Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Climax

What for a month and more has seemed overwhelmingly likely has been established beyond all reasonable doubt: the decision not to allow American forces to come to the aid of the beleaguered Americans at the Benghazi consulate belongs exclusively to "President" Barack Hussein Obama.

The stunning thing about this isn't the factual substance, but that anyone, anywhere could be surprised by it. Nevertheless, here's my prediction for the ultimate outcome:

Congress will not impeach Obama, nor in any other way hold him to account.

Whether or not Obama wins a second term, he will suffer no penalty for having abandoned four Americans in service to their country to death at the hands of a savage enemy.

Why not? For the president to withhold defensive resources from a collection of Foreign Service personnel in an American consulate under lethal threat does seem an impeachable offense, does it not? Indeed, I could make a good case that, as a form of aid and comfort rendered to America's enemies, it constitutes an act of treason.

But politicians don't often compel one another to account for their crimes in office. The closest we've come to that in recent years is the censuring of the Dishonorable Charles Rangel, who continues in office despite his multiple offenses.

I see it as an expression of "professional courtesy." It has a practical purpose, too: it protects quite a lot of "rice bowls." Consider:

  • We have a "president" whose idea of "presiding" is lots of golf, fancy vacations, and nonstop campaigning, who habitually blames any unpleasant development on someone else, and who has repeatedly conciliated America's enemies while rebuffing its allies.
  • We have a "vice president" whose behavior would get any individual not comfortably ensconced in high office swiftly certified and packed off to some pleasant institution where the suites all have soft walls.
  • We have a Congress of 535 persons, half of whom are principally concerned about not admitting to error, half of whom think gentlemanly courtesy toward sworn enemies is more important than fidelity to their oaths of office, and virtually all of whom are, by Constitutional standards, corrupt to the very marrow of their bones.
  • We have a judiciary that fears the displeasure of the executive and legislative branches too greatly to rule against even the most egregious crimes against the Constitution.
  • We have a "permanent government" (i.e., the alphabet agencies) thoroughly imbued with the Government Uber Alles ideology, that presses on toward totalitarianism despite any and all attempts to restrain it (of which there have been damned few).
  • We have a press corps that automatically leaps to the defense of any left-liberal officeholder -- that actually defended the late Edward Kennedy on the ground that Mary Jo Kopechne, had she lived, would have benefited from the policies Kennedy backed! -- straining to find an excuse for that "president's" imminent ejection from office that won't blemish the Sacred Ideology of Left-Liberal Social Fascism.
  • With the exception of some of the members of the press corps, all the persons mentioned above are very, very rich.

With so many generously provisioned rice bowls to protect, what do the deaths of a few innocent Foreign Service members mean? We can't expect the above persons to care much about the loss of innocent lives -- lives they swore to protect -- when their futures of power, prestige, and pelf are endangered. That would require something like judgment according to a moral/ethical standard.

Something like a conscience.

* * *

It's actually worse than that. There were several military commanders between the president and the guys at the sharp end, any of whom could have chosen to ignore an order to stand down. They could have ordered the Spectre to engage the enemy, and any other assets near enough to the scene to take appropriate action. They would have had reason to be confident that in the aftermath, their actions in defense of American lives and property would be deemed fully justified, even against the press corps' efforts to paint them otherwise. Yet none of them did so; why?

Because our military has suffered a thorough Sovietization. Commanders are no longer evaluated on the basis of their competence as military men and leaders, but on the basis of their "reliability:" that is, their responsiveness to the desires of the political elite. A captain or major who aspires to command rank must never, ever be heard to say a word of criticism against the masters of the regime. A colonel who wants stars on his shoulders knows that he'll be scrutinized so closely that even to nod in response to an "inappropriate" statement of opinion would be death to his prospects. Thus, corruption in our political class becomes spinelessness among our military commanders.

Yes, there are exceptions. Unfortunately, there aren't enough.

* * *

Ann Barnhardt and others have stated outright that the Republic has fallen. They might be right, if by "the Republic" we mean the American political system and the organs of coercion that enforce its decisions. Certainly, a demonstration of spinelessness in the face of an implacable enemy, whose ideology is quite clear about its need to destroy us, is evidence to that effect. The incarceration of a filmmaker for having offended that enemy, despite the Constitution's protection of freedom of expression, is still more evidence.

Yes, we have national elections coming up in ten days. Yes, the tenor of the electorate is favorable to cleaning out at least some of the rot we see. Yes, among ordinary Americans the traditional virtues of honesty, fidelity to promises, and constructive fellow-feeling remain fairly strong...at least, in comparison to the political class. Yes, yes, yes.

But how much can we change with our votes, when the persons we raise to power are so hard to hold to their oaths of office? How reasonable is it to expect that a wholly new political class would diverge tomorrow from the patterns of today? How much weight can private citizens bring to bear against the institutional incentives that have produced such a horror of rapacity, mendacity, and irresponsibility?

I know: we have to try. We have no options. There's nowhere to run. But I'm not terribly hopeful.

