Leading From Behind Cost Lives

At one of President Obama’s rare press conferences yesterday, the closest he got to addressing the government’s reaction to the Benghazi massacre was as ambiguous as could be.

Q. On 9/11, as Commander-in-Chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?

A. I can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my national security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they’re safe.

We still don’t know when and how it was that he ‘found out.’ So far, we only know that the Consulate was attacked on two previous occasions in the preceding months. No steps were taken afterward to beef up security there, or to leave the city like the Brits and the Red Cross. He left the decision-making up to others. No help was sent. And our Ambassador and three other Americans were killed after a seven-hour-long battle.

He didn’t say anything like, ‘I told my national security team to get air support there. Get boots on the ground there.’ Nothing like that. What he did was cede his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief to his ‘national security team,’ leaving it up to them to give the orders that were his responsibility to give.

Turning over Commander-in-Chief responsibilities to unelected subordinates who are there to advise and take and execute orders is not only a neglect of duty, but irresponsible. And in this case, fatal.