The two fallen SEALS in the Battle of Benghazi, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty, by courageously engaging and keeping the Battle going totally destroyed the Obama political team’s initial game plan for explaining away the attack.
Because if the Department of State facility was quickly overrun-then it would have been a deadly and tragic event but capable of possibly being explained away that the bad guys got lucky in a hit and run attack.
Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty most definitely did not die in vain.
Through their undaunted valor in fighting to the death over a significant period of time they blew up all possible political spin and highlighted the lack of a military response.
Communications, “signals in space” were made in the clear during the attack and are not classified. The Battle of Benghazi “comms” if ever made public, will clearly show all Americans the performance of the Commander-in-Chief and underscore his failure to respond and to lead.
The easiest way to get the transcripts and recordings of the actual calls for help is to ask Ambassador Pickering, Chairman of Sectary Clinton’s “Accountability Review Board”(ACR) if he heard them while preparing his report.
If he or his team did receive these items, then Congress should have access as well. The ACR “report” was made public and was in fact quoted in open hearings. If Secretary Clinton’s independent accountability review did not have access to the battlefield communications then it is difficult to understand the basis upon which accountability was judged. The document becomes a whitewash not an accountability review.
In spite of their valor, the tragic issue of no combat rescue to save those trapped on the ground did not end the battle. A follow-on counterattack by the terrorists, after the death of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods sealed a tactical and strategic defeat in the field for the Obama Administration.
The US lost the first set piece battle against Al-Quada, and is perceived as such by many foreigners in Europe and the Middle East. To quote one French journalist: “After Benghazi, the US lost significant credibility in the Middle East. All the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan went up into smoke.”
The terrorists attacked the President’s personal representative with no response, other than to invent a non-exist film justification. And to make the point even more forceful, even if this was true so what? Where was the punishment of wantonly and brutally slaying the US Ambassador?
We left-and they stayed and US did not counterattack. This is a textbook definition of a battlefield defeat.
Al-Qaeda understands all this very well.
The claim that we could do nothing is simply wrong on the basic logic of a combat engagement. It is not over until it is over. When the terrorists hit the Twin Towers, President Bush did not consider that to be the final act. Rapidly, the US went after those responsible hiding out in Afghanistan, and trying to blend in with women and children. Indeed, when Osama Ben Laden was killed this was an episode in the battle against Al-Qaeda not the culmination.
Why is Benghazi over simply because it is politically embarrassing?
Combat, because until it ends it doesn’t end, and the end point was not known for the evening President Obama went to bed. In fact while he was traveling to his fundraiser the next day a counterattack would have still been tactically and strategically critical to deliver.
More important to the fate of Americans abroad and to US global credibility was the need to plan and execute a successful counter attack.
The Commander in Chief can ask no less of himself than what warriors are required to do: leave no man behind and protect our allies.
The tactical consequences of no counterattack are long lasting, not a brief what does it matter event.
US reinforcements could have killed or captured (even better) more death loving fanatics plausibly involved in the event. This is not a police action with a law court in prospect. This is the world stage where failure to succeed is a key factor shaping what our adversaries believe they can do next.
In addition, we could have had a rallying point for saving those Libyans who were working with us. No one has mentioned them and their fate is still unknown.
US insertion forces could have secured any classified info and communication’s gear and collected if possible cell phones to protect their social networks and collected forensic evidence for the FBI and Intel Community.
Of all the things said about Benghazi the most patronizing and disingenuous statement was made by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Let’s be clear Benghazi happened a long time ago.”
Let the American people be clear Jay-There must be a day of reckoning for what happened. For the consequences of Benghazi remain a crucial event shaping the near term and mid term future of US engagement in the Middle East and beyond.
The Administration has delivered its message via the former Secretary of State and by the White Press spokesman. For Mrs. Clinton, “What difference does it make?” For the White House press spokesman, the battle of Benghazi occurred in a world far far away and in the distant future.
This as if President Bush would have responded to 9/11 by stating that until the FBI finds the criminals he would do nothing. He could have argued that it was a one off event that required no immediate action. There was no rush of terrorists to strike US buildings quickly thereafter because the President did shape a forceful response. With no response from President Obama, it will be difficult to be a diplomat or warrior in the Middle East, for the next attack could well be considered a “what difference does it make” event.
This is why reckoning on the Benghazi failure is important, because it is still in play as a global factor affecting the credibility of US policy and the safety and security of US personnel in the Middle East.