Thursday, October 25, 2012

With the Election Close, I Am Weighing In

Dear Readers: I know that some of you read my blog to see things I post about my family. And I know that some of you read the blog to see things I post about ayahuasca and sapo, Peruvian jungle medicines. And I think some of you read this blog because you hit "Naked swim meets" and I am embarrassed about that but I did write about the one swim meet I was involved in during high school where one of the teams was naked, so I suppose it comes up on google. I don't know why so many people are punching that phrase into google and it sort of gives me the willies. More than that, it definitely gives me the willies.
    But I am primarily a political writer. I write about the underdogs who don't get a fair shake from the system. I write about poor people trying to scrape by. I write about avaricious politicians.
    But now the election is coming up. And I think it is a very important election. I think we have to go to democrats and independents, and the occasional republican who can see what's best for the entire USA rather than partisan politics. And I will vote for those who do that, regardless of party line. Here in Texas, that will mean most/all democrats. But for the first 30 years of my voting life, in New York, that meant crossing all sorts of lines.
     One of the big, recent issues has been the killing of a US Ambassador in Bengazi, Libia, along with three other US personnel. Yes, it is a big deal. Yes, it is a wretched tragedy. But no, it should not be political fodder. And I found myself responding to someone the other day on the DesMoines Register website. And I realized that when I did that I have been silent, mostly. That is the journalist in me: Trying to be fair at all times, not registering my own feelings, or putting them into the fight. But I felt the need then and so I will pass on what I wrote to all of you. If you disagree, okay. Tell me why. Keep it on point and I'll respond. Because the thing of it is that I think Obama is taking heat for this that is so ridiculous that I'd like to talk face to face with everyone giving it to him. In my opinion, most raining down shit on Obama for Bengazi  don't have the first clue about international politics.
   Anyway, here is what I responded to one of the people who was talking about the "cover up" and all that nonsense.

"You're kidding, right Ms. B? I mean, let's say there is an attack on an unprotected consulate in a foreign country--and all consulates are essentially unprotected as that's the law in foreign countries. Do you expect that a sitting president, even if he has all the facts--and those take weeks to come out as a rule, or months, sometimes years--to just glibly get on tv and talk about the attack? Are you out of your mind? In this case there was a seven-man CIA unit attached to that consulate's safe house. You get on tv and they're outed and killed too. Plus everyone you've been working with in the region who is imbedded with the enemy: They die as well.
     To imagine that Obama had full information at real time in so precise a manner that he could talk about it without endangering anyone is just nuts. To think the president i

s beholding to you to discuss state secrets, secret missions, or even the reason an Ambassador was in a dangerous and by-law essentially minimally protected consulate rather than in a fortified Embassy hundreds of miles away--is unfathomable. You discuss secrets of state with operatives, not the general public. Hell, we had the world trade centers come down and 11 years later we are not through investigating. 

    That you, unless you have a good level of clearance, imagine that the president--when he has not gotten all the information, which he still does not have--owes you a guess at what happened halfway around the world, well, if you do I think you ought to come clear about your clearance. Because that information, even if known, is none of your freaking business. Stuff happens. Operatives are in constant danger of being exposed. Secrets need to be kept to protect assets, even in a crisis moment when tragedy occurs and four of ours die. What about the rest of them? What about the seven CIA? Did you want President Obama to go on television and say "Hey, we lost four people today in a consulate where they were warned not to be, but there are at least seven CIA guys who are going to make it out of country alive. They're at the airport now. And we've got another 12 Americans who will be leaving tomorrow. Don't tell anyone..." 

    That's what I wrote. I don't have clearance. But I ran a bar in the Amazon where people who did came in and got drunk and told me things they shouldn't have and I stopped two or three black-ops in their tracks when I printed what was said. So I know something about security and security breaches. And I know that you should not get on the tv--or talk in a bar--about secret missions. So I don't like attacking Obama on this at all. Not one bit. 

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