Not for the first time, I find that I'm glad I won't live to see much more of this. We've let the liberty bequeathed to us by our forebears slip through our fingers. To reclaim it at a stroke is not within our powers. To reclaim it at all will be a labor of decades, if it can be done at all.

May God forgive us.

14 comments:

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Fran,

The bullet points you present above are eerily descriptive of the sociopolitical situation obtaining in the western Roman Empire of the 4th century A.D.

May God forgive us indeed!

Moneyrunner said...

Fran,

Obama reminds us how quickly a nation can change direction. His mistake, I hope, is that he moved before he had a comfortable majority. I believe that outside of the media and academia we have a comfortable majority. The media are well on the way to being marginalized. Academia is just beginning to be changed in a major way, the victim of its own financial excess. We may see the changes we seek in our lifetimes. If not, it was still a noble fight and one worth waging to the end.

Martin McPhillips said...

Probe a little deeper. This was intentional, i.e., a plan.

Stevens asked for more security. Instead, he had one of his crack ex-special forces teams taken away. And he's left in one of the most dangerous locations in the world practically naked.

Then when the inevitable attack comes, on the anniversary of 9/11, with military help available, military help is denied.

Somebody wanted Stevens dead. Why? He knew that the glorious "liberation" of Libya from the dreaded Qaddafi (who was cooperating with the U.S. in counterterrorism efforts) was coming to pieces, and Libya was now a base for al-Qaeda and other jihadist terror outfits. Stevens saw it happening, but worst of all, he talked about it, in cables back to the State Department. He did not understand the implicit rule that you keep your mouth shut about Barack's failures (though it was, from his treasonous perspective, a success). Stevens was a loose end. He needed to be tied off.

Use the reverse of the old rule when it comes to Obama: Never attribute to incompetence what can be attributed to malice.

Less than five seconds after Panetta came out with that preposterous explanation for why the military wasn't used -- that there wasn't enough real time information -- I said that he would be refuted by this weekend, and in less than 24 hours he was being laughed at for saying it, down to the detail that one of our operators on the ground, who would die, had laser targeted an enemy mortar placement, and was asking for air support.

Obama and Jarrett were behind the refusal to send help. It would have interfered with the outcome they wanted: Getting rid of a guy who was talking.

They've come to expect that no one talks about who they are and what they are doing, especially the complicit Leninist media. They would hardly take it from someone supposedly on the team.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Martin, a conspiracy of that sort is only plausible if there's a reasonable chance of keeping it secret. In this case, far too many persons had inside information, and most of them were either in the chain of responsibility, or close enough to it to go down with their mentors and protectors.

I'm afraid that, though I'm usually willing to believe the worst of Obama, in this case the worst I can believe is a marriage of incompetence, cowardice, and a desire to remain in the good graces of some very bad people.

Martin McPhillips said...

It's accountable to hubris, that they would expect to get away with it. Fran, they got away with the Libya action itself: Removed a "friendly" Qaddafi using a "rebel" force with a strong wing of terror groups. They got away with that. They got away with pretending not to know who the "rebels" were. The "chain of command" in that operation included Republicans in Congress, who got community organized with the "Get Qaddafi" contagion.

What was getting rid of one guy on the team, Stevens, who was opening his mouth compared to turning Libya, Egypt and Tunisia over to the Muslim Brotherhood? You see, they expected to get away with all and everything.

Now, who is really talking, leaking in this Benghazi episode? Not anyone in the chain of command, though they are now starting to break (Panetta has been around long enough to know that story was not going to work, but he was told to use it anyway. Told by whom? By Obama and Jarrett. Hillary has supposedly backchanneled, now that she has fallen on the sword once already, that she asked for more security for Stevens and was turned down by Obama. Petraeus is now saying, through the CIA spokesman, that the CIA never denied any aid to anyone in Benghazi). The serious leaks are coming from somewhere else, from people who have their own full capture of what went on in Benghazi, and they appear to be feeding it down to sources who then bring it to receptive media.

These leaks are the most technically precise that I have ever seen. They suggest that an otherwise apolitical, a scrupulously apolitical, element within the defense establishment, what I call the Varsity, has finally "seen enough," and there is more to come.

Hubris, on top of malice, explains why Obama took one step too far. He has previously gotten away with much worse, and believed that he could get away with anything.

Francis W. Porretto said...

If that's so, it will backfire on them this time, and the sole remaining question will be who will and who won't manage to escape prosecution. But I still find it implausible. Not everyone in the Administration is black-hearted -- and it would take a heart as black as Hell's best anthracite to go along with a scheme to get an ambassador murdered by Muslim savages. Someone with a residual trace of conscience would have given the game away.

Martin McPhillips said...

Context is very important here. That Stevens was deliberately killed is an inference based on the otherwise inexplicable behavior (actual behavior) by Obama before and during the incident. He denied Stevens adequate protection in one of the most dangerous places in the world; he refused to send help, when help was clearly available, while the attack was ongoing. He had motive (Stevens was talking), he had means (come back to that), he had opportunity (Stevens trip to Benghazi on 9/11 -- soon we will find out why Stevens was there that day, bringing only three armed security personnel with him).

