Analysing Benghazi Isn’t Difficult

The watch dog group, Judicial Watch, requested documents on October 18, 2012 concerning talking points UN Ambassador Susan Rice used on the September 16, 2012 Sunday shows concerning the Benghazi attacks. Judicial Watch had to file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of State on June 21, 2013 to try to get these documents. They were finally obtained on April 18 2014 (read here). E-mails show that the appearance on the Sunday shows was nothing more than political cover for the administration. They pushed a narrative that placed blame on an internet video and not on the administrations policies.

This should surprise no one. I wrote an article titled, Mises’ “Human Action” Explains Lies About Lybia, on October 25, 2012, that sums up the thinking of politicians. Here are some excerpts from the article that are even more true today than when I wrote them.

EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE THEN

“Here is how “Human Action” by Ludwig von Mises helps us analyze the Libyan situation. Human action is purposeful behavior. Action is not simply a verbal preference, it is the individual choosing and acting to reach a particular end. Action is a tangible thing and cannot be confused with wishes, hopes, or after the fact quarterbacking. Men act to substitute what they think will be a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory state. We wouldn’t want to change our existing state of affairs if we didn’t think the result would be better. Our action reveals the correctness of our thinking. When a baseball manager makes a decision during a game he does it because he thinks it will help his team win the game. After the fact we can judge if his decision was correct or incorrect in attaining his goal, but that doesn’t mean we would have made a different or better decision than he did, because we cannot recreate that point in history exactly as it was. The science of human action is called praxeology it studies the action itself. Psychology studies the internal events that result in action. It studies the forces pushing a man toward a particular action. Psychology is where Monday morning quarterbacking takes place. Praxeology is where we can analyze success and failure. Lets look at Libya through these lenses.”

“Every Administration has the right to make its own policy about how heavy of a security footprint it will have at any one embassy. You can argue about which policy will achieve the particular goal an administration wants to achieve. What that particular goal is may be misunderstood. For some administrations the goal is the safety of the people in the Embassy. For others it is what the people in the particular country will think if too much power is shown. There are obviously many degrees of security between completely locking down an embassy with every asset you can bring to bear, and simply allowing the people at the embassy to carry a concealed sidearm. There are many foreign policy goals each administration is trying to attain, and security for their people may be sacrificed for these goals.  The choice the administration makes is up for discussion and debate before anything happens. After the decision proves to be incorrect we can say it didn’t work to achieve the end sought,  assuming we knew the true goal of the administration. The end sought may not have been the security of the people. We can say the Obama Administration’s decision in Benghazi didn’t work from a security standpoint, just as we can say the Reagan Administration’s decision in Beirut didn’t work from a security standpoint. But we don’t really know if security was the primary goal in either situation.”

“What we know is that all politicians are self-interested individuals, and remaining in power is their main goal. This is the over-riding goal of every decision they make. They hire advisers to specifically look at everything they do and determine how it will affect them politically. If it is not the over-riding factor in decision-making, it certainly has a major influence in all decisions. This is my problem with the deaths in Libya. From the standpoint of security it was a failure, fine admit it and adjust. When you know what was going on within an hour of the start of the attack, and you put forth a story that’s untrue, and stick with it for weeks even as the truth starts to leak out, it tells me you have no other interests above yourself. You denigrate the lives of the fallen, you insult our intelligence, and you erode whatever trust remains, which is probably a good thing for liberty.”

“Every action that has been taken since the attacks began, is purposeful action toward the attainment of a more satisfactory state of affairs. Every lie told and photo-op taken was an attempt to reach a particular end, this is the science of human action. Since the situation was and is constantly changing, each day’s purposeful actions seemingly contradict the previous day’s purposeful actions. This contradiction only makes sense if we know the true ends sought. The end sought is to hold on to power through any means necessary. The administration believes their purposeful actions will result in them holding on to their power. We will find out in two weeks if their purposeful actions are correct or incorrect. They also act because they think the end sought, reelection, will be a more satisfactory state of affairs than the alternative. We won’t know if they are correct or incorrect about this until a couple of years down the road. Lets hope we find out in two weeks that they were incorrect about the first point so we don’t have to find out about the correctness of the second point.”

SOME THOUGHTS 18 MONTHS LATER

Nothing has changed. The administration remained in power. Their purposeful behavior worked to attain this end. They are going to continue to hold on to the lie no matter how much evidence proves they are lying. They have a midterm election coming up in November. But more importantly they have a narrative about their administrative legacy that needs to be kept intact or finesse.

This is why I hate politics. The incentive of gaining power or remaining in power overrides everything from a political perspective. Politics interferes with everything, and I mean everything, concerning our daily lives. We are being spun, or lied to, everyday. We can be inoculated from the spin, or lies, if we understand the concept of Human Action, and see all things through its lens.

 

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