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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sacrificing lives for political skin

President Obama recently went on television and told the American people that "we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm's way" at the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. That, we recently learned, was a brazen lie.

We now know that urgent and repeated requests from the besieged Americans in Benghazi for military aid were summarily denied by the White House. No attempt was made to follow standard military protocol for rescue missions. That protocol, according to a top military adviser who recently appeared on Fox News, requires military commanders to launch rescue and attack aircraft immediately and to make decisions about engagement en route to the target. If that protocol had been followed, jet aircraft could have been over the target within 20 minutes of the start of the terrorist attack, AC-130 gunships could have arrived within an hour of the attack's inception, and boots could have been on the ground shortly after that.

Nonetheless, Mr. Obama apparently chose not to give the order to deploy the rescue and attack forces to Benghazi. He doubtless considered the negative impact such a decision would have on his re-election bid if the rescue team failed and suffered substantial casualties. It seems he decided to sacrifice the lives of valiant Americans in order to save his political skin. In the final analysis, Mr. Obama has lost his honor, and the Benghazi tragedy has become a national disgrace.

HARRISON E. MCCANDLISH

Alexandria

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