May 8, 2013
UPDATE: J.D. Johannes emails:
I’m not going to second guess the military HQ that cancelled the rescue op.
There are plenty of reasons to cancel an op, especially if the rescuers will likely need to be rescued.
What I can’t understand are the lies. There is nothing in the fact pattern that would be very damaging. Islamists attacked, brave ambassador was killed in the line of duty. Rescue mission was too dangerous. That does not damage the President or State.
My big question is who was in the conference room when the idea to blame it on a YouTube video was brought up and who said “yeah, that is a good idea?”
And what was the calculus that the facts were too dangerous?
Yes, I wonder about that too. Either (1) there are much, much bigger secrets here (I have no idea what) such that the Administration would rather look both inept and dishonest than talk about them; or (2) people focused on domestic politics, but not very slick, were running the show. And filmmaker Nakoula is still in jail.
UPDATE: Speechwriters as experts: it’s all about the words. “The president seems to prefer to have people around him with even less experience and expertise than he has, which is saying something. . . . So it occurs to me that maybe the simplest way to describe what happened in Benghazi is that, from start to finish, nearly everyone in charge and everyone who was a close and trusted advisor to those in charge was a political operative. Everyone. This of course includes Obama and Hillary Clinton, and all the supposed national security advisors such as Rhodes.”