SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

July 7, 2014

Letter: Military could have intervened in Benghazi

To the editor:

Current Obama administration and Hillary Clinton supporter Karen Wiggin of Danvers has missed the most important part of the Benghazi debacle (“GOP cut budget, now tries to blame Clinton,” June 25). She claims the protections afforded the State Department employees by the diplomatic security budget were cut by the Republican Congress. Wiggin might be right that the diplomatic security budget was cut, but wrong on the central issue here: that no one in the administration acted to protect the employees by activating our military Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF), which are stationed all over the world in troubled areas.

In this case, it would have probably been U.S. Marines who are stationed shipboard, off coasts of troubled regions (Libya can be labeled as “troubled”) and are already in place. If not the shipboard Marines, then how about the 82nd Airborne Division or the 75th Ranger Regiment? Both of these units can put combat troops in aircraft quickly after executive notification. That means by the president, or perhaps even the secretary of state, either alone or by request to the president. If the Rapid Deployment Forces were activated, as they could have been, one wouldn’t have to depend on canned talking points for justification. Someone in power didn’t want to either press the button or answer the telephone.

Ron Harrison

Salem

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