понедельник, 29 августа 2016 г.

The Real Benghazi Scandal

The Real Benghazi Scandal
The Real Benghazi Scandal

The Voorhes

On the morning of Monday, August 13, 2012, Scott Stevens loaded a brown hunting bag into his Jeep Grand Cherokee, then went to the master bedroom, where he hugged Stacy, his wife of 23 years. “I love you,” he told her.


Stacy thought that her husband was off to a job interview followed by an appointment with his therapist. Instead, he drove the 22 miles from their home in Steubenville, Ohio, to the Mountaineer Casino, just outside New Cumberland, West Virginia. He used the casino ATM to check his bank-account balance: $13,400. He walked across the casino floor to his favorite slot machine in the high-limit area: Triple Stars, a three-reel game that cost $10 a spin. Maybe this time it would pay out enough to save him.

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":0,"text":"On the morning of Monday, August 13, 2012, Scott Stevens loaded a brown hunting bag into his Jeep Grand Cherokee, then went to the master bedroom, where he hugged Stacy, his wife of 23 years. “I love you,” he told her.
Stacy thought that her husband was off to a job interview followed by an appointment with his therapist. Instead, he drove the 22 miles from their home in Steubenville, Ohio, to the Mountaineer Casino, just outside New Cumberland, West Virginia. He used the casino ATM to check his bank-account balance: $13,400. He walked across the casino floor to his favorite slot machine in the high-limit area: Triple Stars, a three-reel game that cost $10 a spin. Maybe this time it would pay out enough to save him.","type":"post"},{"date":"Sat, 19 Nov 2016 07:01:00 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"Andrew McGill","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/andrew-mcgill/","diffbotUri":"post|3|44498794","html":"
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Of all the parties with egg on their faces after Donald Trump’s surprise election—Democrats, pollsters, political bettors—my colleagues in the media felt especially yolky. Stephen Colbert’s awkward jive on Election Night could have stood in for any number of newsrooms that evening: He didn’t see Trump’s victory coming, he wasn’t well-prepared, and he was very confused.


For the record, I contest that it was the media’s responsibility to “call” this election to begin with. The horse race is trivial, people always tell journalists—write about stuff that matters. Reporters did just that, digging into Trump’s charitable giving, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and Bernie Sanders’s economic plan. Still, very few people in the mainstream press expected Trump to win, thereby influencing their coverage—newsrooms drew up plans to cover a Clinton transition, and correspondents penned final-days-of-Trump features.

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":1,"text":"Of all the parties with egg on their faces after Donald Trump’s surprise election—Democrats, pollsters, political bettors—my colleagues in the media felt especially yolky. Stephen Colbert’s awkward jive on Election Night could have stood in for any number of newsrooms that evening: He didn’t see Trump’s victory coming, he wasn’t well-prepared, and he was very confused.
For the record, I contest that it was the media’s responsibility to “call” this election to begin with. The horse race is trivial, people always tell journalists—write about stuff that matters. Reporters did just that, digging into Trump’s charitable giving, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and Bernie Sanders’s economic plan. Still, very few people in the mainstream press expected Trump to win, thereby influencing their coverage—newsrooms drew up plans to cover a Clinton transition, and correspondents penned final-days-of-Trump features.","type":"post"},{"date":"Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:00:00 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"James Fallows","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/james-fallows/","diffbotUri":"post|3|-1295381122","html":"
Oliver Munday

What if China is going bad? Since early last year I have been asking people inside and outside China versions of this question. By “bad” I don’t mean morally. Moral and ethical factors obviously matter in foreign policy, but I’m talking about something different.


Nor is the question mainly about economics, although for China the short-term stability and long-term improvement of jobs, wages, and living standards are fundamental to the government’s survival. Under China’s single-party Communist arrangement, sustained economic failure would naturally raise questions about the system as a whole, as it did in the Soviet Union. True, modern China’s economic performance even during its slowdowns is like the Soviet Union’s during its booms. But the absence of a political outlet for dissatisfaction is similar.

