The Benghazi scandal isn't what you think it is
The Benghazi "Consulate" was a CIA front, which is why Congressional transparency is impossible.
Republicans in Congress *know* this--they know the truth about the building and its mission are classified--which is why they are hammering the White House about the Benghazi "truth." They literally cannot talk about it, so the Republicans can formulate any story they want to, knowing it can't be disproven without declassifying dangerous intel.
Who was the consul?
Yes, the person—a State Department Foreign Service Officer—-in charge of a consulate. (A consul general is in charge of a consulate general, which is a bigger State Department mission but not an embassy.) Oh, you don’t know who was the U.S. consul in Benghazi at the time of the 2012 attack? I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up: There wasn’t one.
Some follow-up questions: Do you have any State Department e-mails, phone calls, or radio messages signed by the consul at that time? Any requests to replace a lost passport or register a marriage or other standard work that a consulate does? No, of course not, because this was not a consulate like other consulates.
Where were the consul’s living quarters? Yes, where did the U.S. consul live? Were they in the consulate compound itself, or somewhere else? I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up: If there were living quarters designated for an eventual U.S. consul in Benghazi, they were unoccupied. Were any personal effects recovered after the attack?
You say a consul had been planned or designated but, in the interests of security, he had not yet taken up residence in Benghazi. And what was his (or her) name and previous postings? Was this a real appointment or a straw one, a placeholder to make it look right?
If the point is not yet clear: There was no consul because Benghazi was not a real consulate.
It was a front for the Central Intelligence Agency’s efforts in Benghazi to carry out two worthwhile missions: Get the names and structure of the extremist forces operating in Benghazi—chiefly the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Sharia)—-and seize or buy up the vast amount of weaponry freed by Gaddafi’s 2011 overthrow, weapons that indeed contributed to the Islamist rebellions in Mali and the Central African Republic (and maybe even Boko Haram in Nigeria).
For this praiseworthy effort, four brave Americans died: the U.S. ambassador, two ex-Navy SEALS, and one ex-Air Force communications specialist. Only Ambassador Christopher
Stevens was a real State Department official. The other three followed the typical CIA pattern of hiring highly trained U.S. military personnel.
The problem here is the drastically insufficient protection to secure the mission, whether you wish to call it State or CIA, a problem found in many parts of the world. Was Secretary of State Clinton derelict in not demanding such protection? Sure, she and many officials were living in a dream world, supposing that a handful of operatives could keep tabs on radical Islamists without them figuring out that they were the targets and striking back. And Congress has always been tight-fisted in funding physical security for U.S. missions. Only the gigantic, newly constructed U.S. embassy in Baghdad is physically secure—and it’s nearly empty. If you’re going to fight a war in the shadows, at least go armed.
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