Obama’s empty chair leadership on Benghazi
In the Cold War, the West and the Soviets (and their satellites) played cat and mouse spy games which occasionally became deadly. The great fear was that the militaries would become involved and escalation would occur, possibly up to and including nuclear war.
Now the bad old days of the Cold War are receding in the rear view mirror of history, only to have been replaced by an age of terrorism. Yet with the age of terrorism, everything is backwards: now instead of fearing other nation’s militaries, we fear the terrorism (yes, often state sponsored) that’s seemingly baked-into others’ populaces. With the Cold War we had a low-probability, high-consequence problem; with the age of terror we have a high-probability, lesser-consequence problem (for now. A nuclear Iran will change things.).
As far as Benghazi is concerned, there weren’t just warning signs to be teased out of all that was going on; there were flashing lights and klaxons, obvious and apparent to anyone who was paying attention. Except that paying attention—and acknowledging that the Administration was paying attention—would run counter to the re-election rhetoric needed by Mr. Obama and his creaky crew of professional public servants and great government gurus.
The Foreign Policy article ‘Troubling’ Surveillance Before Benghazi Attack highlights the need for the media to press the Administration for full Benghazi disclosure. First unbold prediction: it—the media action, writ large, and the Obama Administration’s full disclosure—won’t happen.
Second unbold prediction: Leon Panetta will end up taking most of the blame for the Benghazi debacle. He’s old, won’t hold elected office again, and will take one for the team. Hillary Clinton’s political future still needs to be protected by the left. 2016 and all that. I’m sure the left would rather blame CIA Director David Petraeus, but he’s likely made himself unassailable.
The Administration wasn’t hush-mouthed with good news: when Stuxnet damaged the Iranian nuclear program; with regard to revealing counter-terrorism sources and methods; or (especially) when Special Ops forces killed terrorist supreme bin Laden. But now that terrorists have killed Americans, somehow mum is the Administration’s word and “pending investigation” is their key-phrase.
Mr. Obama and his team are desperately hoping to run the (electoral) clock out on Benghazi.