Well we've past the six month anniversary since the terrorist attack on the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans were killed, including the Ambassador; and we apparently know little more than we knew as it was going on.
Of course there aren't the media implications and political victories to be won from this tragedy that there are from many others that remain the focus of a great deal of attention. This is no Sandy Hook or Columbine where the lives of innocent children were cut short by the mentally unbalanced behavior of other misguided children. There can be no lingering discussion of 2nd Amendment rights and the on again, off again attempts of the national legislature to treat it as something they can interpret without bringing the issue to the people themselves in the form of a Constitutional Amendment. Neither is this an attack on a politician like Gabby Giffords where we can add the misguided assumptions of impassioned political rhetoric censure to double dip in the Bill of Rights by adding attacks to the 1st Amendment to that of the 2nd.
No, this was a cold-blooded attack on the lives and property of the United States by what turned out to be a well-organized group of terrorists with a well thought out plan. There is no argument in this para-military assault as to what weapons were used, even though this went beyond whether they were semi or fully automatic; since those involved brought mortars to insure that the compounds walls were not an issue, and its building little or no protection.
In the former cases we have certainly identified the culprits involved, analyzed their life stories in minute detail, and experts have done their best to divine the motivations of their mentally unstable behavior. In the latter, we've had two potential suspects detained; one of which was subsequently released and another only recently brought in to custody, but not questioned by US law enforcement directly. The only guy sitting in US custody is the poor bastard who made a YouTube trailer that was at first erroneously blamed for the attack.
In the former we've come to conclusions that perhaps teachers should be trained and armed or that local law enforcement should be placed at schools in the future to prevent the recurrance of such dastardly acts. In the latter, we have yet to hear from the government that we've beefed up security, if only in troubled areas, to do the same. (Hell, we haven't even heard that the State Department would have like to beef up security, but can't because of Sequestration ... an error on the part of the Administration if I do say so.)
In the former we've been given the tragic 'life cut short stories' of victims, heard the emotional testimony of some families before Congress while others have had their opinions and feelings detailed in high profile media interviews. In the latter, the only witnesses have been held incommunicato (heaven forbid that they should be questioned while events are still fresh); and it appears that only a Congressional subpeona will see any first hand information given, even in closed hearings.
As for the things we don't know and will never know on the latter, the list is prpobably far too long to go into; but let me try and hit some of the highlights:
- We don't know whether the Consulate was trying to do weapons swaps as has been rumored, and which might provide some reason for its designation as a target.
- We don't know why a security detail deployed in Libya for the protectio nof the Embassy and its personnel was withdrawn a month before the attack, especially in light of events that occurred at the Red Cross and British Embassy.
- We don't know who was in direct command and control of the situation after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with the President for a regular briefing soon after the attack had begun.
- We don't know why there were subsequent briefings to the President as it continued, or apparently to Secretary of State Clinton, whose people were being fired upon.
- We don't know why an unarmed drone was sent to assess the situation when the Administration is so ready to deploy armed ones that might have been able to chase the attackers off in so many other situations.
- We don't know why none of the military assets that were available to the US government (if only to buzz the site) were not deployed; or why Libyan defense forces were not called up to defend Diplomatic territory that they are obligated to do as specified in international treaty.
- We don't know why the YouTube video was erroneously trotted out as the and stuck with for weeks in spite of the mounting evidence to the contrary.
- We don't know why US officials and spokesmen attempted to play 'bait and switch' with this causation when it fell apart; or why the President himself claimed alternately that both sides were the truth (with tapdance music playing playing) during and after the fact.
- We don't know why the media mostly ignored this story at the time, and continues to see this particular loss of life as either inconsequential or non-newsworthy.
- We don't know if we'll ever get answers to the murder of a US Ambassador and three other staff members.