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":2,"text":"What if China is going bad? Since early last year I have been asking people inside and outside China versions of this question. By “bad” I don’t mean morally. Moral and ethical factors obviously matter in foreign policy, but I’m talking about something different.
Nor is the question mainly about economics, although for China the short-term stability and long-term improvement of jobs, wages, and living standards are fundamental to the government’s survival. Under China’s single-party Communist arrangement, sustained economic failure would naturally raise questions about the system as a whole, as it did in the Soviet Union. True, modern China’s economic performance even during its slowdowns is like the Soviet Union’s during its booms. But the absence of a political outlet for dissatisfaction is similar.","type":"post"},{"date":"Mon, 16 May 2016 20:00:13 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"Dan P. McAdams","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/dan-p-mcadams/","diffbotUri":"post|3|-1438521922","html":"
Tom Pennington / Getty Images

In 2006, Donald Trump made plans to purchase the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen, Scotland, aiming to convert the dunes and grassland into a luxury golf resort. He and the estate’s owner, Tom Griffin, sat down to discuss the transaction at the Cock & Bull restaurant. Griffin recalls that Trump was a hard-nosed negotiator, reluctant to give in on even the tiniest details. But, as Michael D’Antonio writes in his recent biography of Trump, Never Enough, Griffin’s most vivid recollection of the evening pertains to the theatrics. It was as if the golden-haired guest sitting across the table were an actor playing a part on the London stage.


“It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump,” Griffin observed. There was something unreal about it.

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":3,"text":"In 2006, Donald Trump made plans to purchase the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen, Scotland, aiming to convert the dunes and grassland into a luxury golf resort. He and the estate’s owner, Tom Griffin, sat down to discuss the transaction at the Cock & Bull restaurant. Griffin recalls that Trump was a hard-nosed negotiator, reluctant to give in on even the tiniest details. But, as Michael D’Antonio writes in his recent biography of Trump, Never Enough, Griffin’s most vivid recollection of the evening pertains to the theatrics. It was as if the golden-haired guest sitting across the table were an actor playing a part on the London stage.
“It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump,” Griffin observed. There was something unreal about it.","type":"post"},{"date":"Sat, 19 Nov 2016 16:35:00 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"Hamilton","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/11/hamiltons-message-to-mike-pence/508256/","diffbotUri":"post|3|-555694324","html":"
Evan Agostini / AP

Ben, the reader who sparked our long and evolving discussion thread on the best ways for Trump voters and other Americans to engage, emails about a new flashpoint: the cast of Hamilton delivering a short speech to VP-elect Mike Pence, who attended a performance of the musical on Broadway last night. Here’s how CNN covered it:


Here’s Ben:


I’m seeing an awful lot of social media commentary looking at Trump’s tweets regarding the cast’s message to Pence, and nearly all of it follows a certain pattern of “Boo Hoo, Trump doesn’t like it when actors exercise their first amendment rights? Cry me a river.” On one hand, they are completely right: The note-reading by cast member Brandon Dixon was protected speech, and political speech. It’s very, very important that people are able to do what the Hamilton cast did, and I think very few people will disagree with that.

On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to be the least bit objective and not acknowledge that what happened was harassment, or at least something pretty close. The story is being presented near universally as “Trump is whining because Pence received a note!,” but let’s break down the evening in dry terms and see if that holds up:

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":4,"text":"Ben, the reader who sparked our long and evolving discussion thread on the best ways for Trump voters and other Americans to engage, emails about a new flashpoint: the cast of Hamilton delivering a short speech to VP-elect Mike Pence, who attended a performance of the musical on Broadway last night. Here’s how CNN covered it:
Here’s Ben:
I’m seeing an awful lot of social media commentary looking at Trump’s tweets regarding the cast’s message to Pence, and nearly all of it follows a certain pattern of “Boo Hoo, Trump doesn’t like it when actors exercise their first amendment rights? Cry me a river.” On one hand, they are completely right: The note-reading by cast member Brandon Dixon was protected speech, and political speech. It’s very, very important that people are able to do what the Hamilton cast did, and I think very few people will disagree with that.
On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to be the least bit objective and not acknowledge that what happened was harassment, or at least something pretty close. The story is being presented near universally as “Trump is whining because Pence received a note!,” but let’s break down the evening in dry terms and see if that holds up:","type":"post"},{"date":"Sat, 19 Nov 2016 04:50:00 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"James Kitfield","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/james-kitfield/","diffbotUri":"post|3|-1172812620","html":"
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures to a his camouflaged
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

By the time modern American presidents receive the keys to the White House, learn the identities of intelligence assets around the world, and obtain the nuclear-weapons codes, they have traditionally been well-defined, both by their long careers in public service and by an arduous election campaign. Their positions have been anchored to a coherent worldview and governing philosophy. Their character judgment has been revealed by the wide circle of experts and advisers drawn to the cause. Their policy positions have been detailed in extensive white papers. Their decision-making has been illuminated through close scrutiny of past votes and personal history. Yet despite dominating the spotlight of one of the most-watched and bitterly contested presidential campaigns in U.S. history, President-elect Donald J. Trump will enter the Oval Office on January 20 as an enigma in many important respects.

