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home : opinions : letters May 28, 2016

10/23/2012 1:09:00 PM
Letter: President has final responsibility for security


It seems obvious now, but I was dumbfounded on September 12th when the Obama administration decided to use the anti-Islamic movie trailer as an explanation for the assassination of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi. Why would they cling to such absurdity? Why would they pretend that mob violence was the cause of the death of four Americans?

For our intelligence community, Steven’s murder was almost anti-climatic – they knew something was coming, they just didn’t know what. There had been at least 230 terrorist incidents in Libya in the year leading up to the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, including two attempts on the British Ambassador and a bombing of our consulate building. Instead of fortifying the building and building up security for our diplomats, the Obama administration made a conscious decision to decrease security and turn it over to a Libyan security company.

The reason for taking a chance, in the face of overwhelming evidence that terror attacks were nearly certain, was to reduce the American profile in a country that was still unstable and not totally friendly to our presence. The decision was totally based on political reasons – the president’s reelection campaign. The president’s narrative was that he had killed Osama bin Laden and that al Qaeda was on the run.

He and every speaker at the Democrat convention did a victory lap of celebration. To admit that al Qaeda had not only been responsible for the attack, but had carefully planned it, made that narrative a lie. So, to cover that lie, Obama and his team lied to America with a story that virtually no one believed from the start. His advisors probably thought that his adoring media supporters could keep a lid on it until after the election. And they did. At least until the story ballooned to the point that they risked looking stupid to continue carrying his water.

So Ambassador Stevens, one bodyguard and two Navy Seals, who happened to be at the nearby safe-house, died because of an attempt to protect the re-election bid of their Commander-in-Chief. Secretary of State Clinton is also culpable. Regardless of the administration’s desire to keep a low profile, she should have stood firm for her people and supplied the assets being requested as necessary to protect them. If overruled, she should have resigned and gone to the American public to demand that protection. This was a major failure of command, from the State Department, through Secretary Clinton and right up to the president.

And this isn’t the first failure of command. In Afghanistan, in order to meet his self-imposed deadline to withdraw all NATO and American forces, the proper vetting of recruits for the police and army was curtailed due to slow progress in filling and training the forces. Infiltration by Taliban and al Qaeda has been responsible for many deaths of our troops, they being murdered by the very personnel they were training.

And in Iraq, where George Bush had used the “Surge” to bring the insurgency under control, all Mr. Obama had to do was negotiate to leave a residual force stationed strategically to provide quick-reaction help, intelligence and a deterrent to Iranian influence. He failed to stand firm in the demand. Now, al Qaeda has resurged in Iraq and has been found to be opening training camps. It is said to have doubled in size, from about 1000 to 2500, recently, many of the recruits coming from Iraqi prisons, having either escaped or been released. It’s doubtful that Mr. Obama will have the political will, or the command presence, to return with drone strikes on those camps.

In addition, this administration has deliberately leaked sensitive information concerning Special Operations that has possibly put other Americans at risk, in order to enhance Mr. Obama’s rather thin resume.

The President is properly called “The Commander-in-Chief” because he has the final responsibility for America’s security. When a failure of command occurs, it is his responsibility to fire those who failed. When the failure rises to the level of the president, that job falls to us.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Article comment by: Nathan White

The best reason for not impeaching Obama is Biden...come to think of it ....that also eliminates the need for the presidents secret service detail..

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ Bush-Cheney did the heavy lifting

Your last sentence was what we would call a 'Freudian Slip'! It would seem that deep down you and all your tea bagging cohorts know Fox News is a fake GOP construct. Just replace the word 'Liberals' with 'Tea Baggers' and we have your confession!

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Article comment by: the guy that bush thought did a heck of a job... .

during hurricane katrina... brownie i think it was? just today was complaining that the president acted too quickly with the current hurricane sandy... really? that says all we need to know right there.

you people are never happy... and never will be. you will try and elect a man that does not truly represent your values, that has been proven to lie like a bad rug on tile, has no moral compass, and has complete disdain for the 47% of you... and worships a god on the planet kolob? really?

yet you will find a way to justify that and still badmouth a guy that's just getting the job done and does not care what color your state is.

if you all get your wish... and things don't get better or get worse will you then admit you were wrong? will it matter? maybe not... here is to hoping we don't find out!

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Article comment by:

... being told by our friendly right wing nuts.

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLVd7_66ds

or, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuBLIfsj6b8&feature=related

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012
Article comment by: Bush-Cheney did the heavy lifting

Actually when it comes to Bin Laden, all Obama did was say go. All the heavy lifting had been done previously by the Bush-Cheney administration leftists are so eager to ridicule.

Same with Iraq. By the time Obama got into office the war was won. Largely due to the surge then Senator Obama voted against.

You liberals should quit watching Fox news so much and start thinking for yourselves.

