Rubio: We still need answers on Benghazi

posted at 2:41 pm on November 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Lost in all of the discussion of Susan Rice’s political future have been the real failures of the State Department and the White House to properly secure our consulate in Benghazi, and the inadequate response to the terrorist attack that killed four Americans on the anniversary of 9/11.  In a CNN column, Senator Marco Rubio dispassionately lays out all of the open questions about the incident itself and the US response to the threat before, during, and afterward.  Rubio manages to make a comprehensive case for extensive investigation without once mentioning Susan Rice:

State Department documents revealed that slain Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and others had warned several times of “growing problems with security” and violence in eastern Libya, where Benghazi is located, after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi and after the Transitional National Council moved its governing headquarters from Benghazi to Tripoli in September 2011. Stevens’ predecessor Ambassador Gene Cretz had also sent cables to the State Department warning of the deepening security crisis in Libya.

Well before the Benghazi attack, our intelligence agencies, Department of Defense and State Department cables from the U.S. Embassy in Libya all warned of a growing security crisis. They said terrorists from across the region, including al Qaeda elements believed to be associated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, were able to travel freely into the country to recruit, organize, plan attacks and procure weapons. …

We understand from congressional testimony that the deputy assistant secretary for international programs in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has broad authority over the allocation of security resources, with life and death consequences for our diplomats. Given the vulnerability of nontraditional posts like Benghazi, we should determine whether higher-level officials should oversee security issues. If not, we must be sure that anyone assuming such a position is adequately qualified in overseas security operations and threat analysis.

We must also ensure that clear mechanisms are in place to enable a seamless emergency response among the different agencies that share responsibility. On all these counts, we have more questions right now than answers.

Rubio’s correct, in both substance and approach.  Rice’s involvement in this fiasco relates to her fronting a false narrative on the attack, relevant only to the extent that we find out why Rice did so.  So far, we have a lot of changing stories on that point, which points to either gross incompetence in the days following the attack or a deliberate effort to cover up the reason for crafting the “spontaneous demonstration” story.  Rice’s participation in that effort should come under scrutiny, especially if Barack Obama attempts to promote her, but otherwise the real issues are why the Obama administration didn’t recognize the danger and respond to it properly.

Of course, Rice’s defenders accuse Republicans of “obsessing” over Benghazi, as if to say that leaving Americans all but unguarded in what is rapidly becoming a locus of terrorism isn’t worth probing.  Nate Beeler has a great take today on political “obsessions” and the media:

Be sure to check out Nate’s blog for more of his excellent work, featured at the indispensable Examiner.

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Benghazi Shemghazi… Nobody cares about Benghazi, now this… It’s going to be fun to watch… I sure wish I was watching it from Mars…

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

What was really happening, before Gaddafi’s body was even cold, is that we had people locating caches of weapons, separating the working from those that weren’t, and making a big show of destroying the weapons, but only the weapons that were useless. The working weapons were being given to Islamic terrorists. They were being funneled through Libya, crisscrossing Libya on a Muslim Brotherhood managed strategic supply route. In fact, Michael Reagan called it the modern day equivalent of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in a recent article he wrote, and he is correct.

The entire arms and weapons running operation was headquartered in Benghazi, The weapons were actually being shipped out of Libya from the port city of Dernah, located about a hundred miles east of Benghazi. That was the ‘choke point’ of the weapons being shipped out. Remember the Lusitania? Think in those terms, ships carrying weapons hid among ‘humanitarian aid.’ By the time of the attacks, an estimated 30-40 million pounds of arms were already transported out of Libya.

Link to the full story:

jake-the-goose on November 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Rubio manages to make a comprehensive case for extensive investigation without once mentioning Susan Rice:

Ed is right. Rubio lays out the case for the “before” phase of the attack–or the time well before Rice was ever involved; thus, there’s no need to mention her.

Well before the Benghazi attack, our intelligence agencies, Department of Defense and State Department cables from the U.S. Embassy in Libya all warned of a growing security crisis.

