Benghazi… as it really happened

Benghazi… as it really happened.

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Lust and Power

If you’ve ever watched or read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the lust for power is well imagined in the lust for the One Ring.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

The lust for the ring of power was great.  It was known to contain great power and endowed the bearer with magical abilities such as invisibility, unusually long life, and others, but at a great price.  It was a corrupting force.  Regardless of the intent of the person who possessed the ring, no matter how it was used, the ring only answered to the one who made it.

Let’s unpack the concept that Tolkien was trying to convey.  The first and most obvious layer is that power corrupts.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”

William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778

The lure of the power in the ring was impossible to resist.  Men would do anything to gain possession of that power – lie, cheat, steal, kill.

Take a look around at all disconcerting tyrannies that I have written extensively about to date.  Those tyrannies are either aimed at obtaining, preserving, or strengthening power.

Yesterday, May 30th, the NSA’s Utah Data Center went live.  The center has the capability to capture, record, and analyze every form of electronic communication in the domestic United States every single day.

The Department of Homeland Security has expanded it’s mission from just protecting modes of travel to protecting and actively policing within the United States.

The warrantless wiretaps on the AP, the targeting of individual reporters such as James Rosen, the IRS’ unequal treatment of conservative, Tea Party, and Jewish groups are all methods being used to silence opposition and whistleblowers through intimidation.

More than 70 percent of federal spending goes to dependency programs.  The threat of removal of these programs ensures that dissension is unthinkable lest the life support that 128 million Americans rely on for subsistence be taken away.  These people have become serfs of the new feudal masters within the government (both elected and unelected).

Schools in Florida, under the guise of an insidious program called Common Core, scanned and retained the irises of school children for their “safety” and “security.”

These are just a few instances of huge power grabs, shows of naked force.  Each one by itself could be written off as nothing, an overreaction or overreach by overzealous bureaucrats, but together in concert they are much more.  They take on the mantle of a full blown tightening of the vise of tyranny on the citizens of the United States.

Now you might even be saying that I’m overreacting because I disagree with President Obama politically on nearly every issue, but it goes far beyond that.  I would disagree with these steps regardless of which party or President was in power at the time because I see these for the lure of power that they are and will be going forward.  That power becomes a drug for the person who wields it – they need it, and not to know that they have it, but they will need to exercise it in growing frequency in order to fulfill their craving for it.  The power will corrupt them.  Even if they began with the best of intentions, that power will destroy them.

The bureaucrats and politicians that come next will see the One Ring before them.  It will call to them, not with the clarion call of liberty, but with the sinister whisper of influence, authority, power, and strength, but those powers can only be wielded by the creator of the ring.

Who is the creator of the ring?

In Tolkien’s tale, Sauron, the Dark Lord, is the creator of the ring, but even he can be destroyed by it because he is ultimately dependent on it as well.  So did Sauron create the authority, power, and strength that were endowed into the ring or did he simply channel them there?  Let’s back this up to theology now… did Satan create the power that he yields?

The short answer is no.

God created Satan as Lucifer the angel.  Satan is dependent on God for his very existence.

One day the angelscame to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them.

Job 1:6

The authority, power, and strength that Satan holds were benefits of his created nature and were gifts of his position in the hierarchy of heaven.  It is Satan’s intent to disobey and rebel against God that corrupts those gifts.  Just as Satan rebels and corrupts those great and mighty gifts that God bestowed on him at his creation, the government – the politicians and bureaucrats, the authorities, the individual branches and big players have intents and purposes that run counter to the Constitutionally-directed role of the government and it’s relationship with the people altogether.  The small tyrannies summed together will corrupt even the best intended of those men and women because they will beg to be used… the temptation is too great.

THAT is why we rail against these overreaches.  THAT is why we sound the watchman’s call as the abuses and usurpations mount.

The enemy is not just at the gates.

The enemy is now within the city walls.

If we do not stand and fight and defeat these self-obtained powers, then we will lose whatever scrap of liberty that we have left on this Earth except for the hope that we have in Christ.

If power corrupts, we must rid ourselves of it.  If we do not want a corrupt government controlling every step we take in our lives, we must disrupt and dismantle it’s power to do so or we will find ourselves prisoners in our own country.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

The Call Came: Benghazi

http://tinyurl.com/chmp3yf

Imagine how the 2012 Presidential Election would have turned out had this ad aired every day leading up to the election.

The call came… many times…. the only answer given was “stand down,” and “you can’t go.”

