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Web letter by Bruce Braden: Critics seeking Obama’s impeachment have selective memories

Some critics of President Obama are screaming impeachment. Republicans seem so ready to impeach, making claims of negligence over four deaths. Sure, “every man’s death diminishes me.” But where was, where is, the outrage and impeachment fever for the 241 military deaths and 60 injured from the Beirut terrorist bombing of Oct. 23, 1983? Perhaps, we should be impeaching President Reagan posthumously.

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger reportedly advised Reagan against entering Beirut in 1983. In April 1983 a car bomb attack at the American Embassy in Beirut killed at least 61 people, including 17 Americans. Our troops were stationed in a four-story building at an open airport surrounded by hillsides controlled by warring forces. The Marine commander, Col. Timothy Geraghty, claims he opposed this location for security reasons from day one. He also was concerned after we violated our neutrality by Navy firings.

The guard at the compound was reportedly unarmed (unloaded weapon/no live ammo). An investigation cited the lack of armed guards and a sufficient barrier. According to February1984 testimony before the Long Commission, “the U.S. Marines in Lebanon had received over 100 bomb threats or warnings of possible terrorist bombings prior to the destruction of the Marine Headquarters.” The six-ton truck bomb used in the attack was “deemed the largest non-nuclear device used” since World War II. It was the largest single-day loss of Marines since Iwo Jima. A total of 220 Marines died along with 18 sailors and three soldiers, and 60 other Americans were injured.

Military commanders were blamed for the deaths. But, according to today’s Obama blamers, the commander-in-chief, Reagan, in this case should ultimately bear the blame. To paraphrase these blamers, “It was on Reagan’s watch.”

Yet, conservatives and Republicans today raise the roof over four Americans killed in Benghazi. Want to impeach Obama? Shame on them all! If they have any decency, they will impeach Reagan posthumously. He ignored earlier embassy deaths, ignored Weinberger and military advice. More than 200 died over Reagan’s bombast.

Reagan was a lovable man, but sometimes he acted like a reckless cowboy. Seems like a high enough crime or misdemeanor on several counts. I suggest people read the entire Rand report on embassy and troop protection. Know when to hold them, when to fold them.

BRUCE BRADEN

Carmel

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