Letter to Congress re Benghazi
I hear the House will investigate the Benghazi, Libya, incident in which Ambassador Stevens and several others were killed. If they do, I hope they will also investigate the Pat Tillman incident in Afghanistan. I believe the Republicans engaged in more lies and cover-ups about the Pat Tillman scandal than the Obama administration did about Benghazi.
As a Vietnam veteran (Army artillery) and retired Foreign Service officer, I would prefer to let both men rest in peace. I believe the Benghazi investigation is motivated by partisan politics rather than genuine concern about the death of Amb. Stevens. If the Republicans are going to spit on the graves of brave Americans who died in the service of their country, they should look at all the deaths whose details were covered up.
I believe Amb. Stevens died in part because of the CIA. (Of course the main blame lies with the crazy Libyans who killed him.) The post in Benghazi was not a consulate; it was some kind of special mission set up to cover CIA activities. The CIA safe house was several blocks away from the mission, and was eventually attacked itself. I’m not sure, but I would guess that the CIA had some paramilitary types in their safe house who did not immediately come to the aid of the State Department mission, although at some point they did come. I think at least some of the confusion at Susan Rice’s Sunday show briefings was due to a CIA cover-up, because they did not want to admit that they had such a large operation in Benghazi.
In addition, I believe there was genuine confusion about why the Benghazi mission was attacked, whether it was a terrorist attack or a protest of the anti-Islam video that got out of control. There is good reason that people talk about “the fog of war.” I don’t know what happened in the embassy in Tripoli, but it looks to me like neither the CIA station chief, the military attaché, nor the State Department security officer rose to the occasion in terms of helping the Ambassador in Benghazi. Ambassador Pickering, with whom I worked in State, investigated this issue, and I am sure that he did a thorough, professional job, as he did everything while in the Foreign Service.