“Why Weren’t Embassy Attacks Under Bush & Clinton Investigated?” – UPDATES

Not picking on Hillary, but since there is no Situation Room pic from night of attack…

There is an argument I am seeing show up pretty regularly on Twitter. Someone tweets a link to a news story asking valid questions about Benghazi, or suggesting that there has been a cover-up (and history shows that fallout from coverups are always worse than the incidents that preceded them, but politicians never learn) someone intent on protecting the administration or Hillary Clinton tweets the equivalent of a sneer: “oh yeah? Well there were this many attacks on US Embassies while Bush was president, where were you then, huh? Why wasn’t anyone demanding investigations, then, huh?”

Okay, well, I was wrong in calling that an argument; it’s really just your basic distraction tactic, meant to obfuscate and confuse, as we see Jon Stewart try to do, here. Must not discuss Obama and Benghazi and today. Let’s keep repeating the talking points from ten years ago.

But the answer is actually pretty simple: yeah, there were x-number of embassy attacks under Bush and they did not require investigations. For that matter there were all of these attacks on embassies and American interests under President Clinton, and they didn’t require investigations, either.

Why not? Well, because under Bush the embassy attacks were taking place mostly in Iraq, and during a time of acknowledged war — right in the thick of it, in fact — and no one tried to argue that they were anything but planned and executed attacks.

And during the Clinton years, the attacks — which took place an average of every 18 months — were recognized as planned, organized attacks and no one tried to argue that they were anything different, either.

And while our embassies were attacked under these presidents, and others, none of our Ambassadors were murdered (along with Navy Seals) while multiple stand-down orders were given against mounting a rescue.

Neither the Bush nor Clinton administrations sought to mischaracterize the attacks on their embassies. Neither of them disseminated weirdly vague stories that was “really” took place was a spontaneous protest over an unseen, stupid video. And it was not the Bush (or Clinton) administration that — even after acknowledging a terror attack had occurred — repeated those lies to grieving parents or (weeks later) in a speech to the UN where the “video” was blamed six times

Neither the Bush nor Clinton administrations first claimed that it was too early to talk about the attacks, and then too late. None of their Secretaries of State first flatly said — two days after the event — that they would not talk about the attack, declared to congress “what does it matter” or fell back on stereotypical behavior of yelling and emotionalism to distract the press and scare her mostly-male congressional inquisitors into silence. And none of their Secretary of State’s successors started out his term by quickly announcing that he didn’t intend to talk about the attacks, either. (::::UPDATE::::Just breaking, now he says he will!:::END:::)

But mostly, the reason “no one investigated” attacks under Bush or Clinton is because no one lied about what they were, or refused to be clear about what their responses had been.

The truth is, had the administration come out and said “terrible attack; we absolutely did not just let Chris Stevens die, but it was too dangerous for us to mount a rescue; we are grieved and we’ll bring this to justice” the story would have been gone well before election day.

But they couldn’t be upfront; as Peggy Noonan notes, “The Obama White House sees every event as a political event.”

So, go on, keep talking about how many embassy attacks happened under George W. Bush — and under Clinton, too — and then asking “why do you care so much about this one, huh?”

The answer you will keep getting is this: because the Obama team lied about it.

And an administration that can be in some measure attached to bugging the opposition, and using the IRS to target political groups (after having “joked” about that very thing), loves to write more power into its bills and write 12 damn revisions to their Benghazi talking points after clearly making stuff up has earned some investigation on behalf of the people it is meant to serve, with accountability, and not rule with impunity.

So much for transparency .

Even the New Yorker is questioning the admin’s story

As we have a lot of new commenters today and I am disinclined to start dropping banhammers all weekend, please avail yourself of the comments policy for this blog. Of particular interest to people who want to come in here and immediately start with ad hominems. When you enter the site calling me stupid, or “piece of shit” or whatever lovely encomiums you’re leading with today, yeah, those get trashed — I’m done giving folks platforms for out-and-out rudeness. Be here because you want to talk, not simply sneer and play out your aggressions, thanks.

When is a scandal not a scandal
It’s not Watergate, and it’s not “nothing”
Why it matters
Benghazi links and another round-up

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • nullhogarth

    Obama won re-election on the basis that he got more votes. The only voters who cared at all about Benghazi were Republicans, since it was THEIR side who wouldn’t – and still won’t – shut up about it, and so he most certainly didn’t get any votes from them. Thus, your argument is invalid.

  • nullhogarth

    Your first statement is not true, and thus your whole argument falls apart.

  • nullhogarth

    It is still possible to communicate from jail. You are not making a very strong argument.

  • nullhogarth

    One reason they forget about the cop is that there is no proof offered yet that the bombers shot him.

  • nullhogarth

    I agree, but I don’t see the equivalence. In the one case, we have a tragic incident where people made dumb mistakes and then some others made attempts to make it seem less dumb, thus turning it into a political football, and the other where we have an utterly clear and vibrant case of human rights/constitutional violation in the name of “national security” that would make George Orwell blush.

  • hotboogers

    ” … now his presidency will collapse because of that lie. It’s perfect Karma, and well deserved if you ask me. The presidency will not have been worth winning. Hillery’s career will also be over.”

    We live in hope.

  • Victor Savard

    Gee Anchoress! If You keep writing stuff like this, you’re going to drive U>S all crazy NOW!

    I hear YA! Too late for your butt cells Victor but we’ll keep praying for the rest of your brain cells NOW! :(

    Go Figure! :)



  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=613132668 Cathy Crider Pick

    Since we are discussing facts, lets recall that 4,409 US troops died in Iraq. Not in the tens of thousands. Exaggerate much? These losses were contignent upon War being declared as approved by Congress.

