In my opinion, Hillary Clinton and her Dept. of State are criminally negligent and allowed Stevens and his staff to die. Yes, allowed. By virtue of reducing the security force in Benghazi and ignoring the clear warning signs, State put the staff in jeopardy unnecessarily. They left them to die.
Our original post, Sept. 20:
|Ambassador Chris Stevens - Dept of State photo|
It's bad enough that President Obama has skipped most of his intelligence briefings during his tenure in the White House. "During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time," wrote Marc A. Thiessen in the Washington Post. "During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting." That column by Thiessen was published on Sept. 10, the day before Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed.
Three days later, on Sept. 13, Thiessen wrote that Obama "was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should. But instead of rescheduling the intelligence briefing for later in the day, Obama apparently chose to skip it altogether and attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack."
|Regrets? A few. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/GettyImages)|
"Libyan officials say they warned the United States three days in advance of the terrorist attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and several other Americans," notes The Hill today. "Clearly, there was a disconnect in the communication." Clearly, and not only by Libyan officials. The story was actually public, published in a number of news outlets, giving the U.S. Department of State absolutely no excuse for not being aware the threat. They do monitor the news media at the State Department, right?
So, what we have is a President who has shown a careless disregard for what's happening overseas. By extension, I think it's fair to say that Obama has not demonstrated that he placed a high priority on the safety of our overseas personnel, including folks such as Chris Stevens. Hillary Clinton seems to have shown the same disregard, and even after the killing of Stevens - and the ensuing anti-Western, Islmanist-driven violence worldwide - she appears to be in denial.
"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," reports CNN today, "said Thursday she has 'absolutely no information or reason to believe there is any basis' to suggest that U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list."
Wow. "Absolutely no reason," Clinton said. Really?
Nobody needs an intelligence briefing from experts to reasonably guess that Chris Stevens, or any U.S. diplomat, is likely to be on the hit list of al-Qaeda or any number of other terrorist groups. Yet there is Hillary Clinton saying that she has "absolutely" no reason to believe that Stevens might have been marked for death. How about this for a reason, Sec. Clinton: Chris Stevens was the U.S. diplomat in Libya. That alone is reason enough to not only suggest that Stevens himself believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list, but for you to have seriously considered that well before he was assigned to his post in Benghazi.
CNN continued: "[Clinton's] remark came after a source familiar with his thinking told CNN that in the months leading up to his death, Stevens worried about constant security threats in Benghazi and mentioned that his name was on an al Qaeda hit list. Stevens spoke about a rise in Islamic extremism and al Qaeda's growing presence in Libya, the source said."
The damage from the attack on the Benghazi consulate involves more than the tragic deaths of personnel there. Sensitive documents, notes The Independent UK, were taken from the compound, "and the supposedly secret location of the 'safe house' in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed 'safe'." Those sensitive documents probably contained names of Libyans friendly the U.S., which means that they are now in danger.
Update, 7:00 pm EDT, Sept. 20:
To add insult to injury, nobody in the Obama Administration has issued any kind of formal apology for leaving Ambassador Stevens and his staff wide open to deadly attack. Yet today we learn that the U.S. government is paying for televised ads in Pakistan that essentially apologize for the anti-Islam video "Innocence of Muslims." Taxpayer dollars are paying for that ad. Fox News reports today that the ads show Obama and Hillary Clinton condemning the video (with Urdu language subtitles). The Fox headline, by the way, was "Obama and Hillary Apologize for Free Speech on Pakistani TV." How true. How sad.
"We absolutely reject its content and message," said Clinton in the advertisement. But was this really needed? She and other administration officials have already said that. Why spend taxpayer money to say this, and why in Pakistan? There are at least 20 other countries where protests related to the anti-Islam video have occurred. Why not in Libya, where Chris Stevens was murdered?
Nothing about this makes sense. Don't the fools in the White House understand that this not only makes the U.S. look like wimps, but just helps keep the damned video in the public eye? The apology ad actually serves only to fan the flames.
FreedomOutpost summed it up well in a post today. "So let’s get this straight: The State Department spent seventy grand of taxpayer money to have the Secretary of State and the President of the United States apologize for a film they “allegedly” had nothing to do with. Well it’s nice to know our money is being spent so wisely by Hussein and his administration as they continue to apologize for someone simply exercising their First Amendment rights, instead of reprimanding those who blew up the consulate and killed Americans."