The Real Benghazi Scandal Is The Lack Of Retaliation

Jack Gruber/ USA Today

Jack Gruber/ USA Today

Forget all the political theater of Secretary Clinton’s hearing, the real scandal lies in our inability to bring those responsible to justice, says John Avlon.

It is now late January. There has been no justice. There has been no vengeance. There have, of course, been accusations and congressional hearings. Political finger-pointing has been the preoccupation, but action has been lacking…

…Rational frustrations have nothing to do with the ghoulish, opportunistic outrage pumped up by hyperpartisans in the wake of the attack. But four months later, the lack of retaliation sends a dangerous message to our enemies: Americans can be killed with impunity. Such a message only encourages future aggression. Add to that the unrequited murders of four Americans working in Algeria.

I think this is the criticism the GOP should be leveling at the Obama administration. Why, after four months, has the most powerful nation on the planet not been able to kill or capture those responsible? Perhaps we are over-invested in the Middle East and do not have enough resources in North Africa to conduct investigations.

One Republican Senator went there:

 Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) asked Clinton about the whereabouts of one of the prime suspects detained in Tunisia and even interviewed in the days after the Benghazi attack.

Here is what she said:

“We have been assured that he is under the monitoring of the [Tunisian] court. He was released, because at that time—and [FBI] Director [Robert] Mueller and I spoke about this at some length—there was not an ability for evidence to be presented yet that was capable of being presented in an open court. But the Tunisians have assured us that they are keeping an eye on him. I have no reason to believe he is not still in Tunis, but we are checking that all the time.”

I think most Americans can be forgiven for doubting the suggestion that the Tunisian government is “keeping an eye” on the suspected killer of four State Department officials. This is the diplomatic equivalent of saying “the dog ate my homework.

If the GOP would stop playing games for a minute, they might actually be able to make a good point on this one. We need some sense of closure on this. If the Obama administration is not able to give it to us, the GOP needs to find out why. That is what an honest opposition party is supposed to do.

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5 Responses to The Real Benghazi Scandal Is The Lack Of Retaliation

  1. I disagree with this because it is predicated on the assumption that if the US shows enough power nobody will fuck with us. That is simply not true. When dealing with people that are willing to kill themselves to cause harm to the US. Consider that the US spends more on defense than the next 17 countries, yet it has not deterred Al Qaeda at all. They aren’t afraid of our ‘strength’. Catching the culprits in Benghazi will have no effect on the US being attacked again.

    • Thanks for the comment. John Avlon’s point is basically what you’ve refuted and I completely see your point. I guess my point would be that this issue would have been more legitimate than the path the GOP chose to pursue. If they would have gone this route at least it wouldn’t have been pure political nonsense.

      • Now I can agree there. It is a more legit objection. But they don’t really care about the legitimacy of an objection. The simple fact is that their current line of attack seems to click with many people. I have heard Rush, Neal Boortz and my local conservative talk people all parroting the GOP attack about there being no protest. They don’t really care if it is a rational attack as long as it resonates with their supporters.

  2. Barneysday says:

    I disagree with the conclusion. Tracking down these insurgents is incredibly difficult. Look how long it took to get Osama and Saddam Hussein. The enemy is walking into Afghanistan encampments with impunity, and killing. For some armchair commentator to sit and complain about not finding the needle in the haystack that is Al Queida is just as bad as the political posturing of the Republicans.

    • Hello! Its good to hear from you!

      I get that it’s difficult, but its a far more legitimate piece of criticism than what the GOP has put forward so far.

      The opposition party’s job is to bring these issues up. I’d prefer they were more legitimate than the petty games the GOP has been playing.

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