by Bob Quasius
Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.
- The Art of War, Sun Tzu, 512 BC
Apparently, President-Elect Obama in 2008 followed the age old advice of Sun Tzu, appointing Hillary Clinton, a former political enemy and potential future political enemy in 2012, to a job where he could keep keep a very close eye on her, and she would be so busy she wouldn’t even have time to contemplate running against Obama in 2012.
During the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fought bitterly, attacked each other, then when Obama was elected he appointed Hillary to be his Secretary of State, despite her complete lack of experience in foreign policy (unless we count sipping tea with first ladies of other nations), or running large government agencies like the State Department.
One of the most memorable attack ads of the 2008 primaries, is this ad by Hillary Clinton, asking who would we want taking that crisis call at 3 AM?
I recently blogged about ‘Amateur Hour’ at the White House comparing Hillary’s qualifications to every Secretary of State since at least World War II. She had no diplomatic experience, had never run a cabinet or served as a governor, served on a foreign relations committee in the senate, etc. Only Jimmy Carter’s second Secretary of State, Edmond Muskie, even came close to Hillary’s lack of qualifications, and he had served much longer in the U.S. Senate and had been governor of Maine.
The State Department has long known of the vulnerability of our embassies and consulates. Under Jimmy Carter, in 1979 our embassy in Tehran was overrun by violent protestors, and our staff held hostage for a humiliating 444 days until minutes before a new president, who appeared more resolute about facing Iran, was about to be sworn into office. I was stunned recently to learn that Jimmy Carter had covertly funded Ayatollah Khomeini and pressured the Shah’s military to accept the Shah’s departure when Jimmy Carter threw the Shah ‘under the bus. We should have known that those we support in overthrowing regimes aren’t always reliable in protecting our embassies and consulates afterwards. Though we had covertly funded Khomeini and paved the way for the Shah’s departure, Khomeini didn’t lift a finger to free our embassy in Tehran when it was overrun and our embassy held hostage for 444 days!
In 1998, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, Al Qaeda totally simultaneously destroyed with bombs two U.S. embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. killing 223 and wounding 4,000. You’d think that day would be seared into the memory of Hillary Clinton, since she was first lady at the time.
Now fast forward to 2012. In Libya, despite the unstable environment and heavy Al Qaeda presence, amazingly Hillary Clinton declined to authorize marine contingents, and special teams of Navy Seals who had provided protection were prematurely withdrawn, over the strong objections of embassy security officials, who pointed to a series of alarming attacks on embassies, consulates, diplomats, and non-governmental agencies present in Libya. Instead, the State Department relied on militia units of dubious reliability provided by the new Libyan regime.
Within two hours of the start of the terror attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11, we already had intelligence the consulate was under attack by dozens of militants with heavy weapons such as rocket propelled grenades, mortars, assault rifles, etc. E-mails are starting to be revealed that showed just how much information was received at both the White House. From the Blaze:
When the attack began, the U.S. military also deployed an unarmed predator drone over the consulate, and remote operators watched as the horror of four Americans were slaughtered by terrorists with burning hatred in their eyes. According to various sources, as reported in the New York Post, the U.S. military had special forces deployed in Libya and nearby Italy, and heavily armored AC-130 gunships were available but shockingly inadequate response was mounted to rescue our embassy staff and their handful of guards as they desperately fought for their lives.
The administration sought for two weeks to convince us this wasn’t a terror attack, that a spontaneous demonstration over a offensive video escalated into a full fledged assault, until the overwhelming evidence confirmed this was a terror attack. Obama and Clinton even went to lengths to keep apologizing for the video, when the U.S. government had absolutely nothing to do with producing the video!
When did President Obama and Hillary Clinton find out it was a terror attack? It seems they were made aware by late afternoon, and a web site owned by terror group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility. From The Blaze (summarizing other sources):
The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”
The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”
A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m.Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.
A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”