Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Independent Inquiry

The independent panel investigating the Benghazi, Libya security breach by well planned and armed insurgent militia which lead to the death of four people, including the US Ambassador to Libya concluded the obvious, failures of US security people and State Department officials.

While their conclusion are valid and correct, they're basically said in hindsight when at the time no one could have or would have foreseen the events of the attack and the militia. And while they put the blame squarely on the State Department they neglected to include Congress.

And that's the failure of the panel itself. It looked at the failures within the State Department and not in the context of the larger political arena which includes the appropriations provided to the State Department for embassy and other diplomatic facilities or compounds.

And that we know is the real fault. For the last few years Congress has reduced the requested appropriations for security at overseas locations where the State Department had to make hard choices for less US security in some countries and rely on foreign security forces.

And this is what failed. Not just the State Department, but Congress. And they failed big time. They share the blood on their hands the panel doesn't mention because they didn't look at the larger context of the events in Libya, just those by the State Department in the country.

It's easy to point at these failures by the State Department, that's the obvious, but it's harder to point at the failures of relative events over years, like Congress and appropriations, because it's political, and this panel wanted concrete results. But I have a question for the panel.

Exactly where does the State Department get the money they don't have to add security at overseas locations? They can't just spend money they don't have, only Congress can do that, and Congress hasn't done that.

Answer that and then you can call your conclusions conclusive than just focused.

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