Thinking About the Unthinkable in Libya

Recent claims that an attempt to rescue the American Ambassador in Libya was vetoed by someone high up in the administration raises a disturbing question. Did someone higher up want the Ambassador and/or others at the consulate to die?

Investigators need to examine this possibility. One potential problem might be that the action resulted from the same type of “failure to communicate” that caused the death of Canterbury Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. King Henry II was locked in a long running dispute with Beckett and at some point said something that caused his knights to mistakenly believe the king wanted Becket dead.

Someone in the White House may have believed that President Barack Obama wished something bad would happen to Ambassador Chris Stevens or someone else at the Libyan Consulate. When the report of the attack came in such an individual might have decided the attack would help the President get what he wanted and vetoed a rescue. I hope this is not what happened, but it is a possibility that deserves investigation.

I believe we can reject the possibility that Obama was worried about civilian casualties because Obama didn’t worry about that possibility when he was trying to overthrow the Libyan government and hasn’t worried about that possibility when authorizing drone strikes in Pakistan.

I initially thought the Obama administration simply didn’t have resources available to rescue people at the consulate because it didn’t recognize the potential threat due to the continued instability in Libya. However, the stories about the veto of a rescue attempt indicate rescue resources were available.

We know from the killing of Osama bin Laden that the Obama White House has the capability to monitor events like the attack on the Libyan consulate. Thus it is unlikely that the failure to respond was due to a lack of information. Either someone in the administration didn’t want to respond or Obama’s approval was needed and he was sleeping or brewing beer or something and didn’t want to be disturbed.


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