Nobody in particular is to blame for Benghazi, State Department Report claims

The federal government has investigated its performance in the 9/11 Benghazi massacre and found - surprise! - that nobody should be disciplined, that it was all the problem of "the system." Predictably, the pilot fish media that set the tone for most newspapers and TV broadcasters are portraying the report as harsh. The New York Times headlines, "Panel Assails Role of State Department in Benghazi Attack," while the AP headline is, "Benghazi Review Slams State Department on Security"

Those few readers who weigh into the reports that follow discover from the AP that "Despite those deficiencies, the board determined that no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action. But it also said poor performance by senior managers should be grounds for disciplinary recommendations in the future."

So maybe somebody might someday be criticized, possibly with a letter to the files, while an ambassador and former SEALS involved in a still-secret CIA operation lie a moldering in their graves.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, who has yet to produce a medical report justifying her refusal to appear before Congress under oath on the alleged grounds of ill health, has eagerly embraced the report which says nary a word about her failure and her earlier claim that "the buck stops here." The Times reports:

In response to the panel's findings, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she was accepting all 29 of the panel's recommendations, five of which are classified. "To fully honor those we lost, we must better protect those still serving to advance our nation's vital interests and values overseas," Mrs. Clinton said in the letter. She is already taking specific steps to correct the problems, according to officials.

Apparently, working for the government means never having to say you're sorry, and never havingto face the sort of consequences that befall people in the private sector who screw up. Two weeks ago, Keith Riler wrote on these pages:

Is it just me, or do politicians apply higher standards to others than they do to themselves? (snip)

The recent indictment of BP personnel is yet another example.

Eric Holder's U.S. attorney in the eastern district of Louisiana prepared an indictment against BP employees Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine. The indictment charged Kaluza and Vidrine with eleven counts of involuntary manslaughter (Superseding Indictment for Involuntary Manslaughter, et al., US District Court of Louisiana, paragraph 17, p 5.) and other felonies, in the matter of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.

This indictment presents a situation and fact pattern, standards of duty and care, and accusations of gross negligence, all of which are also readily applicable to whoever had "ultimate authority" in the Benghazi incident that occurred on September 11, 2012.

First, the situation and fact pattern. In paragraphs 2-8 of the BP indictment, the US attorney describes BP's offshore drilling activities as "sophisticated," "dangerous by their nature," involving "serious risks" which "if uncontrolled... could cause a serious blowout... with the potential for ignition, explosions, casualties [and] death...." In those same paragraphs, the US attorney highlights a "fundamental concept and duty known as 'well control,' which included customs, standards and practices designed to ensure" safety "consistent with the industry standards of care." The US attorney concludes that Kaluza and Vidrine were "leaders [who] had a duty to maintain well control...."

The Benghazi situation and fact pattern are similar. Needless to say, a U.S. diplomatic mission, safe house and prison are "sophisticated." And Libya is more dangerous than the Gulf of Mexico. A dozen violent events over the six months prior to September 11, 2012 and the near presence of terrorist camps made the Benghazi situation "dangerous by its nature" and one involving "serious risks" which "if uncontrolled... could cause... explosions, casualties [and] death...." The State Department and CIA have "customs, standards and practices designed to ensure" safety in such volatile areas. In fact, Benghazi came with advance warning, but those warnings and requests for additional security were denied. Imagine if BP had denied requests for an improved blowout preventer.

Second, the standards of duty and care. In paragraphs 17-20 of the BP indictment, the U.S. attorney discusses extensively the "negative test," an industry standard tool used to identify the presence of an "underbalanced condition... an indication that the well was not secure and that oil and natural gas could be entering the well." According to the indictment, leaders Kaluza and Vidrine were expected "to take appropriate precautions to ensure well control, including shutting in the well, communicating with BP personnel in Houston" and taking actions to address and remediate the situation.

Americans are once again being bamboozled by their federal government, which apparently is incapable of applying the same standards to itself that it hits the private sector with. Yet another indicator of a growing tyranny, in which the government rules the citizens, rather than vice versa.

Update. Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily writes:

The report from the Accountability Review Board, headed by Thomas Picketing and Admiral Mike Mullen, is only one tiny piece of a vast bureaucratic ballet that has evolved in Washington over decades to handle hot issues, even deadly ones like Benghazi, with minimal damage to the politicians and bureaucrats in power at the time.

It's an amazingly sophisticated and bipartisan procedure that looks sound to naive eyes. It's built upon powerful self-interest and savvy strategic communications that manages and manipulates information and the timing of its release to minimize damage to incumbents and to dampen ongoing media interest in pursuing an embarrassing matter further.

To increase the likelihood of that, the D.C. media will soon be fed a tempting new news story, maybe naming a new cabinet member, that will make the Benghazi affair seem even older than yesterday's news. Which -- oh, my goodness -- it already is by this morning.

