William Hamilton: Benghazi: The regime discredits and distracts
November 20, 2012
In 1575, Conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon was searching on the wrong side of the Florida Peninsula for the Fountain of Youth. He should have searched over in Tampa where there is apparently something in the water that causes 60-year-old four-star generals to go gaga over women half their age.
But, as titillating (no pun intended) as it is for generals to be taking their orders from their privates, let us not be steered away from what is really at stake here. The loved ones of those killed in the Benghazi debacle deserve answers as to what was going on in Benghazi on the anniversary of Sept. 11. Why were four Americans: a U.S. Ambassador, an aide, and two former Navy SEALs left to die when air-to-ground firepower was readily available?
Prior to the recent election, the Obama administration and the mainstream media did all they could to keep the Benghazi story off the front pages and away from TV news programs. Once the election was over, General Petraeus was told to resign as head of the CIA. After that, instead of investigating the Benghazi outrage, the regime media focused like lasers on the foibles of two, four-star generals.
Unfortunately, the amount of news that can be fitted into the “new hole” of a newspaper or a TV news program is very small, so the important Benghazi story was left twisting in the wind and fading from view. For example, in a 30-minute TV news program, once you take out the weather, traffic, sports, business, commercials, the most recent alcohol- or marijuana-related hit-and-run-accident, or drug bust, only 17 minutes, at most, are available for national news.
Question: If General Petraeus was having an affair outside his marriage at the time he was being considered to be the head of the CIA, why was that not known inside the White House? If that disqualifying data were not known, our counterintelligence efforts are sadly lacking and someone needs to be fired.
Or, maybe the White House knew all along that Petraeus was vulnerable to blackmail and filed that information away against the time when the White House might need him to cover for them as he did with the male bovine excreta he offered Congress on Sept. 14.
Last week, the former CIA director recanted his earlier testimony of Sept. 14. Now, Petraeus says he was almost instantly aware that his officers in Benghazi were under attack by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. If so, what efforts did Petraeus make to save them? If his efforts were countermanded by higher authorities, who did that?
Also, is it true that the Africa Command commander, General Carter F. Ham, was relieved for trying to provide the Americans on the ground in Benghazi with the readily available air-to-ground firepower they so desperately needed? Was General Ham in his Stuttgart, Germany, headquarters on Sept. 11, 2012, or in the Pentagon? Where is General Ham at present? So many questions. So few answers.
The loved ones of those killed as well as the American people deserve to know what happened in Benghazi. Congress should appoint a Joint Select Committee with Watergate-like powers to uncover the truth.
Nationally syndicated columnist and retired military officer, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.