A man stands guard. Behind him lay a set of concrete steps draped in yellow police tape. He’s silent, arms folded, gun holstered in place. I wonder, is he prepared to shoot should an interloper tempt fate and cross one of the many blockades? All over the city, similar scenes play out. Men and women pacing back and forth behind metal fencing; there are dozens of armed guards and police officers protecting us from the hostile enemies of law and order.
It’s like a scene from a movie. A city shut down, on the brink of some potential calamity. A bombing? Or perhaps an aerial assault?
Only, it’s not a movie. It’s October 1, 2013. Your government, abysmal at best, couldn’t get the job done. And so began the great shutdown. The Washington Monument shuttered. The Grand Canyon blocked from access. A hike in Yosemite? Not gonna happen, pal.
Behind all of those locked gates, blockades, and closed roads is the Obama Administration. They’ve certainly cornered the market on making asinine decisions. Instead of paying men and women to keep these national treasures open during the shutdown, they paid armed guards to keep them closed. (Oh, so now you’re ok with guns)?
Let that sink in for a moment. Your government literally put dozens, nay hundreds, of people in place to maintain a certain level of security at National parks and monuments all over the country to keep you out. YOU. The person who’s tax dollars pays for these facilities’ maintenance and operation.
Meanwhile in Benghazi, there were eleven people guarding the Mission compound on the night of September 11, 2012. Of those eleven, six were with either with the Libyan police or a militia group. Even after “the IC produced hundreds of analytical reports in the months preceding the September 11-12, 2012 attacks, providing strategic warning that the militias and terrorist and affiliated groups had the capability and intent to strike U.S. and Western facilities and personnel in Libya.”
Reading the just released Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi, one gets the sense that the folks back in D.C. just didn’t care. Cables pleading for beefed up security went unanswered. Even after an April 6, 2012 “incident” when a small IED was thrown over the wall of the temporary Mission. Even after a June 6, 2012 “incident” in which a 9×12 foot hole was made in the outer gate by another IED. There were more than 18 other “incidents” in and around Benghazi, all just months before the attack.
To be fair, they DID apparently send more surveillance cameras. However, according to the report, “they remained uninstalled because the State Department had not yet sent out the technical team necessary to install them.”
The night Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods died, the government did little more than provide unmanned, unarmed aerial surveillance to Benghazi. And after it all went to hell, they had the guts to try to blame it on some silly video no one had ever heard of. The President spoke of justice, stating, “No act of terror will go unpunished.” Yet the guilty remain unpunished, free to roam the streets granting interviews to random media outlets.
If our government can coordinate a shutdown of every national park and monument in the entire United States in one day, why couldn’t they provide security to one small outpost in the Middle East? Why does it seem the government would rather spend it’s time and resources punishing its citizens than the men responsible for murdering four of them?
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/npca/10038857045