A.J. DiCintio
Days of distress, rebuke, and disgrace
By A.J. DiCintio
May 18, 2013

On September 12, 2012, the American public awakened to news about the attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, which included the Obama administration's carefully calculated lie it was incited by a video that vilified Islam.

Despite that lie about an act of terrorism which resulted in the death of four Americans, every person except the irredeemable sycophants who comprise a huge part of the president's flock immediately understood two fundamental realities.

First, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had irresponsibly continued to operate an undefended diplomatic post in the extremely dangerous city of Benghazi in the utterly shattered nation of Libya.

Second, that under the charge of Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, the administration had not even attempted to save American lives during the many hours of the attack.

Having come to those understandings alone, millions reacted in a manner that recalls the following outcry of long ago:

"This is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them." (NIV)

To explain why such a reaction will forever be valid, it's essential first to refer to Senator Marco Rubio, who recently condemned the administration's top-down "culture" that encourages the use of government power to silence critics.

The Senator was right on target with his criticism, though to properly emphasize the foul, corruptive nature of the culture as well as its ultimate source, he should have ditched the effete comment about its "embarrassing" quality in favor of the simple, honest truth powerfully expressed in the ancient proverb, "A fish stinks from the head down."

Now, nothing better reflects how that proverb applies to the administration's incompetence and lies about the terror attack in Benghazi than this fact:

An incredible 18 days after the murderous event, an astonishingly arrogant, cruelly insulting, unbelievably shameless President Obama selected the safe, puffy atmosphere of "The Late Show with David Letterman" to continue his silence about his dereliction of duty while loudly continuing to promote the lie the attack resulted from a "shadowy" video that "caused great offense" to Muslims.

Having established exactly who bears the ultimate responsibility for the failures in Benghazi, including the failure to keep the promise to "fully investigate" the attack and "bring to justice" its perpetrators, it is now possible to explain exactly why citizens are right to direct condemnations of biblical proportions at the president and his administration.

The explanation, as is always the case regarding human affairs, has its roots in antiquity; for millennia have passed since humans perceived that the prime responsibility of a leader is to protect the lives of the people who entrusted him with power, the same for soldiers except that they bear the additional responsibility of defending the lives of their fellow warriors.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that some of the Western world's oldest literary works illustrate how well or how poorly leaders and soldiers have lived up to their duties.

For example, the Iliad reveals how the proud Achilles failed with respect to his when he sat sulking in his tent, thereby bringing danger to his nation as well as unnecessary pain and death to his fighting brothers, including his closest friend Patroclus.

However, the epic also tells us the greatest of the Greek warriors redeemed himself, when, upon learning that Patroclus had been slain, he rushed into the fight, acquitting himself magnificently both in valor and devotion to principle, though aware that in doing so, he would "not live long." (This quote and others from W.H. Auden's "The Shield of Achilles.")

But forget about a leader's willingness to put his or her life on the line; for the perfect anti-Achilles who are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are unwilling to sacrifice even a snip of political fingernail, as revealed by their selfish, cowardly failures to provide the nation with fully honest answers to the following questions about Benghazi, the consequences they suffer be damned:

Why was the post kept open after virtually every other nation had closed operations in that city? And why, having incredibly been kept open, was it not properly protected?

How, specifically, were the president and secretary of state engaged during the entire attack?

Why has the public not seen an Osama-bin-Laden-style Situation Room photo documenting all the key figures who monitored the Benghazi attack from beginning to end?

Did the president approve of and did Clinton agree with the directive that ordered military personnel in Tripoli not to undertake a rescue mission?

Do the president and Clinton agree the order to stand down could have been issued only by a person "who'd never heard" of a world "where promises were kept"?

Do the president and Clinton agree could have been issued only by a person whose mind is consumed with the "mass and majesty" of greater things to the extent he could treat as supremely expendable those for whom he saw to it that "no help came"?

Do the president and Clinton agree that when American citizens in Benghazi "came to the moment" of being attacked by evil, "there [was] no strength to deliver them"?

Finally, but not last, do the president, who had appointments at political fundraisers he just couldn't cancel, and Clinton, who was, apparently, completely exhausted by the militant role she played during the entire Benghazi ordeal, agree that the person best qualified to represent the administration on five Sunday news shows was UN Ambassador Susan Rice, smartly outfitted with a tank of political gas whose reeking contents she was directed to spew at every opportunity?

Of course, honest answers to those questions and others will never be forthcoming from a leader so deeply megalomaniacal he could muster the outrageous audacity necessary to deem Benghazi a mere "bump in the road" on the way to the brave new world of his single-speech-induced Arab Spring.

Nor from a pathological lover of power whose essence William Safire brilliantly and succinctly captured in the term "congenital liar."

So it is that while truth will out regarding Benghazi, it will do so in painfully extracted dribs and drabs, creating, sadly, more occasions for the American people to lament, "This is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace."

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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