Robert Bennett: Finding answers to Benghazi

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  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    We all know this is about Hillary being the likely democrat candidate and general Obama hysteria.

    Or you would be screaming about how 9/11 was "preventable". We were "un-american" for saying anything about how 9/11 was preventable.

    Funny how there is no conservative curiosity about how the 3rd building (bld 7) came down on 9/11 without being hit by an airplane..

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 6:23 a.m.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but our embassy is located in Tripoli not Bengahazi

    Bengahazi is should be called a Consular Office or something like that.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    Republicans (well the most right wing kooky ones anyway) won't be satisfied unless Obama resigns because of Benghazi. Ridiculous and hypocritical given that they didn't care what happened under Bush, but true nonetheless.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 21, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    "It would help if Obama would accept responsibility, the nation (not Republicans, or any specific party), and compromise to get things done."

    I guess it comes down to what level of apology or compromise you are looking for. If you are looking for either side to say the other is right…. its going to be a long long wait. If you are looking for them to say they have made mistakes, that has been done by both sides already as well.

    I think some have completely unreasonable expectations of the kind of victory they are expecting.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Real Maverick,

    We need to move beyond Bush in every way. We are talking about the Obama administration. Precedent can be set by previous administrations, but if we are unhappy with those administrations, then why refer to the precedents that were set by them.

    It would help if Obama would accept responsibility, the nation (not Republicans, or any specific party), and compromise to get things done.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    The answers on Benghazi aren't hard to find. They are out there if you keep it simple and refer to the first hand reports of the people actually involved. It only gets cloudy when the political angles and spin-meisters and media opinion-makers get involved. Then knowing who to trust and any ability to making real sense out of everything that's being said goes out the window.

    At this point there's no "Truth" on this subject, just spin. The actual truth was covered up long enough in the beginning that "at this point what difference does the truth make"!!!

    It's all just spin, hype and political damage control.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    Repubs want the President to apologize for the repub congress cuts to security funding? Am I in the twilight zone here?

    Pres Obama should apologize for Benghazi once mr chaffetz apologizes for cutting its funding. And after bush apologized for Medicare part D, the bailouts, the patriot act, tax cuts which didn't create jobs, Katrina, and of course, Iraq.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 10:03 p.m.

    "From the article, "The issue is not whether the Obama administration tried to spin the news about Benghazi during the campaign that’s over — but whether the Obama administration, including Secretary Clinton, had a fatal misconception of the nature of the foe we face in the war on terror."

    Fatal misconception?? How generously kind wording of Mr. Bennett. If they knew, and the evidence indicates that they did know very well, how great the danger of terror attacks had become, it is a lot more than a fatal misconception. Depraved indifference would be more like it. Failing to address the safety and security needs of our ambassador and company to gain polling points is criminal, or at least it should be.

    Remember Gates says that both Hillary and Barak admitted to taking a stand against the surge in Iraq based on politics, not based on what was best for the US or our troops. Seems like it has become a habit for them.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    Perhaps one reason Republicans continue investigating, talking about, and criticizing the administration over Benghazi, is because this administration refuses to apologize, refuses to compromise, in many cases ignores law, & is simply wrong on too many issues.

    Benghazi is a serious failure of the State Department. But it is one of many serious failures. The GOP, and more and more Americans, simply don't trust Obama any longer.

    That is why this won't go away.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    It is remarkable that something like the tragedy of Benghazi, where a clearly anti-American attack on an American consulate with deadly consequences, can incite the same polarized partisan sniping from the same polarized commentators.

    I have never joined any political party. I've never found one I thought had the interests of the whole country as its primary concern. I confess I find Hillary Clinton and her party particularly loathsome, and primarily for the same reason, since that party seems particularly focused on party politics versus national interest.

    But, to be honest, I find the whole political process to be so short-sighted and parochial it's becoming more and more difficult to believe anyone involved.

    And **that** is what I find most disturbing.

