U.S. intervention kills Americans abroad and advances tyranny at home

The vitriol with which Democrats are denouncing the ongoing investigation of al-Qaeda’s lethal attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi comes from a motivation much deeper than that single event. By pulling on the Benghazi string the Republicans will find an enormous foreign policy failure and a governmental lie of nearly epic proportions — both of which they also are fully responsible for. It will be interesting to see if the newly formed House select committee will shine a light bright enough to reveal to everyday Americans how thoroughly they have been lied to and endangered by the falsehoods fed to them since 1995 by both parties and three presidents.

In case the Republicans pull their punch to avoid showing both parties’ culpability, let me take a crack, first, at explaining why Benghazi is an issue vital to Americans. Then, second, to suggest a warning — based on many of the same reasons — not to let our policy regarding Nigeria and the abducted school girls be guided by the likes of Michelle Obama, whose interest in Nigeria is to rile up the base of Democratic feminists, not to improve U.S. security, for which any intervention in Nigeria will yield a disaster.

I picked the year 1995 as a staring point for this piece for the simple reason that it was in the summer of that year that the CIA’s officers of my unit, along with their extraordinarily able colleagues overseas, began the much-despised, President Clinton-championed, rendition program. As long as this most successful U.S. counterterrorism program was in place — and it was in place because multiple administrations refused to fully use the U.S. military to defend America — the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) was able to stay in the fight against our Islamist foes. The later advent of the drone program sharpened the point of the IC’s spear by making it possible to kill as well as capture/interrogate America’s enemies — both jobs that rightfully belong to the hamstrung-by-the-presidents U.S. military.

This said, neither of these IC programs ever were or ever will be war winners; only a fully employed U.S. military and the severe curtailment of U.S. government interventionism overseas can bring victory. These options appear never to have been considered. We willingly lost both the Afghan war and the never-should-been Iraq war and we continue to intervene, aching now to get into Nigeria. In addition, Obama, with Republican acquiescence, has partially blinded the IC by ending rendition and has given al-Qaeda a partial respite by cutting back drone attacks. Simply put, both parties have since 1995 led America on a relentless retreat from victory against the Islamists.

This brings us, first, to Benghazi, another in a long string of U.S. defeats at the Islamists’ hands. It allows us to reflect on how far along the road to defeat America has traveled since 1995.

The Obama administration’s performance on Benghazi has involved intentional deception; prioritizing Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s political careers over American lives and security; and — most inexplicably — sheer ignorance of America. The first two points are definitive and require no further explanation, except to again stress that Hillary Clinton knowingly facilitated the killing of four Americans in Benghazi by refusing to protect them. The Obama-ordered lies about Benghazi — the cover-up could have started with no one else — shows how deeply ignorant Obama is about the people he purports to lead. Even a half-wit would have known that almost all U.S. citizens would have rallied to the president’s support over Benghazi had he simply said: “We have been attacked again, we have much more work to do against this enemy; and they will pay dearly for this second 9/11 attack.” Only Ivy Leaguers like Obama and Clinton — elitist, full of theory, but devoid of common sense — would have chosen a politically damaging and corrosive lie over firing-up American patriotism.

Benghazi also is important because it reveals that both parties have been deliberately lying to Americans about the Islamists’ motivation since at least 1995. Since that date, there has been a bipartisan decision to portray the attacks of al-Qaeda and its Islamist allies on America as motivated by our country’s freedom, democracy, liberty, pornography, Miller Lite, gender equality, and early presidential primaries in Iowa. Abetted by most of the media, Americans have come to believe that Islamists are simply crazy people who blow themselves up because of the above ephemera or such other vital strategic issues as whether my daughters go university. As a result they initially bought the White House/State Department lie about Benghazi being a violent spontaneous demonstration inspired by a badly made anti-Muslim video. In the hands of master liars like Obama, Mrs. Clinton, and Susan Rice even idiot explanations seem plausible at first.

Sadly, this “big lie” has worked for the most part and has disguised what the politicians and media know — unless they are utterly stupid — to be the truth: The Islamists are motivated to attack because of what the U.S. government does and who it supports in the Muslim world, not because of how Americans live at home. In this regard, why were the mujahideen able to kill four Americans in Benghazi? Because the Obama administration, with Republican and media backing, unconstitutionally intervened in Libya in the name of democracy and instead created a nascent, anti-U.S. Islamist state. Clearly, the Libyan people were better off or at least safer under Qadhafi and there would have been no Americans in Benghazi to be killed if Obama had not intervened.

