Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tomorrow Night's Foreign Policy Debate Will Have Lots of Fireworks

It looks like the Benghazi assassinations and their aftermath could influence the outcome of this year's presidential election.

As in Watergate of long ago, it may be more about the "cover-up" than the crime itself, horrific as the Benghazi killings were.

And tomorrow's presidential debate may also serve to get more of We the People focused on our recent and ongoing foreign policy debacles in addition to the  economic pain we're experiencing.

GOP Presses On With Criticism Over Libya Attack has this breaking news:

"A leading Republican lawmaker on Sunday continued the GOP criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and its aftermath, saying the incident marked “a breakdown of national security at every level.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a leading Republican commentator on foreign policy, said it was now clear that the episode was a concerted attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission, rather than a protest that escalated into violence. . . .

Mr. Graham said the U.S. should have closed down its diplomatic mission in the troubled Libyan city, as he said many other countries had previously done.

“We should have closed that consulate long before Sept. 11 or heavily reinforced it,” Mr. Graham said. “I put this on the president.”

The attack led to the deaths of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), the assistant majority leader in the Senate, defended the administration’s dealing with the fallout from the attack.

“There is a comprehensive investigation ongoing, and that’s what we have to have here,” Mr. Durbin said. “These acts of terrorism, as horrific as they are, are part of living in a dangerous world.”

Mr. Durbin criticized Republicans as trying to play politics with a national security matter, saying the party’s lawmakers should allow the official investigation into what went on proceed without prejudging its findings.

The two lawmakers also debated a report, denied by the White House, that the Obama administration was preparing to sit down with Iranian officials in direct, bilateral talks aimed at curtailing Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. Iran has always denied it is seeking a nuclear weapon, insisting the program is only trying to produce nuclear energy.

The New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported Saturday that the two nations had agreed “in principle” to hold talks. By Sunday, officials in both Tehran and Washington D.C. had denied the report.

“The time for talking is over,” Mr. Graham said. “We should be demanding transparent access to their nuclear program.”

Mr. Durbin countered that, if accurate, the desire on the part of the Iranians to hold talks would be a clear indication that the sanctions the U.S and its allies had applied to Tehran were having an impact on the country’s economy."

Summing Up

Benghazi and Iran are sure to be front and center tomorrow evening.

President Obama will say the Republicans are playing cheap politics, and Romney will be saying Obama's foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster.

And there will be some strong inferences to be drawn about the alleged cover-up in Benghazi and the cruel way Obama has dubbed the situation as "not optimal."

In my opinion, what is not optimal is the manner in which President Obama handled and then later described what happened when Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered this September 11, the 11th anniversary to the day of the nearly 3,000 World Trade Center and related killings.

A coincidence?  No way!

Thanks. Bob.

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