    Far too many people get caught in the political gear gnashing as the country continues a downward slide. And some, far, far too many, pay for it with their lives.

    I'm trying hard to figure out what to do but still can't come up with anything better than to do my very best to vote for what seems, more and more, to be the least of evils.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 20, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    I always thought GW Bush was unfairly criticized for reading "The Pet Goat" and playing with kindergartners for 20 minutes after being informed of the second plane hitting the WTC, relying on his aides to gather information and assess the situation before taking action. That was all captured on film.

    I'm willing to cut Obama the same slack for undocumented allegations of golfing or card games or whatever the right-wing radio accusation du jour happens to be.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    Those who defend Obama's "right" to play golf or play cards instead of sitting in the situation room and fulfilling his duty as Commander in Chief will always blame a video or George Bush or the phase of the moon instead of taking responsibility. That is the problem. Obama will not take responsibility for his own actions. Those who follow in Obama's footsteps will not take responsibility for their own actions. Hillary is an Obama clone. Susan Rice is an Obama clone. No matter what the facts are, they will tell us what Obama wants us to hear. While he was playing cards, four Americans were slaughtered. Four of our fellow citizens were brutally killed while Obama, Hillary and Susan made up stories about a "video" being the cause of the attack. Four AMERICANS were slaughtered when help was at hand, while Obama played poker with those who were assigned to protect HIM from harm.

    When the blood of patriots cry out, Obama will be seen as who he really is, someone who played cards while Americans died.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:51 p.m.


    So, do you call out every politician who lies or bends the truth?

    Mr Romney did not run an overly clean/truthful campaign.

    You are quite selective in your condemnation.

    And you use quite the list of caveats in an attempt to make this "different" from those under Bush.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    Actually Louie, Mr. Bennett's speculation about Mrs. Clinton's hubris is a plagiarism of a New Yorker magazine article. Wow, who would think Mr. Bennett a plagiarist?

    In reality I think it's a very good question and one that doesn't necessarily conflict with Mr. Stevens refusal of added security. In fact it actually sheds light on just how complicated embassy security is in this part of the world and exactly the kind of question we should be looking at not what Susan Rice said on Sunday morning, or trying to make a second rate terrorist into an Al Queda operative. Second rate terrorists are dangerous all by themselves.

    Unreconstructed, makes a good point that enhances the point I'm trying to make here. By being distracted with the concocted cover ups and videos no one has seriously discussed the consequences of American support for paramilitary groups in this area while blight fully going on our way cutting funding for security and threating war with Iran.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    Everyone agrees security was inadequate in Benghazi...after the fact. But who cut the funds for security? Our local representative, Mr. Chaffetz voted to cut those funds. Now he is red-meat angry about the lack of security in Benghazi. This is called "irony."

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    "Perhaps it’s because she (Hillary Clinton) and others in the administration were so proud of their role in getting rid of Gadhafi, which they saw as the beginning of an Arab Spring that would transform the Middle East, that they were loath to even consider the possibility that post-Gadhafi Libya could be a dangerous place in which significant anti-American attitudes could germinate." Another GOP conjecture, just maybe? Why, Mr. Bennett, did you not cite other statements in the report that indicated Ambassador Stevens, himself, turned down an offer for a US military escort, before this event. Obviously, in hindsight, there where failures and a lack of coordination with the State Department and our Military, which was reiterated in the Senate Report.

    Unfortunately we have other elected officials who start their congressional investigation with comments such as "Impeachment is on the Table", you really wonder how bipartisan their intentions are. By the way, after several months of investigation absolutely nothing has surfaced that would suggest an impeachment hearing...only in the hopes and fantasies of republicans.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Jan. 20, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    Of course, the budget bill passed last week cut the State Department's budget appropriations for embassy security by $223 million, and shot down State's attempt to consolidate its Vatican mission within the Rome embassy for security reasons.

