Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unclassified


Looks like three State Dept. employees have resigned as a result of the report (and actions or lack there of) re: the 9/11/12 attack on our Mission in Benghazi. Seems like the most glaring mistake was not just lack of security but glance at the list below and you can quickly see this was not exactly a safe place. Maybe I don’t understand foreign diplomatic service but why did/do we have people in Benghazi in the first place?
March 18, 2012 – Armed robbery occurs at the British School in Benghazi. March 22, 2012 – Members of a militia searching for a suspect fire their
weapons near the SMC and attempt to enter.      
April 2, 2012 – A UK armored diplomatic vehicle is attacked
April 6, 2012 – A gelatina bomb is thrown over the SMC north wall.
April 10, 2012 – An IED (gelatina or dynamite stick) is thrown at the
motorcade of the UN Special Envoy to Libya in Benghazi.  
April 26, 2012 – Special Mission Benghazi principal officer is evacuated from International Medical University (IMU) after a fistfight escalated to
gunfire between Tripoli-based trade delegation security personnel and IMU
security.
April 27, 2012 – Two South African nationals in Libya as part of U.S.-
funded weapons abatement, are detained at gunpoint by militia, questioned and released.
May 22, 2012 – Benghazi International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
building struck by rocket propelled grenades (RPGs).
May 28, 2012 – A previously unknown organization, Omar Abdurrahman
group, claims responsibility for the ICRC attack and issues a threat against the United States.
June 6, 2012 – IED attack on the SMC. The IED detonates with no injuries but blows a large hole in the compound’s exterior wall.
June 11, 2012 – The British Ambassador’s convoy is attacked with an RPG and possible AK-47s. Two UK security officers are injured; the UK closes its mission in Benghazi the following day.
June 18, 2012 – Protestors storm the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi.
July 29, 2012 – An IED is found on grounds of the Tibesti Hotel.      
July 30, 2012 – Sudanese Consul in Benghazi is carjacked and driver beaten. July 31, 2012 – Seven Iranian-citizen ICRC workers abducted in Benghazi. August 5, 2012 – ICRC Misrata office is attacked with RPGs. ICRC
withdraws its representatives from Misrata and Benghazi.
August 9, 2012 – A Spanish-American NGO worker is abducted from the Islamic Cultural Center in Benghazi and released the same day.
August 20, 2012 – A small bomb is thrown at an Egyptian diplomat’s
vehicle parked outside of the Egyptian consulate in Benghazi.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Connecting some dots maybe?


Hearing reports this week on the declining birth rates in America and how this portends trouble for various programs – not the least of which is Social Security which depends on current worker’s contributions to fund present and future worker’s retirements.
I get that: #1 Social security is not enough for anyone to retire on and, #2 people will argue, “why should people working today be paying for those who have or will retire?” I guess this is a tough question and one I can’t answer except to say that we’ve always tried to take care of the older generation; it is just getting harder as people live longer.
But back to the declining birth rate and to connect a dot or two.
Immigration. Another huge issue on which there is very little bipartisanship and no easy solution(s).
Without stereotyping, I believe stats will bear out that a larger portion of our immigrant populations have larger families than the typical white American family.
Our borders are extremely porous and no tall fence or specific state laws are going to do much to stem that tide from the south as long as we (thank God!) have a somewhat thriving economy. Even at its worst, the U.S. economy makes those of most Central American countries look pretty pathetic.
Folks are going to come anyway. Why can’t we work out some sort of arrangement where they become a part of the above-ground legal economy, pay all the requisite taxes and the like and start helping with this Social Security issue?
It is not a “fix”; maybe more of a finger-in-the-dike, but it still can’t hurt to take what is happening now, is going to keep on happening, and turn at least some of it into something good.
I’ve heard figures of 10 million illegal immigrants. I don’t know how many of those already pay into the Social Security system but I’ll bet only a small portion.
My 2 cents.