The background for the wag-the-dog attack is conveniently chaotic. Libya has a weak government, no defenses, and armed militias roam the cities and countryside. Because of a sad lack of American intelligence on the ground, there is no way to positively differentiate armed groups led by al Qaida from those led by disgruntled tribal chieftains. As a result, airstrikes by drones or even by manned aircraft will kill innocent civilians and probably topple the Libyan government, such as it is. A former CIA official told Breitbart News that an airstrike under such circumstances “would be criminal.” One must hope the subject arises in today’s foreign affairs debate between President Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney.
Whatever else may happen, Benghazi-gate will remain a dark chapter in President Obama’s legacy.
Chet Nagle is a graduate of the Naval Academy, a former CIA agent and Defense Department official, and the author of “Iran Covenant.”