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Wednesday, December 31

The Benghazi Mess and Washington's Blowhards

In a report today for the Daily Signal, Emmy award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson and author of Stonewalled lists 26 Ways the Media Botched Their Reporting on the Latest Benghazi Report.  The list is  a helpful summary of a complete mess.  But it's not only the media that can be faulted. Taken together the items on Attkisson's list point to a tangle of CYA actions on the part of officials in Congress, the White House and at an alphabet soup of Washington agencies.  

As to whether the tangle points to an actual conspiracy in the mode of Iran-Contra, it looks to me as if the same situation is at the bottom of both:  Washington officials and their policy advisers strategizing on the strength of a delusion that the world is a chessboard.  When reality impinges on the delusion, the one predictable outcome is that things have a way of falling apart. 

In the case of Benghazi, before and during the attack on the U.S. mission the State Department couldn't very well press for more security for their personnel in Libya because they were involved in a clandestine operation -- an operation that seemed to be directed at Syria.  

At any rate, an ongoing U.S. 'defense' involvement in Libya was more than the American voters wanted; they hadn't even wanted the Obama administration to be involved in air strikes on Libya, period.  Much less fooling around in Syria with an ill-defined gaggle of fighters bent on taking down Assad.  

But the Obama administration was trying to please the Pussyfooting War Hawk contingent in Congress plus Qatar's fat emir and the Saudi monarch.  (I think it's the fat emir who runs Qatar; no matter, it's one of those Middle Eastern gas or oil banana republics.)  Plus trying to keep NATO and the EU happy about Syria and placate the French or was it the Italians about Libya.  

The point is that any chess master could have told them this ain't chess.  But no, no, if they made enough X, Q, A, and Z moves the Y situations would somehow work out.  It's just that they didn't factor in enough factors.

Can anything pry Washington away from its long-running idea that it can turn millions of  living, unpredictable humans -- foreign humans, at that -- into inanimate pieces on a chessboard?  Yeah. Oil at $5 a barrel and the U.S. dollar falling to a level that reflects its actual worth, both of which will put a crimp in the U.S. government's ability to kite checks to fund its harebrained geostrategizing.

On a related matter, did you know it's possible to exacerbate and even create a sinus infection, a chronic infection, in yourself by blowing your nose wrong?  Talk about blowback.   This ignorance has translated to endemic sinus infections in the USA to include Washington, DC.   

Here's the right way to blow your nose.  Number One rule:  don't blow hard.   By interesting coincidence that's what a pussyfooting war hawk actually is:  a blowhard.  A blowhard who can get a lot of people killed and maimed and never be held to account.   

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