It’s not hard to find a lesson between the Fast and Furious investigation and today’s (Oct 10) House sub-committee hearing on the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya and the lack of security.
The lesson learned from Darrell Issa’s Fast & Furious investigation is not to aim too high then find yourself stuck in the mud, when, instead, if you work methodically, shining the light on all the players at the bottom, all the players at the top will be exposed as their underlings rat them out, each in his own time.
You see, crimes, real go-to-jail crimes were committed by supervisors at the ATF in Phoenix that allowed hundreds of assault weapons to “walk” into the hands of Mexican criminals, and then into Mexico, killing hundreds of Mexican citizens and one, maybe two US agents. Those crimes, and the perps’ names, were known very soon after the death of Agent Terry, a year and a half ago. Yet they remain un-indicted and no one knows their names. And all those up the chain remain insulated.
Had indictments issued forth 18 months ago, there would be no issue today as to what Eric Holder knew, and when he knew it. My own view is that Holder knew less than many of you want to believe he knew, and his greatest crime, a la Nixon in ’74 and Obama last month, was in the cover-up…a really secondary offense when you consider the number of people killed in F&F. What Holder really fears, again, in my view, is that it will come out that he was 1) incompetent in overseeing the ATF-DOJ plan, and 2) indifferent to the possibility of all those people getting killed…
…which provides a perfect segue for the behavior of both Obama and Hillary and their respective policy teams by 1) bungling their entire hugs and kisses Middle Eastern policy, and 2) really never contemplating that anyone could get killed as a result (that could be laid back at their feet).
While everyone wants Eric Holder’s fingerprints to be all over Fast & Furious, and Barack Obama’s over the death of Stevens, there is not a drop of evidence to prove this, and the only way for that evidence to develop will be for individual players, with the light already shining on them, to step forward and point the finger, to save their own unworthy reputation and hide. Ever hear of John Dean?
While arguably there were no crimes to match the murders of hundreds in Mexico, the State Department’s failure to provide adequate security for the consular staff in Benghazi, whether through incompetence, indifference, or wacky policy, was a serious breach of duty; the sort that can get you fired, or worse, assigned to counting rubber bands in the embassy in Harare. The cascade of lies issuing forth from both the White House and State Department, the cover-up, are another thing altogether.
First you have to understand that the State Department cannot commit a crime, or practice incompetence or indifference. Neither can the White House commit a crime, or practice incompetence or indifference.
Only people, people with real names, can do these things, and it should be the purpose of these hearings to bring those names to light. A bright light in fact. (Today, almost two years after the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, still none of the responsible people have been named, BY THEIR NAMES, as the people who brought on these outrageous acts.)
In State’s chain of command, Ambassador Stevens worked directly under Hillary Clinton. (So did UN Ambassador Susan Rice.) So when Stevens sent requests (more than one, we’re told) for added security, he sent them to Hillary, not to Fred in the mail room.
Now in truth, Hillary may never have seen these requests, but she
would/should have known about them, (just as Holder would/should have known about F&F…unless he were a blithering incompetent) and the reply back to Stevens, denying his request, would/should have been “in her name.” If she chose to ignore them, someone would have been instructed to do nothing. So, who did handle or confer with Hillary, and reply to Stevens would have had a name. And he/she would have had a recollection. The committee would want to know this.
This chain of information is no different from a chain of evidence, or chain of command. To make any case these things must be known.
And once they are known people in the spotlight begin to sweat.
There are two issues here: the failure to provide the consulate with security, which is a national security and foreign policy failure of great significance, and the subsequent cover up and flood of lies that will continue until these people, much like the recently sentenced Jerry Sandusky, are in their graves. I can’t pretend to analyze their capacity for self-delusion.
Just don’t confuse the two. The cover-up is entirely political, having nothing to do with national security or America’s standing abroad. Obama’s political problem is that 75% of all Americans who know the US ambassador was murdered in Libya have already laid Stevens’ killing at Obama’s feet, just as they did the Iran-Hostage crisis in ’79, even though none of that was really Jimmy Carter’s fault. I doubt the cover-up would help Obama anyway.
