I have avoided writing this article for some time. Not that it hasn’t been tempting. The oblique assault against the President is blatantly and completely partisan, and betrays either the outright complicit nature of the Press or their fundamental ignorance. Not that I’m an apologist for Obama. Though I was happy that he was re-elected, I also feel he is significantly beholden to corporate and money interests. The bottom line here is, I just can’t stand by any longer while the Right parades absolute untruths while the media wallows in blissful banality
Anyone who has been to a US diplomatic facility in an active conflict zones knows they are hardly consulates, let alone embassies. They are not there to spread the message of democracy and freedom. They are not sanctuaries. To the contrary. And how would I know this? I have been there. Well, not to Libya, but in Sarajevo during the siege in 1994.
This story is something of a third rail for the Progressive side; that tiny minority who at least attempts the truth. but even the professed liberal side of the so-called liberal press has deftly side-stepped the Benghazi attack against a US “consulate.” Not surprising, and admittedly, not a lot of people have been to a consulate in a war zone. and now, two months after the incident, the whole affair is a dark and tangled affair.
First the facts. It was a terrorist attack. 4 Americans were killed. It did happen amid a sudden surge of unrest following the release on YouTube of an anti-Muslim film that saw simultaneous unrest in Egypt, and violence in Pakistan that left a number of Pakistanis dead. Libya was and is still in turmoil, and deeply divided following the civil war. The nation was still dangerous.
In October 1994 I found myself trapped in Sarajevo, with the fighting in the city growing and winter approaching. In the Holiday Inn along Sarajevo’s infamous sniper alley the United States maintained a “consulate.” It seemed logical an American out of reasonable options would look for help at a US Consulate, right?
The Sarajevo consulate was a spy ring, tasked either with collecting or getting intelligence, either on one or more of the warring parties or for the dozen or so other foreign intelligence services active in Bosnia, including the Russians and Iranians. Running a gauntlet of sniper fire to the consulate was a constant. in the hall outside the consulate suite sat a laconic Bosnian kid with an AK-47. He was tasked with keep interlopers out. Truth of it was, he was just happy to be off the bloody frontlines, and could be cowed with the wave of a US passport and a bit of bravado bordering on arrogance. Once in passing, when he attempted to stop me I literally threw up a hand and said, “Have a seat, son,” with this stern sort of militaristic tone. the heavily armed types inside could hardly scatter from sight, startled by my sudden appearance.
When I pressed the issue of not being able to escape the city, at that point arrested by two different armies attempting to escape, the “officials” did not act as diplomats, but reverted to this sort of black market mentality. Now, I am not accusing who would then become the first American ambassador to Bosnia of corruption, but I will say this. The going rate to the actual Bosnian blackmarket at the time was $5000USD. This future ambassador coincidentally offered his help, and that I would need to pay him…wait for it…$5 grand USD “to rent” a seat on one of the airlift flights.
In 1992 an arms embargo, said to stop the flow of arms into the break up Yugoslavia, was championed by the United States and later defended by the US. The stated intention was to stop the violence. The reality, and this was no secret to any government, and certainly not a secret on the ground in the war zone, but was a secret nearly everywhere else, was that it was a windfall for international arms dealers. The cost of weaponry skyrocketed to more than 20 times original value. those deals, worth billions in hard and untraceable cash were rarely if ever handled by arms companies, but by agents of their national governments. and during the wars of the 1990s, everyone wanted to get in on that action.
The point of that story? The consulate in Benghazi, I am certain, was not tasked with diplomacy as its primary mission. And if that is the case, as all reports seem to indicate, whether from holding al qaeda suspects, or that all of these men had significant intelligence and military backgrounds, as well as none of the survivors have been heard from or identified, this was an intelligence outpost in a very unstable place.
Few will ever see that world, but it exists. the mythology is that they are the good guys behind the scenes keeping us all safe. The reality is that a world of international espionage absolutely exists, but they feed the unrest and tragedy of the world, rather than stem or assuage it. They are the problem not the solution. Theirs is a game of arrogant perspective parading as broad visionary strategy. They play that game among one another, but trample upon the rest of us in the process. They are an industry. They work for industry, but in the most cynical and insidious ways. The President and State Department will never cop to any of this. They can’t. No one is going to give up their own spies. They won’t, but that’s the reality, no matter what FOX News and the Right want to pretend