It is truly amazing what a difference a few days and a change of audience can make in the world of politics. Just three weeks ago, Condoleezza Rice was showing sympathy for the Obama Administration’s handling of the attack on the Benghazi consulate, saying, “We don’t have all the pieces and I think it’s easy to try and jump to conclusions about what might have happened here.” Last night, she took expressed an entirely different point of view when she criticized the lack of security at the United States Consulate in Libya.
“When you have the ambassador walking off to talk to the Turkish [consul general] in the courtyard on 9/11– something doesn’t seem quite right to me about the level of security preparations at the consulate.”
“When you hear Secretary Clinton talk about an Accountability Review Board, that’s what they will look at. It is headed by five retired officers…I think they’ll do a good job, but we need to know, and those decisions– it’s not clear where they were made in the State Department…The regional security officer is the head diplomatic security officer in the consulate. This one had come back in July, he had reportedly asked that some additional security be kept on the ground, so something didn’t get right in terms of the decisions about security on the ground prior to the attack.”
Rice is not the first person to question what really caused the catastrophe in Libya that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods dead and our consulate burned to the ground. Thousands of top secret documents, including the identities of several Libyan citizens who were working with the United States against the Islamists, have fallen into the hands of the terrorists who attacked the embassy.
In recent weeks, top priority cables to the State Department from the ranking American security officer in Libya have been reprinted in the media, revealing a pattern of months of complaints about the lack of security for the consulate and the personnel who worked there. The security officer pleaded with his superiors for more manpower to protect the consulate and he was rebuffed with claims that the funds were unavailable.
We will know more in the weeks and months ahead, if there is ever an honest investigation of the mess in Libya. It seems likely that Condi Rice is taking a lesson from her former boss, George Bush, and doing her best to stay out of the limelight while the situation unravels. However, the American people have the right to know the truth about Benghazi and those responsible must be removed from their positions in the government, no matter how powerful they may be, and no matter how close they are to President Obama. America owes Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods at least that much.