In the October 1 broadcast of NewsNation with Tamron Hall, a segment featuring former State Department Middle East officer Joel Rubin focused on how the Romney campaign was “trying to put all of these things in a big pot hoping that something picks up steam” concerning President Obama’s foreign policy. Yep, it’s still the same game with some in the media – which is to trivialize what can hurt the president to prevent it from becoming news.
Rubin said of Romney and his team that they were throwing a lot of things “against the wall” and seeing what “sticks.” Rubin continued by saying that the politicization of Ambassador Steven’s death is a travesty. And the president skipping out on intelligence briefings isn’t? While he did say that the matter of the threat assessment is a “fair question,” Rubin also noted that Ambassador Stevens received the same briefings and knew the risks involved being stationed there. It was a rather crude way of trivializing the president’s role in not preventing this terrorist attack.
After all, there are many legitimate policy issues that are not being discussed in the broadcast media, like how the Benghazi consulate compound was inadequately secured given its situation in an unstable country awash in weapons and Islamist militants. In a September 24 CNN Security Clearance blog, Suzanne Kelly, Elise Labott, and Mike Mount reported that:
The mission was a rented villa and considered a temporary facility by the agency, which allowed a waiver that permitted fewer guards and security measures than a standard embassy or consulate, according to the officials.
There was talk about constructing a permanent facility, which would require a building that met U.S. security and legal standards, the officials said.
Allowing a waiver would have been a decision made with input from Washington, Libyan officials and the ambassador, according to diplomatic security experts. ’Someone made the decision that the mission in Benghazi was so critical that they waived the standard security requirements, which presents unique challenges to the diplomatic security service as you can imagine,’ said Fred Burton, vice president for Intelligence at STRATFOR, an intelligence analysis group.
Concerning resolve, it’s been over sixteen days after that tragic attack and the FBI is nowhere near the compound due to safety concerns.
Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy Magazine on September 28 quoted Cheryl Croft Bennett, the mother of slain ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Bennett -- one of the four Americans killed in the consulate on 9/11 – as saying " [I] don't want to ever politicize the loss of my son in Libya, but it has been 16 days [at the time] and the FBI has yet to get to Benghazi to begin their investigation…apparently they have made it to Tripoli but haven't been allowed to enter Benghazi. Meanwhile, the diplomatic outpost where Tyrone and [former SEAL] Glen [Doherty] died was not and is not secured. Absolutely unacceptable."
Bennett was apparently referring to reports by CNN and other outlets noting that the FBI team sent to investigate the Benghazi assault has yet to arrive in the city, and the consulate remains unguarded.
Rubin also comically reiterated the ultimate truth that President Obama’s foreign policy is “much more popular that any other recent president in time.” These outlandish statements can be made since there is very little media coverage about the Libyan terrorist attack and the security missteps by the Obama administration which left the Americans there as sitting ducks.