Friday, September 13, 2013

Reflections on September 11

I have to confess that throughout the day on September 11, I more than once looked up when I heard the sound of a plane flying overhead.  The thoughts that were so frequent in those days and weeks after the attack returned several times.  Is that plane flying unusually low?  Do planes that size usually fly over this area?  It's been twelve years...but I still bear the scars of an American who remembers the day that evil had its way with my country.

September 11 was also the anniversary of the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, including our ambassador, and where calls for help were ignored.  It was a shameful example of executive incompetence in the State Department and the White House.   That the subsequent explanatory deceptions were largely ignored by the mainstream media made the situation all the more tragic for the families of the people who died.

John Yoo wrote an excellent article in the Sept. 16, 2013 issue of National Review entitled  A Thousand Little Tyrants in which he  details the bloating of the administrative state under the Obama administration.  I recommend it.  I particularly appreciated his mention of the handling of the Benghazi tragedy.  Here is an excerpt:
President Obama's allegiance to the liberal administrative state guaranteed that his presidency would run aground on the very shoals that Hamilton marked out.  It's operations are so vast, and its reach so sprawling, that it lies beyond the control or comprehension of any one man or group of men, making rational management impossible. 
It's dispersal of authority and dilution of responsibility produced the debacle in Benghazi, where no one felt responsible for the fates of American diplomats trapped in the consulate, nor would any decision, had it come, have been executed with the speed necessary to save them.
Surely the "dilution of responsibility" did contribute to the horrors of that night, but one has to wonder if the president's hesitancy about what to do in Syria was not also in play during the Benghazi attack.  A leader needs to lead.  The most important time for that to happen is when American lives are at stake.  If the media were doing its job we would know by now what exactly happened and why no rescue was attempted.

These are strange and disturbing times we're living in....

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