 

Words and Deeds

Months back, eight months specifically, I wrote about Benghazi.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

 

On September 11th, 2012, the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was laid siege, bombarded with weapons fire, and attacked by a coordinated, deliberate assault force.  The United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed by the assault along with State Department Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

All indications at that time and after the fact indicate that an organized attack had been initiated against the consulate.  What their motivations were, their targets, and how far they

 

would have pressed the attack is unknown because of stonewalling on the part of the Obama Administration.  They intentionally obfuscated the situation by insinuating that a YouTube video was to blame for enraging muslim sensibilities.  Even weeks after the event when nearly every indicator, exchanged correspondence, and every witness was shouting that it was a military-style attack rather than a riot run out-of-control.

Regardless of the facts, the Administration pressed on with their false narrative, not because the truth was too much for the public to handle, but because at that point in time, the Presidential race was in it’s final sixty days.  President Obama’s reelection was at-risk by bad news, especially in the War on Terror, which he claimed was being won because of the death of Osama bin Laden, and the narrative that al Qaeda was badly wounded and on the run.  In early September, national polling results showed Mitt Romney beginning to pull even with President Obama.

I was not in the room so all I can do is speculate at this point.

Were these two men sacrificial lambs on the altar of a national election?

If a military rescue team was dispatched and failed, would President Obama face the same criticism President Carter faced for the failed military rescue of the American citizens and diplomatic officers held hostage in Iran in the late 1970s?

Was something insidious going on out of the consulate in Benghazi that required the response forces to be withheld from intervening?

When requests for permission to dispatch special forces units to enact a counterassault and rescue operation (express missions that SEALs, DELTA, Force Recon, and other special forces units specifically train to execute) why were orders to stand down issued not once, but twice?

Why did security personnel from our embassy in Tripoli, Libya (the same distance from Benghazi as the nearest US military base – Souda Bay Naval Base) have to violate direct orders to not intervene, commandeer an aircraft, and fly to Benghazi in order to reinforce the beleaguered survivors?

Why are the survivors’ identities being withheld from Congress?

This charade has far surpassed a political motivated cloaking of the truth.  This has every scent and indication of a coverup of something monumental.

With all respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?

Then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton

Because motive matters Hillary, not just the motives of the attackers, but the motives of the administration and all of the players involved that have intentionally mislead the public in the aftermath.

Either you have lying to disguise complete incompetence at the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the White House itself, or you have lying to disguise the cold calculus of a politically-motivated decision to allow the death of a US Ambassador, Foreign Service Officer, and the deaths of two men who violated orders, former US Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, in order to protect the President’s reelection chances.

In the aftermath, the Administration essentially ran-out-the-clock on Benghazi prior to the election.

So, Hillary, it matters a great deal.

To steal a quote from V for Vendetta:

If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost a hundred thousand four people… would you really want to know?

Dissonant Tyranny

It seems like the longer I write my thoughts down, the more frequently things that catch my attention come up.  I haven’t written as much recently, not because of a lack of passion, but a lack of anything different to say from the thousands of voices out there writing or speaking on the same issue.

I could write about President Obama’s speech in Mexico City where he thanked them for voting for him and blamed America for all of Mexico’s problems.

I could write about Bill Ayers’ speech at Kent State University on the anniversary of the Kent State Shooting decades ago and how he whitewashed his own history as a domestic terrorist just week after the Boston Marathon bombing.

I could write about Benghazi and the upcoming Congressional whistleblower hearings (I plan to do so after the fact).

What I really want to address is something said over the weekend at Ohio State University.

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.

President Barack Obama

This president was the keynote speaker at Ohio State’s commencement on May 4th (the same day that Bill Ayers spoke at Kent State coincidentally).  Unpacking this statement, he is basically stating that you should always trust government, that government will never encroach upon your rights, and that those that warn that it will are out of their minds.   Many four letter words come to mind to describe my initial reaction to that statement.

Oh, how we should trust the government… let me count the ways that I ripped from the headlines today.

Obamacare Shock: 9-21% of Americans to Lose Coverage

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded and Accessible to the US Government?

GAO Now Investigating DHS Ammo Purchases

DeMint on Immigration Reform: “If People Read the Bill, It Will Be Blocked.”

Additional $9.3 Trillion Dollar Benefit Cost and $6.4 Trillion National Debt Increase if Amnesty Bill Becomes Law

The Administration’s Benghazi Talking Points Were Complete Lies

And that’s just today.  To summarize – the government lied about healthcare coverage, warrantless wiretaps, billions and billions of rounds of unnecessary ammunition purchases, illegal immigration and amnesty costs, and an act of war committed across a US Consulate that was clear to most people at the start because it was damaging to the narrative put forth by the Administration at the height of a contentious political campaign that should have proved to be for Obama what the Iranian hostage crisis and preceding embassy attack was for the Carter administration in the 1970s.

