What just happened in Libya with the death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens is an outrage. I want to dedicate this post to merely explaining the political backlash birthed from nonsense, resulting in embarrassment for some.
The Ambassador’s car which was leaving the embassy was struck by a killing him and three others, believed to be on his security team. What exactly sparked this senseless attack on sovereign U.S. soil? A movie. A film documentary which was released on YouTube over the summer which attacked the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
What’s worst, GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney injected himself into an international crisis without all the details of diplomacy. Yesterday, the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, sensing unrest outside its doors issued a statement against the film with the hopes of calming the masses who were beginning to create disturbances and riots outside the Embassy. This statement was issued six (6) hours before an attack on the Embassy ever occurred.
Immediately however, Team Romney took to the Fox News airwaves to say the United States first response to violence should not be to “sympathize” with those who attack us by “apologizing” first. They rushed to criticize The White House and the Obama Administration, however, the critique was inappropriate.
As it turns out, President Obama had not issued the statement. Immediately after the attack, the President was informed that Ambassador Stevens was killed in the siege. It was then that President Obama and The White House issued an official statement of the attack vowing to find those responsible for the attack of our Embassy.
Immediately following that, Secretary of State Clinton issued her own rebuke of the incident and promised to do everything possible “…in the face of grief…” to restore calm and not associate this random act with that of the Libyan people who very much appreciate the efforts the United States has made to restore their freedoms and democracy.
Mitt Romney was made aware that he rushed to judgement. He is NOW aware that the statement he responded too was not an apology but instead an effort to calm the crowd from those within the Embassy. Mr. Romney has insisted to portray the first statement as an apology, although he knows better, although he is full aware that did not happen.
There are some religious leaders and dethroned political leaders who are still enraged following the removal and ultimate death in the public square in his own hometown of Sirte, of former Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi in October 2011. This faction of leaders have often used the freedoms of the West, (America) to anger the people of the middle east.
As you may remember, last year a pastor (name not worth mentioning) of a small church of 50 burned the Quran in Gainesville, Florida created an international political frenzy which caused harm to many of our American troops abroad. These are examples of how international diplomacy can be affected when those on the fringes of political power are able to pull the trigger of hate to stoke fear for the purpose of dividing and conquering.
This morning, Mr. Romney continued to make the same false accusations on the issue with full knowledge of the circumstances and the facts surrounding the death of the Ambassador. GOP leaders in Congress have not come out in support of Romney’s statements and have distanced themselves entirely. See an article posted this morning by Politico.com, “GOP Leaves Romney Out On Limb About Libya”
Team Romney has begun to repeat lies to distort their blunder and it’s shameful. Regardless of your politics, some have whispered that as the story continues to unfold, it maybe the moment Romney lost his blueprint for his own foreign policy message. He seized on what he thought was an opportunity to attack the President, however, there has been a strong bipartisan rebuke of this preemptive attack on the presidency; acts of this nature come off as desperate. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
I initially set out to frame my thoughts around the saga of who paid for this nudist trip, thinking it was the American taxpayer. That would been exciting to really go to town on those Washington bureaucrats over how they blew our tax dollars once again.
Instead I have the daunting task of explaining how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPC sponsored this trip and many others to the tune of over $7 million. These trips are typical “fact finding” missions as they call them. This is a benefit extended to members of congress as a way to connect with politicians and dignitaries in other countries, this part? Understandable.
Instead of discussing how politicians should have been using their time more wisely on the American dime, I now have the mundane chore of mentioning that the “scheduled” stop on this fact finding mission in Tiberias was for the sole purpose of letting off some steam; and that, they did. After dinner, the group had drinks and from what it appears, too many. That’s usually evident when you have individuals with so much to lose, she’d their clothing in public.
There is something however that I have heard no one mention so let’s talk about it. Why is it okay to take your family and friends on an official U.S. slash Israeli “fact finding mission”? Hhmm? I don’t know the details of that, you’d have to speak to Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), who jumped in the water with his wife for that. Is it just me or is this beginning to sound more like a family vacation to Israel. Friends are needed because…? When you dig a bit further, Romney’s biggest campaign donor and casino developer, Sheldon Adelson was also invited to Israel in search of facts. Adelson owns the Venitian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, he needs these facts for…what again?
Lastly, with all this nonsense going on, surely there could never any GOP leadership present, right? Wrong again. The Chief of Staff for the second most powerful member of Congress, Eric Cantor who is the current House Majority Leader…yep, he was there also. In all fairness, Cantor’s Chief, Steve Stombess spent several days after the trip contacting all the other politicians who were there drinking to get them to reimburse the AIPC sponsor who paid the bar tab. Stombess knew, it would not look good for that organization to foot the bill. There were a few things that Stombess missed though; like the public nudity part?
So it was no surprise that Majority Leader Cantor made a public statement chastising his GOP colleagues…he was way more invested than most…his staff was present. if we could say it was a one time thing with these kinds of trips, maybe it would be a different kind of story. The same thing happened during the 2009-2010 campaign season, (see Rep. Grimm, NY).
Oh well, it was the story I once thought; no scandalous Congressmen caught doing ungodly things or wasting the taxpayer’s money, but instead, I was forced to share time regarding the routine congressional family vacations disguised as “fact finding” tours paid for by groups pretending to be nonprofits just to get close to congressional leaders.
That’s my story and um sticking to it!