Rubio’s correct, in both substance and approach. Rice’s involvement in this fiasco relates to her fronting a false narrative on the attack , relevant only to the extent that we find out why Rice did so

I’m glad he wrote in this fashion. He’s demonstrating one trait that Republicans can’t seem to figure out these days—that is, maneuverability. Let me lay it out to you like this, Republicans, if there is a steaming pile in front of you–go around it. Marco is showing you how, right here. Rice is involved AFTER the attack, and there are important, unanswered questions regarding BEFORE the attack, so he went there.

do the same.

ted c on November 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Obama and his minions will just keep stonewalling…yawn!

Deano1952 on November 29, 2012 at 2:49 PM

You’ll never get answers. The corruption is too rampant.

darwin on November 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

We still need answers on Benghazi

The administration has provided five different answers just on the question of who falsified/politicized Rice’s “talking points”.

How many more answers do you people need?

forest on November 29, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Yes Rubio we need answers on benghazi and we also need answers on F&F as well! bho/team has numerous things that would have cratered and held a R president for treason? But bho/team gets away with the stall, stall, stall, ignore dc and the courts!

Me thinks that this will go the way of F&F, ZERO done about this?
L

letget on November 29, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Obama and his minions will just keep stonewalling…yawn!

Deano1952 on November 29, 2012 at 2:49 PM

You’ll never get answers. The corruption is too rampant.

darwin on November 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Benghazi=Fast and Furious. No answers and no consequences.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Even Ed hasn’t written anything lately regarding Fast and Furious. Funny how those things just sort of disappear for Dems and goes on forever for Repubs. I remember every Sunday Tim Russert would talk about WMD for years after the Iraq war was over. I just wish he were alive today to show us what hypocrites the lefties are because I’m sure he would be keeping his big mouth shut about Benghazi, F&F…etc.

Deano1952 on November 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

In a CNN column, Senator Marco Rubio dispassionately lays out all of the open questions about the incident itself and the US response to the threat before, during, and afterward. Rubio manages to make a comprehensive case for extensive investigation without once mentioning Susan Rice

This is how to use the media. They are no our friends. Just facts, laid out and then demand an answer if there is an issue.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

We will never get answers and I blame John McCain who decided it was more important to find out where Susan Rice got her talking points from than why Christopher Stevens was in Benghazi on 9/11 and why he was denied security.

Who ordered the stand down?

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Benghazi?

Didn’t anybody get the memo? Human life must take a back seat to protect the O-Messiah’s image.

Now, if Bush was president then Benghazi would have been a national issue. Remember when Bush didn’t “connect the dots” before the WTC attack? We were told that Bush knew of the impending attack and did nothing.

It’s an abomination when the left dances on people’s graves to protect their political ideology.

Kingfisher on November 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

We will never get answers and I blame John McCain who decided it was more important to find out where Susan Rice got her talking points from than why Christopher Stevens was in Benghazi on 9/11 and why he was denied security.

Who ordered the stand down?

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

100%. Rice’s talking points is for afterwards in the clean up. Someone should be made to answer for it, but it is not as important as what happened that night and the orders/lack thereof.

I’d say that the GOP could multitask, but that’d be a lie so stick to the most important issue and don’t play with the shiny objects.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Who cares?

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Q #1. Why was Amb Stevens in Benghazi on 9/11?

Q #2. Who Ordered the stand down?

Q #3. Who cares really, because if the are forced to answer the first two questions all else will fall into place.

D-fusit on November 29, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Who cares?

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The families of the dead.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Nixon won his election even after the scandal was exposed, but it didn’t hit the fan for many months.

E-mails are leaking about the security problems in Benghazi and the requests for help. Many, many people know if the President stood down the military preparations for a rescue. Gen Ham, the area commander, was relieved earlier than his early retirement called for supposedly. At some time, someone with some guts will speak out or release the document calling for the military to stand down. I have not given up hope that the truth will come out, but it would help if the media outside of FNC would push hard for the truth.

amr on November 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Link to the full story:

jake-the-goose on November 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Here’s part II

Dante, you are a creep who enjoys that your government has blood on its hands, for gun running, and is scrooming you.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Sorry, here is part II.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Who cares?

