OR,“DIPLOMACY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SERIOUS, DOES IT?”
When we first saw the article, we thought “Well, that’s a photoshop, or an actor, or a charity stunt, or something.” No way that could be a real U.S. ambassador. Alas, it is.
There’s sending a Christmas card and then there’s sending a Christmas card. U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck knows how to send a Christmas card. Get a load of his holiday greeting:
ABC News explains the card:
Oreck posted a special edition of the embassy’s 2012 holiday card, featuring his bulging bicep, to his official Facebook account Tuesday and reportedly also mailed copies of it to friends.
Later in the article we learn that the Christmas card was not THE Official U. S. Ambassador to Finland Christmas card. Nevertheless, it was posted on his “Official” Facebook account and distributed to friends of the Ambassador.
All right, then. This is the 21st century and stuffiness is sooooo yesterday and the latest thing nowadays is the only thing. And being buff and a fitness freak doesn’t disqualify anybody from anything or impinge on anyone’s official duties. What has to be so straight-laced and protocolish about the ambassador gig, right? After all, it’s only Finland. It’s not like it’s…………….Benghazi. There is a possibility Ambassador Oreck wouldn’t recognize the name Chris Stevens if he heard it. But whatever, apparently he has no trouble….moving on.
So is that the worst thing, this vacuous vacuum cleaner heir carrying on over there in Finland like the world is just a fun, wonderful place? No, that’s not the worst thing.
State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland reiterated today that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not be testifying on a Benghazi report before congressional committees later this week because of a concussion she reportedly sustained after fainting from dehydration. According to Nuland, Clinton has sent letters to the heads of the House and Senate foreign affairs committees, apologizing for her absence.
When pressed on whether Clinton will testify after she’s recovered, Nuland hedged a bit before saying that Clinton has made if clear that if there is an “ongoing conversation in January” that she’s “available for that.”
If there is an “ongoing conversation”? Surely, surely we will have moved on from Benghazi by then. Surely the diplomatic corps, not to mention the cognizant committees of the U.S. Congress, and please don’t even think about mentioning the families of the Benghazi victims, surely no one will still be engaged in needless conversations about Benghazi by then???!!!
So is that the worst thing, then? Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State and boss of all US Ambassadors everywhere and responsible not only for their conduct but for their safety, Hillary, whose PR department touted perhaps her greatest accomplishment as SOS by issuing a press release citing the success in securing a concert in Rome for Lady Gaga – is her skipping out on accountability for the Benghazi scandal the worst thing? No. We’re getting there.
“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters.
Oh? Well, let’s accept your premise, asinine and despicable though it may be, dear Secretary of Defense. How do you explain this?
Just one hour after the seven-hour-long terrorist attacks upon the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began, our commander-in-chief, vice president, secretary of defense and their national security team gathered together in the Oval Office listening to phone calls from American defenders desperately under siege and watching real-time video of developments from a drone circling over the site. Yet they sent no military aid that might have intervened in time to save lives.[Forbes, 10/24/12]
Is that the worst thing then? That the Commander-In-Chief and the Secretary of Defense, commissioned by virtue of their offices with protecting the United States of America, its territory domestic and overseas, and all personnel serving under the US flag, sat and did nothing?
No the worst thing, the absolute worst thing, is that any and all who have been paying attention to the Benghazi debacle know what happened, who was involved in it, what preceeded it, what official and unofficial statements were true and which were false and which were intentionally misleading or untruthful. We, the public, as well as countless former military officers, foreign service officers, intelligence officers, former high-ranking administration officials and advisors and many current news reporters at various outlets have pieced together the story of Benghazi.
It was the worst National Security lapse since Jamie Gorelick erected the wall between the CIA and the FBI in the scandals leading up to the 9.11.2001 attacks. (And then “moved on”, unbelievably, to become a member of the commission investigating those attacks!). The worst thing is that we know everything that the White House and Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon knew on the evening of 9/11/2012 and we knew it within days of the attack because a. We pay attention and because b. We know that no, the world is not just a fun, wonderful, let-your-hair-down-and-have-a-good- time place where government officials can have a ball and yuk it up while families all over America grieve needlessly because of these people’s “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Let’s dance!” attitude.
And so the worst thing is that we had all the facts; we gathered them from many, many sources all over the globe, from the horses’ mouths in Libya and from State Department underlings and from straight-reporting news people and, if sworn Congressional testimony is to be believed, from audio and video tapes in possession of the US Government. The American public knows.
We know all that, and yet those notables, those distinguished ones supposedly not given to flaunting their biceps and earrings and fathers’ fortunes and flip attitudes in public, not given to yukking it up at the National Press Club over the failings of the former CIA Director (and no we didn’t even wade into that whole sorry spectacle), these people issue the results of supposedly a very thorough, very professional and dignified inquiry into the Benghazi affair, and this is what we get:
What was lacking in the report, however, was any sense of who was responsible farther up the chain. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Accountability Review Board—chaired by retired Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and vice chaired by another national-security heavyweight, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen—detailed a broad failure of U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers to fully understand the growing Islamist threat in Libya, but without naming the names of those who were responsible for that failure. As the report put it, using the passive tense, “There was little understanding of militias in Benghazi and the threat they posed to U.S. interests.”
The oblique and generic report which mentions neither Obama, Clinton, Panetta nor Susan Rice (Who told her to blame the video and why?) only chastises faceless “departments”. Unbelievably, after we heard the word “video” at least 22,577 times from the four principals mentioned, it is not mentioned once by the Right Honorable Mssrs. Pickering and Mullen And there is absolutely zero reference, zero, to the Defense Department and to the cries that went out for help from Benghazi that night and the fact that Leon Panetta and friends sat on their hands and claimed in public , on tape and transcribed, that they hadn’t a clue what was going on over there. Thomas Pickering and Michael Mullen should post haste be taken out to the courtyard and shot. The hangings should proceed more slowly and with great archival documentation and photography.
Is that the worst then? The fact that not only all the players have moved on but those who were supposed to criticize the players have apparently moved on as well? No, the worst may yet be to come. If our elected representatives in Washington DC, knowing what we know, and knowing all the little “classified” details to boot, and knowing the Pickering-Mullen team punted on first down like they were an ambassador in Finland and couldn’t wait to get back in their sauna – if our representatives fail to make the “players” answer for the deaths of Americans and the dereliction of duty of each and every one of the top officials involved and just “move on” that will be the next-to-worst thing. The worst thing will be if We The People …..”move on”.
“NO MORE SERIOUS THAN NATIONAL SECURITY! IT’S ALL GOOD!”
Crossposted at Grumpy Opinions