Thursday, October 25, 2012

Four Dead in Benghazi

On May 2, 1970, Ohio Governor James Rhodes ordered the Ohio National Guard to the campus of Kent State University as a show of force and to quell student demonstrations against the Vietnam War and President Nixon’s decision a few days earlier to invade Cambodia.  The demonstrations became increasingly violent and dangerous, with student protestors throwing rocks, tear gas and other projectiles at police and civic officials.  On May 4th, the demonstrations culminated in the tragic killing of four Kent State students, almost certainly from panicked fire of members of the National Guard.  The event sparked national outrage and a nationwide student strike at colleges and universities across the country.  It was perhaps the seminal moment of the era of campus rebellions which started some five years earlier.  Rhodes, who was at the time an extremely popular Ohio politician and considered Presidential timber, was forever branded as the author of the “May 4th Massacre.”  A few weeks later the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young released the song “Ohio” which chronicled the killings and became an anthem for the counterculture and student protestors.  Neil Young’s mournful refrain of “Four Dead in Ohio” throughout the ballad is a tragic reminder of a horrific and tumultuous age. 

                                          A Tragic Day in Ohio's History
Fast forward forty-two years.  On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked.  Four Americans were killed, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, a career diplomat and two former Navy Seals.  The available evidence points to the fact the assailants were a trained, organized branch of Al Qaeda.  The date of the attack was not a coincidence; Al Qaeda seems to have wanted to send a message to America and the world that it is not ‘on the run’ despite the death of its leader.  The Obama Administration initially attributed the attack to a protest gone awry.  An obscure American filmmaker produced a seventeen minute video critical of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.  The video was loaded on YouTube in the summer, where it had limited viewing.  Administration representatives claimed the video stoked the fire of Muslims who turned their ire on the U.S. Mission.  This charade continued for almost ten days, with Jay Carney (Press Secretary), Susan Rice (Ambassador to the U.N.), Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State), Joe Biden (Vice President) and Barack Obama (President) all attributing, at one point or another and in different venues (including Hillary Clinton at the ceremony in which she and Obama received the caskets of the fallen and Obama in a speech before the United Nations), the YouTube video as the precipitating event for the attack.  
Facts can be a stubborn thing, however, and as the facts of this event trickle out the Administration finds itself on its heels at a most unfortunate time, two weeks before the election.  We now know Ambassador Chris Stevens made repeated requests of the State Department for increased security, as he sensed – most likely knew – he and the consulate were at risk of attack.  We know the State Department denied these requests.  During the attack itself, recently released emails demonstrate the CIA, the State Department and likely the White House itself were all aware of the dire situation in real time.  We know a drone was dispatched over the consulate and fed video of the events live to the White House Situation Room and other locations.  With all this technical gadgetry at its disposal, and a military strike force an hour’s plane ride away, it appears the Administration sat on its hands while Ambassador Stevens, its sovereign representative, and three other American citizens were brutally murdered during a seven-hour siege.  Another email sent shortly after the attack suggests the White House and the State Department knew within hours that an Al Qaeda affiliate cell named Ansar al-Sharia claimed credit for the attack.  Still, the Administration perpetrated the YouTube hoax on the public and more importantly the families of the brave deceased Americans for up to two weeks following the attacks.
Some commentators suggest Chris Stevens may have been involved in running weapons to the Libyan and possibly Syrian rebel forces, and ended up on the wrong end of a business deal with disgruntled buyers.  (This scenario gives new meaning to the plaintive words of newscasters of ‘a gun/drug deal gone bad’ as if such deals can in some way turn out ‘good.’)  Perhaps Ambassador Stevens was cavorting with the wrong team.  Perhaps the Administration put too much trust in Islamic rebel groups which seem to be assuming leadership of the various Middle Eastern countries which are toppling like dominoes.  In either event, it feels like we’re not getting all of the available information and probably for good reason.  I’ll give you a hint: it begins with “Election” and ends with “Day.” 
For his part, President Obama bristled and feigned outrage when Governor Romney intimated at the Town Hall Debate that his Administration may not be playing it straight with the American people about the Benghazi attack.  As further emails and other information come to light, will Obama apologize to Romney -- and the American people --for bullying Candy Crowley into confirming his false version of the story at the Town Hall debate?     
Questions remain.  How much political fallout will the Administration incur from the tragedy in Benghazi?  What was Chris Stevens doing in Benghazi, and why did he intrinsically know his life was at risk?  Who and why did the State Department deny his request for additional security?  Will this attack and the apparent cover-up impact the election?  What member of the Administration will take the fall for this?  You can rest assured it won’t be veteran political survivor Hillary Clinton, who has outlasted Monica Lewinsky, Vince Foster, Whitewater, CattleGate, Records Gate, TravelGate, and untold other ‘Gate’ scandals in her career.  

And what current singer will be the Neil Young of this generation and pen an ode to the “Four Dead in Benghazi”?

  The charred remains of the Benghazi U.S. Mission


  1. I've been thinking about this correlation for days now....and someone did write a song:

  2. And another song or 2 here:

  3. And another song with video...

  4. More song lyrics:

  5. Obama Protest song from S. Carolina to friend Bruce in Cincinnati - 4dead in Benghazi Find the cost of freedom

    Please find Link at:

    Lost Bruce's contact info (cellphone died). Sing along - pls help us Ohio.

    Godspeed, Paul