    Nope, the outrage over consulate security in a war zone isn't political at all.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 20, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    mountainman - before you ask people to go read the report claiming " It contradicts EVERYTHING Obama, Susan Rice and Hillary claimed", just perhaps you should read it yourself first. Trusting talk radio or what ever your source is does not match actually reading the report.

    Now that said, I am pretty sure even if you did read the report…. it wouldn't change your mind because you don't' seem to have any desire to find truth, but rather just justify your feelings of hate towards Democrats.

    Show me the page and line number that states the military could have saved these people, but didn't because the administration held them back…. find it… and let us all read it.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 20, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    I don't know what to make of this. I think what worries me the most, and sickens me the most is the political nature of it all. The accusations seem to be mostly political in nature. Some of the defensive responses surely have an air of politics involved.

    What is clear is Stevens knew the environment he was operating in. When it comes to the military, there are those who say "they signed up for the duty knowing the risks" as justification to sending troops to that region of the country. Same can be said of Stevens and everyone else who was there in theater. They knew Libya was a very dangerous place.

    And yet we mourn the loss of Stevens, undoubtedly a very patriotic man, we mourn his loss far greater than many on most others Just this week we lost more Americans in Afghanistan in a Cafe bombing - and no outcry. And why is this? Is perhaps there aren't political points to be made… therefor these lives go lost without much attention.

    Why are four lives in Libya a much greater loss then hundreds in Afghanistan and Iraq?

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    The White House's response to this tragedy has four priorities. 1. Protect the administration from any culpability. 2. Shield Hillary Clinton at all costs. Her incompetence must not be exposed. 3. Do not implicate al Qaeda. The president has said they are on the run because of his policies and we cannot contradict that. 4. Uncover the facts if they do not involve 1-3.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 20, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    Once again pure hatred for Barack Obama obfuscates the real dangers learned in Benghazi about US foreign policy and even about the people responsible for it's creation and administration. Lessons that should have been learned 10 years earlier in the Bush administration but were covered up and buried, only to surface again in places like Libya.

    Talking points on Sunday TV shows, what role did the mob play (and there was a mob), videos etc. are all political fuel, and pretty much unimportant when compared to true life and death topics of intervention, allies, intervention consequences.

    Hillary Clinton gave the Republicans the biggest gift of her career when she said "What does it matter" referring to videos etc. but they were way too blinded by the shiny penny of immediate political blame, as are most of conservatives on this thread.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 20, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    The obsession with the anti-Muslim video is bizarre to me. It drew considerable attention in th days preceding the attack. Other embassies in the region were being protested by mobs of angry Muslims. When the initial reports of the attack broke, my first response was that it was directly connected to those protests. The first response of much of the media was the same. Apparently it was the initial response of many in the intelligence community. It was a natural assumption to link the two events. I simply don't understand the accusations that it was used to deflect attention from an organized terrorist attack when in the immediate aftermath it was an easy conclusion after years of seeing the famed angry 'Arab Streets' in action.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 20, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Pragmatist. Do yourself a favor and go back and read the Senate Committee report about Benghazi. It contradicts EVERYTHING Obama, Susan Rice and Hillary claimed! So the obvious question left is who is lying, the Senate committee or Obama and his staff? Since the answer is obvious, the only questions left is, why the lies, distortions and cover-ups? There is only one reason: protect Hillary!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Probably no other thing could ever well display the hate campaign against President Obama by the right wing and the republicans. That incident has been singled out of the thousands of unfortunate failures that our government, and certain private interests, impose on the world every day. There are many more worthy scandals to spend billions of dollars of taxpayer money on.

