Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Not Like 2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad

Benghazi is bad, but don't rescue the Obama administration by making reckless charges of "treason" that can't be substantiated. This risks going into "truther" or "birther" territory and tainting the real charges of failure.

It certainly looks like our government decided not to use our military to rescue Americans under assault in Begnhazi. Our government needs to answer questions about what it did and why it failed to do more:

Incompetence. Abandonment. Treason.

It has been a sickening few days for those of us who have closely followed the revelations coming out about the Benghazi terror attack that killed not only Ambassador Chris Stevens and diplomat Sean Smith, but also CIA operators (and former SEALs) Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who died undertaking a rescue mission — unauthorized — to save the rest of the consulate staff.

We’ve learned about the incredible heroism of a CIA force that repeatedly called for help for as it was being attacked. Disturbingly, we learned that this force had been told to “stand down” twice by their chain of command, and that they violated direct orders to conduct this rescue mission. Our consulate staff was left to die.

If non-military personnel hadn't taken it upon themselves to do something useful, Benghazi could have been a blood bath and/or an ongoing hostage situation.

While incompetence and abandonment are charges that can be leveled against this administration over Benghazi with apparently good reason, the notion of treason is too much for me.

Even if we truly were arming jihadis in Syria to fight Assad, Assad is an enemy vulnerable right now and his regime deserves to go down. After all, we armed jihadis in the 1980s to take down the Soviet Union. That wasn't treason.

Now, given that many other groups that aren't jihadists are fighting to overthrow Assad, it would be incredibly stupid to deliberately arm jihadis in Syria. But that can be folded into the incompetence charge. If we really were arming jihadis, somebody in the administration probably thought it was a good idea, making the incompetence charge even more believable.

Remember, Americans who loved our country thought sending arms to Iran to free American hostages was a good idea, too. I'd write them up on only one out of three charges.

Lord knows, I'm sickened by the idea that the Obama administration appears to have abandoned our people in Benghazi rather than attempt to rescue them. Administration official inaction was saved by local initiative with pitifully small local assets that kept the body count down.

But why make a thin case for treason when the other charges of incompetence and abandonment are on far firmer ground? Making two out of three failures stick ain't bad, no?