From Beirut to Benghazi to Here

Thirty-three years ago next week, a suicide bomber blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 254 American servicemen. It was, wrote Jane Mayer, “the single deadliest attack on American Marines since the Battle of Iwo Jima.” iwo-jimaThe bomber drove through a gate the U.S. military had ordered kept open, past sentries whose weapons had no ammunition.

Needless to say, Congress held hearings, which culminated in a bipartisan report that made security recommendations, refrained from name-calling and didn’t suggest impeaching anyone. In the face of tragedy, both parties came together to try to ensure it didn’t happen again.

But it did happen again. In fact, it had happened before. In an 18-month period, Mayer reported, there were three other deadly attacks on American installations in Beirut, including the kidnapping, torture and murder of the CIA station chief.

After the fourth attack, President Reagan acknowledged that the building was vulnerable because the necessary repairs had fallen behind schedule. “Anyone who’s ever had their kitchen done over,” he said, “knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would.”

Imagine if Barack Obama had said that.

Compare that to the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedy: 33 hearings; 10 Congressional Committees; 13 published reports; no administrative wrongdoing uncovered.

Yet my Hillary-hating friends insist the investigation is incomplete. Actually, they’re so sure she’s guilty of something that they’ve bypassed the evidence-gathering part and summarily branded her a common criminal. Name-calling has replaced fact-finding. hillary

And that, in a nutshell, is the Republican nominee’s platform.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.