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Was Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death at Benghazi his own fault?

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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.

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9 Comments

  1. kevind1986

    And I don’t really believe that PC might be trying to deflect the mounting criticism of the administration’s handling (and lying about) the Benghazi attacks while he hides behind “here’s what others are saying”. I’ll just hang it out there though. A new low, and that is saying something….

  2. Ah, kevind1986 is drinking the wingnut Kool-Aid again.

    Perhaps he’ll entertain us with more brilliant theories on the Benghazi affair he’s culled from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

  3. Steverino

    The only mounting criticism comes from a desperate GOP everyone would like to see congress spend their time on jobs, infrastructure, education and research.

  4. Robert

    The lies that the conservatives are using are related to the reason the attack occurred. The State Dept said it was because of a USA produced movie about Islam. Interesting though how these attacks are specific to certain areas and not throughout the entire Middle East. You;d think if that was the case, riots would be all over the Muslim world.

    I’m reminded of another time when some retaliatory attacks in Afghanistan were blamed on a Minister in Florida, who burned a holy book here in the USA, when the real reason was some rogue USA military men killed a young boy for no reason at all. Then his father had to identify him. They shot him and cut off his fingers off as a trophy. This story was reported in an article in the Rolling Stone and corresponded to the timeframe the uprising occurred in Afghanistan. The book burning happened a while before the Afghanistan uprising occurred, but not long enough to see it as a reason to deflect blame from where it should have been placed. The PR spin machine started up and said it was the ministers fault, all along knowing it wasn’t. Isn’t it odd how these flare ups only happen in certain areas and are not across the entire Middle East. The news orgs got savvy for later releases of information and implied the flare up were happening across the Middle East, but that also was shown to be another lie. What disgusted me most was when I heard a well known liberal talk show host repeating the lie, when he knew better and that it was the story in the Rolling Stone and local knowledge of what happened that caused that uprising.

    We’re lied to all the time. I guess were supposed to get use to it.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370758/Shocking-video-shows-U-S-troops-cheering-airstrike-blows-Afghan-civilians.html

  5. Robert

    Let me clarify the comment I made about a USA produced movie about Islam. The movie was made in the USA, but not by the government. Some producer in California made the film and it was supposed to be what caused the uprising.

  6. I am so stunned and hurt that anyone with an ounce of decency would print or reprint sometthing so unfair, bizarre and hateful. The people commenting on this article are not unbiased; they obviously have made up their minds that this administration does not require accountability. Fine. But get ready for some real facts: YOU did not know Chris, and neither did the writer of the original comments. I knew Chris for over 10 years and worked with him a number of times. He was nothing like he has been portrayed. This is a perfect example of character assassination of someone who cannot defend themselves. You mention nothing of his actual career or accomplishments. You and most of those commenting will do anything to protect this corrupt administration and incompetent Sec of State. Chris was raped before he was murdered. Now you great Americans are raping him again. By the way, he was a Democrat and he believed in this president and the first lady with the ironed, white lady hairstyle. Ironic.

  7. eric: “The first lady with the ironed, white lady hairstyle”??

    Racist much?

  8. Bob Feeber

    First, the idea that you can lay this off by just saying “I’m providing information,” is a complete farce and you should at least be able to admit that. The points that Mrs. Burns writes about are also an issue. He asked for more security and it was denied. The narrative that drives the story is that the requests were denied, that no help was sent, and people died. The ideas that the political entities did not think that in the middle of the fight the people were not worth the effort is laughable. The men and women that could of responded know what their job is and know the risks and will always go when they are needed. Now that the facts are now starting to percolate to the surface, more of the issues arrise. The simple answer would have been, “we didn’t handle our business, people died and we are now fixing it.” That didn’t happen, “they” tried to spin it. The spin is always the issue, not the event.

  9. Kristy

    I think whomever wrote this article needs to hang their head down in shame. It is very shameful we don’t have real journalists any longer. . They have all been bought and sold. I don’t believe for one minute that ambassador turned down ANY extra help. This is all a ploy to take blame off of who is REALLY responsible that tragic night. I don’t know about the rest of the world but I started paying close attention when all our highly trained navy seals started coming up dead in tragic “accidents.” I work too hard and pay way too many damn taxes to have all my rights taken away and my questions ignored. I am very tired of the mockery way the public officials are held accountable. Sure, lets give those that deserve jail time /fines suspension with pay. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?……

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