Benghazi and Beyond

After the Congressional testimony before a House subcommittee on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, new attention has been directed to the facts of the Beghazi affair. The North American Editor of BBC News has written, for example, that “heads will roll”.

See Mark Mardell (North American Editor), “After Benghazi revelations, heads will roll,” BBC News, May 10, 2013.

In order to understand the signficance of the Benghazi affair, it is important to recall how it has unfolded. For a detailed analysis of this saga, in roughly chronological order, see the following articles previously published by the Trenchant Observer:

New York Times makes ad hominem attack against Senator Lindsey Graham (R–South Carolina), February 13, 2013

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the foreign policy “successes” of our celebrity leaders, February 2, 2013

Hillary Clinton and “The Benghazi Triangle”—where careers and reputations vanish without a trace, December 17, 2012

Lies, Spies and Politics: The Incredible Evolution of the Benghazi “Talking Points” Narrative–Part II, November 27, 2012

Lies, Spies and Politics: The Incredible Evolution of the Benghazi “Talking Points” Narrative–Part I, November 22, 2012

Possible motives for forcing Petraeus resignation, November 19, 2012

Deliberate ambiguity: Talking points, and what Susan Rice said on September 16 talk shows, November 16, 2012

Petraeus, Allen, Benghazi potpourri, November 16, 2012

Benghazi machinations continue: CIA announces investigation of Petraeus on eve of his testimony to Congress, November 16, 2012

Chain-of-command failure? Benghazi and the ghost of “Black Hawk Down”; Obama’s credibility (Updated November 15), November 14, 2012

All Eyes on Benghazi: The Petraeus Affair, Allen’s e-mails, and other distractions, November 13, 2012

Collateral damage: Holly Petraeus, and other victims of the Petraeus affaire (II), November 11, 2012

Collateral damage: Holly Petraeus, and other victims of the Petraeus affair, November 11, 2012

On eve of testimony to Congress on Benghazi, CIA Director David Petraeus forced out over an affair, November 9th, 2012

Benghazi update: New questions raised on intelligence, decision-making failures (Updated November 6, 2012), November 5, 2012

New details on Benghazi attack on consulate, American response, October 13, 2012

No time for cowboys: U.S. preparation for reprisals against Libyan targets, October 3, 2012

U.S. Ambassador to Libya murdered during assault on American consulate in Benghazi, September 12, 2012

The Ultimate Questions

At the end of the day, the most important questions that remain unanswered are the following:

1. What did the President know, and when did he know it?

2. What was the involvement of the President in the decision making on the night of September 11-12?

3. What orders did the President issue to the military and other agencies (such as the CIA) on the night of September 11-12, 2012?

4. What recommendations for military action did the President receive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and what was his response to these recommendations?

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.