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How Did We Respond To Attacks On US Diplomats Before Hillary Clinton Did Them All?

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Your Wonkette was wondering: Prior to 9/11/12, whenGod and Hillary Clinton did 9/11 Classic to four Americans in Libya, a place of Muslims, was there anything? Here's what we mean: Did history start on that date, or was there a bunch of stuff that "came before," stuff like other terrorist attacks on US diplomatic targets under other presidents? We shall now examine a collection of these past events, as well as the political reactions to them. What will we learn about our current awful political culture and how it uses terrorist attacks to score cheap points? (Hint: No one was bothered when it happened like a million times under Ronald Reagan.)


Assuming for a moment that the past is real, let's travel back to April 18th, 1983, when a truck full of explosives drove without too much trouble directly into the lobby of the US Embassy in Beirut, another place of Muslims, and blew up. 63 people died, 17 of whom also happened to be US Americans. As early reports of the attack arrived on the legs of exhausted homing pigeons, the first question on everyone's mind, surely, was "Could this have been protected against?" Take it away Larry Speakes, White House Deputy Spokesman of 1983:

“These things are difficult to protect against. You do what you can. We’ve done what we can. This was clearly unexpected.”

Unexpected, yes! That totally sincere and reassuring statement is correct, because before 1983, violence against diplomatic targets was not really—

1979: “Iranians in Lebanon Attack US Embassy

1979: “300 El Salvator Leftists Try to Seize U.S. Embassy

1979: “In Ankara Palestinians Holding Hostages In Embassy

1979: “Don’t Harm Single Hostage, Carter Warns Iran Militants

1980: “Officials Fear Long Standoff At Besieged Bogota Embassy

1980: “30 Are Killed In Guatemala Embassy Battle

1980: “Iran executes 2 in retaliation for embassy siege in London

1981: “Seized Turkish consulate in Paris: Terrorists give up; 60 hostages freed

1982: “Bombs Damage Israeli Office In Australia

1982: “Swiss Free Polish Diplomat From Terrorist-Held Embassy

1982: “Soviet embassy in Kabul attacked by rebels: Report

OK! So maybe the case could be made that the April, 1983 bombing was not so impossible to have anticipated. By contemporary standards, this would be reason aplenty for Congress to invite everybody over for a nice round of grandstanding public hearings and make sure every camera in town is there so all of America can soak in the hot shame and the anguish and every totally responsible insinuation that might (or might not!) be made, in order to hurt the president and his allies. Which is what happened in 1983, right?

Yesterday, Secretary of State George Schultz testified at a closed session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Oh, a "closed session." Well that's sweet, but at what point was Congress planning to gut Secretary Schultz with the broken lens of a C-SPAN camera and send his viscera back to the White House with a note reading "Cordially, Tip O'Neill"? Unfortunately the details are lost to history, and George Schultz lived to see pretty much the exact same thing, only worse, happen six months later at a Marine barracks in the same city. Wait what?! Holy shit and Jesus, is that true?! Surely whoever was president in 1983 was impeached, at the very least! What did Congress do this time, History?

Secretary of State George P. Schultz went to Capitol Hill Monday to answer questions about security in closed meetings with senators and congressmen.

What?! More "closed meetings"? In quiet rooms? And not a single teevee machine there to document the dark spectacle of old men pretending to be outraged and/or sorry? But surely there were witches to hunt!

Boy, the past is confusing. We're having a hard time believing that NOBODY in Congress tried to use all this tragic bloodshed to score points against the president. Not a single Congressperson played politics with this?

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said “I reject the administration’s preposterous rationale that we did all we could to protect our forces.”

Awesome, so every Republican’s role model Ted Kennedy was the pre-historic fish that crawled out of the water, and then God made it evolve into Lindsey Graham, who can breathe the air… OF SCANDALS! Also, Benghazi.

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