    The reason we have foreign embassies is for the assistance of commercial business in foreign lands. The reason we have military stationed all over the world is for the same reason. The reason we give away so much military foreign aid is also for the same reason. And the reason for these actions is the we allow business to control our government.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    Roland hit it on the head. In context of all the attacks and deaths in US consular facilities in the few years leading up to this one, tragic as they were, little was said and little political hay made of it. Wow, is this one being dragged around, though. It sure seems like a disingenuous effort on the part of the people doing it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Obama tells us that the "video" was widely discussed and that it inflamed "mobs" who then just happened to reach the boiling point on 9/11. He also told us that he knew nothing about the NSA spying on us. He told us that we could keep our health insurance and our doctors. He told us that he had "shovel ready" jobs waiting if we would just let him have a few trillion dollars to spread among this "friends". He's told us a lot of things, none of which have been true. Why would anyone believe him when he told us that a "video" caused that attack on 9/11 in Benghazi?

    The Senate told us that had the State Department done its job, that that attack would not have taken place. How is that George Bush's fault?

    Obama would like us to blame Hillary. Playing poker was more important to him than doing his job as Commander in Chief. Hillary thinks that it was no big deal. Many excuse Obama and Clinton. Obama and Hillary lied and four died.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:17 a.m.


    "@ Roland Kayser. No other attack was blamed on a video that no one saw"

    First of all that is blatantly false. The video was widely discussed in Benghazi and used to create and inflame the mob that forms at both compounds.

    Secondly if that's the path you want to go down then to Roland's point where were the heads that rolled after we were actually warned in advance of the Karachi bombing?

    Where was the impeachment push after it became clear that Bush had been warned specifically about Al Queda threats for months in daily briefings prior to 9/11, and instead kept his focus and the focus of the government on Sadham Hussein. All while the conspirators were being arrested, deported and returning.

    Point is all terrorist attacks have details and specifics that are controversial and messy. So to pick out Benghazi and make it the one where all details need to be revealed and accounted for is pure politics. Nothing else.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    The Senate has released their report. Unless there's evidence that shows that President Obama and Hillary Clinton attacked the embassy themselves, what does picking at this scab accomplish? Learn from these mistakes and move on.

    Then again, Republicans don't need to bother with new ideas and actual policies when they can just keep parroting "Benghazi!" over and over and over...

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Senator Bennett seems to think that this new Senate report has new information. It doesn't. It repeats the same points made by State's internal review after the incident.
    What we've all known all along is this: mission security was inadequate, and was known to be inadequate before the attacks. Mrs. Clinton has said the same, admitting her mistakes in the episode. What angers the Right is nonsensical trivia, like the Susan Rice talking points folderol.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Hillary wants to know what difference it makes. It's this: she and Obama were going around selling the idea that Islamic jihadists were credible partners for peace in the region. To have beefed up embassy security with American forces would have been an admission that this view was incorrect. They weren't willing to do this, especially not during election season, when their actions in Libya were already being questioned. Our ambassador and the men around him paid with their lives.

    This is why the Obama administration came up with the lie about the video, and why they stuck with it so insistently. It was their worldview versus reality. In the end, their lies couldn't cover up the fact that Benghazi was a planned terrorist attack, carried out on the anniversary of 9/11.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 20, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    @ Roland Kayser. No other attack was blamed on a video that no one saw, covered up, investigation stonewalled from the White House and lied about to protect Hillary, who is ultimately responsible! That's the difference!
    "A Senate report last week laid blame for the deadly Benghazi attacks on the State Department, the military and intelligence agencies. That was a blow to Democrats who wanted to blame it on delays at the George Washington Bridge." Jay Evenson

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 20, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    Democrats need this to go away so Hillary will be our next president!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. 5 killed.

    June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. 12 killed, 51 injured.

    February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. 2 killed.

    May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 36 killed.

    July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 2 killed

    December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 9 killed.

    March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan, Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers.

    September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. 4 killed, 13 wounded.

    July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. 6 killed.

    All of these attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities occurred during the Bush administration. Neither Fox News nor any Republican politician treated any of them as anything other than a tragedy. Democratic politicians did not try to turn them into a scandal either. There were certainly mistakes made in Benghazi, just as there were in all of these other attacks, but the right wing freak out over Benghazi is pure political opportunism.