Yet another Benghazigate question

Last night, John wrote about the information revealed in documents found by two reporters for Foreign Policy when they visited the Benghazi consulate, six weeks after the terrorist attack there. The documents include letters, drafted on the day of the attack, that suggest the compliticity of Libyan officials in the terrorist attack on the consulate.

The discovery of these documents raises additional questions relevant to Benghazigate. A threshold question, propounded by Max Boot, is this: Why did the U.S. abandon its diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, so that anyone, whether reporters or civilians, friends or foes of the United States, can rummage through its rubble?

Boot argues that marines should have been sent in to secure the site of the compound, and that the compound should have been rebuilt. The failure to take these measures “is yet another failure that gives the people of the Middle East an impression of American retreat,” says Boot.

I’m not so sure we should rebuild a consulate in Benghazi at this time. But it does seem like yet another mistake for the U.S. not to have purged the site of documents. On the other hand, had it done so, the public would be that much further away from discovering the facts about the tragedy of September 11, 2012.


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