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Benghazi: Obama’s end of watch

October 6, 2012

[J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KBZZ 1270 AM and 95.9 FM in Reno. Listen live Saturdays at 2:00 PM Pacific Time.]

Our president and our next president had their first debate Wednesday night and everybody wants to talk about it. Everybody except me. Something happened 25 days ago that weighs heavily on my mind, damping my interest in political debate, gnawing at my sense of right and wrong like a sore tooth.

25 days ago was Tuesday, September 11th. That’s the day al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans including our ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

The terrorists came in two coordinated pre-planned waves starting about five o’clock Eastern Standard Time. The first wave was designed to send the ambassador scurrying for his safe house, but al-Qaeda knew all about the secret hideaway in the secret annex and their second wave was an ambush directed at the safe house. When they heard about the attack, two civilian contractors, former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty and former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, left a secure building in another part of the city and came to help. The fighting lasted about four hours. Doherty, Woods, and the nine-man Libyan security force that was supposed to protect the ambassador were outnumbered and out-gunned. The al-Qaeda terrorists were armed with antiaircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

Ultimately, the former SEALs died evacuating and protecting consulate staff.

Within 90 minutes of the attack starting, the President of the United States, supposedly our Commander-in-Chief, knew the consulate was under fire. As you can imagine, information was sketchy. The president knew the ambassador was missing but didn’t know he was dead until his body was found the next morning at the Benghazi Medical Center. By “morning” I mean Libya’s morning so we’re talking sometime shortly after midnight in Washington, D.C.

The president was asleep. There it is, the thing that gnaws at my sense of right and wrong. The thing I can’t get out of my mind.

While Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were fighting for their lives in a fight that wasn’t even officially theirs – a fight for which they volunteered simply because they were Americans and patriots – while the U.S. ambassador to Libya was still missing, while American territory was under attack and American property was being vandalized, looted, and burned... in the middle of all that, our president went to bed.

I can’t seem to get over it. I’m obsessed and outraged and can’t figure out why everybody else isn’t equally outraged. It’s 25 days later and new stories have replaced Benghazi in the headlines – stuff like how bad Barack Obama looked in Wednesday’s debate – but I can’t stop thinking about him sleeping while our ambassador and two Navy SEALs were being murdered in Benghazi.

A couple weeks ago the president was on 60 Minutes answering the usual softball questions he gets from his fawning sycophants in the media, and he told Steve Kroft that Michelle goes to bed about 9:30 but he generally stays awake until one in the morning doing “some reading and some writing” and enjoying “moments of reflection.” In other words, he’s a night owl.

So apparently he went to bed early on September 11th. I guess he needed rest because he had a busy day the next day: he was flying off to give a speech. At a fundraiser. In Las Vegas.

Before he left Washington the next morning, the president gave a brief statement about Libya in the Rose Garden (no questions from the press allowed), visited the State Department with Hillary Clinton (no press allowed period), and then jumped aboard Air Force One to get out of town. While he was flying to Vegas, practicing his campaign speech for that evening, the surviving staff members from the Benghazi consulate were being evacuated and the bodies of four dead Americans were being collected and flown home.

Think about what I just said: while Obama was flying to Vegas to raise money, dead Americans were being flown out of Libya.

Most of the discussion about Benghazi has been about lies told by the Obama administration trying to hide their foreign policy incompetence. It took them three weeks to finally admit this attack wasn’t a “spontaneous demonstration about a YouTube video” that got out of hand, but who really cares about lies from these people anymore? Here’s what keeps monopolizing my conscience: we have a president who is so cold, so callous, and so irresponsible that he went to bed while an ambassador he hired and placed in harm’s way was missing, and then flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser after learning the man was dead.

There’s a movie currently in theatres called End of Watch. It’s an action-packed cop movie but it’s also an allegory about honor, responsibility, and love between men. The contrast between the two heroes in the movie and lowlifes around them was stark... just like the contrast between two former SEALs in Libya and Barack Obama.

