Monday, May 13, 2013

Gates Joins Royalists in Benghazi Probe

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has thrown his lot in with the administration.

"Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates defended the Obama administration’s decision-making during the Benghazi assault, saying he would have made the same calls if he were still on the job.

Gates, who served under both President Barack Obama and George W. Bush, said there wasn’t time to reach the American compound during the attack.

“I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were,” Gates said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” noting that he hasn’t been briefed on the situation by U.S. officials and has only followed the developments through media reports.......

“Based on everything I read, people didn’t really know what was going on in Benghazi contemporaneously,” he said. “To send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, I think it would have been very dangerous and I would not have approved that.".........."

For Gates to come out and join in the choruses of "we didn't know enough" and "there wasn't enough time" leaves me wondering what motivated him to shred what credibility he, up until this point, still had. I can only imagine a few possibilities:

-A survey of the current climate convinced him that decided that Congress can't win a full investigation of Benghazi, so he has his money on the White House.

-Hoping for a new blood-money appointment as a reward for his actions, he rolled the dice on a win for the administration.

-He was made aware that a skeleton in his closet would be let out if he did not come on board with the cover up.

-He fears that, in the event that this does come down to an impeachment, the ensuing mob violence will be too much for the nation to bear, so he took the (In this case) shameful path of discretion rather than that of valor.

This development underscores the situation that we face in the nation today. The US has two options. The first is to take the timeworn path, telling oneself that the dead are gone and that the consequences of doing Justice are not worth the trouble that it will bring. The other is that our bolder and noble leaders accept that failing to do Justice is a far greater crime than the original act itself and that holding back from action due to fear of the mob does nothing but embolden the opposition.

They are at war with us, and their aim is silencing and subjugating the people, leaving us wallowing in ignorance.They will work tirelessly to wreck our nation regardless of what we do. An abused spouse should never remain with the batterer simply because she fears what her husband will do if she leaves. An employee can not ignore his boss's illegal practices to save his job. Citizens and their elected/appointed leaders do not have the option of allowing fears of media-fomented anger to deter them from doing what is right for the nation.

Unless Robert Gates recants his statements, he will have earned himself an infamous note in the history books of the future. Like the shameful post-republic officers of Rome featured in The Annals of Imperial Rome* by Tactitus, we will have the story of a man who, when given the chance to do a great service for his nation and its citizens, instead chose to either take the coward's way out or to gain a short-term reward for selling his reputation - and most likely for cut-rate at that.

We are sadly far gone from the days when a schoolteacher, after risking everything in the service of his young nation and getting caught, uttered these lines inspired from the contemporary play Cato as he was about to be hanged:

"I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

* Ancient classics such as The Annals can be purchased from publishers such as Penguin Group. They make inexpensive paperbacks that provide a wealth of information, lessons, and inspiration.

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