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Benghazi Exposed

Benghazi ExposedDECONSTRUCTING BENGHAZI
We have embassies/diplomatic missions around the world, some in far more dangerous places than others. It should be obvious the entire Middle East, including Libya, is at the top of the list. Precautions should have been taken to insure the safety of our people. If I had been in charge, here are a few things I’d have done.

 

PHYSICAL PRECAUTIONS

Middle East stations would be hardened against mobs, riots and all forms of direct attack. I’m talking thick walls, bars on windows, bullet proof glass, back-up water supply & generators. Also, a perimeter wall w/heavy gate. Roof to provide quick helicopter evac, w/steel-lined concrete stair- well offering last minute refuge. Consular vehicles would also be hardened, including glass, tires & body.

 

SECURITY DETAIL

There would be security personnel in a min ratio of  2 to 1. Facility size might dictate more. Camera surveillance at 360, 24/7. Secure lines of satlink communications in place, with at least one(1) b/up; defensive weaponry incl tear gas, water canons, high decibel noise deterrents & laser flash strobes/high intensity flashers; smoke-type grenades to impair vision and/or induce dizziness/vomiting leading to loss of consciousness; protective gear incl vests, masks & military grade helmets. Lethal weapons to incl hand guns, rifles w/grenade-launch capability; high-powered rifle w/scope, w/laser-targeting & infrared sniper capability.

 

LOCAL PROTECTION / LIAISON

Standard operating procedures would be in place for min of 4 threat levels. Pri1 alerts Washington incident in progress, but station secure; Pri2 indicates situation escalating but still under control w/minor damage inflicted; Pri3 calls for b/up, perhaps with 1-2hr window to on scene; Pri4 flashes to all local military posts, DOD, State and situation room in White House, indicating imminent peril/potential loss of life, w/implementation of preset evac procedures at 10min max – Pri3 already having staged for this eventuality.

A mission/station would be well aware of other US posts in the immediate area & know their support capabilities. Protocols/procedures would be in place with the host government, stipulating its role/response during an incident, with assurances it will do everything possible to safeguard/protect American lives. Ties also in place with neighboring governments to same end. Last, military availability, fixed or mobile, set in advance as primary GO-TO for b/up and evacuation.

 

FOREIGN RELATIONS / MILITARY RESPONSE

Already mentioned, absolutely require any host government, especially those in unfriendly/hostile locales, to agree safety/protection of our people is crucial; must provide assurances they’re in position to enforce whatever action be- comes necessary to achieve this end; also agree to give an immediate heads-up to any condition/situation reducing said capability. Furthermore, agree to cooperate fully with our military, should it becomes necessary.

Military to be in constant state of readiness for facilitating any/all actions necessary to insure the safety/protection of our people. Protocols set such that all levels/ contingencies are repeatedly rehearsed and operational.

 

MILITARY PROTOCOL / CULTURE OF HONOR

It’s long established tradition throughout our military we leave no one behind! When engaged in battle it’s absolutely crucial to the morale and well being of every soldier, sailor, airman and marine that his comrades have his back, will cover him at all costs, under all conditions, and will come to bring him home, whatever his status.

This protocol of loyalty, comradery, honor permeates the ranks top down. No commander worth his salt would shirk this duty, or abandon his men. Likewise, it is imperative the same attitude/commitment be present in any civilian authority exerting influence or dispatching orders to the military. This must be readily apparent up the entire chain of command to the president himself.

 

STATE DEPT, DOD & WHITE HOUSE

When an incident happens information, depending on seriousness, goes through uniformed ranks to civilian authority in Washington. If State/DOD can manage it heads of those departments will act within their purview and do so, briefing the White House afterward.

If the situation requires higher authority it is sent to the situation room in the White House. The communications officer/officer-in-charge has standing orders how to route the message. In most cases he will give it to one of several aides/staffers to the president. Message delivered, reviewed and handled at the president’s direction.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

This has been a layman’s take on how things should be set up/handled within our foreign service, at least how we’d like to think they’re handled.