Now, as to means: I predict that when the video of the attack is released, more probably leaked, there will be identifiable Westerners in native garb among the attackers, either mercs or ex-operators or both. They would be there to make sure the terror gang hired to execute the attack didn't screw it up. In the past, of course, presidents have used such groups as plausibly deniable assets to accomplish otherwise out of reach national security objectives. The Nicaraguan Contras were a more visible variant of the phenomenon.

Here, however, you have a treasonous backchannel operation through a non-national security network. It's entirely possible that even if it intuitively occurred to Obama and Jarrett while the attack proceeeded that there were potential consequences for not using our military assets, they understood that on the other side they were playing with fire if they turned our military loose on the attackers. They were more worried about that than they were about being hit on not sending help.

That bizarre trip to Vegas right after the attack for a fundraiser looks more like a mandatory meet of some kind, to start "straightening" the mess out. That is, suppressing any inconvenient facts that might come out of it.

These people are gangsters, international gangsters, and they are in the White House. They are neither incompetent nor stupid, and they have gotten away with far worse. They almost got away with this, too. They were on the way. Then came the precision leaks, perfectly and precisely whole and understandable in their own terms, from somewhere in the national security establishment scrupulously aloof from politics. That's why the leaks have not a touch of propaganda in them. They come from people who deal in the hard objectivity of national survival.

Mark Butterworth said...

The emasculation of the armed forces began decades before Obama. Clinton effectively gutted it with affirmative action for more women in charge and blacks. PCism took charge.

There are only at most two hundred spots for general in the army. How do you get to be one? First, you must serve on the staff of one. You must be a superb suck up and fixer, not a soldier in any meaningful way.

You can't work your way up through the ranks except by attaching yourself to a general who can advance your career.

Competent and honorable men will slip through here and there but they will always be the tiny minority.

I don't know why anyone would now serve in our armed forces since it has been clear for a long time that neither the C in C, SecDef, nor generals give a damn about the man in harm's way.

Armies have always been run by blithering, blundering, dithering idiots who get others killed unnecessarily, but that was through natural human folly, egregious ambition, and sheer incompetence. What is happening now is through deliberate policy, cowardice, and pure corruption.

I can hardly bear it.

I don't know how the military does except that in many ways, such organizations are filled with moral cowards, time servers, REMFs, and folks who'll never get a scratch and like the benefits.

Dave said...

Mr. Poretto,
Sir you may find it hard to believe that it was a conscious decision on Obama/Jarrett's part to stop Stevens from talking out of school but there are now too many who know otherwise.
The last minute visit from the Turkish ambassador was not a social visit. It was a last ditch effort to get Stevens to leave Dodge because he was about to get hit. Stevens had no idea the Commander in Chief would deliberately fail to protect him and Stevens knew there were assets available if needed. Why do you think he did not leave after the dire warning?
I can't go any further without talking out of school too so I will leave to time and further evidence to convince you.

Arctic Patriot said...

Whether or not Obama wins a second term, he will suffer no penalty for having abandoned four Americans in service to their country to death at the hands of a savage enemy.

The same savage enemy that America put in the streets to serve its interests.

This is nothing more than blow-back.

Stevens was elbow-deep in the interventionism in Libya. He knew damned well what he was doing, and with whom he was doing it.

Choose your profession wisely...that's the lesson here.

Actions have consequences.

AP

Yank lll said...

If you search out Stevens' name during the beginnings of the "Arab Spring" lie Hillary is up to her big hips in he was involved. Cant imagine how many of those docs are around now but..
This was a plan to begin something they wanted to happen, probably to help install the muslim brotherhood in power there and in Syria.
The stench of treason from this administration has permeated every level of govt and the nation..

Yank lll

Seadragonconquerer said...

The deeper lesson is: don't let a gang of plutocrats, Reds, and other politicians turn your national economy into a debt-driven, dollar-drowned Ponzi Scheme that is ultimately dependent on keeping other
countries on the dollar at gunpoint. Khaddafi, like Sadaam H. before him and Iran next in line for the hammer, tried to set up his own dollar-free oil bourse. Goodbye Col. K., and Obama used the only "local" force able to X him: the Brothas and Al Qaeda. Stevens was at point in all this bloody wickedness and, with mission accomplished, become disposable and indeed, "the man who knew too much". Goodbye, Amabassador S. This country needs a purge, top to bottom.

RegT said...

I am in complete agreement with Mr. McPhillips. Obama has gotten away with so much already, he and Jarrett had no reason to think they couldn't dodge the backsplash on this, as well. With 90% of the media in their pocket - and the Left ready to mock Fox News for anything they publish - I feel certain they would have expected to suffer zero consequences from this incident as well.

Hopefully, a few more Democrats will ignore the spin the White House puts on this as we approach election day, and there will be a majority who vote to remove this arrogant Alpha Hotel from DC. My real concern is whether or not Obama attempts an "Ahmadinejad", declaring himself the winner irrespective of how people/Electoral College actually cast their votes.

Anonymous said...

"Moneyrunner said...

Obama reminds us how quickly a nation can change direction"

Obama is the culmination of over a century of decline in America. We didn't get here overnight.