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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Still refusing to take responsibility

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On Wednesday morning, viewers of TV news saw a bevy of politicians demanding congressional hearings on the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, so that preventative measures could be taken and "this never happens again."

That's all well and good, but I for one would like some direct answers from our commander in chief as to why and how the Benghazi killings were allowed to happen in the first place. It is not the "fog of war" that obscured this battle, it is the redolent smoke screen generated by White House politics that stings America's eyes and makes us so nauseous.

During the month preceding the attack this Sept. 11, did President Obama ever take any direct briefings on the developing Libyan situation from the intelligence community? If the president wasn't in the loop on such a hot-button foreign policy issue, why wasn't he? Failing that, did he read any indications and warning notices or other threat assessments from Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens' mission that landed on his Oval Office desk? If such critical traffic did indeed reach Mr. Obama's desk in the midst of his presidential campaign, did he exercise due diligence and take the time to fully read it before it became stale news?

While Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first to stand up on the burning quarterdeck of our savaged ship of state and accept responsibility, it was an insincere gesture, as she was only the helmsman, carrying out her captain's steering directions. Accepting responsibility without any attendant consequences has become the fashionable thing for our political leaders to do here in America. There was a time in history when leaders of events that came to no good end knew full well that when they stood up and accepted responsibility for the carnage of their actions, there was going to be hell to pay in their immediate future.

K.J. DOLNEY

Columbia, S.C.

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