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View Diary: YES!!! Soledad WENT THERE -- Condi Rice and the WMD Intel vs Susan Rice and the Benghazi Intel (195 comments)

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  •  "Lessons Unlearned" refers to the Marine barracks (0+ / 0-)

    bombing in Lebanon in 1983. October 23d is the anniversary date. We have a section of graves at Arlington from that. Ronald Reagan was our president.

    299 service personnel were killed, counting American and French forces. Then over the years we had waves of history-rewriting journalistic crap floated out -- misrepresenting the American role in Lebanon, blaming Shiite Iran-connected Hezbollah which didn't exist in 1983, plus blaming middle level Marine officers for what happened.

    Come 2003-2008 Condoleeza Rice misrepresented the WMD issue quite deliberately. Susan Rice appears to have misrepresented the Benghazi situation in 2012 through a more common fog-of-war ignorance. Condi Rice broke the same Obstruction of Congress laws and for similar careerist purposes as BP's David Rainey.

    Still, what happened about Lebanon in the years between 1983 and 2009, matches perfectly with today's Republican assertions of top-level management failures and a nasty/fxckery cover-up .

    We get to October 29, 2009 and we get the seminal piece in Foreign Policy by Nir Rosen, titled "Lessons Unlearned."

    Like brilliance at cutting through bxllshxt? Try on this pair of paragraphs:

    A short history lesson is in order: The 1983 bombing, in which suicide bombers driving explosives-laden trucks killed 241 U.S. military personnel and 58 French servicemen, was in response to an American attack. The United States, at [then National Security Advisor Robert] McFarlane's behest, chose to back one side in Lebanon's civil war. Opposition groups, composed of Lebanon's various religious sects, battled the Lebanese Army, which was acting as a sectarian Christian militia. The United States had just given the Lebanese Army a great deal of military equipment. The opposition forces confronted the Lebanese Army in Suq al-Gharb and were defeating the U.S.-backed forces, which could have led to an end to the civil war and a victory for the opposition forces. There was little consultation within Ronald Reagan's administration when McFarlane decided to call for the USS New Jersey off the coast of Lebanon to provide gunfire support for its beleaguered allies. Until then, the United States had maintained a fairly neutral stance, but after this attack the U.S. warships continued to sporadically shell the opposition fighters. At this point, the United States [military] became just another militia in the Lebanese civil war.

    The United States chose not to raise the alert level for the Marines participating as part of the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut because it thought that would imply that the Marines were also implicated in the attack. But, as U.S. military personnel, of course they were implicated -- McFarlane had made them so, and their blood is on his hands. The attitude among some at the National Security Council was that it was time to teach the Lebanese opposition forces -- read: Muslims -- a lesson. At the State Department's political and military affairs bureau, "we were shocked" by the shelling at Suq al-Gharb, one former senior member told me. "We were left speechless." They knew there would be retaliation for this American act of war.

    -- Nir Rosen, 2009 in FP

    Reagan, not managing. His White House, out of the loop. NSA McFarlane, not raising the alert level and not updating the Marine Commandant in Washington.

    CIA/DoD Intel, as omitted from the original Long Report so conveniently, not at any point reviewing the Marine physical plan for these barracks to check for defense against the list of well-known threat scenarios. (This latter omission belies what those Intel folks were supposed to be doing for a living.) Truck bombs had been used decades earlier in the Middle East. Back to the 1940s, at least. Threat-anticipation had gone out of style.

    Please, read all of Nir Rosen's article. What the press here has to say about Rosen is that he made a crude joke about Laura Logan getting finger-raped in Cairo. The guy is American, lives in Lebanon, and has been dodging guns and bombs for decades -- his idea of a joke might be a skosh different from yours.

    Rosen's slam on McFarlane and on the Reagan White House generally has to set the standard. He calls them out as lying axxholes for their stunts, for trying to blame others where they have killed people by their own stupidity.

    Next time McCain and Graham go out to Arlington National Cemetery, they deserve to have their noses rubbed raw on those grave stones.

    Shxt happens.

    When you turn the American military into another on-the-ground militia, you get people killed. That was Lebanon. That was also Libya with State Department people doing the getting-killed. Biggest difference is that when top management goes stupid/stupider, you get a whole helluva lot more people killed.

    Goes with the territory.

    •  David Rainey lied about the BP oil leak (0+ / 0-)

      to try to cut back the fine that would be levied against his company. Those fines are calculated by so much per barrel or gallon dumped.

      Condoleeza Rice helped start the useless war in Iraq that killed, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, Corporal, U.S. Army, and torn open the heart of his mother, Elsheba.

      Rainey is indicted and will serve time in a soft prison. Condi Rice gets to be celebrated world wide. How nice.

      That guy Robert McFarlane was able to cover up his role screwing-the-pooch in Lebanon for more than 25 years. At the time, going to the details, McFarlane was able to spin the 1983 disaster into a promotion for himself: from Deputy National Security Advisor to the top job as National Security Advisor to President Reagan.

      (Google [mitt romney leola anderson] for another grand example of spinning responsibility.)

    •  Here's the first-hand account from Lebanon. (0+ / 0-)

      25 Years Later: We Came in Peace, by Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) in Proceedings Magazine from the U.S. Naval Institute. October 2008.

      -- Col. Geraghty overstates our certainty as to who was responsible for these attacks. There were a number of players in that game. Any notion that Shiites in Iran cooperated with Sunnis in Syria to end up using Shiites in Lebanon -- for anything -- makes little headway.

      -- "Iranian/Syrian-supported operation" is fantasy. It's the line that Robert McFarlane pushed as he got himself promoted.

      -- Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and liquid butane by the tons make for one helluva blast. Powerful shock waves. We are reminded that the Israelis were hit at Tyre some 10 days later with similar effect. Such a truck does not have to get all that close to a targeted multistory building to knock it down.

      -- The political analysis reads like Romney saying that Russia is "the greatest threat." It's the Judith Miller / Koch brothers ignorance, replicated. Nobody on the right knows people on the ground in Lebanon, so they cannot fathom what has happened with Hezbollah under Hassan Nasrallah.

      The Israeli Left has been paying attention to these changes. Nobody on the right, anywhere. Still, Geraghty is interesting with every sentence, right and wrong.

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