Monday, October 29, 2012

Benghazi: unfounded (but does that make them inaccurate?) thoughts

So I don't do this blogging thing too much anymore.  But it is not just my blogging that is a victim of my schedule:  I once invested some time and effort into writing long-form fiction.

Those efforts brought me to the point of trying to write a book--once.  I had a couple of ideas for follow-on books, too. . .but since the first book never got past 60 pages, there was really no need to explore a follow-on.

HOWEVER, I will tell you that one of the ideas that found its way into my notebook was a wag-the-dog scenario in which a troubled President gained hefty international stature by "resolving" an international incident (of truly limited impact on the international stage but played-up as a "walking on water" moment) that turned out to be entirely a creation of the President and his people.

Now I'll tell you I never had "kidnapping of a U.S. Ambassador to a newly-independent Middle East state that owes its independence to the President" as the incident.  But I did have "kidnapping", "international figure with symbolic significance", and "geopolitical hot-spot."

So why am I talking about kidnapping?  Is there any evidence that what happened to Amb. Stevens was a kidnapping attempt gone bad?

No, there is no such evidence... that has been made public at this time.

But I am struggling--mightily--with what motivates any man to "go to sleep" (metaphorically for sure; literally is possible, too) while the life of one of his friends is at risk of a violent end.

We know that Obama knew there was an attack underway on the Benghazi consulate.  Further, we know that Obama (or someone in his Situation Room) knew that Stevens was in that consulate at the time of the attack.

And we know practically nothing else regarding Obama's knowledge as the event was unfolding.  Did Obama ever ask about Stevens' condition?  Heck, did he try to reach out directly to Stevens via blackberry/cellphone/whatever device is used in Libya?  Did he know about the (three!) alleged calls for help from the annex a mile down the road?  How was he getting his information?  Who was in the decision loop?    

Now I myself have accused the President of being especially uncurious.  He seems to think he knows everything that he needs to know.

But this is beyond uncurious.  This is downright uncaring--about the lives of Americans and about the symbol of America on the international stage.  And it is hard to believe that anyone as blatantly political as this President would act that way this close to the election. . .

UNLESS there was some element of these happenings that were not unexpected to him.

So I'm forced to look at what we know Obama knew and why those events wouldn't bring him out of a decision slumber (which is the current stance of the administration as provided by the President himself--that Obama did not make any tactical decisions but rather issued directives regarding his hopes for the outcome).

How could it be that an attack on US personnel on sovereign US territory didn't force him into the mix?

How could it be that said attack WHILE THE AMBASSADOR WAS PRESENT did not get him riled-up to the point of interfering?

There are, I suppose, some common answers to the above questions.  But I'll be honest with you:  I think of myself as "creative" when it comes to things such as this and I only have two answers.

One is that he just doesn't care about an attack on American property and lives.  And while I know some people who may think so little of this President and the men and women who surround him as to lend credence to such a charge, I do not ascribe downright antipathy of American lives to this administration.  As far as explanations go, I believe the likelihood that this is correct hovers between zero and zero-point-one percent.

Which brings me to answer #2:  that some part of this event was planned with the full knowledge of the administration.  Some event where Stevens' life must have been known to be "not at risk."

And what, praytell, could be the only end-result from a group of folks breaching consulate security while the Ambassador was present that did not spell "possible doom" for Stevens?

In my mind, the only possible explanation is that Stevens was supposed to be kidnapped and held for ransom.

My guess is that State knew about this, too.  That's one of the reasons Sec Clinton threw herself under the bus--she has as much to lose in a full-fledged inquiry as anybody.

Wild conjecture?  Of course it is. . .but since the administration isn't doing much to fill in the blanks, my "creative" mind has no recourse but to go crazy within the construct of what is known.

Hopefully in time we will know everything about Benghazi.  I just hope that the findings will be a final epitaph on the era of hope-n-change rather than the reason for the following words:  "The forty-fifth President of the United States, Joseph Biden."


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