So it isn’t imperative that we complete this investigation before the election. Can’t hurt Obama any more than he’s already wounded, except perhaps in the eyes of the media. Just go where the evidence leads you, Mr Issa…which will likely lead to a really looney-tunes Middle Eastern policy that maybe Lady Clinton would just as soon not have to articulate in public…or that they had to risk Stevens’ safety for the sake of appearances and in keeping with prior policy initiative, thus blaming the video for the same reason. (This is still better than having to admit that she was getting a full body rub down from Huma, which is, deja vu all over again, similar to the AWOL President Clinton when Sandy Berger hadn’t the courage to pull the trigger on Osama bin Laden back in the pre-9/11 days.)
The cover-up is salacious, and therefore newsworthy. It can explain a lot as to who answers to whom, such as Susan Rice’s speaking tour with the Sunday talk shows. Was her intelligence briefings from CIA or State’s private intel group, or second hand from the White House? Was she speaking for her boss (Hillary) or her husband’s good pal (Barack)? Did she know the facts and lie? Or did she not have a clue, and lie. (Remember, you don’t have to know the truth in order to tell a lie. You only have to not know what the truth is.)
Just as with Fast and Furious, everyone wants to go right past GO, collect their $200 and lay this entire debacle on Barack Obama’s desk. But this would be a mistake, for determining the cover-up lie, and what it was covering up, is still secondary to determining why there was no security there in the first place. His greatest failure is in captaining a completely mismanaged ship. Incompetence.
I can understand the urge to lie to cover up a misstep. It’s no different than lipstick on the collar, only more newsworthy.
But what I cannot understand or abide, is the failure to protect the ambassador in the first place. This is the “crime of indifference or incompetence” that led to all the other crimes of lying, covering-up, etc, along with exposing great incompetence and unfitness to administer, much less lead.
This time we need to put real names behind the “they” in the Administration.
Do that, Congressman Issa and Chafetz, and history, not to mention US foreign policy, will be well served. Let the salacious work its way out through the media at it’s normal pace.
POST SCRIPT (10/11)
A hat-tip to Cold Warrior, you can view some of the testimony before Issa’s committee here.
And for naming names, the hearings provided two (2) names that should appear prominently in future discussions, with a view toward seeing their careers and reputations dashed:
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs Charlene Lamb is the lady who Eric Nordstrom had a phone conversation with asking for beefed up support, and who told Rep Issa, (you can watch it, and watch her face while doing so) “We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi.”
She’s the one, mentioned above, who should be busted in rank and sent packing to Harare to count rubber bands.
(Any of you with combat experience and have had run-ins with the company or battalion supply sergeant; he is the only member of the military below the rank of fighter pilot who thinks of himself as a god. “Your requisition for two extra mortars is denied, captain. Says here you already have your allowed number.” “But we’re going to be hit by a reinforced battalion tomorrow, Sergeant.” “Sorry, sir.”
(But this man is only a god until half a dozen troops come back in body bags, and the after-action filed. Then he makes the swiftest trip back down to PFC in military history, and is busted by a general officer just for show, no mere colonel.)
This is what should happen to Charlene Lamb, and by the way, just what is the DepAsstSecState for International Programs doing being the go-to guy in handling these sorts of manpower requests in the first place?
The other, is Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, referred to as “Ambassador” in the hearings.
He and Ms Lamb were in full CYA mode, only, like Obama today, but also Madelaine Albright before them, who believe treaties to be self-enforcing (“But the North Koreans can’t have nukes. We have a treaty with them!”) they have no truth or facts, only internal bureaucratic protocols, to fall back on to defend their actions.
This sort of thinking in government needs to rubbed out, erased, eviscerated, blotted out, and held to public scorn and ridicule. Amen.
Hang ’em high, Mitt.