The Agitator #46
by Oliver_Halle
 The Agitator
October 15, 2012 01:21 PM | 1323 views | 6 6 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

During the vice presidential debate “Jumpin’ Joe” Biden said that neither he nor the White House knew that the consulate in Benghazi had requested increased security. The State Department did not notify the top chief executives of the request for reasons that we don’t know. I won’t second guess the State Department because I don’t know what they knew. What we do know is that the State Department had requested upwards of $300 million for increased security for its embassies. The Republican congress said no, a vote that included Paul Ryan’s. I am going to wait out the results of the several investigations looking into what occurred before concluding that the State Department’s security section got it wrong in how they prioritized which embassies and consulates got what. As for not notifying the White House of the request for a security augmentation, I can only wonder how many “emergency” requests are submitted daily from the Defense Department, Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and other agencies that deal directly with national security, and what the protocols are for kicking them up to the president. Limited budgets cause organizations to do triage, something that shouldn’t happen but does in these times of tight money, and where a large segment of our population doesn’t want to pay for the services that they want and expect.

I agree with Obama’s critics that the first reports about Benghazi concerning the video were wrong. But after that I go in a different direction. Intelligence gathering is both an art and science. We all know some of the incredible technology that our spy agencies use, but sorting through the voluminous information takes people and time. And we also know that HUMINT (human intelligence) is still as important as all the gadgetry. That too takes time to gather and process. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, a lot of moving parts.

I think it is fair to put the Benghazi intelligence failure in perspective. Intelligence failures in the this country are historic ranging from completely missing the North Korean attack on South Korea on June 25, 1950, to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Considering the untold dollar amount that is poured into intelligence gathering and spy craft, it’s hard to believe that things like this could happen, but they did and still do. How about the information that was known before 9/11/2001 that some of the terrorists were taking flying lessons but only wanted training in takeoffs? The schools reported this well before that black day, but somehow it fell through the cracks. The Tet offensive caught us by surprise. Anyone recall the great intelligence failure that led to the Iraq war? The two human sources in that fiasco, Ahmed Chalabi and the German source, Curveball, were both frauds and suspected of lying well before the March 2003 invasion. Our spy satellites, which had completely saturated the land mass of Iraq didn’t pick up any evidence of nuclear weapons or their transfer to another country. President Bush later admitted that there was no WMD---this after a few thousand American lives were lost, many more permanently injured, and countless Iraqis killed.

I am not making light of what happened in Benghazi. I am making light of much of the politicized attacks on Obama for it, especially when you put it in perspective of far more serious intelligence failures that have had much larger consequences. I can only wonder if a Romney-Ryan administration would have done things differently with the same budgetary constraints, if they would have been more prescient and able to avoid what happened. Perhaps so, but the historical record of intelligence failures certainly makes it a fair, non-partisan question.

Comments
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Laura A.
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October 27, 2012
Believe it or not, there are quite a few "average" citizens residing in Cobb who have experience in these matters...even friends on the ground in such places, so be careful who you patronize, Foley.

Oliver, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest reports out of D.C. as of 10-26 about our men requesting, pleading for help and TO help and being told to stand down. Where in that chain of command was the failure? Who should take responsibility? And does it make you angry at all that the message being sent to our guys on the ground in both the military and diplomatic corps is: hey, we might come to your aid, or we might not...if there's a campaign event we're trying to get to tomorrow.

Lib in Cobb
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October 16, 2012
Mr. Halle: Objectivity is considered a character flaw by people like Devlin and the party which he follows.

I just read where The Supreme Court has decided in favor of the Democrats regarding early voting in Ohio. The GOP of Ohio wanted to stop early voting for all citizens other than the military.

The Supremes said, I don't think so. Many of the voter suppression laws introduced by the less than objective GOP have been stopped by the courts in a variety of states. These voter suppression laws have been introduced in states like OH, PA and SC because it was believed we would then be protected from voter fraud. Very few cases of voter fraud have been introduced as proof that it is a wide spread problem as the "whistle nuts' would like us to believe. What is a widespread problem is the GOP is willing to lie, cheat, steal and sell their mothers down the river in order to take back the White House.
Oliver G. Halle
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October 16, 2012
LIC, thank you for making my point. I'm not sure tht I could add to what I wrote to convince Devlin that he has a partisan viewpoint and not an objective one.
Lib in Cobb
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October 16, 2012
DA: You are one of the "Monday Morning Quarterbacks", I was referring to. You don't know more than anyone else, your source of information is the same source that we all use. By no surprise, you have missed Mr. Halle's point.

On the other side of the world a tragedy occurs and Mitt Romney holds a press conference in order to make political points, and you will vote for this guy. That says a lot about him and more about you, none of it is good.
Devlin Adams
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October 15, 2012
Keep kidding yourself, Oliver. It always help when you try to excuse the inexcusable.

Conjecture and second guessing does not change facts.
Lib in Cobb
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October 15, 2012
It's very easy for anyone to be a "Monday Morning Quarterback" in these situations especially for the average citizen in Cobb or any other county in Anywhere, USA. The average citizen does not know what goes on in the State Department and if any average citizen makes wild claims about what has happened, he or she is full of it. The Romney/Ryan ensemble is making or attempting to make hay out of this horrible situation, while the father of slain Ambassador Stevens has asked that the death of his son and the others not be used as a political football. The GOP has not listened. We as the American public will never know what happened and why. We the American public don't need to know. The GOP's attack dog, Darrell Issa claims he will find out what happened. The State Department will give him a little bit, then tell him to "run along sonny".

We as the American public will not, nor should we have access to this sensitive information. I will hope that Romney and his Mini Me make complete jerks of themselves or should I say make bigger jerks of themselves regarding how this horrible and painful situation was handled.
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