SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 18, 2012

Libyan attack deserves broader probe

(Continued)

“For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building,” he said.

At the same time, State Department officials insisted security at the Benghazi consulate was adequate.

“We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11,” said Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary for diplomatic security.

Four dead Americans argue against that assessment. The reduction of the consulate to a smoldering ruin and the murder of our ambassador suggest that security was not adequate.

This debacle demands answers. Why were the requests of our diplomats in Libya for more security denied? Who placed more weight on Libyan sensibilities than our diplomats’ safety? Who failed to recognize that 9/11 is a likely time for terrorist strikes? When did the president know the truth about the attack, and did he keep that information from the American people?

According to Obama campaign officials and its supporters, these questions should not even be asked.

Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, insisted last week that the “entire reason” the Benghazi attack is in the news is because the Romney-Ryan campaign keeps talking about it.

“It’s a big part of their stump speech, and it’s reckless and irresponsible,” Cutter said in a CNN interview.

Similarly, Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told CNN’s Piers Morgan that it’s “un-American” for Republicans to be questioning the president on his Libyan disaster.

Republicans strategists such as Rudy Giuliani have admitted the Libya issue is one that the Romney campaign can score political points from, and therefore attacks on this issue against Obama will continue.

So, not surprisingly, politics is at play. But talking about a foreign policy blunder during a presidential campaign isn’t “reckless and irresponsible.” It’s how the American people sort out which candidate is best qualified to run the nation.

It is “fair game.” Americans deserve to know whether safety at other embassies is being sacrificed in order to artificially soothe tensions.

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