Thursday, October 22, 2015

Who Was at War on September 11, 2012?

Former Secretary of State Clinton will testify today before a Congressional committee on the attack on our facilities at Benghazi on September 11, 2012 that left four Americans dead.

I remain concerned by the failure of our military to even try to send help that day. The secondary question is whether for political reasons the administration tried to dismiss the attack as a video-related protest gone awry to support the notion that our wars were responsibly ending.

Those questions are related to my suspicion that there was command influence from the White House that the war was over and that nobody should act like we are at war to undermine the campaign narrative.

I've written many times that I don't believe it is true that we could not have sent troops to Benghazi to try to influence events as the crisis unfolded--as the State Department actually did (which would actually make Clinton look better if she wasn't so invested in the related video-caused explanation attempt).

Conclusions that we could not have affected the crisis as it did unfold rely on hindsight as to when the crisis ended.

My suspicions about the mindset of our senior leadership before that day is easily indicated by a blog post of mine on September 9, 2012:

The Department of Homeland Security is urging Americans to contemplate the supplies we'd need to cope with a zombie crisis:

Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you're prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.

It's a shame we don't have a real world example of a threat.

Well, perhaps some man-caused disaster as a reason to prepare will come to mind in a couple days.

Under the circumstances, I'm deeply offended by the zombie preparation campaign.

Boy did we get a reminder in a couple days. We were (and remain) at war with murderous enemies who cared not one whit for the reelection theme that the wars were winding down.

Like I said, I want to know why our military in Europe didn't go to the sounds of the guns. That doesn't require "stand down" orders or secret arms cells in Benghazi or whatever else is out there as an accusation--and a distraction as far as I'm concerned.

UPDATE: For me, the testimony established that the administration was damned if it was going to admit in the weeks before the election that we were still at war with enemies far from defeated:

In the weeks before September 11, 2012, al-Qaeda saber-rattled about a potential Tehran 1979–style attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo — perhaps they’d burn it to the ground, perhaps they’d take hostages to trade for American concessions like release of the Blind Sheikh (imprisoned for terrorism convictions in the U.S.).

Administration officials knew there would be trouble on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. They also knew that, if the trouble was perceived as the foreseeable fallout of their Islamist empowerment policy, it could mortally damage Obama’s 2012 reelection bid and Clinton’s 2016 election ambitions.

My suspicion is that the administration was determined to pretend the war was over--fast receding, for sure--and that this command influence was felt in the chain of command that suppressed the normal instinct in the military to move to the sound of the guns.