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Well certainly not an Obama worshiper like you.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Always ask this question – why was Amb. Stevens in Benghazi in 9/11, officially and unofficially.

Not even 60% of the truth is told to the American people.

Btw, the media knew all along and covered, no, dwelled in Obama’s azz. Suffocate in there, you creeps, along with Dante and the likes. It ain’t Beluga caviar, you fools.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:14 PM

<strongWe should be more concerned about the gop consultant mafia!!

Read Erik Eriksons piece.

Will piss you off like you would not believe.

The gop is dead……and so is this Benghazi “story”.

PappyD61 on November 29, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Who cares?

Dante

You really are an idiot.

Gothguy on November 29, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Was the consulate ever even secured, or is it still an abandoned ruin?

JeremiahJohnson on November 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Who cares?

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

True libertarians care.

the_nile on November 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Who cares?

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I believe the question as posted is excessively stupid, and should have been phrased differently: Who cares, outside conservative echo chamber? How many – if anybody at all – would change their votes on November 6, 2012 if Benghazi scandal received as much coverage as, say, Obama’s slobberfest with Christie and Springsteen. Apparently, Dante believes that the answer would be along the lines of “almost no one”, and I tend to agree.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

jake-the-goose on November 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Thanks. The pieces fit, don’t they?

a capella on November 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Was the consulate ever even secured, or is it still an abandoned ruin?

JeremiahJohnson on November 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Quit calling it a “consulate”. It wasn’t one.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

The complete takeover of what used to be a independent press by the Friends of Obama is staggering.

and Glenn Reynolds chronilces it yet again today

UPDATE: Reader Robert Frick emails:

Regarding your question about the people rescued during the Benghazi attack on Sept 11, 2012, I would guess the reason the public has not been told who they are is because most if not all are CIA. The work they were doing may be classified and/or they are under a general order not to talk to the press. This is fairly common for people who work for intelligence services. Classified status of course has never stopped press outlets like the NY Times from publishing details of secret projects when it serves a political purpose. Still, I don’t see why an outfit like FOX News or a foreign press couldn’t at the very least publish a general expose that doesn’t reveal names.

Who the people extracted from Benghazi that night are is just one of the questions I’ve been waiting for the press to ask ever since we learned of this horrific incident. The others are what exactly was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi the day he was murdered, and if the president really gave an order to do everything possible to help the remaining men still under attack, who countermanded him with the Stand Down order? I don’t know what’s more shameful – a likely presidential cover-up or the refusal of the American press to inquire seriously about it.

If all the people in the Consulate — not the CIA Annex a mile away, but the actual Consulate — were CIA, then that would be quite unusual, and would suggest that there was a lot going on. It would also support the claim that the attack on the consulate was an effort to free jihadis who had been seized and held for interrogation, though by all accounts that was going on over at the Annex. But who knows? There’s certainly not much press interest in reporting on it.

this is the press that hammered on mitt for three days to give barry some space on bengahzi…this is the press that is ‘reporting’ the ‘fiscal cliff’

And leftist press used as the hammer in a hammer and anvil approach to disqualify the R party

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/158654/

r keller on November 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I have not given up hope that the truth will come out, but it would help if the media outside of FNC would push hard for the truth.

amr on November 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

doubt it will come from the media but it will come out and it will matter

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

You consistently teach me via HotAir,, and your are the reason I value this forum.

jake-the-goose on November 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I have not given up hope that the truth will come out, but it would help if the media outside of FNC would push hard for the truth.

amr on November 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

doubt it will come from the media but it will come out and it will matter

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Not so long as the Fifth Column Treasonous Media still exist. They will do nothing that could possibly jeopardize their Marxist utopia.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Thanks. The pieces fit, don’t they?

a capella on November 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

In the days following this event – I asked – “Where was the Marine Embassy Guard?” – “where is Petraeus?”

