Jan Stevens, father of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, wants Mitt Romney to stop politicizing his son’s death. Well, we can all understand the pain he must feel to be reminded so often in the news of his terrible loss, especially when the reminders might spell success for the wrong party. (The elder Stevens is a registered Democrat.)
But like it or not, Amb. Stevens’s death is, and ought to be, a political issue for several reasons. The Romney campaign has hit hard on one reason — the Obama administration’s failure to heed warning signs and beef up security in Libya. The campaign, however, hasn’t hit at all on other reasons that are just as shameful.
One is the foolishness of taking sides in a civil war when neither side really likes you. We’ve done this before, in Bosnia and Kosovo, and our experience is that as soon as “our” side gets what it wants from us, we become its new targets.
Another reason is the administration’s arrogant or idiotic (take your pick) insensitivity to the moral sensibilities of the Libyan people. Rumor is that Amb. Stevens was gay. Muslims don’t much like gays. Islam condemns homosexuality, and under Muammar Qaddafi sodomy was severely punished. How much sense would it have made to send a gay man to Libya as our ambassador?
The rumor is not confirmed, but what is confirmed is that, months before Stevens’s death, the U.S. embassy in Libya advertised for two Arabic-speaking bodyguards, telling Libyans that preference would be given for “same-sex domestic partners” of U.S. government personnel. The embassy also advertised for two security guards, a surveillance detection specialist, and a chauffeur for the consulate in Benghazi, where Stevens was killed. Job announcements posted on the embassy’s website included the mention of preference for “same-sex domestic partners” for all but one of the security guard positions.
More details are available from cnsnews.com, whose editor-in-chief is Terence P. Jeffrey, an old friend of mine and a fellow veteran of the first “Buchanan Brigade” in 1992. Terry studied in Cairo years ago and knows enough Arabic to have checked the Arabic version of the job announcements. Yes, the mention of preference for gays was there in Arabic also.
So months before Stevens’s death, the embassy was actually advertising the immorality of the United States to anyone in Libya who might have been interested — and appalled. What were they thinking?