John Ransom

So Benghazi finally claims another victim.

The knife sticking out of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s back was stuck there slowly by fellow pantsuiter, Sen. Diane Fienstein, (D-Kalf.) who chairs the Senate Intelligence committee for the gentleman’s club also known as the United States Senate.

That knife means that Hillary is probably dead. At least as a presidential candidate.

Oh, yes, the New York Times won’t give it up quite yet.

But for Hillary, it’s o-v-e-r.

The Senate report on Benghazi released by Feinstein’s office is largely a compendium of what you, I and everyone outside of the Obama administration already knows: Benghazi was a terror attack, as acknowledged from the very beginning, and was largely preventable.

The preventer should have been the Secretary of State. Obama and the White escape responsibility.

Seriously. They should too. They can't even build a website. The intelligence process is waaaay past them.

“The IC produced hundreds of analytic reports in the months preceding the September 11-12, 2012, attacks,” says the Senate report, “providing strategic warning that militias and terrorist and affiliated groups had the capability and intent to strike U.S. and Western facilities and personnel in Libya.”

A Defense Intelligence Agency analysis specifically mentioned Benghazi, while other reports also emphasized the deteriorating situation in “eastern” or “northeastern” Libya of which Benghazi is the major hub.

The report also found that the State Department should have increased security based on those reports.

“The State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation on the ground and IC threat reporting on the prior attacks against Westerners in Benghazi including two incidents at the Temporary Mission Facility on April 6 and June 6, 2012.”

See?

It’s all the State Department’s fault.

And that’s what difference it makes, Hillary.

The report reads like one of those scary movies where you know the bad guy is in the house and the ditzy chick in her underwear narrowly avoids going into the same room over and over with the bad guy, heightening the tension.

And you sit in your seat and shout: “Get out of the house!”

Only in this case the victims knew they were about to be sacrificed and couldn't get the State Department to do something.

As I peruse the report I feel like I’m reading the audit from a local U.S. postal facility, where union workers don’t take action because it’s "not their job."

Repeatedly, warnings are given, actions are taken but somewhere along the line, nothing gets done to improve the security posture of the mission.

In an interview this week with Lt. Col. Allen West on Ransom Notes Radio, West said that he’d have to defer to then-AFRICOM commander general Carter Ham’s official version of events. Ham has said that there was no “stand down” order to him preventing him from sending in a rescue team as the attack unfolded.

The Senate report concludes that Ham expressed concern several times to Ambassador Stevens about the deteriorating security profile around Benghazi in the weeks leading to the attack and that Stevens even declined the use of Site Security Teams offered by the DoD.

See?

It’s the dead guy's fault, too.

Of course that contradicts what several off-the-record sources have told journalists, and contradicts the testimony of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who questioned Ham in House oversight hearings.

Much of Chaffetz’s back and forth with Ham was redacted in the unclassified release to the public, but Chaffetz says that despite pleas coming from the Benghazi mission and the CIA annex, orders never came from either the White House or the Defense Secretary to the head of AFRICOM to send support.

So technically, there may not have been so much a stand-down order, as Ham says, but just benign neglect until the problem(s) died.

Literally.

West did note that Ham and vice admiral Gaouette were both relieved of duty shortly after the Benghazi attacks. Ham, who has a pension at stake, says it was just a normal rotation.

Gaouette, who is still under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, was disciplined for swearing and making racially insensitive remarks aboard the carrier the USS Stennis, so says the official account.

Writes the MilitaryTimes:

Gaouette’s style “is not the leadership style that the Navy currently preaches,” one of Stennis’ officers said. “But, I mean, if you fired everybody for being a jerk, we wouldn’t have very many people in the Navy.”

Actually, I’m ok with the jerks in the Navy.

It’s the jerks in D.C. I have a problem with.

There’s a large difference between yelling at sailor for driving an aircraft carrier recklessly as vice admiral Gaouette did, and yelling at the rest of us for cringing at reckless legislation, spineless “leadership” and evasion of responsibility, as D.C. does daily.

I suspect that none of this is over, yet, but there is a strange reticence amongst military leaders, the intelligence community and the GOP in Congress to get to the bottom of the Benghazi scandal.

And it makes me sick.

Even if the knife in Hillary’s back makes me smile a bit.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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