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":5,"text":"By the time modern American presidents receive the keys to the White House, learn the identities of intelligence assets around the world, and obtain the nuclear-weapons codes, they have traditionally been well-defined, both by their long careers in public service and by an arduous election campaign. Their positions have been anchored to a coherent worldview and governing philosophy. Their character judgment has been revealed by the wide circle of experts and advisers drawn to the cause. Their policy positions have been detailed in extensive white papers. Their decision-making has been illuminated through close scrutiny of past votes and personal history. Yet despite dominating the spotlight of one of the most-watched and bitterly contested presidential campaigns in U.S. history, President-elect Donald J. Trump will enter the Oval Office on January 20 as an enigma in many important respects.","type":"post"},{"date":"Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:11:36 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"Jeffrey Goldberg","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/jeffrey-goldberg/","diffbotUri":"post|3|458932907","html":"
Win McNamee / Getty

Author’s note (November 10, 2016): Over the past several months, I’ve interviewed Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, numerous times on the subject of America’s role in the world. Our conversations took place before this week’s election, but were informed by the foreign-policy differences between the candidates. The December 2016 issue of The Atlantic includes my article on these conversations, which you will find published below. In addition, a full rendering of our several interviews, on subjects including the future of Russia, the rise of China, and the chaos of the Middle East, can be found here.


On Wednesday, the day the country, and the world, were just beginning to absorb the shock of Donald Trump’s victory, I spoke with Kissinger by telephone to get his postelection thoughts. He told me that he was expecting other nations, particularly the great powers, to enter a period of intense study, in order to understand how they should respond to a Trump presidency. He also said he expected the Islamic State, or other similarly minded jihadist organizations, to test Trump early by launching attacks, in order to provoke a reaction (or, he suggested, an overreaction).

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":6,"text":"Author’s note (November 10, 2016): Over the past several months, I’ve interviewed Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, numerous times on the subject of America’s role in the world. Our conversations took place before this week’s election, but were informed by the foreign-policy differences between the candidates. The December 2016 issue of The Atlantic includes my article on these conversations, which you will find published below. In addition, a full rendering of our several interviews, on subjects including the future of Russia, the rise of China, and the chaos of the Middle East, can be found here.
On Wednesday, the day the country, and the world, were just beginning to absorb the shock of Donald Trump’s victory, I spoke with Kissinger by telephone to get his postelection thoughts. He told me that he was expecting other nations, particularly the great powers, to enter a period of intense study, in order to understand how they should respond to a Trump presidency. He also said he expected the Islamic State, or other similarly minded jihadist organizations, to test Trump early by launching attacks, in order to provoke a reaction (or, he suggested, an overreaction).","type":"post"},{"date":"Thu, 17 Nov 2016 05:00:00 GMT","images":[{"naturalHeight":0,"width":465,"naturalWidth":0,"height":290}],"humanLanguage":"en","author":"Joel Mokyr","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/joel-mokyr/","diffbotUri":"post|3|1735011291","html":"
A 1770 engraving of a steam engine crushing a wall
Bettman / Getty

How and why did the modern world and its unprecedented prosperity begin? Many bookshelves are full of learned tomes by historians, economists, political philosophers and other erudite scholars with endless explanations. One way of looking at the question is by examining something basic, and arguably essential: the emergence of a belief in the usefulness of progress.


Such a belief may seem self-evident today, but most people in the more-remote past believed that history moved in some kind of cycle or followed a path that was determined by higher powers. The idea that humans should and could work consciously to make the world a better place for themselves and for generations to come is by and large one that emerged in the two centuries between Christopher Columbus and Isaac Newton. Of course, just believing that progress could be brought about is not enough—one must bring it about. The modern world began when people resolved to do so.

