Friday, April 12, 2013

Incompetent Staging Of PR Video Contributed To Diplomat's Death

The first account of young diplomat, Anne Smedinghoff's death in Afghanistan, including the official version that was told to her father, was simply not true. Somehow, it always seems to come back to staged events, and Shaun Waterman of the Washington Times quotes James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation legitimately asking, is this another "one off" for the State Department, ala Bengazi, or an indication of a real  problem in the way State is "doing risk management for high-risk posts?"

Via a post on the Weekly Standard, it now is clear that that several media outlets, including a detailed eye-witness account from McClatchy, are now all reporting that the initial and "official" account of the deaths in Afghanistan of the young and idealistic diplomat, 25 year old Anne Smedinghoff and several others in her party, were clearly erroneous. The State Department has since conceded that the initial report was in error as well.

The most logical conclusion is that the initial account was a cover-up story, one that seemed obviously intended to mask the embarrassing reality of the tragic incident.  However, State claimed that initial reports were confused with the indications that the actual target of the attack [Mohammad Ashraf Nasery, the Governor of Zabol Province] was in an armored vehicle, and was uninjured in the attack. Nevertheless, fateful mistakes in the staging of the "book distributing" event that was being video-taped, involved a few very bad errors in judgment in both the planning and execution thereof.

Instead having been inside an armored vehicle when she was killed by the blast from a suicide bomber, as was initially reported and also officially told to the father of the young woman, it now seems that Anne and her group had been out walking around a few hundred yards through a wooded area, videographer in hand, filming the event for obvious PR purposes.  But they were somehow guided to the wrong building, different from the school at which their staged "book distributing" PR event was supposed to have taken place. And while apparently doubling back on foot, the very visible group, made up predominantly of westerners, was attacked and several in the group, including Anne, were killed by a suicide bomber.

Whose "brilliant" idea was it for this young, idealistic "diplomat," Anne Smedinghoff, and the very visible party of several westerners she was traveling with, including a camera videographer, to have been walking around out in the open on foot, engaging in an only marginally significant PR event -- distributing books -- in a highly dangerous province of the war zone in Afghanistan?

And, who was the employee or employees at the State Department, or security detail, who did such a poor job on the "advance work" for that staged walk through the woods, the one which resulted in the entire party ending up at the wrong building, where it suddenly became obvious that they were lost? That is a question that will likely never be publicly answered! But somebody really dropped the ball.

Moreover, why was Anne Smeddinghoff's father initially lied to by the State Department, when he was falsely told that she was inside an armored vehicle when the attack that tragically killed her occurred?

At least that last question literally answers itself!  Imagine if they had told the poor man the truth!
"Well, sir, we set up this big PR event for your daughter, cameras and all, and she and her party were on foot and they took a long walk out in the open, but they ended up at the wrong building.  So, as they were doubling back, a car bomber, who was apparently there watching the whole thing, just drove up and detonated his bomb, unfortunately killing her and several others."

And finally, here is a take away question:  Is it possible that John Kerry could actually end up being a bigger disaster as Secretary of State, than was Hillary Clinton? He sure seems to be off to a "strong" start.

But, of course, people will remember that former Sec'y of State Clinton lied right to the face of the father of Ty Woods, right after the Benghazi fiasco, when she and the Obama administration were first attempting to serve up their cover-up story by seeking to falsely blame the Benghazi attack on a "spontaneous demonstration" in reaction to the Mohammed video.

And she did so at the solemn receiving ceremony in the United States, when Wood's body and those of the others were returned to the United States. Clinton, as you may recall, actually told Ty Woods father at the time, as he later revealed on the Lars Larson radio show:
"We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video."

Have none of these people any sense of shame?


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