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How and Why Did Obama and Biden Not Know about Libya Security Needs?

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On September 11, 2012, four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stephens, were killed by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. That part of the story is well known and well understood. Everything leading up to that point and everything after that is not quite so clear. What is most unclear, though, is how and why Barack Obama and Joe Biden did not seem to know that there was not enough security available for the Americans in Benghazi.

Since the time of their deaths, Obama, Biden and other members of the current Administration have blamed the deaths on an obscure internet video, on poor intelligence community talking points and on GOP members of Congress for cutting funding for security. While any one of those issues or any combination of them may actually be true in terms of why those Americans were killed, it still does not answer the question about security.

During the presidency of George W. Bush, many liberals often stated that he lacked an 'intellectual curiosity' about things going on in the country and around the world. But how much intellectual curiosity would it take to realize that a U.S. consulate in Libya would need tight security measures?

After all, this consulate was located in Libya! This is a country which until recent years was considered a major enemy of the United States. Although its former leader seemed to have a conversion and wanted better relations with the United States, there is no reason to believe that all of the other people in that country felt the same way. After all, thousands of them celebrated wildly when the Lockerbie bomber returned to their country. So would a little bit of intellectual curiosity make a person think that maybe some Libyans do not think too highly of Americans?

Also, this consulate was located in Libya! This is a country that just went through a citizens revolt against that former leader who had become more friendly to the United States. Following the revolt, the government was taken over by leaders who wanted the country's new laws to be based on Sharia, or Islamic law. Countries unfriendly to the United States like Iran also base their laws on Sharia. So would a little bit of intellectual curiosity make a person think that maybe those who practice Sharia law would not think too highly of Americans?

Finally, this consulate was located in Libya! Any casual reading of the world news over the past year would tell even a layperson that it is a hot-spot for danger in the world today. One would believe that would also be part of a president's daily security briefings - if a president actually conducted and/or attended them. But without a security briefing, would a little bit of intellectual curiosity make a person think that additional security might be needed for any assets or people based in Libya?

Really, though, Obama, Biden and the rest of their Administration members can continue to put out excuse after excuse about why they did not know that extra security was lacking and/or needed in Libya, but it does not excuse their lack of knowledge about the situation. And as a result of their lack of even the most basic curiosity about the the Libyan consulate, four innocent Americans are dead today.

Rob Binsrick

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