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May 9, 2013

Recognizing Honor and Disgrace

Patricia A. Kelly

The Republican faithful gathered Tuesday night for its annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner honoring both its namesakes and local members who excelled in promoting the party in the county. Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton was the featured speaker.


This year was special for several reasons. For one thing, an award for his many years of service to our community was presented to Roscoe Bartlett, former Sixth District congressman. It was a beautiful crystal obelisk, from all the county Republican groups, the Central Committee, Republican Club and Republican Women‘s Club of Frederick County.


Cindy Puhala was named Republican Woman of the Year for fundraising and for leadership during the merger of the Middletown Valley Women with the Republican Women’s Club of Frederick County. John Coon was named Republican Man of the Year for his untold hours of time volunteering in Republican campaigns before the 2012 elections.


Ambassador Bolton’s speech, very timely in light of Wednesday’s congressional hearing on the September 11, 2012, attack on our embassy annex in Benghazi, Libya, addressed the issue of our security in the face of terrorism and international hostility toward the United States.


Mr. Bolton claims that Republicans are the true force for security in our nation. He asserted that President Barack Obama appears to think our relations with other countries are improved if we make concessions. Apparently, unfortunately, China and Russia think concessions should lead to more concessions. Both the president and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry seem to believe that a strong defense is provocative. The opposite is, of course, closer to the truth.


President Obama appears to wish to set an example for the world by unilaterally giving up nuclear weapons, leveling the playing field, so to speak. Mr. Bolton believes that, without our nuclear deterrent, nuclear proliferation will only increase throughout the world. Not only will North Korea be willing to sell their technology to others, but our allies, no longer able to count on us for defense assistance, will also attempt to obtain their own nuclear weapons for their protection.


Our government’s egregious response – from the beginning – to the obvious terrorist attack on our Benghazi embassy annex is now, at last, under investigation, with congressional hearings held on Wednesday. Three State Department officials, sometimes nearly overcome with emotion, have testified regarding their department’s failure to respond to the attack and attempt to save imperiled Americans.


Since I could find out from reputable news media on September 12 that the Libyan attack was a planned terrorist assault linked to al Qaeda, and the president of Libya named it publicly as such, how could our president not know?


It was apparent that President Obama and his advisors buried the story in order to protect his re-election chances. After all, he had taken credit for the near destruction of al Qaeda, and this attack could have made him look really bad.


Benghazi is the second of three terrorist attacks glossed over by our president. First was the “workplace violence” of the Fort Hood shootings. Second was Benghazi, Third would be the recent attack in Boston. Our president suggested it might be an American, as it occurred on Tax Day.


Ambassador Bolton’s most interesting point was this: He hopes these misrepresentations of terrorist attacks are purposeful political acts. If they’re not, we are being led by someone who has no clue and can’t recognize an attack that occurs right in front of him. Can we survive this for three more years?


On Wednesday, the news media spoke of possible political ramifications for Hillary Clinton – and even the president – if the allegations of State Department officials are correct, and if the terrible decisions made during the attack were the work of top leadership. If true, these allegations should cause much more than just political damage. These decisions could have cost lives, even the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who didn’t die until the end of the attack, after being rescued from the safe room by Libyan citizens.


It's a sad day when you hope your president is lying rather than just plain not getting it.


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