  • skhpcola

    “This does not adequately explain why 5 attacks costing 31 lives were not worthy of investigation.”

    Your presumption and premise is undoubtedly incorrect. If you honestly believe that none of these attacks were extensively investigated, dissected, analyzed, and discussed, your knowledge of how bureaucracies function is woefully insufficient for you to be riding in on your burro with your lance set at a rakish angle.

    Another example of what you label “extreme partisanship” is the insufferable defense of the cover-up by the media, celebrities, and dishonest leftists. It really is entertaining to see the frothing by folks that assigned all sorts of nefarious (or hapless) motives to past administrations, yet now plead that there is nothing to see here…move along!

  • Jay-Kay

    You’re missing the basic premise of the question being posed to you “Mean Lizzie;” where were all these voices of outrage about incompetence and ”

    Why is no blame being assigned to the Republicans who voted to cut spending to the State Department? Spending that may well have financed an adequate security team?

  • http://www.facebook.com/LarryFDawsonJr Larry Dawson

    walker442, of all those deaths you mention, did you happen to see that none of them were American, or the fact that about a 1/4 of those killed are the actual attackers? I agree that the authors point about the attacks being in Iraq was wrong, but the fact they all were ijn retaliation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are right on. As is the fact that there was no attemp to lie about the reasoning of those attacks as has been done with Benghazi.

  • benning

    I always get your sarcasm, Anchoress! And love it! :D

  • Colin Campbell

    The part you seem ton have missed was the fact that the reason it was covered up was not the attack itself – but the fact that repeated warnings were ignored. If you go back and read the emails that ABC released – they specifically stated that they did not want the Republicans asking why so many warnings were ignored right before the election.

    They weren’t hiding the attack itself as they were the mismanagement and incompetence that occurred be
    fore and during the attack.

  • Colin Campbell

    Care to show us this “proof?” BTW – you are accusing people of lying – so merely being wrong does not count.

    Another thing you have to remember that it was not merely the US that was saying this – it was other countries as well.

    BTW -n I saw two of the WMD that my unit recovered in Iraq that you claim didn’t exist. care to explain to me how my unit recovered chemical weapons that didn’t exist?

  • http://twitter.com/MewMew34 Mew Mew

    Casualties aren’t always deaths. The wounded are also casualties. The missing are also casualties. And when you count all of those, the numbers get pretty high.

  • http://twitter.com/MewMew34 Mew Mew

    Frankly, the exact same thing could be said about Conservatives. Conservatives never accept that they might be wrong. They are right, and everyone better agree or else they’ll filibuster everything they can and tell lies until they scare people into agreeing.

  • WebAntOnYouTube

    Knowing how horrible Republicans are towards the poor,children,elderly,gays,minorities,women,etc. I hope to God none of this Godawful mess gives them victories in either 2014 or 2016. That’d be a tragedy infinitely worse than this whole Benghazi fiasco. May the four Americans who were killed rest in peace and may justice be done to all those guilty of wrongdoing in connection to the attack.

  • WebAntOnYouTube

    Yet Congress never would’ve approved the Iraq War if the Bush Administration had not deceived it concerning WMDs & a connection to 9-11. No one can justify any wrong doing by the Obama Admin. in connection to Benghazi but it’d be wrong to punish members of it while not punishing a single person in the Bush Admin. Bush Admin. officials’ lies are linked to four more deat4. Their lies cost the lives of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq.

  • IBEW683

    It’s hard to get accountability and justice from a lynch mob.

  • Strife

    You should seriously attempt to pull yourself out of the cesspool of Democrat talking-points disguised as “facts” – mkay?

    Libya Security Lapse: The Budget for Embassy Security Is Not Responsible:

    “Comparing FY 2011 actual funding versus the FY 2012 estimate, there
    appears to be a reduction in Worldwide Security Protection and Embassy
    Security, Construction and Maintenance. But that reduction does not
    account for additional funding in FY 2012 from Overseas Contingency
    Operations funds amounting to $236 million for Worldwide Security
    Protection (p. 63) and $33 million for Embassy Security, Construction
    and Maintenance (p. 467). As a result, total funds for Worldwide
    Security Protection for FY 2012 are estimated to be $94 million higher
    than in FY 2011, while Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance is
    estimated to be $61 million less than FY 2011. Together, there is a net


  • Strife

    I’ve noticed all over the internet this weekend that the Left is reduced to playing their tired old canard of “Yeah, well Bush lied about WMD’s in Iraq!”

    But, the Iraq war was approved by Congress with a bi-partisan vote.

    Now then, IF Bush lied about the existence of WMD’s, then why did the U.N. (right up to the launch of the war) issue resolution after resolution that demanded Saddam release all his unaccounted for WMD? Was the U.N. also lying?

    And if Bush truly did lie, then where were all the Congressional hearings and investigations when the Democrats took control of the House and Senate in 2007? Can someone riddle me that?

    And where were the investigations and hearings when the Democrats took control of ALL OF WASHINGTON INCLUDING THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2009? Can someone riddle me that as well?

    Are we suppose to believe that the Democrats along with theChicago-way Obahblah Administration simply took a pass on that supposedly open-and-shut easy-layup political slam-dunk that would have ultimately destroyed the Republican Party?


    Didn’t the Democrats have a Constitutional obligation to launch such hearings if the allegations were really true?

    Well yes, yes they did have that obligation.

    So… why didn’t they?

    Or, an even better question: why did the DEMOCRATS THEMSELVES actually thwart the efforts of their own people (like Dennis Kucinich) who called for further investigations and even impeachment hearings of the Bush Administration?


    I’ll tell you why, because the entire meme of “Bush Lied” was a pure political strategy that the Dems knew was complete BS.

    That’s why.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    Hillary: “No regrets over Iraq vote.” http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/168731/