Sunday, December 21, 2014

#BenghaziIn(MoreThan)FourWords

James Warren of NY Daily News explains what Benghazi means

#BenghaziIn(MoreThan)FourWords

There's been a trending topic on Twitter all weekend, #BenghaziInFourWords -- which sums up conservatives on the topic. They don't want information, they want a bumper sticker. The best piece I've read this week is longer than four words. It's not by an ideologue of the right...or the left, but by James Warren of the New York Daily News. I'm jammed up with the work/newspaper/editing thing, but I highly recommend his take:

That's all seemingly lost in the fog of a Washington political war. Among the casualties are context and some facts:

History. American government facilities are a sadly regular target for terrorists. There have been many dozens of attacks on U.S. embassies, consulates, military compounds and personnel since the 1979 takeover of our embassy in Tehran. The most deadly one resulted in the deaths of 241 servicemen after the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut.

But it is also true that since gaining a House majority in 2010, Republicans have sharply cut State Department budget requests for more embassy security funding. For fiscal 2012, they shaved the request by $331 million.

Self-criticism. State initiated an independent review of Benghazi led by Thomas Pickering, a revered former diplomat, and Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It eviscerated the department for "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" that prompted "a security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place."

There's other smart stuff in there so please read it.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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