October 31, 2012
IN RESPONSE TO DAVID IGNATIUS’ BENGHAZI OPED that I linked earlier, Michael McConnell writes:
David Ignatius’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post is a sign that the news block-out in the mainstream media over what happened in Benghazi is starting to break. Finally, the self-appointed guardians of the public’s right to know are starting to ask questions. But Ignatius still fails to hone in on the most important issue. He says, rightly, that there might have been good reasons not to use our available military resources to “bomb targets in Libya that night” (as if that were the only military option). “Given the uproar in the Arab world,” as he says, “this might have been the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a burning fire.” (Failing to defend our people with all available resources might inspire even more attacks, a point Ignatius does not consider.) But he does not ask who reached that decision. The President has stated that “the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” If someone decided that potential repercussions in the Arab world outweighed the need to do “whatever we need to do” to “secure our personnel,” who made that decision? Did the Secretary of Defense countermand the President’s directive? Did the President rescind his own directive? Or — and I hate to ask such a distrustful question regarding the man who is our Commander in Chief — was such a directive ever actually given?
These are all questions that need to be answered. And for that matter, where the White House Press Corps is concerned, need to be asked.
UPDATE: In response to a reader query, this is the lawprof Michael McConnell.