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Americans serving country accept risks

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February 21, 2013
By Dennis D. Lamb , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

On Sunday Feb. 10, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham threatened to block a vote on Hagel's confirmation and Obama's nomination of John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency unless the White House provides more information about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

With all due respect to Senator Graham, I am tired of hearing him insist on more information about Benghazi. Those who died there knew they were in danger when they went to Libya, but they went because they wanted to serve their country. All members of the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense are in danger abroad. None of them ask for or expect special treatment or protection. They know that risking their lives comes with the job, that if a terrorist or group of terrorists wants to kill them, it can be done.

Ambassador Stevens certainly knew the risks he was taking in going to Benghazi, but he had a job to do and he knew he could not function effectively as a diplomat surrounded by U.S. Marines and security personnel.

The Senate has a legitimate role in reviewing cabinet nominations, but Senator Graham is trying to politicize a tragedy that should not be politicized or discussed other than in closed session. Some things need to remain secret.

All Senator Graham and his colleagues have done in constantly demanding explanations from President Obama has been to surface publicly the fact that CIA officers were in Benghazi at the time of Ambassador Stevens' death. They therewith exposed every American, including tourists, traveling to Benghazi to danger and made it nearly impossible for CIA operatives to carry out their mission in Libya. Secretary of State Clinton expressed it well when she responded to a Senator's badgering with the observation:

"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator."

The thoughts outlined above represent my personal views and not the views of my former employer.

Dennis Lamb, originally from Chelsea, retired from the CIA in 2002 after serving 30 years in its Directorate of Operations as a Case Officer and as an Intelligence Intelligence Analyst.



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