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012
Article comment by: Rosemarie Babcock

Excuse me....The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden, not Obama....Al Queda is not decimated, not sure where you get your facts, they are an extremely powerful extremist group, they may never be FULLY decimated. The economy is so FAR OFF from being brought back on line. We have a HUGE way to go as far as the economy is concerned. If you TRULY want to see a better economy, brighter future, safer America, then vote out Obama. :)

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012
Article comment by: Rosemarie Babcock

I agree with you Mr. Barber. The buck stops at the top and that's with the President. He failed to do his job, plain and simple. Sorry folks, they wanted to Impeach Clinton for something much less than this. I also do not understand where you are coming from at all Mary Jane. He hasn't pulled us out of the economic slump by any means, look around you! There are still NO JOBS! People friggin amaze me, it's like you're all blind or something. Foreign Policy, he has A LOT to learn, he basically goes around apologizing for America and our misgivings. He has no record to stand on. It's his fault that we lost those men, he knew what was coming and did NOTHING to make sure that that had what they needed to be secure, and Hiliary like the little puppet on the string she is, just followed suit. So she should go right along with him! I have a friend who is in the military and was stationed in Irag for a over a year and he states that we should ALWAYS have some sort of presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, that there is NO way we are going to be able to ever fully leave there. We are NEEDED there. This is coming from an AMERICAN SOLDIER. He said that a lot of the soldiers feel that way. He also said that Obama doesn't look them in the eye when speaking with them. You all want to believe so badly that this man gives a crap about the American people and the blood and guts that our men and women spill for you and I and our country. I do not believe ANYTHING that comes out of this man's mouth, this man has an agenda for our country, and it's not a good one. I am amazed at how the last 4 yrs just seem to not affect any of you, it's like they didn't even happen, it seems to have gone by without anyone noticing that the economy is NOT much better than it was 4 yrs ago, gas prices are in the toilet, our healthare is going to put us all on the streets, just paying for that ridiculous program. You do realize that when you all hit a certain age you will be required to attend seminars about death and dying. It states it right there in the document. And, the middle class, that's you and I folks, we WILL be paying out of OUR taxes for the less fortunate that cannot afford Obamacare. Look into this jokers eyes, he has been lying for over 4 yrs to EVERYONE, and to top it all off, he doesn't give a crap about America because he isn't American, he is a Muslim, why do you think he NEVER salutes the American Flag. What a crying shame for an American President to not salute our Flag, that is just disgusting and a disgrace to our men and women in uniform and the ones that have fought and died before them. I know my Pappy, who fought in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge is rolling over in his grave right now. This man doesn't care about you, me, our vets, our soldiers or the USA. God Bless our once great nation and I hope and pray for a new beginning on 11/6/12. Wake up America, before we have no free will, free speech, NO FREEDOM OR NO USA!!!

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Jane

Bottom line: Who killed Bin Laden and has decimated Al Queda? Who has overseen the rise of democracy in the middle east even though no oil fields were up for grabs? Who is responsible for crippling the Iranian economy in response to their defiance? Who has brought the economy back on-line after it was devastated by the fascist elements of the GOP?

It was OBAMA!

Why doesn't your FOX news propaganda info-tainment talking-heads discuss this instead of worrying about who knew what, and was it today or yesterday? Maybe because they're grasping at straws? The GOP message always seems to be the same, "BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID!!!" It's like an episode of "Pinky and the Brain". "Tonight, we take over the world!"

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

@ Nathan White

Exactly. Kind of like if someone - oh I dont know, lets call him Nathan White - were to post a denigrating comment accusing another previous poster - lets call him ME - of making fun of 4 Americans being killed overseas. Yeah...youre right...itd be something like that.

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: M J

Have u noticed how shrill the left has become?!
In the left world, dog on a roof, binders of women, and big bird are wayyyyyy more important that coffins of dead Ambassadors.
obama thought his re-election was more important than a terrorist attack, lied about the attack, and had the state dept and the UN ambassador lie about it. Now they are busted ...... first obama threw clinton under the bus ....... so who is next?
A video ....... yaaaa right ..... I knew that was a load of you know what as soon as they said it ...... what leadership from obama .... (snark).

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

@ Brian Carlson:

Of course, and you know perfectly well that I said the "illegal and immoral" war in Iraq!

Now, go drink a glass of neoconservative kool aide, eat an oreo cookie and go take your nap.

Bush II, is a self-professed war criminal. He brags about authorizing torture of prisoners and claims he had a "legal memo" that said he could do it.

What utter balderdash. What piffle. What poppycock!

He and Cheney both are war criminals and belong in prison for war crimes. I oppose the death penalty or I would reccommend they both be hanged.

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: Nathan White

@Ryan Jensen
Oh....so that was sarcasm about Mr. Barbers opinion. and you speak for the readers...I thought this was a venue for an exchange of viewpoints on issues. Instead , it turns out, it is a forum for denigrating people whose ideas don't match your own...too baaaaad .

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: Oh now I get it

Just watched Jon Stewart from the other night, where I learned that Fox �News� has been hammering away at this issue pretty much non-stop. I feel stupid that I didn�t realize that without being told. Barber and the conservative posters here are simply following their usual habits:

Watch Fox �News�
Learn what they�re supposed to be angry about this week
Validate said anger with like-thinkers
Write letters/comments in local paper

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: Let's see Gotta be here somewhere...

Since you usually are such a non-partisan, fair-minded opinion writer, I am scouring archival VI Letters searching for your castigation of and constant attacks on George W, for his monumental "failure of command" on 9/11.

Haven't been able to find any yet.

Strange, indeed, given your usual political open mindedness but hair-trigger response time.

Also, I am looking for your letters-- they must exist-- criticizing Americans for reelecting Bush to a second term in 2004 since, as you adroitly point out, "... it is his (The President's) responsibility to fire those who failed. When the failure rises to the level of the president, that job falls to us."

No, instead, I know for a fact you think Bush was just fine.

Jim, Jim, Jim, in Texas and other places, folks like you are called, "Hypocrite."

I'll keep looking.


Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

Why is it that the same people who refuse to give the President credit for the bin Ladin raid so eagerly stampede to join in on blaming him for Benghazi?

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