they had to send any forces to defend the consulate. Someone had to make a conscious choice to do that. Someone had to tell those forces to “stand down."

As Hicks said, “I am a career public servant. Until the aftermath of Benghazi, I loved every day of my job.” As one watched, his quiet presentation was marked with moments of emotion. He was the last man to speak by phone to Ambassador Stevens. Thompson said he was rebuffed by the White House when he asked for specialized team known as FEST—men trained specifically to respond to an attack. Asked how a team of Special Forces personnel were not given authorization to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi responded, Hicks said “They were furious.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-CA) the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox News, “The question is, where’s the accountability for lying to the American people?”

That’s what the President of the United States did. That’s what the former Secretary of State did. And that’s why the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, replied to a question about Benghazi dismissing it saying the attack had happened “a long time ago.”

The loss of the lives of four patriots and the testimony of their colleagues, still mourning their loss, is sad, but how much sadder still is the fact that our great nation is led and represented by such soulless people?

© Alan Caruba, 2013


TexasFred said...

I don't know what the final outcome of this will be, the Dems and Mainstream Media are doing everything possible to render these hearings useless and uncalled for.

Libtards will buy that from the Dems and Media, they really ARE that stupid.

This hearing, and it's outcome, will be a look into the soul of America and will give the astute observer a good look at where America is and where it's going.

That will only matter to people like us Alan, the Libs don't care, many thought to be on the RIGHT are apathetic and the future of freedom IS in the balance...

Unknown said...

How they held it together w/o slammning fists on the table and calling the EM-EFFERS OUT as EM EFFERS is beyond me. I would never have been able to hold back! Grace with dignity is what those men showed, kudos to them for doing so. Clinton and Obama should be ashamed, mortified, and given a big boot to their a MINIMUM! How they could ignore the situation so speaks volumes of how they really view America...

RStabb said...

The attack went on for over seven hours.
The questions are: Who told the special forces to stand down? Where were Obama and Clinton during this time?
Benghazi Gate.

Alan Caruba said...

@Ron. Obama was in bed asleep. When he's not sleeping or playing golf, he's out fundraising.

RStabb said...

@Alan. O yea, I forgot.
He was so upset he went to a Vegas fundraiser the day after the Benghazi massacre.

Unknown said...

Excellent, excellent, article! Thank God we still have people like you, who can capture the importance and emotion that occurred in yesterday's testimonies by three brave Americans! I love reading your articles and this time, I think you've topped them all!!

Alan Caruba said...

Thank you, Cara.

joetote said...

As the hearings unfolded Wednesday it was apparent to anyone who chose to open their minds that this administration from the President down lied to their teeth! Some call it political. Some call it moronic stupidity. Some call it miscommunication. Bulls...! The President of the United States, The Secretary of State, The Press Secretary and more all lied! And apparently the then Secretary of Defense had his head so far up the President’s you know what that he also came out with some bulls… line as to “we couldn’t just send our people in there without knowing the situation”. We know they had real time video! We know they were told that the consulate was under attack. And we damned well know the “video” excuse was complete balderdash.

I want to make one point as to the above that I have not really seen any one expound upon much and if I am wrong on this assertion I would ask someone to please show me that. It is my understanding that for hours, one of the hero Seals reported he had the mortar position that was shelling the consulate “lit up” while they were begging for help. I understand that this means he had a laser aimed at the position which in turn a fighter could have homed a missile or whatever in on. It is also my understanding that as the battle lasted for some hours, there was in fact plenty of time to get an F16 over there which could have blown the sorry Muslim Al-Quida whatever they are called bastards directly to hell! Yet our Secretary of Defense said we couldn’t do that?! And what about our Commander in Chief, you know, the one who was informed and went to bed because he had to be up early for a trip to Vegas! He couldn’t have ordered a strike?!

Four people died! This administration lied! It doesn’t get any simpler than that! The lies have to stop!!!

RStabb said...

This should help back-up Mr. Brandon's claims.

RStabb said...

The spin doctors are hard at work over there on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The hell with the talking points. Who gave the stand down order and why?