I’ve omitted any mention of our intelligence services, including CIA, NSA and others since I am unfamiliar with their operations or how they interface with the State Dept. and military. It goes without question these agencies provide critical intel to the foreign service, informing it of potential hostiles near/around our missions.

 

CONCLUDING REMARKS / OPINIONS

A lot has been revealed during the weeks since the tragedy, and more comes out every day. This can be confusing, depending on what has already been reported and who does the reporting. It’s fair to say many of us are extremely disappointed with the national media, print and broadcast. It remains uninterested in this story and/or handles it with kid gloves, both disconcerting and suspicious.

 

Here’s what I can say:

This is not a political matter, but a matter of national security. More than being about breakdowns, negligence and in-competencies, it’s about the deaths of four Americans. In this regard it far exceeds scandals like Watergate. It’s way more than lying or obstructing justice. It’s about a possible dereliction of duty resulting in the murderous deaths of four of our people!

Most don’t get that. Some of the spokespersons of this ad- ministration stated it’s no big deal, just republicans hyping and politicizing. This is both stupifyingly ignorant and outrageously self-serving; a naked attempt to protect the president’s image and reputation.

Can any of us imagine any previous president, upon learning of this tragedy, simply saying a few inconclusive words in the rose garden, then jetting off to campaign in Vegas?

Is this any way for a Commander-in-Chief to act? Can we imagine any of them greeting grieving parents, wives and children at Dover Air Base and telling them bald-faced lies about mobs and videos over the coffins of their loved ones?

Can we imagine them avoiding the word terrorist because it fails their test of political correctness or so inflammatory as to send a wrong/offensive message to the Arab world, when it’s the ugliest of truths?

Investigating and getting to the bottom of this tragedy was the president’s top priority. He should have spent several days doing nothing but this, reassuring he’d find what went wrong, who was responsible and who were the bad guys. Finally, who steps down/resigns due to dereliction, this in an effort to seek truth, exact justice, reassure the diplomatic corps, military & American people it won’t happen again!

This tragedy has three(3) focuses: pre-attack, during attack and post-attack. The 1st concerns intel from all available sources, the idea we should have expected something on the 9/11 anniversary date, physical status and overall readiness for handling this incident. The 2nd concerns ability to respond, reactive measures/implementation, adequacy of physical status and overall b/up provided by State, DOD, local military, host government and White House. The 3rd  concerns analysis, review, conclusions and timeliness of release of information. I believe as we learn about Benghazi, in its most damning aspect, we will find no acceptable answers to the scores of questions that must be asked. We will come to understand one doesn’t avoid responsibility for taking action; one does not dissemble/equivocate when it comes to people’s lives;  one does not allow politics/campaigning to blur judgement or subvert priorities when there’s blood on the ground!

This entire affair is a national disgrace. Mainstream media are a disgrace. The president and his political advisors are a disgrace. The American people in their conscious/unconscious apathy are a disgrace.

There was a time these things would not stand. Evidently, that time is no more. We must fix this if we are to remain a strong and noble nation, resting on principles of honor, integrity and justice. As a first step for restoring that honor, I urge families of the fallen to file suit against this government demanding full disclosure and accountability. Wrong-doers/bumblers must admit their actions, give explanation and apology. They must face final judgement from the legal process. This is necessary to insure others after them will not make the same mistakes.

I am a father and ex-marine. I love my country, but when I see these things it saddens me, worries me greatly we are losing our way and heading into darkness. If anyone in the chain of command, from president down to private, is un- able or unwilling to stand by his people, to come to their aid and bring them home, he/she is unfit for office or duty.

He/she is completely undeserving of the responsibility of shepherding the lives of our sons & daughters in the military and foreign service. I must urge my own son not to serve, not until this matter has been fully resolved.

 

The leaders of this country will have our backs, or they will have nothing!

 

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I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native info@shaneview.com Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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