The answers are slowly coming forth – the CIA.

jake-the-goose on November 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Thanks.

a capella on November 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM

jake-the-goose on November 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Thank you jtg – we learn from each other. Thank you for your contributions. The forum can be challenging but it’s never short on info. Be well.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

If all the people in the Consulate — not the CIA Annex a mile away, but the actual Consulate — were CIA, then that would be quite unusual, and would suggest that there was a lot going on. It would also support the claim that the attack on the consulate was an effort to free jihadis who had been seized and held for interrogation, though by all accounts that was going on over at the Annex. But who knows? There’s certainly not much press interest in reporting on it.

There was NO consulate in Benghazi.

II: Before I answer that, I want to get a few things off my chest. Every politician, whether it’s a congressman senator, diplomat, or their spokespeople and the media are lying to the American public every time they call the location of the attack a consulate. It was not. There was absolutely no diplomatic consulate in Benghazi. None. Words are important here. They can create a wrong image, an incorrect picture of what was really going on. The property where our Ambassador and other Americans were murdered was a rented villa consisting of a primary residence with a couple of outbuildings behind the actual house. The reason they’re still calling it a consulate is to subtly divert any questions about our activities there.

Yes, the held jihadis were Iranian.

Btw, the part about Saudi is not necessarily true, but the others are pretty close.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Oh, look at all of you people shocked that our interventionism has negative consequences.

Give me a break. We should never have had a “diplomatic” presence in Libya at all once Qadaffi was overthrown. Keep supporting your covert CIA wars and secret prisons. That’s the American way; it’s what the Minutemen were fighting for, dontcha know.

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

This was all due to Republican budget cuts.

Yeah, visit some liberal sites on this. That’s the line.

Oy friggin’ vey.

SteveMG on November 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Rubio: We still need answers on Benghazi

Well, get in there and get the answers, Champ. Seriously, we very much want to know.

But, if you and the others just keep demanding them with no real prospects of getting them, then STHU.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Obama Admin: We have a laser focus on Fast and Furious. As soon as we figure that one out we will get on the Benghazi issue.

hip shot on November 29, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Nixon tried to trivialize Watergate too.

The difference of course is that Republican’s were just as ready to hold Nixon accountable, Democrats hold no such integrity, they would have defended and covered up for Nixon the same as they are Obama if only he had been a Dem.

The President is the responsible party that should be obvious just from his posturing, a petty control freak narcissist chief of everything that didn’t know and guide what didn’t happen in Libya?

Come on.

Speakup on November 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Give me a break. We should never have had a “diplomatic” presence in Libya at all once Qadaffi was overthrown.

So what? In other words, they were expendable.

Keep supporting your covert CIA wars and secret prisons. That’s the American way; it’s what the Minutemen were fighting for, dontcha know.

You find the covert CIA war room and secret prisons in Area 51. Just look to the building right next to the building housing the secret UFO’s and dead aliens.

Kingfisher on November 29, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Oh, look at all of you people shocked that our interventionism has negative consequences.

I thought it was because of an anti-Islamic video.

Even you dumba$$ lefties can’t keep your stories straight.

Kingfisher on November 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Keep supporting your covert CIA wars and secret prisons. That’s the American way; it’s what the Minutemen were fighting for, dontcha know.

Lew Rockwell Junior on November 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Aloha, Lew! Are you getting Cindy Sheehan a baby doll negligee for Christmas?

Del Dolemonte on November 29, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Funny how the Seymour Hersh’s and self-described Edward R Murrows of the world suddenly go missing when a tasty international scandal involving a Democrat drops in their lap. Are there no courageous, enterprising investigative journalists anymore or are they all corporate wimps?

RobertE on November 29, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Benghazi=Fast and Furious. No answers and no consequences.

SWalker on November 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

You are correct. Our country has degenerated into an aristocracy.

They can do anything they want, and that’s that.

dogsoldier on November 29, 2012 at 6:10 PM