Every time something controversial involving our work gets in the papers, we get emails telling us to not EVER talk to a reporter about it. It makes an impression on me cuz I have a big mouth and I figure I'm too old to find another decent job.
On "stand down," everything I've seen indicates that Obama gave Panetta a free hand to do whatever he could. That was both of them doing their job, right? I read that some people got held up to change uniforms or some nonsense. I'm sure it wouldn't have made a difference. The Libyan government was and I suspect is today kinda weird and not really much in control.
The logic here does seem to be suspect. The argument is made that the administration had good reason to hide things, like claiming that "AQ is on the run" while it's not. Because they are seen as having something to hide, it's assumed that they must be hiding something.
Well, as I've said, AQ is on the run. They've been on the run since Sept 2001. Seems like every few weeks, a whole bunch of 'em get whacked in Yemen or whatever. We can't stop a bunch of guys in a neighborhood somewhere in North Africa from deciding they hate America and they're gonna take up some kind of armed struggle. I sort of fall back on the idea that there's probably not much they can do to get at us in the States. The way violent radicalism is spreading around Central Africa seems very dangerous for the people in those countries.
I'd like to see us find a way to get this conflict wrapped up. I don't really have any ideas other than helping with political/legal/economic/social development, patience, and caution. We obviously can't tolerate murderers, but I don't think hating people gets us too far.