As such, it underscores his leadership style and is a measure of his performance over the past three years and a predictive metric for a second term.
Three synergistic factors must have been at work in the White House during the Benghazi attack during the seven hour fire fight:
- Political considerations,
- Military national security options,
- and Foreign Policy issues.
The President and his team would have had to make political calculations in discussing the military options all with a backdrop of their Foreign Policy.
The results of those deliberations during that seven hour infamous period in American history is that they put political decisions in play first and foremost because of the electoral calender.
They used political spin trusting a in the media to safeguard their supposed Foreign Policy successes. And this “spin” was placed a higher level than using force to save lives.
Events have now shown they put politics first in the way they ultimately made their decisions.
Pre-Benghazi President Obama, the Democrat Party and many in the Main Stream Media (MSM) were looking at the Administration’s Foreign Policy as being a huge election year success story.
Obviously, the real world and Al-Qaeda did not agree because the Benghazi attack and deaths as the President said were not “optimal.”
If Valerie Jarett, David Axelrod, VP Biden, along with a very political NSC Director were calling the shots to counsel President Obama, because of who they are and how they think, they would first think politically.
This is not a criticism just their proven human nature.
Consequently, in their minds to focus on a political reason, “the movie” to protect their campaign year political viability was a good option and they consciously chose to go with it.
They had been counting on an election year success story in Foreign Policy by killing Osama and rolling back al-Qaeda.Their understandable political thinking was that those gains must be protected at all costs.
They know they have fawning press coverage ever since Candidate Obama, so cooking up a political cover story would have been a very viable option while Libya was going to hell
Even in his current speeches, the President is sticking with his “Arab Spring” Middle East success strategy.
He and his political minders have no choice but to look at the “Arab Spring” as an evolving success.
His view of progress is especially clear if you use a prism of events from an Islamic empowerment perspective.
The movie excuse would divert attention from a deadly and tragically successful Al-Qaeda cloud over operation Odyssey Dawn.
The President’s quote about the deaths of four Americans as “bumps in the road” tells of his continuing mind set in supporting his Middle East Policy regardless of real world deadly consequences.
Since they knew it was an al-Qaeda affiliated link early because of the flash messages from the Intelligence Community, the President and his team had consciously to decide to put in political play the movie excuse.
After all, politically everyone knows every country has a segment of society that can go crazy over insults.
As an aside, the canard of a movie excuse would get additional traction because going street crazy sadly seams to happen more with Islamic issues.
As President Obama, at the height of a crisis, considered Foreign Policy/election issues with his political “brain trust,” the movie in their political mind becomes a perfect cover.
The movie America is now finding out is a total lie fabricated in the White House because unfortunately for them the flash traffic identified A-Qaeda affiliations.
Additionally, the movie does not pass the smell test of being reported by the IC from Libya because the CIA did not have any sources and methods to tee up the movie.
The CIA and State Department personnel on the ground who could be reporting about this “horrible disgusting movie” real time were busy fighting for their lives.
So President Obama and his team just made it up as coverstory for the Benghazi attack.
The record is now showing the movie excuse was put in play in spite of message traffic identifying al-Qaeda links.
Politically, they thought that they could easily tee up the movie up because it had been seen as an excuse in the Cairo riots despite the fact Al-Qaeda flags were flying in that event.
The rioters flying those al-Qaeda flags was a key indicator that the hidden hand of terror was becoming visible especially around the time of the 9/11 anniversary.
In considering using the movie, the Obama White House political team had to have noticed that most in the MSM had gone with the movie as the prime motivator in Egypt.
Consequently, using the movie excuse to provide cover in Egypt was successful, so why not use it in Benghazi?
Or so they thought during those hours of death.
Unfortunately, as the political calculus was being discussed and playing out a very capable MILITARY option existed.
But it is fair to say that they, especially as a group, would also filter a military option through their political optic.
The individuals mentioned above, President Obama, Valerie Jarett, David Axelroad, VP Joe Biden, who ducked serving inVietnam, along with the very political NSC Director did not have the experience nor professional fortitude to really understand US military capability.
They would be briefed on how impressive our Military can be in marshaling resources for any world wide quick-reaction emergency contingency operation. That they truly grasped the magnitude of forces standing by is an unknown, but General Jim Jones as NSC director would have been invaluable in that crisis situation.
But politically, military options require an element of risk, the military knows all about physical risk, but for this White House at this crisis point it would also entail significant political risk for their reelection strategy.
It is highly likely that a discussion would have been that if they did execute a military option it would have entailed an element of physical risk while also bringing significant attention to a huge Foreign Policy failure.
The more military resources used, the greater the failure, from a support the Arab Spring process at all cost strategy.
So very nasty events and deadly events over a seven plus hour fire-fight have shown that they went with the movie option and tried to explain it all away as a crazy tragedy while concurrently withholding a military option.
Putting politics over military judgement had also been previously successful in getting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff involved in directing the focus away from al-Qaeda by calling an American citizen to complain about his burning of the Koran practice.
This is his most unfortunate legacy.
The movie excuse had worked while the Administration’s Egyptian/Arab Spring policy was coming totally unglued, so why not Benghazi?
But people were murdered and their story cracked.
The President’s own representative was killed and became a “bump” in the road or was the outcome of not an “optimal” policy.
The reality is that the representative of the President himself was killed by terrorists.
The reality, is that it is an historical debacle with long legs.
Not saving the Ambassador sends a signal to all terrorists that senior American officials are fair game with no military backup.
Now they have to now answer for their dereliction of duty.
It was initially a conscious political decision to not do anything by withholding any chance of a military rescue and go with the movie as the reason to ride it out.
After all, if it is the movie, the administration also had, or so they thought, a perfect excuse on withholding combat action. If it was a crowd of civilians, American forces would have had to be extra careful in unleashing firepower.
But if it was A-Qaeda, which the President knew at the time, then cry havoc and kill them all would have been well understood.
But President Obama and his team were using their political brains NOT National Security military brains.
Just because the President is called Commander-in-Chief does not mean that he acts like one.
Wearing the Presidential hat is more than just posing for cameras and getting Nobel Peace prizes.
It is about taking timely and difficult decisions where the outcome is not known.
President Obama is not that kind of President.
But Mr. President, this is dereliction of duty.
A version of this piece previously appeared on Second Line of Defense – www.sldinfo.com