Saturday, October 6, 2012

intelligence infighting

A lot went wrong in Benghazi before and during the attacks that killed four Americans. It's a shame that so many people are trying to score partisan and bureaucratic political points before we get a lot more information and put it into perspective. The Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece describing the infighting int he intelligence community as it made initial assessments on the attacks. One unsurprising lesson is that first reports are often wrong and always incomplete. Another lesson is that the new system under a Director of National Intelligence [DNI] isn't the panacea that led to its embrace by the 9/11 commission and the Bush administration.

I think the real flaws may turn out to be at the lower rungs of the bureaucratic ladder, where the embassy was operating and a shoestring and a lot of hope and State's Diplomatic Security people weren't agile or foresighted enough to strengthen the Benghazi compound. I also think we deserve a better explanation of why U.S.personnel didn't move sooner to secure the damaged buildings and interview witnesses.

I understand but regret the politicization of the tragedy, especially on the basis of incomplete information. This is hardly a failure of presidential leadership or action.

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