Benghazi: Breaking Faith with the Original American Tune
“We come on the ship they called the Mayflower,
We come on the ship that sailed the moon.
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
And sing an American tune.”
– Paul Simon
There was no specific warning that night in Libya although there had been warnings and signs of potential terrorist attacks for months leading up to attack on the American mission in Benghazi. Intelligence officers on the ground had sent back warnings, the British had closed their embassy and moved their people out of harm’s way and even the unstable Libyan government had issued warnings to the American State Department.
They were ignored.
Once the attack started, Washington was advised in real time but did nothing. It was only weeks from the Presidential Election and a terrorist attack did not fit the administration’s claims that it had Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups on the run.
An order went out to ‘stand down’; there was to be no attempt to rescue or relieve the Americans under attack. The attack lasted more than seven hours and when it was over, four Americans including the American Ambassador were dead and the mission destroyed.
Benghazi stands as a testament to what happens when politics becomes more important than anything else including human life.
The Administration did not concern itself with defending Americans and an American diplomatic facility; it concerned itself with protecting the President’s reelection.
In a democracy, it is expected that there will be partisanship. While most may want the same basic things for their society: stable economic prosperity, a clean environment, national security and affordable health care, there will be differences of opinion on how those can be best achieved based on different ideological philosophies but there are some things that are so elemental, so basic, they should transcend partisanship and politics.
Natural disasters like hurricanes and floods unite us in a way that the day-to-day issues cannot. We tend to forget our politics and come to the aid of our fellow citizens as we come together to face a common challenge.
An armed attack on fellow citizens should be one of those moments and it should always be the first obligation of government to defend its territory and even more so – its citizens.
Despite the knowledge that some of her people were under attack, Hillary Clinton, a woman who wants to be president, was in bed sleeping while the mutilated body of Ambassador Chris Stevens was being dragged through the streets of Benghazi. The next day, she appeared in a brief press conference where Barack Obama started what would become the official spin strategy; the attack was the result of a spontaneous eruption of violence during a protest over an obscure video mocking the prophet that had been posted months earlier on YouTube.
It was a lie and a deliberate lie intended to deflect criticism from the administration and the President’s reelection campaign.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out to speak on various television news shows where she delivered the spin’s major talking points; embellishing what everyone in the administration new was a lie.
And it worked – sort of.
The mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News and the Christian Science Monitor aided the administration. They refused to cover all but the most basic details of the attack. CNN, ‘the most trusted name in news’, seldom even mentioned Benghazi during the election campaign.
It was a complete abrogation of the professional responsibility of the fourth estate; as if the majority of the mainstream media were nothing more than propaganda arms of the administration. Joseph Goebbels would have been impressed.
It has taken a considerable amount of time but slowly the truth has been emerging and even more is being revealed during current hearings before Congress.
The American People can be forgiven if they are cynical about what consequences, if any, that truth will impose on any of those responsible for this disgrace.
And disgrace it is; a murder of principle and duty every bit as horrific as the murder of four American diplomatic personal.
Benghazi stands as the ultimate symbol of a leadership that betrayed its duty to its people and of a free press that self-censored the truth to protect the reelection of a presidential candidate it supports. It is not merely cynical politics; it is a lack of principle, a lack of morality and leadership on a scale never before seen in a free society.
Since its founding, America has stood a symbol of freedom. It has made mistakes, sometimes egregious errors in judgment but it never strayed far from the basic principles stated so eloquently in its constitution. Somehow, no matter how far it did stray, no matter how bruised and battered it might be at any one moment in time, America always found its away back and continued to sing an American Tune.
As Benghazi showed, this administration has taken America farther from home than it has ever been. It has broken faith with everything that made America what it is and driven the concept of America to its knees. But truth floats and will not be denied forever. The truth is emerging and it falls to the current generation of Americans, to put aside ideology and partisanship to defend their nation from those who care less for its constitution and its promise than they do for personal power and privilege.
To do less would be to betray the promise that has always been an American tune.
© 2014 Maggie’s Bear
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