That's... today’s dose of common sense.

"What is desirable in a person is loyalty, and it is better to be poor than a liar." – Proverbs 19:22

"Power without responsibility – the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages." – Rudyard Kipling

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA       

Followup 1:

February 10, 2013

When I wrote about Obama's callousness in October of 2012, I had no idea how right I was. Now we know he met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at 5:00 PM for twenty minutes, was told about the attack on the Benghazi consulate, then left and was never heard from again. The attack lasted eight hours. The president couldn't even be bothered to call the Situation Room and ask, "Hey, how's it going over there in that Bengal-Yahtzee place?" He just plain didn't give a shit.

Maybe he was distracted by something else. Maybe there was a good HBO movie on the White House big screen...

Watch video of Panetta admitting Obama was uninvolved here and here. Eventually, the White House was forced to admit that Obama didn't pick up the phone and talk to anybody that night, let alone Panetta.
February 14, 2013 - Evidently, during his confirmation hearing for his new job, when asked about briefing the president on Benghazi, replied something to the effect of, "Brief or talk? Those are two separate things." Honestly can we not get a straight answer from any of these people? They're like a bunch of eels. – Pam T., Virginia

February 11, 2013 - Well I would also like to know from "what does it matter!" Clinton, how anyone can consider the impartial investigation, that Hillary took great pride in saying she requested on Benghazi, was even completed. You know the one where 3 employees and Ms. Lamb lost their jobs. (Except not really they were merely transferred elsewhere where they can further derelict their duties.) But what continues to not pass the sniff test with me, is as Ms. Clinton admitted under testimony, that she spoke to no one about Benghazi and the impartial investigators did not speak to her either. – Pam T., Virginia

February 11, 2013 - Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey testified that after 5:30 on Sept 11th, they never spoke to the President. In addition, they also testified that neither spoke to Hillary Clinton. There is some speculation that the Presidents Chief of Staff was making all parties aware of what was going on. But chief of staff Jack Lew has now been replaced and hasn't testified. Is it just me, that the more that comes out, it seems NO ONE was in charge? – Pam T., Virginia
J.P. replies: That's the other thing: Hillary was the head of the State Department and she didn't care enough to check in with Panetta either. Those were her people dying. It's almost unbelievable.

February 10, 2013 - Got nothing for you this week, J.P., on the Super Bowl. The truth is I didn't even watch it. But... It does seem that your article quite some time ago about what and where was the president when Benghazi was under attack was right on target. It appears he may very well been sleeping, playing golf or skeet shooting. But it is now clear from recent testimony, that no one saw him or spoke to him after 5 pm our time. So..... Exactly who did he give these supposed orders to and when to help our guys? Oh what a tangled web we weave. – Pam T., Virginia
J.P. replies: Your comment inspired me to add a followup. See above.

October 8, 2012 - While Rome burned Nero was off playing his fiddle. p.s. am I the only one who thinks if it were Mccain in power he actually would of sent some marines for support? – Devin, North Dakota
J.P. replies: According to reports, Obama and Hillary Clinton decided not to send a military rescue team because they didn't want to "offend" the Libyan government... the Libyan government which is in power only because we put them there.

October 6, 2012 - Where is that 'like' button? Thanks for putting this into perspective. Feel terrible for those families affected by this tragedy. Had to tweet this. Your message needs to be heard. God bless. – Todd L., Michigan
J.P. replies: Yeah, yeah, I know the comments and social media links need to be updated. Somebody else asked for a Facebook "Like" button earlier this week. Sooner or later I'll get 'er done.

October 6, 2012 - End of Watch was a helluva movie, wasn't it? I like your comparison of the heroes in the movie and the two SEALs in Libya. They died doing what was right, above and beyond the call of duty. That's the definition of heroism. – P.K., Reno

October 6, 2012 - That says it all. The person living in our white house has only one objective and that is to get re-elected so he can continue on his objective to completely take over America. How can anybody with any intellect vote for Obama? – D. Rauch, Pittsburgh

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