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May 11, 2013

The Benghazi Story: The Great American Ripoff.

By Robert De Filippis

Who's telling the truth? Will we ever know as long as politics is so polarized?

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/32834977@N03/5479509693/: Benghazi
Benghazi by Al Jazeera English

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi! I'm tired of feeling ripped off because I can't find out what really happened, why it's so important, and what does it mean?

I can't find out, not because there isn't enough information. But because of two other important variables. Variable one: It has been politicized and the Republican's are using it to condemn both President Obama and cast suspicions on Hillary Clinton in anticipation of her presidential run in 2016. And it's for these reasons that the administration is   redacting documents and politically posturing as defensive response. The result?   We don't really know what happened.

Variable two: I'll call this one the "crying wolf" syndrome. When a party, in this case the Republicans, uses every possible device to condemn, disrupt and deny its opponents, it's difficult to take anything they say seriously, even if in some cases their positions are based on facts.

Put these two variables together and we're being ripped off by both parties. I yearn for a time when someone on either side of the aisle actually offers the unvarnished, non-politicized truth. (I didn't say "the" time. I said "a" time. I doubt there every has been such a time in America politics.)

In an article titled, 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News, by Bob Cesca - May 08,2013, on The Daily Banter, Mr. Cesca makes the point that 13 attacks on US consulates and compounds, including fatalities, occurred during the Bush administration and the Republicans never murmured a word. Nor did Fox news, but that's no surprise coming from a news source proven by multiple surveys to be responsible for the least informed audience in America.

Here's an example of the kind of smoke and mirrors being used by our Republican friends from The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. This excerpt is from Thinkprogress.org in an article titled, GOP Rep: I "Absolutely' Voted To Cut Funding For Embassy Security by Ben Armbruster on Oct 10, 2012

"For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department's Worldwide Security Protection program -- well below the $2.15 "- billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration's req uest for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration's request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans' proposed cuts to her department would be "detrimental to America's national security" -- a charge Republicans rejected.

[GOP vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan, [Rep. Darrell] Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan's budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security."

It comes down to credibility and for me it's non-existent on both sides of this issue. Not because I'm arguing for whose story is closest to the truth. But because their subtexts   wreaks with distortions, hyperbole and political posturing, so much so, we cannot separate the wheat from the chaff.

Here's my disappointment in a nutshell. I don't trust this administration enough to swallow their version of the story whole. And I can't trust the other side, given their history of reflexive responses to this administration's every single move from day one.

When you add they cut funding for security and now ignore their own culpability in Benghazi, the Republicans win. Win? Win what you ask?

You might accuse me of being too anxious to break the stalemate by declaring a win, any kind of win, in Washington. You're correct. I'm desperate enough to declare a win, even if it's the award for "least trustworthy."

Robert De Filippis     



Submitters Bio:

Author, columnist and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I am a certified ontological coach. I've studied clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and am a Certified Birkman Method consultant and trainer. In my early years I worked in manufacturing management from first level supervision to senior executive level responsibilities for a Fortune 500 Company. I've been a business owner and executive, organizational development consultant and executive coach to privately and publicly held companies from 1980 to 2003. I did a short stint in venture capital as an interim CEO and consultant. I currently serve on the Board of Advisors for Dobson Lyle, an Executive Coaching and Assessment company based in London, England. During my career, I worked in the United States, Canada, Central America, Western and Eastern Europe. I never grow tired of my interest in people which has been reflected in my lifelong work. I've trained, developed, coached and mentored individuals and teams at all levels -- from hourly workers to senior executives. I've authored and published three books: "The Flowers Are Talking to Me," "You Yourself and 20th Century" and "Faith Stirred Not Shaken".

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