Trust the government?

Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.

Lysander Spooner

And for those that are not familiar with what perjury is (the conceptional understanding of common terms becoming an endangered species in higher education as it is today).

perjury (n): the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath : false swearing

 

Dissonance

President Obama recently said “we leave nobody behind, we make sure we respond as a nation and remind ourselves that whenever an American is in need, all of us stand together to make sure we’re providing the help that’s necessary.”

While I completely agree with him that we come together in times of crisis to help out each other, the cognitive dissonance coming out of the government now is becoming palpable.  If we “leave nobody behind,” why was no air cover dispatched, or reinforcements called in to help the Benghazi consulate staff and the slain Ambassador?

The most powerful country on Earth sat on it’s hands as a few dozen attackers shelled, shot, and rocketed our consulate and then a nearby annex.

As the men on the ground begged and plead for help, we failed to provide the help that was necessary to Americans under fire in a foreign country on sovereign American soil.

Dissonance indeed.

 

 

Question That Must Be Asked

According to a Fox News Report today, was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and consulate personnel left to die on September 11, 2012?

Make up your own mind.

The attack lasted more than 7 hours spread between the Consulate and the CIA annex a mile away.

In Sigonella, Italy (which is on the island of Sicily), we have an naval air station where forward assets, including special operations teams, were ready to roll.  Sigonella is 467 miles from Benghazi.

In Aviano, Italy, we have an air base with advanced interceptors and strike fighters. Aviano is 1,039 miles from Benghazi.

In Trier, Germany, we have an air base with advanced interceptors and strike fighters. Trier is 1,403 miles from Benghazi.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon is capable of Mach 2+ flight (in excess of 1,350 MPH) and has a combat radius of 340 miles, which can be expanded indefinitely with in-flight refueling.  Aviano Air Force Base has squadrons of F-16s. Spangdahlem Air Force Base has squadrons of F-16s.

In the age of near-instant communication around the world, the information flowing back to DC from Libya would be received and hot-lined immediately.   On September 11, 2001, alert fighters were able to launch 21 minutes after the hijack notification was broadcast.  From Spangdahlem, the flight time at 1,000 MPH, which is far below the F-16’s top speed, would be about 85 minutes.  Allowing for mid-air refueling, let’s say 115 minutes.

The battle lasted 7 hours.  115 minutes plus the time to relay orders is still far less than 7 hours.

Why were orders to assist the men on the ground not issued?

 

Prize Fight

Is it possible to be meek and unassailable?

Meekness is a hard concept to understand because it is not a word that is used terribly often in modern society.  The modern definition is akin to calmness and gentleness.  As followers of Christ, we are called to behave meekly in all matters.  Christ did not come to call us to being completely submissive or compliant with the world though, but to challenge it openly.  Now some might say that is a paradox, but I don’t believe it is.

I believe it is completely possible to be meek and strong at the same time.  What strikes me is odd is how much focus is on Christians being meek.  The word “meek” appears four times in the entire Bible (1 Kings 21:27, Psalm 37:11, Zephaniah 3:12, and Matthew 5:5).

David may be our best example from the Bible about being openly meek.  Throughout the Psalms, he shows humility and deference to God, but was David weak?  Was he a pushover?  David routed those that came against him and Israel because he was centered and controlled.  He was gentle, he was humble.

Could meekness be strength under control?  The writer of Proverbs seems to think so.

The wise prevail through great power,
    and those who have knowledge muster their strength.

Proverbs 24:5

This is all well and good because we are called to draw strength from God through faith, but how can we apply this to the world today.  Why does this matter?

We are in a prize fight.  Christ says that the “meek shall inherit the Earth,” but never stated how.  The world, as I have mentioned before is fallen and at war with itself.  The one constant in human affairs since the beginning of recorded history is that war is never far in the past and never far in the future.  How does a people seek to live meekly without appearing weak and ready for conquering or slaughter?

President Theodore Roosevelt may have best summed up this paradox resolution with the philosophy of speaking softly with a big stick.  In order to be gentle, one must be strong first.  Meekness is controlled and disciplined strength.

Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

Colossians 1:11

Strength uncontrolled is rage and destruction.  Humility without strength is an invitation to those with strength to attack you.  Strength and humility in tandem is a powerful combination as it allows you to respond patiently.  Why did Christ direct us to “turn the other cheek?”  Not to offer it up to be hit again, but in order to confront our attacker directly.  To dare the striker to try it again while we are looking, ready, aware, and able to respond.  Why else then would David praise God in this way?

