COMMENTARY: Obama's Failure In Benghazi: A Case For Impeachment -- Contributed by Steve Smith
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Submitted by Steve Smith, Contributing Columnist
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Obama’s Failure In Benghazi: A Case For Impeachment
November 26, 2012, Ferndale, MD
FLASHBACK: On November 4th, 1979 student militants, incited and backed by the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, beginning the horror of captivity for 52 American hostages that lasted 444 days. It was only at the Inauguration of Ronald Reagan and the knowledge that he would attack in full force that the hostages were finally released.
As the days, weeks, and months went on and on, President Jimmy Carter did nothing of substance. Talks, yes. Diplomatic discussions, surely. Sanctions, absolutely. Threats, without a doubt. But action? Direct military action on the orders of President Carter? Not until August 24th, 1980, over 9 months from the time the hostages were taken. He finally authorized a rescue mission which he ultimately aborted while in progress due to bad planning and equipment failure, and a mid-air crash that cost the lives of 8 U.S. Servicemen.
While the circumstances were somewhat different, the handling of the crisis was fundamentally the same -- DO NOTHING.
Fast forward to September 11, 2012: Obama receives word of an attack on our compounds in Benghazi, Libya. Unlike Carter, he had real time satellite imagery from a drone above the compounds being attacked, which gave full information on the attackers, their placement, the condition of the U.S. compounds (burning, under siege, surrounded, etc.).
As repeated calls for permission to render assistance to the embattled defenders came in, OBAMA DID NOTHING. In fact, he did worse than nothing. He REFUSED PERMISSION to render assistance. Not once. Not Twice. But on THREE separate occasions.
No excuse for his inaction can be accepted. He may have been advised by the CIA, Generals, and other Department of Defense senior officials, but the ultimate authority to act, or to not act, was his and his alone. There is no one to whom he could pass the buck. That’s why he holds the title (and responsibility) of Commander - In - Chief. To make the hard decisions. To risk lives when necessary. And to do everything within his power to bring the full might and resources of the United States to bear in order to protect our citizens, either at home or abroad, military or civil servants, Ambassadors or security officers.
This attack went on for almost 9 hours, until the final two defenders, former Navy SEALs, were killed as they attempted to defend the compound. What must have gone through their minds as they painted the mortar target with their infrared equipment, yet never saw one single support aircraft is something we’ll never know. They took the knowledge of their abandonment by the American government to their graves.
Carter refused to act decisively for over 9 months, and when he did it was a complete failure which resulted in the loss of 8 Servicemen, ultimately COSTING HIM HIS RE-ELECTION BID. It may have been politically motivated to make the attempt, something we'll never know.
Obama refused to act timely and decisively for over 9 hours, which we all know resulted in the deaths of our Ambassador, 2 Former Navy SEALs, and a security contractor (read that as a CIA operative).
I could speculate that Obama was wracked with indecision, worried about sending in troops on foreign soil without permission from Libya, and making their government mad at us. I could believe he was receiving mixed advice from a number of sources. I could further surmise he was hoping the people in the compound would finally beat off their attackers on their own, saving him from having to make a decision, any decision, and suffering the embarrassment of being ridiculed here at home as well as at the United Nations, no matter what the outcome.
Or I could, and do, draw the conclusion that in addition to the above Obama was worried he would look bad and lose the election less than 3 weeks away should a rescue attempt fail, as it did for Carter. And that his stated position that Al Qaeda was on the run would be proven to be just so much political blathering and election-time fairy tales. Placing his political ambitions above the safety and well-being of the very people he has sworn to protect is despicable and unconscionable.
Given the multitude of whistle-blowing reports that have come out in the past few weeks, it is clear Obama’s lack of action and the withholding of any support is held to the highest ridicule by those ‘in the know’ -- military, defense and intelligence personnel within the system. They see his lack of action as a ‘breaking of the faith’ that all who go in harm’s way must have, whether in uniform, as a Civil Service employee, or in any other capacity.
Regardless of which position is correct, or what combination of reasons for his lack of action in the Benghazi attack, it is completely clear that Obama is unfit to command our Armed Forces. As the Commander-in-Chief he has failed utterly to protect American lives, and failed to respond to an attack on our sovereign soil, namely the compound and Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
An honorable man would have withdrawn his name from consideration for a second term in light of the failures exhibited in the Benghazi massacre. It is obvious that Obama does not possess the integrity to accept the responsibility of his actions, as evidenced by the attempts to cover up the debacle until after the election.
Even today, more than 6 months after the attack, there are still efforts to shift blame, cover up who know what and when, highly suspicious relieving of Command of senior Military officers, and even denials that the White House changed the analysis provided by CIA Director Patraeus to remove references to Terrorism and Al Qaeda for political purposes.
As the President is a civilian and not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it is now up to the House of Representatives to bring Impeachment Charges against Obama for Dereliction of Duty in the face of the enemy, the same charge that would be leveled had he been a Commander on the field of battle. No amount of closed door investigative meetings will serve justice. Placing this before the Senate for trial will force all the evidence to be presented to the American people.
Should the Senate find him guilty and remove him from office, we can take the first steps toward restoring the faith of our Military, offer peace to the families of the 4 slain Americans, and bring closure of this shameful page in American history to the American people.
And if the Senate will not convict him it would send the message to every member of our Armed Forces, from the lowest Privates and Seamen to the most senior of Generals and Admirals that they cannot count on our Civilian government. They can’t count on us to back them up when they call for help, and they can't count on us to move Heaven and Earth to protect them when their backs are against the wall.
God help America should that come to pass.
--- Steve Smith for WCBM
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