Benghazi and White House Communications

Former US Army artillery ops officer Donald Sensing dissects the emerging controversy about what the White House was told about the attack on the Benghazi compound where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed. The current White House story appears to be that the "flash" traffic from Tripoli about the attack was buried in the normal business of the White House Situation Room. Sensing, who has handled a good amount of "flash" traffic in his time, gives that argument short shrift:

Imagine you are giving a birthday party for a five year old who's invited his entire school class. All those little kids are running in out of the party room, yelling and juking around.
That's the normal message traffic of a message center.
Of a sudden, in runs Shaquille O'Neal to the middle of the room, waving his arms and yelling at the top of his lungs, "Hey! Look at me!"
Shaq is flash traffic.
He contends that it is simply not realistic for very senior White House personnel not to be aware that "flash" traffic had arrived, and that the timescale between the arrival and their being alerted would be measured in minutes, not hours.

The White House strategy at the moment seems to be to announce that there is an ongoing investigation into who knew what and when, and hope that they can make that investigation return its results no earlier than November 7th. I suspect, as Donald Sensing does, that the regular media isn't going to press him hard on this. I do wonder however what happens when the investigation does report, assuming it isn't a complete whitewash...

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