Boston Herald | Monday, May 20, 2013 | Op-Ed |

If we did not anticipate a threat to American personnel in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11, it was a colossal intelligence failure.

That we had knowledge of a potential threat but refused requests for increased security was not just a failure, but a scandal.

That the administration told our military to “stand down” when our consulate was under attack is more than a scandal. It’s shameful.

That our political leaders lied about the nature of the attack to protect the president in an election season is not just shameful. It’s unconscionable.

That the president’s minions punished career diplomats who challenged their Benghazi narrative is more than unconscionable. It is corrupt.

And yet we are told by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney that Benghazi is “old news;” a story without legs; a Republican witch hunt. Move along, everybody. Nothing to see here.

But there is plenty to see here.

Benghazi remains important for a multitude of reasons: first and foremost because of our failure to protect American personnel, but also because of the administration’s cover-up of its own incompetence, lies to the American people, and retaliation against whistle-blowers.

If these reasons are not enough to keep you focused on Benghazi, let me offer another.

Benghazi is important because what happened there, and in the immediate aftermath, is the inevitable consequence of the Obama administration’s deeply flawed world view and misguided policy of appeasement of radical Muslims.

And it is this philosophic bent and politically correct outlook that brought us the Boston Marathon bombings.

Make no mistake: Benghazi was a natural consequence of this president’s international apology tour; of his administration’s decision to refer to acts of terrorism as “man-made disasters;” and his understanding of terrorism as violence committed by deeply disturbed people — by social misfits or lone wolves.

Why?

Because when administration officials regard terrorist attacks as acts of “violent extremism” by individuals they are unable properly to connect the dots and assess current threat levels.

Because when they reject the notion that radical Islam is gaining force in much of the Muslim world, they minimize the size and nature of the threat.

Because when they apologize on behalf of the nation for the bigotry of a YouTube video, they portray America as intolerant and lend legitimacy to terrorist paranoia and recruiting propaganda.

Because when they refuse to acknowledge radical Islam as an anti-American political ideology, they miss important clues regarding potential terrorist cells.

Which brings us back to the Marathon bombings. Because the same sensibilities that contributed to Benghazi and its cover-up were also at work in Boston.

According to a recent report in the Washington Free Beacon, political appointees in the Obama administration have “prevented the FBI from conducting aggressive counterterrorism investigations of Islamic radicals or those who are in the process of being radicalized.”

The Beacon reports that, according to officials familiar with the FBI’s counterterrorism training program, this “failure to recognize political Islam as a driver of jihadist terrorism is partly to blame for the FBI not identifying [the Tzarnaevs] as a security risk.”

Maybe the next time we elect a president, we should be careful to choose someone who understands philosophically that terrorism is not just another form of violent crime; someone who understands that terrorism is ideological in nature and who is willing to stand up not just to the criminals but to the ideology of jihad.

If we don’t, we will certainly be hit again.

And that, I think, is the most scandalous part of all.

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