Does Government Accountability Operate in A Vacuum?

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On Monday, April 15th, 2013, the 117th running of the Boston Marathon was the highlight of Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, won by an Ethiopian man and a Kenyan woman. Shortly after they crossed the finish line, two bombs exploded just seconds apart. The blasts killed three and injured more than 170 people. Eight-year-old Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell (29) and graduate student and Chinese national, Lu Lingzi (23) perished as a result of the blast. The bombing suspects are also suspected of killing MIT Security officer Sean Collier, 26, several days later.

The President, in a televised speech said, ”We will find out who did this and hold them accountable.” Testifying before Congress, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “This is an all-hands-on-deck effort by the entire federal government, led by the president. We are committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Secretary Napolitano emphasized the ‘entire federal government’ although local police and state police played a critical role in the killing of one of the perpetrators and the capture of another.

Although investigative, judicial and punishment aspects of the Boston Marathon will probably stretch out to months or years, the initial steps are now over. One of the suspects in the bombing is deceased and the other suspect, the younger brother of the deceased has been captured and is recovering in a hospital. Assuming he lives, the surviving offender will suffer severe punishment.

Its about time we now resolve all the issues concomitant with the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012 when four U.S. citizens were killed. The lives that were lost during this terrorist attack were J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty, the last two reported to be former U.S. Navy Seals.

Following the attack in Benghazi, the President promised to investigate and bring to justice all those who were involved in this tragic loss of life, property and prestige. UN Ambassador Susan Rice was trotted out to several TV stations a few days later programmed to say that the attack was spontaneous and caused by a YouTube video. Secretary of State Clinton accepted responsibility and passed it along to an Accountability Review Board that she had appointed. The ‘ARB’ found that management deficiencies were, ”inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”  Four employees were relieved of their current duties.

The operative word here is ‘current’ because these four miscreants (five counting Secretary Clinton) remained full time employees at the U.S. State Department as of January 23, 2013 when Ms. Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She provided a litany of excuses why the four were still receiving taxpayer-funded payroll checks. No one has been ‘brought to justice’. And Mrs. Clinton is being touted as a Presidential candidate?

Brian Terry, 40, a Border Patrol Agent was assassinated on December 14, 2010 while protecting the U.S. Border in Arizona. A weapon that was involved in the government-sponsored and misguided “Operation Fast and Furious’ was used to kill Terry. The congressional investigation of this gunrunning scheme is being postponed, given a limited number of redacted documents and excuses by Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials. There have been no recent announcements regarding accountability.

Why the delay in bringing to a close the details and culpability of the Benghazi and ‘Fast and Furious’ debacles? Is government practicing selective investigation and enforcement? Is there a cover-up that favors some government officials? Perhaps the administration hopes these deadly events will fade from memory. It is said that people often emulate leaders. If that is so, are we setting examples that will help future government administrators bring new levels of dereliction and dishonesty?

 – Dick Baynton