Negligence or Arrogance?

I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters.  I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors.  And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.

So announced 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.  Apparently he knows more about counterterrorism then his counterterror experts in Defense, CIA, State, et al., too.

Jennifer Griffin, of Fox News, has this:

Top State Department officials decided not to send an interagency rapid response unit designed to respond to terrorist attacks known as a FEST team, a Foreign Emergency Support Team.  This team from the State Department and CIA has a military Joint Special Operations Command element to it and has been routinely deployed to assist in investigations—for instance, after the USS Cole bombing and the bombings at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

“The response process was isolated at the most senior level,” according to one intelligence source.  “Counterterrorism professionals were not consulted and a decision was taken to send the FBI on its own without the enablers that would have allowed its agents to gain access to the site in Benghazi in a timely manner.”  The FBI team did not get on the ground in Benghazi for several weeks after the attack and at that point any “evidence” had been rifled through by looters and journalists.


Further, the Counterterrorism Security Group, or CSG, was never asked to meet that night or in subsequent days, according to two separate counterterrorism officials, as first reported by CBS News.  The CSG is composed of experts on terrorism from across government agencies and makes recommendations to the deputies who assist the president’s Cabinet in formulating a response to crises involving terrorism.

Why not deploy the FEST?  State Department spokesman Philippe Reines:

[T]he first thing to know is that it’s not a security team.  It’s primarily a resource that State can send to help restore a facility.  Best example is Nairobi after the bombing because the Embassy suffered such significant damage.  It couldn’t function properly without resuming basic infrastructure needs like communications.  In this case, that was not necessary as Embassy Tripoli wasn’t impacted and could, as it does today, to function normally.

Look!  Shiny!  Umm, the terrorist attack occurred over in our Benghazi, Mr Reines….

The CSG?  Well, Obama and his lessers already knew all the answers.

[T]he most senior people in government worked on this issue from the minute it happened.  That includes the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Secretary of State, National Security advisor, etcetera.  Additionally, the Deputies Committee—the second in command at the relevant national security agencies—met at least once and more often twice a day to manage the issue.

And now, four Americans, including a high-ranking Federal government official are dead; American territory lies in ruins with no apparent attempt to restore it; and who knows what classified information, names of locals who were helping us, etc now are in the hands of our enemies.

Because Barack Obama thinks he’s more expert than his experts.

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