","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","id":7,"text":"How and why did the modern world and its unprecedented prosperity begin? Many bookshelves are full of learned tomes by historians, economists, political philosophers and other erudite scholars with endless explanations. One way of looking at the question is by examining something basic, and arguably essential: the emergence of a belief in the usefulness of progress.
Such a belief may seem self-evident today, but most people in the more-remote past believed that history moved in some kind of cycle or followed a path that was determined by higher powers. The idea that humans should and could work consciously to make the world a better place for themselves and for generations to come is by and large one that emerged in the two centuries between Christopher Columbus and Isaac Newton. Of course, just believing that progress could be brought about is not enough—one must bring it about. The modern world began when people resolved to do so.","type":"post"}],"tags":[{"score":0.74,"count":2,"label":"Slot machine","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Slot_machine"},{"score":0.65,"count":2,"label":"Scott Stevens","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Scott_Stevens","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/IceHockeyPlayer","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/WinterSportPlayer","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Athlete","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Person","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent"]}],"participants":8,"rssUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/feed/all/"},"type":"article","title":"The Real Benghazi Scandal","tags":[{"score":0.76,"count":8,"label":"Benghazi","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Benghazi","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Settlement","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/PopulatedPlace","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Place","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Location","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing"]},{"score":0.72,"count":3,"label":"Barack Obama","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Barack_Obama","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/OfficeHolder","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Person","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent"]},{"score":0.64,"count":6,"label":"United States Congress","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/United_States_Congress","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Legislature","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Organisation","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing"]},{"score":0.63,"count":3,"label":"White House","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/White_House","rdfTypes":["http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Building","http://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q41176","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/ArchitecturalStructure","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Place","http://schema.org/Place","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Location"]},{"score":0.61,"count":2,"label":"Cheryl Mills","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Cheryl_Mills","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/OfficeHolder","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Person","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent"]},{"score":0.54,"count":1,"label":"Jason Chaffetz","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Jason_Chaffetz","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/OfficeHolder","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Person","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent"]},{"score":0.54,"count":5,"label":"United States Department of State","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/United_States_Department_of_State","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/GovernmentAgency","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Organisation","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing"]},{"score":0.52,"count":5,"label":"United States House of Representatives","uri":"http://dbpedia.org/resource/United_States_House_of_Representatives","rdfTypes":["http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Legislature","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Organisation","http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Agent","http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Thing"]}],"publisherCountry":"United States","humanLanguage":"en","authorUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/author/ronan-farrow/","pageUrl":"http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/","html":"
benghaziburning.banner.reuters.jpg

In a tense press briefing in the White House East Room on Monday, President Obama cleared his throat before addressing the subject on everyone's mind: last fall's attack on an American facility in Benghazi, Libya. Obama led with the basics: "Americans died in Benghazi.... Clearly, they were not in a position where they were adequately protected."


Questioning how to change that truth is worth America's time. As a former State Department official who worked with Ambassador Chris Stevens in the months before his murder in Benghazi, I feel that inquiry's urgency. But the congressional hearings that have dominated the last week of headlines -- with more promised by House Republicans -- are not that inquiry. Congress could have focused on three time periods during their investigation: before, during, and after the attack. In all but exclusively focusing on what Administration officials said after Stevens's death, Congress isn't just wasting America's time -- it's squandering a chance to save lives in the future.


This focus on the aftermath continues to yield few meaningful lessons. Last week's major story was that Hillary Clinton's Deputy Cheryl Mills -- to whom I reported and whom I know to be an individual of integrity -- called an American diplomat in Libya days after the attack, while a congressional delegation was visiting the country. The call apparently touched on concerns that Representative Jason Chaffetz, a leader of the Beghazi hearings, was denying State department legal and support staff access to his meetings with American officials in Libya. The diplomat testified that there was "clearly no direct criticism" in the call, but it has been painted by House Republicans as an attempt to intimidate him. I have worked at conflict zone Embassies during visits from congressional Delegations, which can be intrusive and fraught. The presence of numerous officials -- sometimes including legal advisors -- is not unusual. Cheryl Mills calling for an update would be similarly unsurprising. But even if one were to accept the most fanciful Republican characterization of events -- that, as a Clinton loyalist, she was displeased with the potential for political exploitation -- the story is at worst one of an official being protective of her department.


The hearing also brought back to the headlines a set of talking points used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on talk shows less than a week after the attack. The infamous talking points omitted a then-unverified suggestion that organized terrorist elements were involved. Their significance, even to the question of administration transparency, is limited: within three days of Rice's interviews, President Obama's top officials were explicitly describing Benghazi as a terrorist attack, to Congress and to the public. The White House quickly shared its entire archive of emails related to the taking points with congressional intelligence committees. On Wednesday of this week, it released the same emails to the public. The chain of custody of the talking points -- which were edited by CIA and State Department officials, with the White House performing its standard role mediating those edits -- is on full display for anyone interested. The larger point is this: the details Susan Rice mentioned in that first round of interviews changed nothing. No lives were lost, and none stood to be saved, by her talk-show appearance.


