Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What Can We Learn from Fast and Furious and Benghazi?

Is there anything we can learn from Fast and Furious and Benghazi? Other than the fact that the government is inept, these failings teach us that the federal government is much too big.

Eric Holder, head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), was cleared of any wrong doing in the Fast and Furious operation basically because he had no knowledge of the operation. If this is true, is ignorance about the largest gun walking program in U.S. history a good excuse? Holder should have been aware of a program and operation as large as Fast and Furious. If he is unable to have clear knowledge of a program that was designed to infiltrate the Mexican drug cartel then it proves that either he is inept and or the DOJ is much too large and convoluted for Holder to perform his job properly. The consequences of the government losing track of the guns led to the death of a U.S. border agent and hundreds, if not thousands, of Mexican lives. Still, the Manti Te’o hoax story has garnered more headlines than the death of hundreds of people. And this story has never received the same scrutiny as the Bush administration received for dismissing seven federal judges or the outing of CIA agent Valarie Plame.

If the Fast and Furious debacle is not bad enough, the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya may be a better example of government size, ineptness, and breach of power.

"I didn't see those requests," Secretary of State Clinton added when asked about the dozens of cables sent to the State Department by Ambassador Stevens about the declining security in Libya. Although Clinton said that she accepted responsibility for the tragedy, this does not escape the fact she should have seen these requests. Once again this is ineptness and or the fact the size of the State Department is too big.

Still, no one has been brought to justice for the Benghazi attack: “We continue to hunt the terrorists responsible for the attacks in Benghazi and are determined to bring them to justice,” Clinton said.

Clinton scolded Senator, Ron Johnson, who queried her about being “misled” by the original talking points which claimed the Benghazi attack occurred because of an anti-Muslim video. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make” Clinton scolded Johnson, raising her voice. “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.” But it does make a difference for several reasons. First, it took place prior to an election making motive to change the talking points more relevant. Second, Obama campaigned that Al-Qaida had been decimated and this would prove otherwise. Third, Obama moved unilaterally to aid the Libyan rebels with air support – this makes the President complicit in this attack. And finally, this once again shows the size and scope of government is too big. At least a dozen people and government groups had their hands on the Benghazi talking points, otherwise it would be easy to ascertain who changed the talking points and why.

Among Clinton’s more notable – and chilling – other comments made at her Congressional testimony about Benghazi: Islamist fighters around the region are now equipped with heavy weapons seized from unsecured Libyan arsenals after the fall of strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Critics of the NATO-led campaign to help rebels topple him had warned of the prospects that his arsenals would fall into extremist hands.

That proliferation is “the source of one of our biggest threats” in the region, Clinton said. The American mission in Benghazi was trying to “track down and find and recover” weapons like missiles that can bring down an airplane, she said. But there is “no doubt” that the extremists who carried out a bloody hostage-taking in Algeria, members of Al-Qaida in the Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, and fighters in Syria, all had arms from Libya.

Yes, Clinton confirmed the same weapons used by Libyan rebels were used to kill 36 hostages in Algeria. And what’s worse, she confirmed that the American mission in Libya was responsible to track down heavy weaponry that got in the wrong hands - doesn’t this sound like a dangerous mission that would require extensive security? This mission sounds important enough that any head of the State Department would want to be updated on daily. This was more than an egregious oversight; it is an example of government incompetence!

Remember, our President, aided the Libyan rebels with air support – a move he did so unilaterally without congressional consent. In essence, Obama was the only American complicit in creating and arming Al-Qaida in Northern Africa. Yet, all we hear about in the news is the Manti Te’o hoax. Is anyone going to be held accountable for all these deaths and it isn’t time to reduce the size and scope of government to prevent future blunders, mistakes, incompetence, cover ups, corruption, waste, and fraud.


  1. Good post, Patrick.

    Let me just add that Fast and Furious and Benghazi prove to me that ALL democrats are complicit by virtue of their silence and their yawning indifference to these scandals.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    The problem we have extends far beyond Washington.

  2. Thanks CW and I agree. This is a big problem and the media is complicit.