We understand the politics of the third and last debate, in which former Gov. Mitt Romney declined to grill President Barack Obama about his handling of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Romney could not afford to look too hawkish if he wanted to gain support of young, suburban women who — to their credit — are not typically fond of war. He could not afford to appear disrespectful of a sitting commander in chief who’s responsible for the lives of men and women serving in our military.
We do not understand, and cannot condone, the obvious lack of interest in this story by the mainstream national media. Never has a president enjoyed such a pass on a story that involves the death of Americans abroad. The media should demand answers of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all day every day.
Here are obvious questions, thanks to a timeline created by Patrick J. Buchanan, in the event anyone who covers the White House and State Department cares to get serious.
• Did security for Americans working in Benghazi become an elevated concern after a bomb blew a 12-foot-wide hole in the outer wall of the U.S. compound on June 6, more than three months before the Sept. 11 attack? If so, what measures were taken to improve security?
• The British ambassador’s motorcade was hit by a rocket grenade on June 11, exactly three months before the Sept. 11 attack on our consulate. The British closed their Benghazi post the next day and the British ambassador left. Did this event result in new security policies and procedures at the American consulate? If so, what? If not, why?
• As the British left Benghazi, the Red Cross also shut down and left the city after coming under attack for the second time. Did this cause the Obama administration to consider additional security measures for Americans in Benghazi? If not, why?
• After the British and the Red Cross left Benghazi, Americans convened an emergency meeting at the U.S. compound on Aug. 15 to discuss nearby Islamic militias, including Ansar al-Sharia, and their training camps. The next day, on Aug. 16, a cable went to the State Department that described imminent danger and the compound’s inability to defend against a “coordinated attack.” The message, signed by the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, went directly to Clinton.
Did Clinton, or other State Department officials, inform President Obama of this cry for help, made 25 days before the attack? If not, why? If so, what was the president’s response?
• Ex-SEAL Ty Woods, who was in the CIA safehouse a mile away from the consulate, claims he was denied permission to go to the rescue of the compound on the night of the attack. Mr. President, as commander in chief you should know about this. Is it true? If so, why was Woods asked to stand down?
• Is it true that State Department officials monitored the Benghazi assault in real time?
• Is it true that one of three emails from the compound, on the night of the attack, said that Ansar al-Sharia claimed credit? If so, was the commander in chief informed? If not, why? If so, why did the White House tell us the attack was a riotous reaction to a YouTube video?
We want to know, Mr. President, why four Americans died in a terrorist attack, even after an official plea for help 25 days in advance. We want to know why it could happen after watching the British and the Red Cross leave the country to spare lives.
Red flags were abundant for three months before this attack on our fellow Americans. After the bloodshed, we were told to blame some crackpots who posted an amateur video on the Internet. This equation wreaks of a foreign-policy meltdown that may be a harbinger of more violence.
A select few in the mainstream national press have daily access to President Obama and/or other ranking administration officials. If they were doing their jobs, rather than protecting the re-election interests of the most powerful man in the world, they would ask these questions until they were answered. By all appearances, this attack could have and should have been prevented. Demand to know why it was not.
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