Was Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death at Benghazi his own fault?
Ordinarily, I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, especially since they can’t defend themselves.
Nor do I necessarily agree with certain theories advanced by Marie Burns of the Web site Reality Chex regarding the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens (above) in the terrorist attack of last Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya.
But I’m passing along what Burns has to SAY simply for your consideration:
WTF was Ambassador Chris Stevens doing at an unsecured consulate in Benghazi — “this hottest of hot spots” — on September 11? It suits no one’s political purpose to lay the blame where it belongs, so Stevens is portrayed, even in the Accountability Review Board (ARB) Report, as an heroic martyr to Libyan democracy and American values.
In fact, Chris Stevens was a hotdogger who put himself, his staff and his security personnel at undue risk. He is a tragic figure only in the classical sense: he was directly responsible for his own death and — the deaths of three others. The ARB obliquely acknowledges this: “Embassy Tripoli did not demonstrate strong and sustained advocacy with Washington for increased security for Special Mission Benghazi” and describes the facility as having an “insufficient … security platform.” The Benghazi staff consisted of
relatively inexperienced American personnel often on temporary assignments of 40 days or less…. Plans for the Ambassador’s trip [to Benghazi] provided for minimal close protection security support and were not shared thoroughly with the Embassy’s country team, who were not fully aware of planned movements off compound. The Ambassador did not see a direct threat of an attack of this nature….
Notice how the report employs the passive voice and substitutes “Embassy Tripoli” for “Stevens.” What the Board means is that Stevens put inexperienced temps in a dangerous facility with an “insufficient security platform,” then popped off to join them (or whatever) without a proper security detail and without even telling staff where he was going and what he was doing because, you know, he just didn’t think anybody in an unstable Muslim country would want to kill an American ambassador on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The evidence is that Chris Stevens saw himself as a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia, with “his knowledge of Arabic, his ability to move in all sectors of the population, and his wide circle of friends, particularly in Benghazi.” Well, maybe not “all sectors” and maybe his circle of friends was not quite as wide as he imagined. As the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Stevens had a primary responsibility to protect Americans in Libya. But that responsibility conflicted with his dream of a horde of enthusiastic Libyans shouting, “Ste-VENS! Ste-VENS! Ste-VENS!” He put his personal ambitions before the safety of those in his charge. Stevens — and other Americans — are dead only because Stevens himself was woefully irresponsible.
The real scandal is the one that dare not speak its name.