Commander-in-Chief Obama is responsible for the Benghazi mess

The Benghazi attack was horrific; some accounts even claim that Ambassador Stevens was tortured. Where is Obama's outrage? Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2013 — President Obama has twice taken a solemn oath of office:

“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability: Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”

As our nation’s chief executive and Commander in Chief, the President has final authority in the administration of American policy. In other words, the buck stops at his desk. As Chief Executive, Obama can and should delegate authority, but he cannot delegate responsibility.  That brings us to the question: Who is ultimately responsible for the United States’ response to what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012?

There are horrific accounts about the attack in Benghazi, some even claiming that Ambassador Stevens was tortured before he died. The few military troops in Benghazi were ordered to stand down. That order could have come at various points in the chain of command, but at no level will orders be issued at variance with policy set higher in the chain, and at the top of that chain is the Commander-in-Chief — President Obama. Whether he personally gave the order or even knew of it, he is responsible for it. And consequent to that responsibility is the obligation either to take personal responsibility or to determine whether and where there was a failure, if the order was contrary to his desires.

Instead, it appears that Obama’s desire is to ignore that responsibility altogether. Where is the outrage — his, ours, the press’s — over the attack, the way it unfolded, and American failures before, during and after? More questions remain unanswered:

If President Obama did not give the order to stand-down, the order to not assist our personnel under attack at our Benghazi consulate, who did? 

SEE RELATED: Getting to ground truth about Benghazi

If someone gave the order without the President’s knowledge, under what premise or authority did he act?

Why was the infamous video that Obama and the State Department blamed for sparking a demonstration at the Embassy cited as the primary cause for the attack? Why, from the outset of the attack, did the CIA and other Intelligence sources consider the attack at the Embassy to be a terrorist action?

According to an article by Thomas Lifson, we can draw four startling conclusions:

1. Hillary Clinton lied under oath to Congress.

SEE RELATED: Robert Gates on Benghazi ‘My decisions would have been just as theirs’

2. Obama went to sleep knowing that a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans were under terrorist attack.

3. Obama awoke refreshed the next day to begin fundraising.

4. The entire Executive Branch lied repeatedly to the American people to save Obama’s chances for reelection.

The article juxtaposes a timeline spreadsheet that indicates deception and misinformation, by the Obama Administration and U.S. State Department, of monumental proportions:

As Commander in Chief, Obama has the prerogative of delegating authority to anyone or any entity for the purpose of getting things done efficiently and effectively. However, every military directive and regulation germane to delegating authority explicitly (and implicitly) dictates that tasks should be delegated to the lowest level of competence, and the act of delegating does not transfer responsibility from the cognizant authority.

In other words, our current Commander-in-Chief is either grossly negligent or alarmingly incompetent. 

Whether by disengagement in the process, by incompetence or by gross negligence, Obama has to face the music on this one. Accusing the Republicans of a witch hunt or political attack because they demand answers to a myriad of unanswered questions simply does not pass the smell test.

In an address at the National War College on December 19, 1952 President Harry Truman said, ‘You know, it’s easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you — and on my desk I have a motto which says: The Buck Stops Here — the decision has to be made.” In his 1953 farewell address, Truman observed, “The President — whoever he is — has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.” 

Or as another president observed, “As President, I must put the interests of America first.”  (Richard M. Nixon, August 8, 1974)

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Bill Randall

Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward.  His U.S. Navy career spanned from August 1974 through December 2001, during which he had a decorated and distinguished span of honorable service.  His profession and specialty was Earth Science (Meteorology, Oceanography and Geodesy).  After retiring from active duty on January 1, 2002, he entered the private sector as an Independent Insurance Agent (AFLAC) and garnered recognition as a top performer as a new member. Shortly thereafter he earned his B.S. degree in Business Management, and later earned his MBA degree.  He has also earned Information Technology (IT) Certification from Wake Technical Community College (May 2013).  Bill worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Milwaukee VA Pension Center (2002 –2005), processing hundreds of benefits claims for veterans and their family members.  Bill subsequently relocated and served on the staff of a local church in Pensacola, FL (May – Dec 2005), and then accepted a business opportunity as a Generalist with a major Management Consulting Firm (2006 – 2008).  Bill now owns a private Management Consulting company based in Wake Forest, NC.  He and his family relocated to North Carolina after his wife, Wendy, accepted a job offer in there.  He once ran for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party (June 2009).  He has also twice run for U.S Congress (NC-13th Congressional district), winning the GOP nomination in the 2010 Primary, and losing in the GOP Primary in 2012.  He is an author and a Community Chaplain.  Bill and his wife have resided in Wake Forest, NC since October 2008.  Bill has a son and four daughters.

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