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.

Psalm 144:1

David understood the way strength, meekness, humility and faithfulness all must be intertwined in order to sustain yourself in the world.  In order to achieve the peace and prosperity promised, in order to gain the inheritance promised, strength was needed.  That strength was harnessed though by his faithfulness to God.

Great you might say, but how does that matter today?

Consider the incidents in Benghazi and Cairo on September 11th, 2012.  American soil was attacked.  An Ambassador was killed along with other American citizens.  The President of the United States, together with the other talking heads of his administration, have waffled about this issue.  They have stated that it is our own fault by blaming our freedom of speech and the movie maker of some two-bit piece of junk that has been online for months anyway.

The administration has blamed terrorists within Libya of the attack, but without acknowledging the command and control exhibited by the attackers which allowed them to not only overwhelm the Consulate in Benghazi, but also the former Navy SEAL bodyguards with the Ambassador, and the supposedly secret safe house.  

They have blamed the passion of the mob, but independent reports from inside Libya have said there was no mob in Benghazi prior to the attack.

The lack of coordination here is not the patience I spoke of above, but rather than ineffective understanding of the fundamental problem that the United States, and western civilization as an whole, has with the Islamic world.  We look weak.  The United States has enough firepower and destructive power pent up that we could destroy every square inch of this planet, yet the person who wields that mighty gauntlet is weak because his personal viewpoint of America’s role in the world is not one of strength and preeminence, but one of supplication.  The President has been deferential, has promised more flexibility in the future, and has literally and figuratively bowed before the world.

This invites disaster.

Why have American deaths in Afghanistan in Obama’s not quite four year term totaled 1458 when President Bush’s term ended with 575 American deaths?  Is it because we are winning the peace and the war is “winding down?”

No, it is because the current Commander in Chief does not understand the basic precept of si vis pacem, para bellum (“if you wish for peace, prepare for war”).

David did not shy away from war.  He was humble. He was obedient. He was faithful.  He was a warrior with strength under control.  Our current President has neither strength, nor control, and that lacking is an invitation to the forces arrayed against us in this world to challenge us.

Just look at the news for examples of those challenges.  China and Japan are potentially heading toward a war over uninhabited islands.  A peace deal with the Taliban has been scrapped (the fact this was even considered is a sign of weakness too). Russia is reestablishing it’s influence in it’s former Warsaw Pact states.  The U.S. is running out of Benghazi with it’s tail tucked between it’s legs.  North Korea has increased it’s belligerence and threats of war. Drugs, weapons, invaders, and war has spilled over our southern border more than once during this President’s administration.

Instead of being meek, we have a President who is weak.  The rest of the world knows it too and are taking advantage.

Set the World Ablaze

Foreign policy?  Domestic security?  Listen and understand – they are two facets of the same thing.  By appearing weak and ineffectual, the President has invited this.

Worse than overseas protest, is that there are no incoming threats made at universities all over the country.

As this President’s inability to stand up and lead, to show a strong face to a culture that only respects strength, I believe that we will begin to see more incidents of this.  The threats don’t even need to be credible.  Imagine if every university in the country received a bomb threat Monday morning as classes have been underway.  Imagine how many people need to be evacuated and how many bomb squads there really are.  Imagine that happening every day of the week.  How long would it take for the police bomb squads to grow exhausted?

Now imagine if just one of those threats proved credible.

When the ambassador in Libya was killed, the President should have immediately ordered a marine expeditionary unit to land and retake the embassy forcefully.  The simple fact is that President Obama lacks the moral fortitude to act when the situation at hand is spiraling wildly out of control.

 

Act of War

It isn’t every day that you see an act of war go completely disregarded.

Overnight, the US Ambassador to Libya was killed. Along with the Ambassador, three embassy staff were killed also.  Earlier in the day, another State Department officer was killed.  Couple these deaths with the invasion of sovereign US soil, which an embassy is under recognized international and U.S. law, and we witnessed not one, but three distinct acts of war on the parts of the people of Libya and Egypt.

Is this the Arab Spring we were told was happening?  The ushering out of brutal dictators and the ushering in of the rule of the Arab fanatical mob?

We may not have felt it today here in flyover country, but our nation was attacked three times in the past twenty-four hours, and we have done nothing.  We will do nothing because our current commander-in-chief is incapable of regarding the world as it is and recognizing our enemies for what they are.

War has been declared, the physical territory of the United States has not only been violated, but citizens and officials from our nation have been killed in cold blood.  Will we sit and do nothing or will we take heed of George Washington’s calculated advice?

If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.

George Washington

 

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