Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Benghazi Attack; Many Failures, Few Answers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Benghazi Attack; Many Failures, Few Answers

Article excerpt

There has been great interest in what happened at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 in an attack that took four American lives.

There are the obvious political concerns just before the election. Many readers, influenced by reporting from Fox News, have accused the mainstream news media of suppressing the news.

It should be noted that this editorial page expressed serious concerns about leaving the mission inadequately protected. And we published an opinion column from a regular Times-Union contributor in a Sunday edition.

Bing West is both a Vietnam veteran and a writer who regularly has spent time on the ground with U.S. troops in the Middle East. He raises serious concerns that U.S. assets in Sicily were not called into action.


So let's attempt to summarize what we know so far:

The Benghazi mission should never have been left standing. Both the Red Cross outpost and the British mission there had left following a series of attacks. In short, the U.S. mission was a sitting duck on Sept. 11.

There were not enough American security forces in Libya to protect the Benghazi outpost. Was this because the president did not want to commit U.S. troops there? If so, then the outpost should have been closed.

As West wrote, why weren't U.S. assets deployed from Sicily? One news report said that the Benghazi mission was too close to civilians. If so, then it should have been abandoned long ago.

Focus on supposed intelligence failures is unrealistic. We can't expect the CIA to report every specific attack on Americans. What we can do is expect our outposts to be reasonably secure.

As reported by Fox News, there were concerns that the Benghazi mission could not sustain a concerted attack and that the Libyan militia expected to protect the Americans was not reliable. This is not exactly a radical idea; it's the status quo in the Middle East.


Here are a few quotes from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal:

- "But the question on the minds of some lawmakers is why the declining security situation did not prompt a fundamental rethinking of the security needs by the State Department and the White House. …

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