More appropriate is the attention that has been paid to the decisions made during the September 11, 2012 attack. That night, military and civilian officials in Africa and Washington responded to a difficult, violent, and rapidly changing situation, struggling to save lives. But here too, the focus has been on the wrong factors. It is easy to second-guess tactical calls made in the heat of the moment -- particularly for those with a political axe to grind -- but far more important and helpful to ask whether that night's decision-makers were equipped to confront their moment of crisis, and what can be done to ensure they are in the future.


Which brings me to the third timeframe, virtually unaddressed during the circus of the recent Benghazi hearings. The conditions under which that night's decisions were made were set in stone in Washington, long before militants arrived at the compound.


Security at the Benghazi compound was, according to the independent panel commissioned to investigate the attack, "grossly inadequate." There were no Marine guards. Security was provided through a little-known British firm called Blue Mountain Group, which hired about 20 untrained, inexperienced Libyan men. "I've never held a gun in my life," one said. At the time of the attack, they were armed only with batons and flashlights. The cost of the security contract for Benghazi -- $783,284 -- amounts to little more than a rounding error. The diplomatic security agent in charge of Libya was repeatedly denied additional security support he requested from Washington in the months preceding the attack.


The State Department bureaucrat responsible for denying those requests, who has since resigned, has claimed that resource limitations played no direct role in her decision. But many others have described a dynamic familiar to those of us who have worked at high-risk American missions: constraints on both resources and how those resources available can be deployed have created a culture of uneven security. The independent investigators' report noted that the State Department "struggle[s] to obtain the resources necessary to carry out its work..." and that its managers have come to "favor restricting the use of resources as a general orientation."


Hillary Clinton waged a losing fight with Congress for embassy security resources over the course of the first Obama administration. Some of the ringleaders of last week's hearing were among the prominent opponents to that spending, with Representative Chaffetz and Representative Darrell Issa joining to cut nearly half a billion dollars from the State Department security accounts that cover armored vehicles, security systems, and guards. In Fiscal Year 2011, House Republicans cut $128 million from the Obama Administration's requests for embassy security funding; in 2012, they cut another $331 million. Issa once personally voted to cut almost 300 diplomatic security positions. In 2011, after one of many fruitless trips to the Hill to beg House Republicans for resources, an exhausted, prophetic Hillary Clinton warned that cuts to embassy spending "will be detrimental to America's national security." Democrats, like Senator Barbara Boxer in a heated speech this week, have been quick to paint opposition to security funding as exclusively Republican. The truth is, it is a bipartisan failure, repeated through years of both Republican and Democratic control of Congress. In 2010, Democrats cut $142 million from the Administration's requests for State Department funding.


That history of nickel-and-diming is one contributing factor to a security culture that relies increasingly on outside contractors willing to provide solutions on the cheap. Longer-term investment in the American government's own civilian security personnel, meanwhile, has been sidelined. At the time of the Benghazi attack, about 900 Diplomatic Security Agents were responsible for guarding 275 American missions around the world.


A lack of resources is only part of the picture, however. Equally significant is where these resources can be applied. Informal, and especially secret, outposts often fall through the cracks. The facility in Benghazi was classified as a temporary facility despite the full-time presence of American staff. Because of this, it was technically denied access to traditional streams of funding for overseas buildings. A general culture of overlooking such informal outposts also explains why the lead diplomatic security agent for Libya, Eric Nordstrom, was denied his requests for additional support. "It's not the hardships," Nordstrom testified last October. "It's not the gunfire. It's not the threats. It's dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me."


Four of the Washington bureaucrats responsible for denying that support were removed from their posts in the aftermath of the attack. But the rigid restrictions on informal and covert outposts receiving traditional resources persist, as does the deeper Washington culture of providing them short shrift.


America is served far worse by the endless recitation of calls made and talking points issued than it would be by a hard look at the members of Congress that failed to provide resources, and the bureaucratic hurdles that kept the resources that were available from being deployed. The breathless search for a cover-up has only buried those real -- and potentially deadly -- problems.


Original article and pictures take http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-real-benghazi-scandal/275950/ site


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