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Will Benghazi be Watergate 2013?
Remember Benghazi, by Mary Walsh.

 Envoy Chris Stevens was 'left behind' after requesting assistance from an attack on the consulate in Libya.
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Date published: 11/11/2012

IN THE WAKE of Sept. 11 this year, Benghazi has taken on new meaning in American foreign policy. No longer is it merely a geographical location in far-away Libya; it now represents an abysmal failure in leadership and an astonishing, jaw-dropping breach of trust between the president and those charged with protecting the lives and security of our country.

This Veterans Day, we remember the heroes who wear our country's uniform with the full knowledge that they may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice. To them, and to their families, who give themselves for the protection of our nation and our freedoms, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude that can never fully be repaid.

Never should there be a moment when service members doubt that if indeed they are sent in harm's way they will be left behind to the wolves. "I got your back" is not a game of political cowardice.

There are few things more galling than abandonment of men in the field by their leaders. The commander in chief bears the incredible responsibility for the safety of the country and his troops. Speaking, perhaps in a Freudian slip, on a recent campaign stop at the Red Cross in Washington, President Obama remarked, "We leave nobody behind." But he did in Benghazi. Instead of the White House, maybe the consulate should have called the Red Cross.

MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews once characterized President Obama's visit to Afghanistan as a "touch of Barry in the night," evoking imagery from Shakespeare's "Henry V," "a little touch of Harry in the night." Nothing could be further from Henry's famous "band of brothers" speech than the brother who leaves them to die. Kenneth Branagh's powerful portrayal of Henry V makes the comparison even more incongruous.

It is inconceivable in this technological world that the president did not know the embassy was under attack for eight interminable hours. Ignorance of such an attack would be dereliction of duty. Think of how long those eight hours must have been for those brave Americans on foreign soil, surrounded by smoke and fire, clinging to the hope that someone must be on the way at any moment if they could just hold on long enough. Except that not only was no one coming, those that might were directed to stop rescue efforts.

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Mary Walsh is a freelance writer who lives in Spotsylvania County.