Archived Story

Is there dirt in Benghazi sand?

Published 9:07am Friday, May 10, 2013

The Republican Party had not had a great deal of success lately, but perhaps the parties’ most unified accomplishment since late 2012 is the attack on the Obama administration over the Benghazi events of last September 11th.

Everyone is on board from Fox News, to conservative talk show hosts, to several Republican senators and most of the republican House.R

Catching quotes from any and all about the horror of the administration and Benghazi is about as easy as gulping sir for breathing.

The Arab Spring has made many parts of the Middle East more dangerous than ever before. And Libya, like Egypt, and now Syria, has become a dangerous place for Americans.

Last year, on the anniversary of 9/11, Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens left the embassy in Tripoli to travel to a consulate in Benghazi. His security detail was small and supplemented by local mercenaries of uncertain commitment.

The compound was attacked and ambassador Stevens and three other patriotic Americans died. While attacks on U.S. embassy facilities have declined over the past few years, this was, in hindsight, the perfect storm.

The republican House had demanded budget cuts in the State Department security budget, and State made poor choices where to make those cuts, underestimating the potential risk in Libya.

The locals hired to provide security took off when the attack occurred, leaving the small security team facing as many as 150 armed enemies. From the beginning, there was virtually no hope to save the mission.

After the deaths in Benghazi the politics of a presidential election, and the general political rivalry in American politics took over what should have been a united front against enemies who killed Americans.

The Romney campaign thought Benghazi might show weakness in Obama’s foreign policy, so they immediately attacked, before even the Intel reports came into the White House.

The Romney attack got some help in their argument when Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, oddly was selected to explain Benghazi to America. Rice was the most unlikely candidate, not being part of State or Intel communities. And her initial report was challenged almost immediately for its veracity.

Rice indicated that, at that time, U.S. intel viewed the Benghazi attack as motivated by a movie that offended the Muslim faith. But already other reports were claiming it was an organized attack by the franchise now labeled Al Qaeda.

Lost in all of this was the unity that America has shown when attacked by our enemies, and that loss was, in many ways, as damaging as the loss of lives.

Since then the State Department commissioned an independent review of Benghazi and the review presented a scathing critique of mistakes made. But what the report did not conclude was any intentional failures on the part of anyone involved in protecting Stevens and his team.

Separately, congress also held hearings and interviewed people familiar with the events of Benghazi, continuing as recently as this week with hearings held by the Republican House.

The summary is that, while some have offered opinions about how differences in response may have helped, not surprisingly, there is no evidence of intent to see U.S. patriots harmed.

There is no evidence that any resource could have reached Benghazi, or that any effort could have saved the life of the ambassador.

There is no dirt in the sands of Benghazi, and Republicans would serve the nation better by giving their attention to stimulating the economy for jobs and economic growth.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.


  • mikehaney

    At the conclusion of the New Jersey Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee meeting last Thursday, an open microphone caught three state senators, identified by voice as Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assistant Majority Leader Sandra Cunningham, Senate Majority Whip Linda Greenstein, and at least one staff member talking candidly about their intent to confiscate all guns from the people they serve. It should be noted that Senator Loretta Weinberg is the chief proponent of the anti-gun legislation being moved through the New Jersey State Senate.

    Although some of the candid conversation is a bit difficult to discern due to the ambient noise, their message is clear. “We need[ed] a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate,” stated one high ranking senate member. “They don’t care about the bad guys. All they want to do is have their ‘little guns’ and do whatever they want with them,” added another in an obviously demeaning manner. Another conceded that gun owners do, in fact, want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but added that “they don’t have any regulations to do it.”

    For anyone doubting the bitter contempt these legislators hold for gun owners and pro-Constitutionalists, a YouTube video that captured the “open microphone moment” is available for review .

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Judicial disqualification, also referred to as recusal, refers to the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer. Applicable statutes or canons of ethics may provide standards for recusal in a given proceeding or matter. Providing that the judge or presiding officer must be free from disabling conflicts of interest makes the fairness of the proceedings less likely to be questioned.
    Eric holder must have been studying his dictionary since fast and furious.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney
  • Geronimo

    mikehaney you’re an idiot!! you parrot every word that the hateful right wing nuts utter. Like you!! That’s my opinion and that’s all you ever offer in any debate that I’ve seen in this opinion column. Opinion and very few facts. Less facts from you than most.

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  • mikehaney

    Darn–just out.
    Sebelius in recent weeks has asked various charitable foundations, businesses executives, churches and doctors to donate money to nonprofit organizations, such as Enroll America, that are helping to implement President Obama’s health care overhaul.

    The agency said Friday there is a special section within the Public Health Services Act that allows the secretary to solicit financial support for nonprofit organizations conducting public health work.

    However, the solicitations, through speeches and phone calls, have raised questions about whether a federal official can ask for money from groups he or she oversees.
    Show me the money and we won’t come after you?

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  • mikehaney

    Crawford–There is no dirt in the sands of Benghazi, and Republicans would serve the nation better by giving their attention to stimulating the economy for jobs and economic growth.
    Right; we need to move on.

    But,what’s this I hear about AP phone records recently tapped?

    IRS targeting conservative groups? No way!!

    Military cracking down on religious groups,they wouldn’t?

    Amnesty for illegals? They just break the law, that’s all.

    Fast and furious. That’s in the past.

    Wind farms getting a pass from Obama on the deaths of golden and bald eagles(secretly), but full steam ahead prosecuting and fining oil, gas and coal companies.

    Obama–Ok, everyone register your firearms. You can TRUST me. Castro made it work in Cuba.

    Got dirt? We need more here than a push broom.

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  • bleedingheart

    No one wants to blame the victims, yet I have to question why the ambassador traveled to Benghazi in the first place. The embassy in Tripoli was much more fortified than the consulate. If “everyone” thought the situation was deteriorating so quickly and “everyone” complained about lack of security; then why did they go there? Especially on 9/11? Perhaps the people on the ground in Libya were not as concerned initially as some would like us to believe. Hindsight is…

    (Report comment)

  • deist

    I will turn it around . There were 51 diplomatic workers killed under George Bush. Where was the outrage then. The brave men and women who go into the diplomatic corp know what they are doing. They accept the responsibility and consequences. This was a terrible incident where we lost some brave Americans. But that is it. When the Republican Party starts to care more about helping to make America a better place for us all, instead of trying so hard to hurt President Obama, it will be an amazing day.

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  • 79Tiger

    Crawford’s rendition of events is precisely why it is considered a partisan witch hunt. This should not be a political matter, it is one of national security then, now and in the future. With an administration unwilling to be forthright with information about the incident and a cooperative press not pressing for answers, one wonders what they have to hide. Turn the tables around by thinking what would have happened had this happened on a republican president’s watch and then it is easy to see why this is thought of as being partisan. As for your last thought, getting back to fixing the economy is absurd on its’ face. Government cannot fix an economy but it sure can destroy one. Witness the current state of the economy which has been stagnant since 2007. It should not be stagnant 6 years later but for politician’s meddling in affairs that they know nothing about. You have a warped sense of government and what it is for Crawford. You should know better.

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  • mickakers

    Jim Crawford; You hit the nail on the head with your comment “what should have been a united front against enemies who killed Americans.” Jim, I do question the depth of our involvement in many of these countries. We lack understanding when it comes to their culture and mental attitudes, therefore putting us at a disadvantage.

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  • mikehaney

    Rice is a liar,Clinton is a liar, Obama is a liar.
    To quote one of these three; who cares!!

    (Report comment)

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