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Posts Tagged ‘60 Minutes’

Over the past year I have complained many times about the endless slamming of the Administration by the conservative pundits because of what happened in Benghazi. Frankly, I thought it was getting trite. Then 60 Minutes did a story on Benghazi last night and it was damning.

Our staff in Benghazi knew they were targets, the military and security experts warned about them being targets, yet no help was provided, after they asked for it, repeatedly, from different directions, many times.

So what was going on?

Our country loves sending Marines or SEALs overseas and show their brawn. We love invading other countries. Getting a credible threat from our favorite villain, Al Qaeda, would normally make us salivate and send in the heavy guns, just for good measure, circle a few drones above, and make a nice show of it.

So why didn’t we send help?

I cannot believe there was any person in the U.S. government that said the following: “Oh, this is not a credible threat. Let’s just leave our guys in Libya exposed. If they have to defend themselves against a few ragheads with guns, they can do that themselves. Send in help? Come on! They don’t need any help!

I cannot believe that anyone in the CIA, the Pentagon or the Administration said that. I cannot believe that Hillary Clinton made such a decision. I cannot believe that Obama made such a decision. It makes no sense. Why would we NOT send help?

The only thing left that could explain it is incompetence. Our government was not enlightened enough to listen to its own people, to assess what was really going on, and to respond with an appropriate measure. Our government was not communicating effectively enough to allow the fateful message to get to a person that was in a position to give the order to send help. Our government, no matter how competent the individual people may be, was not organized enough to act.

That is a scary thought. Our government has nuclear weapons! Think of what it might be capable of doing with those, given faulty information that does not reach the right people and help them come to measured conclusions about a threat.

My only explanation is that our government is incompetent.

And then, it sure looks like it tried to cover it up. The Internet video story makes no sense in the context of what was reported in the 60 Minutes piece yesterday.

I trust the reporting of 60 Minutes much more than I trust the information divulged by our government.

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Tonight’s 60 Minutes was masterful reporting of the Syria conundrum our nation is in. First there was an interview with Bassar al-Assad by Charlie Rose. To get Assad on 60 Minutes, knowing that it is international television, I found to be a genius coup of CBS. How could anyone not watch? Assad spoke in surprisingly good English for an Arab leader. He is a medical doctor with post-doctoral studies in London at the Western Eye Hospital, specializing in ophthalmology. I assume that’s where he learned his English, which he speaks with a strange-sounding lisp. I wonder if he lisps in Arabic? If anyone knows, please comment and set us straight.

After the Assad interview, which was taped last Sunday, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Obama, recorded a few days later.

Charlie Rose never asked Assad point-blank if he had ordered the chemical strikes, but he did ask many other tough questions. I don’t claim to have sufficient insight into the complex politics of the Syrian crisis. But if he ordered chemical strikes against his own people, of course I condemn it. But I must say with a considerable amount of shame, overall, Assad looked better tonight on international television than Obama did.

I can’t believe I just wrote this.

By the way Obama handled the Syrian crisis, he has damaged his presidency and he has made the United States look weak. I don’t profess that I might have done a better job myself. This whole thing is a mess. But right now, whether anyone else could have done a better job, Obama looks like a fool. Where are his foreign policy advisers? Where is his Henry Kissinger when he needs him? Obama needs somebody of Kissinger or Scowcroft caliber to tell him: “Mr. President, you’re fucking this one up big time!” Obama needs help, and fast.

It was a good thing that 60 Minutes closed out the hour with a stale report on marijuana in Colorado. What if they had got Putin on as the third piece? It would have been utter disaster for Obama.

Right now our government is stumbling on the world stage. Obama does not look ready for the job. This is not a good thing to happen to a president in his 5th year in office. Syria might have killed Obama’s legacy. When I voted for him, I thought he had it in him to be a great president.

Right now, I am embarrassed for him.

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