In the most recent Oversight Committee hearing, State Department’s Gregory Hicks mentioned that there were 55 people in the two annexes in Benghazi. Earlier reports says that a total of 30 people were evacuated from Benghazi. Only 7 of the 30 evacuees were employees of the State Department. So if 55 is correct, there were actually 48 CIA folks in Benghazi. How come no one is throwing a tantrum to hear what they have to say?
Joshua Foust writes that the press and Congress are asking the wrong questions.
The eight-month controversy over the attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi reintensified last week, as the former Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli testified before a panel at the House of Representatives. The hearing, however, seemed to focus not on the attack itself, but rather on what happened afterward: the content of the talking points handed to UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and whether President Obama referred to it as terrorism quickly enough.Indeed, the entire scandal, as it exists in the public, is a bizarre redirection from the serious failures for which no one has yet answered.
The CIA’s conduct during and after Benghazi should be the real scandal here, not the order in which certain keywords make their way into press conferences. It is a tragedy that two diplomats died, including the first ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. Sadly, they are part of a growing number of American diplomats hurt or killed in the line of duty. Embassies and diplomatic facilities were attacked 13 times under President Bush, resulting in dozens of dead but little action. If future Benghazis are to be avoided, we need to grapple with why the attack and our inadequate response unfolded the way it did.
Many of those issues were raised in the Accountability Review Board report that the State Department released last December. But to this day, the complicated nature of CIA operations and, more importantly, how they put at risk the other American personnel serving alongside them have gone largely unremarked upon. It’s past time to demand answers from Langley.
Read in full here.
This piece originally appeared in Medium, a new elegant publishing platform from Evan Williams, of Blogger and Twitter fame. Check it out.
- It’s Time To Discuss The Secret CIA Operation At The Heart Of The Benghazi Scandal (businessinsider.com)
- CBS News’ Major Garrett Reports That ‘Republican’ Source Fed ABC And CBS News Fake Benghazi Emails (mediaite.com)
- Three Lessons from the Benghazi Emails (swampland.time.com)
- Benghazi: What Did the CIA Know, and When Did It Know It? (motherjones.com)