Every foreign service employee that has served in a third world country knew exactly what the risks were before they arrived. I served as a US Marine Security Guard at US embassies and I can guarantee you that when there are 20 Americans alone in small embassy in the heart of Africa, you are keenly aware that there is no US Sixth Fleet that will come to your rescue if the country takes a sudden turn against you.
Every American there knows that at any moment, their entire life can be at risk with no warning. That includes not just the Marines, but every diplomat, economic officer, consulate official, and computer geek.
Contrary to the disgruntled Republicans who are desperately seeking a scandal, there simply is nothing there but a tragedy to exploit. This is the nature of foreign service; this is nothing new; it has been like this for decades.
News Flash #1: Benghazi was a small, remote consulate outpost. These small outposts rarely, if ever, get a US Marine security guard detachment. The host country owns exterior security (as it does with our embassies) and a contract security force would handle interior security. There were no platoons of Marines available to come to their rescue at a moments notice. This is absolutely no different than the majority of our embassies around the world.
Seriously, do people really think that the Marines at the Tripoli embassy would leave their post on a fool's errand to rescue someone hundreds of miles into the desert who essentially made a really bad decision?
News Flash #2: US Marine Security Guards are not posted overseas to be the personal body guards of the US Ambassador. The primary mission is to protect the embassy and the classified material within it. Ironically, protecting individuals is a secondary mission. If Marine Guards assigned to protect the US Embassy abandoned their posts to chase the US Ambassador around in the desert, then who do you think is guarding the embassy?
The US Ambassador knew the risks involved in the Benghazi area. He took a chance and unfortunately the timing was bad and he was caught up something that was truly tragic. He was murdered.
News Flash #3: The right-wing echo chamber refers to the Navy Seals being refused military assistance as though it was the sequel to Black Hawk Down. The reality is that they were FORMER Navy Seals who were essentially private guns for hire. They were making large sums of money, as many of them do, working for the newly privatized para-military force for hire that is the residue of the outsourced Iraqi war.
Yes, it is unfortunate that they died and they were heroic in their defense of the ambassador and the consulate; however, they were not active duty navy seals calling in for air support and having their request denied.
News Flash #4: Classified security threats and reports pour into the embassy every single day. So to scream, "Even after they were warned..." —well, that applies to every embassy in the world. If anything, you become numb to the threats because they are never-ending. If you allowed yourself to be paralyzed in fear as a result of the warnings, you would never leave the embassy. After a while, you simple keep it in the back of your head and go about your daily business.
Most likely, this is what led the ambassador to make the tragic trip to Benghazi. This is simply the risk that all foreign service diplomats take every day of their lives. In many ways, they are just as brave and heroic as the US Marines that protect the embassy.
The bottom line is that although this whole incident is tragic, I simply can not get even remotely excited about this Fox News driven scandal. This is the type of thing that simply happens. Of course, I also can't take it seriously from a bunch of chicken-hawk war mongers who gave President Bush and Condi Rice a pass after they ignored years of warnings regarding terrorist plans to slam planes into skyscrapers:
"Had I know that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people," ~President Bush
"I don't think anybody could have predicted that ... they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said.
"Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House," the September 1999 report said.This made for Fox News TV imaginary scandal is merely a fishing expedition looking for ANY reason they can to propogate a reason for impeachment. After all the testimony will be endless requests for depositions and document dumps. I certainly hope that after this week's round of testimony, President Obama simply exerts executive privilege and treats this with the disdain that it deserves.