Thus, Benghazi is important because, as just noted, it is a typical example of the disasters that result from the U.S. government’s intervention in the Muslim world. These disasters are generally termed “unintended consequences,” a clever statement meant to hide from Americans the fact that the negatives that intervention is sure to produce are almost always easily predictable. In addition, the fact that Obama and his Republican partners intervened in Libya — which is in Africa not South Asia — underscores an obvious but little mentioned reality: The Islamist threat to the United States and its allies has expanded enormously since 2001 in terms of its geographic dispersal, manpower, and available weaponry — the last two improvements largely courtesy of the West’s mindless support for the so-called Arab Spring.

So on the issue of Benghazi we have a clear dereliction of duty and deliberate deceit on the part of Obama and Mrs. Clinton: They sent U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials overseas to pursue and protect U.S. interests and then refused their repeated requests for additional security as a means of protecting the so-called successes of Obama’s anti-terrorism and cozy-up-to Muslims policies. Then, Obama and Clinton lied to all Americans about what happened and are still doing so, the latter even asking “What difference does it make?” when asked about who killed our public servants. And, now, we have nearly every leading Democrat politician, party official, and media hack claiming that the truth about Benghazi is already known, and that the dastardly Republicans are persecuting poor, noble Barack and Hillary.

Surely there should be no persecution, but just as surely there should be a subpoena for Obama to testify under oath before the select committee; an intense public humiliation of Mrs. Clinton; and a clear recognition among Americans that any time they put a Clinton in power the product will be either ignoring America’s enemies — Bill Clinton refused ten chances to kill bin Laden in 1998-1999 — or letting them die, as did Mrs. Clinton in Benghazi.

Now on Nigeria. Seeking to reinvigorate the stale and really very tiresome feminist ideology that has long been foisted on Americans, we see Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the rest of the sisterhood demanding U.S. intervention in Nigeria to secure the release of 200-plus school girls abducted by the Islamist group Boko Haram. There surely is no American who does not want the girls freed, but that humane aspiration does not justify any U.S. intervention in Nigeria — even if the Nigerian regime asks for help. This is a Nigerian problem that can only be solved by Nigerians.

What can U.S. intervention do for America besides buck-up the Democratic sisterhood and exhilarate the Hillary-loving Neoconservatives? Well, it would do at least two major negative things for U.S. security and strike yet another blow against our constitutional republic:

  1. First, intervention will do for Boko Haram what it is hard-pressed to do on its own; namely, make itself an international player in the Islamists’ war on the United States. Since 2001, we have witnessed a pattern among Islamist groups in Africa and elsewhere. The groups start their campaign of violence based on purely local issues. Once solidifying a local base, they turn their attention to regional issues. From that stage they move on to try to make themselves international players in the Islamists’ war. This last stage requires each group to find a fool to play its foil. The groups always do, and they always find it in an intervention by the United States and/or another Western country. This has occurred in North Africa, in Somalia, in Mali, and, if the female Democratic war-wanters have their way, it will occur in Nigeria. Indeed, the abductions by Boko Haram and its leader’s promise to convert the girls to Islam or sell them into slavery are quite clearly lures designed to promote a U.S./Western intervention that will give Boko Haram international stature, allow it to draw on manpower and resources from other Islamist groups in Africa and beyond, and ensnare U.S. forces in another costly overseas involvement from which Obama eventually will accept defeat and flee.
  2. Second, the United States gets a large proportion of its foreign crude from Nigeria, and in Nigeria there already is fighting between Islamists and Christians, Islamists and the government, and between those who have benefited from oil revenues and those who have not. While probably not yet qualifying as a civil war, U.S. or Western intervention in Nigeria would be akin to throwing more gas on an already lit fire because it will appear to many Nigerians as not only the unwanted return of Western colonialists, but as irrefutable evidence that the Nigerian regime is not only corrupt but also impotent and the colonialists’ tool and therefore must be overthrown. A full-fledged civil war in Nigeria could not help but disrupt the country’s oil production and export and thereby deal an damaging blow to the still-struggling U.S. economy.
  3. Third, an Obama-ordered, U.S.-led Western intervention in Nigeria will be another unconstitutional war started by the president without the approval of the American people or the formal majority vote of their elected representatives. With Obama’s Benghazi lies — along with his lies about the IRS, gay marriage, health care, energy, the economy, etc. — having shredded his administration’s credibility with the much of the electorate, U.S. military involvement in Nigeria would focus Americans on the fact that their republic continues to slip fast toward despotism, a situation that will require correction by ballot or by other, less pleasant means. Obama now wields more personal power than George III and has none of that monarch’s positive character traits or love of country. His decision to involve America in Nigeria’s internal affairs would again underscore Obama’s lust for personal power and so bring Americans closer to the point where they will have to decide what they want — a republic or a tyranny —and then act accordingly.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.