 

The federal government has investigated its performance in the 9/11 Benghazi massacre and found - surprise! - that nobody should be disciplined, that it was all the problem of "the system." Predictably, the pilot fish media that set the tone for most newspapers and TV broadcasters are portraying the report as harsh. The New York Times headlines, "Panel Assails Role of State Department in Benghazi Attack," while the AP headline is, "Benghazi Review Slams State Department on Security"

Those few readers who weigh into the reports that follow discover from the AP that "Despite those deficiencies, the board determined that no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action. But it also said poor performance by senior managers should be grounds for disciplinary recommendations in the future."

So maybe somebody might someday be criticized, possibly with a letter to the files, while an ambassador and former SEALS involved in a still-secret CIA operation lie a moldering in their graves.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, who has yet to produce a medical report justifying her refusal to appear before Congress under oath on the alleged grounds of ill health, has eagerly embraced the report which says nary a word about her failure and her earlier claim that "the buck stops here." The Times reports:

In response to the panel's findings, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she was accepting all 29 of the panel's recommendations, five of which are classified. "To fully honor those we lost, we must better protect those still serving to advance our nation's vital interests and values overseas," Mrs. Clinton said in the letter. She is already taking specific steps to correct the problems, according to officials.

Apparently, working for the government means never having to say you're sorry, and never havingto face the sort of consequences that befall people in the private sector who screw up. Two weeks ago, Keith Riler wrote on these pages:

Is it just me, or do politicians apply higher standards to others than they do to themselves? (snip)

The recent indictment of BP personnel is yet another example.

Eric Holder's U.S. attorney in the eastern district of Louisiana prepared an indictment against BP employees Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine. The indictment charged Kaluza and Vidrine with eleven counts of involuntary manslaughter (Superseding Indictment for Involuntary Manslaughter, et al., US District Court of Louisiana, paragraph 17, p 5.) and other felonies, in the matter of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.

This indictment presents a situation and fact pattern, standards of duty and care, and accusations of gross negligence, all of which are also readily applicable to whoever had "ultimate authority" in the Benghazi incident that occurred on September 11, 2012.

First, the situation and fact pattern. In paragraphs 2-8 of the BP indictment, the US attorney describes BP's offshore drilling activities as "sophisticated," "dangerous by their nature," involving "serious risks" which "if uncontrolled... could cause a serious blowout... with the potential for ignition, explosions, casualties [and] death...." In those same paragraphs, the US attorney highlights a "fundamental concept and duty known as 'well control,' which included customs, standards and practices designed to ensure" safety "consistent with the industry standards of care." The US attorney concludes that Kaluza and Vidrine were "leaders [who] had a duty to maintain well control...."

The Benghazi situation and fact pattern are similar. Needless to say, a U.S. diplomatic mission, safe house and prison are "sophisticated." And Libya is more dangerous than the Gulf of Mexico. A dozen violent events over the six months prior to September 11, 2012 and the near presence of terrorist camps made the Benghazi situation "dangerous by its nature" and one involving "serious risks" which "if uncontrolled... could cause... explosions, casualties [and] death...." The State Department and CIA have "customs, standards and practices designed to ensure" safety in such volatile areas. In fact, Benghazi came with advance warning, but those warnings and requests for additional security were denied. Imagine if BP had denied requests for an improved blowout preventer.

Second, the standards of duty and care. In paragraphs 17-20 of the BP indictment, the U.S. attorney discusses extensively the "negative test," an industry standard tool used to identify the presence of an "underbalanced condition... an indication that the well was not secure and that oil and natural gas could be entering the well." According to the indictment, leaders Kaluza and Vidrine were expected "to take appropriate precautions to ensure well control, including shutting in the well, communicating with BP personnel in Houston" and taking actions to address and remediate the situation.

Americans are once again being bamboozled by their federal government, which apparently is incapable of applying the same standards to itself that it hits the private sector with. Yet another indicator of a growing tyranny, in which the government rules the citizens, rather than vice versa.

Update. Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily writes:

The report from the Accountability Review Board, headed by Thomas Picketing and Admiral Mike Mullen, is only one tiny piece of a vast bureaucratic ballet that has evolved in Washington over decades to handle hot issues, even deadly ones like Benghazi, with minimal damage to the politicians and bureaucrats in power at the time.

It's an amazingly sophisticated and bipartisan procedure that looks sound to naive eyes. It's built upon powerful self-interest and savvy strategic communications that manages and manipulates information and the timing of its release to minimize damage to incumbents and to dampen ongoing media interest in pursuing an embarrassing matter further.

To increase the likelihood of that, the D.C. media will soon be fed a tempting new news story, maybe naming a new cabinet member, that will make the Benghazi affair seem even older than yesterday's news. Which -- oh, my goodness -- it already is by this morning.

 

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