An organization of retired U.S. military special operators has responded to the Benghazi committee’s final report by lambasting what it sees as profound failures on the part of the Obama administration and other government officials.
James Williamson, co-founder of OPSEC, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting special operators from political machinations, did not pull any punches in his wide criticism for the administration and government as a whole.
“The disaster at Benghazi has come to epitomize all that’s wrong with this [administration’s] failed policies that have put our special operators — and our nation — at great risk,” said Williamson in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Prior to founding OPSEC, Williamson was a U.S. Army Special Forces colonel with more than 33 years of service. Having served with the 10th Special Forces Group and a variety of other assignments, he is intimately familiar with the special operations community.
According to Williamson, the Obama administration’s decision to depose former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi without having an after-action plan was a key contributor to the events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, as well as the eventual rise of the Islamic State’s branch in the country.
Williamson admits his first reaction to the report was one of anger and disgust. He placed much of the blame on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In Williamson’s opinion, Benghazi was a result of a failed intervention pushed by Clinton based on her own personal agenda.
With the events surrounding the Obama administration’s decision to help overthrow Gaddafi well-documented in the media, it is clear that Clinton was a big proponent for intervention from start. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are known to have expressed significant hesitation to the president, but to no avail. Clinton would win the day, and the U.S. would strike Libya. The results of that decision are still having profound effects on the country to this day, and it has only recently begun to recover.
Williamson accuses the White House, State Department, Department of Defense and the CIA of “dereliction of duty at the highest levels” for their inability to support the small contingent of CIA contractors who repelled the Benghazi assault. According to the report, President Obama’s orders to support the contractors were not properly carried out.
Williamson described the feeling of abandonment he and a fellow former Special Forces soldier felt in response to the report. His colleague noted in an email that Glen Doherty, one of the contractors killed in the Benghazi assault, “was a friend and a patriot.” He concluded the message saying “[Doherty] died defending something he believed in, but didn’t believe in him.”
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