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We can believe the president on Libya, right?

December 5, 2012 12:10 am



SOMETIMES current events seem so complicated that it is difficult to determine what is really going on. Maybe it's because we try too hard to follow the story line as it is reported rather than applying common sense to get at the truth. Consider the Benghazi situation.

When President Obama was asked why there wasn't more security at the Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11 and why there was no apparent effort to answer the ambassador's requests for help from an ongoing terrorist attack, the president said that his administration will not rest until the bad guys are caught. I guess Obama answered those questions satisfactorily, right? Or should we apply common sense?

When the question was being raised about why there was an attack, the administration sent U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to say, on Sept. 16 on five TV shows, that the attack was a spontaneous uprising due to an anti-Islamic video. I guess that makes sense, right?

And then the president said that it was unfair for Republicans to dispute Ms. Rice's account of the attack since she didn't have any familiarity with the subject. OK, sure

During the second presidential debate, Obama made it a matter of record that he said, shortly after the Benghazi assault, that it was a terrorist attack. That makes sense, right? Especially when you consider that the president blamed the video for the attack in his address to the United Nations two weeks after Sept. 11. Oh, and the State Department spent $70,000 to air an ad denouncing the video, "The Innocence of Muslims," that seemingly no one saw.

Vice President Joe Biden said he and the president acted on intelligence that they had received when they called the attack a spontaneous uprising. That seems plausible, right? Especially now that we know that both he and the president watched the uprising unfold real time from signals sent to the White House from a drone filming the Benghazi attack.

And it is all the more plausible considering the fact that the CIA leaked information to Republicans that countered Biden's remarks and said that their operatives in Libya reported the event as a terrorist attack and never said it was an unplanned uprising.

The president claims he told security people to do whatever it takes to assist the embassy and consulate workers in Benghazi after he received messages of the attack and watched the attack unfold from the drone video. We should take Obama at his word, right? Especially since our Defense Department was so inept that its forces were not able to get on the scene until well after the 7-hour attack was over.

We absolutely should believe that the administration is doing everything it can to determine what went wrong at Benghazi, even though it the FBI waited four weeks before they went to Benghazi to examine the "crime scene." Of course, we can't blame the FBI for being concerned about their safety, even though journalists had already been to the site of the attack and recovered things like Ambassador Chris Stevens' diary documenting his concerns over the inadequacy of security in Libya.

Gen. David Petraeus, director of the CIA, said at first that the Benghazi attack was due to a spontaneous uprising over a video. Then he testified before Congress, saying that he always believed it to be because of terrorism. Of course, there's no reason to believe the second version since Petraeus was forced to leave his job after he cheated on his wife, potentially jeopardizing the security of the United States.

Finally, the American public shouldn't be concerned about holding anyone accountable for the Benghazi incident, right? It just happened to be that it was the first time in 33 years that an American ambassador had been killed overseas in the line of duty.

And if we leave it to the media to cover the truth, we won't need to worry about applying any more common sense to unravel the mystery of Benghazi, right? The entire Benghazi mishap will just have been a "bump in the road," one that the media thinks is not worthy of coverage.

Roman J. Marciniak Jr. lives in Spotsylvania and is retired from the General Services Administration.

Copyright 2014 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.