published Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Hussman: The questions continue

Walter E. Hussman Jr.

Day by day, more and more details of the Sept. 11 attack on our consulate in Benghazi emerge. As more details are revealed, more questions arise. Consider these details, both individually, and taken together: 

• On Sept. 10, the day before the attack, the original mastermind of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, called on Libyans to attack Americans. The attack was meant as revenge for the death of al-Zawahiri’s chief deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in June. This wasn’t any unheard-of terrorist who could have been making a boastful claim. This was Ayman al-Zawahiri himself. The AP reported the threat, and the attack took place the next day. 

• The U.S. consulate in Benghazi had previously been attacked, though unsuccessfully, which clearly should have put us on notice that it was a target. 

• Indeed, the British and the Red Cross got the message after earlier attacks, and withdrew their people to safety.

• The consulate had requested additional security from our government, but they never got it.

• Recently leaked email messages confirm that two hours after the attack, a radical Islamist group, Ansar al-Sharia, claimed responsibility for the attack. Although the group later denied it, our intelligence personnel intercepted phone calls confirming that it was bragging about the attack to another radical group, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Put aside for the moment the attempts to claim that this was something other than a terrorist attack, the claims about the attack being spontaneous, and the reason for the attack having to do with some anti-Islamic video. 

The central question remains: After so many warnings, why did we fail to protect the lives of our ambassador and the other Americans at our consulate? Just as President Obama emphasized during the debates, the most important job for any president is to protect the lives of Americans.

This is the question that every American should be asking. That, and should we entrust the safety of Americans serving us abroad to the same administration for another four years?

Walter E. Hussman Jr. is the chief executive officer of WEHCO Media Inc. and publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

The writer seems to assume that the US can protect from harm the thousands of US diplomatic personel stationed around the world. The writer wants to make an inappropriate political election issue out of a congressional funding cut-back and a diplomat acting more as a CIA operative.

When the US is actively undermining sovereign nations by funding and supplying arms to nefarious groups(as we did in Libya) to destabilize nations, we should expect blowback as part of the price of doing dirty business. (Al Qeada was once such a US funded group.)

Our Ambassador was not at the US Embassy in Tripoli and was reportedly working with our CIA and Saudi elements to ship surplus Libyan arms in support of the insurgency in Syria. Maybe he should have been better protected if his job involved far more than diplomacy. The US was a big backer of the insurgency in Libya and now Libya is a broken state. Syria seems headed in the same direction...again with heavy clandestine US intervention. We are the entropists!

Maybe the real question should be: How much should we raise our taxes to better support and defend quasi military oriented US diplomatic missions in every third world country that the US wishes to destabilize or dominate?

The world doesn't want our empire and yet we press on, broke and determined.

Our dead Ambassador is little more than collateral damage resulting from a militant foreign policy that should make us all ashamed.

October 30, 2012 at 1:36 a.m.
jjmez said...

walter e. hussman said: "The central question remains: After so many warnings, why did we fail to protect the lives of our ambassador and the other Americans at our consulate?"

What Mr. Hussman fails to acknowledge is House Republicans, Paul Ryan also voted for these cuts, cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012....Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.

Aren't these the same republicans whose Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, under Bush, threaten to court martial any military persons who went to the media and openly complained about dangerous conditions and faulty unsafe equipment in Iraq? The same rightest supporters, like limPbaugh, who made the statement, "They volunteered didn't they?"* when military persons complained about unsafe, faulty equipment and dangerous conditions they were being forced to fight under in Iraq and Afghanistan? Now, they really expect families of those brave men and women who complained, some who lost their lives, to have short term memory loss?

October 30, 2012 at 8:48 a.m.
Leaf said...

Just another wacko conspiracy theorist.

October 30, 2012 at 3:03 p.m.
timbo said...

Leaf.......It's better than being than being a "coincidence" theorist. Conspiracies are common, Just go down to the courthouse and look in the door. On the other hand, Coincidents is very rare.

You are asking us to believe these strings of actions by the Obama administration were all coincidences. Only a fool believes that.

October 30, 2012 at 6:50 p.m.
timbo said...

By the way, if Bush had done this you hypocritical libs would be squealing like pigs.

October 30, 2012 at 7:26 p.m.
timbo said...

One more thing....I don't know if any of you guys know it but Walter Hussman owns the Times Free Press and he is a very conservative person.

October 31, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
timbo said...

JonRoss...The TFP has always been a mindless cheerleader for the local crooks...I mean politicians and power structure. The Times side and Ruth Holmberg have always dominated the newspaper and like most news outlets the reporters are also liberal.

Drew Johnson is Walter Hussman's guy. He gives the true conservative line.

October 31, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
nucanuck said...


You seem to equate consevative with Republican when no such equivalence exists. The word "conservative" has been co-opted and currupted by Republicans, but there is little evidence that Republicans conserve much of anything.

Am I missing something?

November 1, 2012 at 1:13 a.m.
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