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I had hoped to do a post yesterday, but knew I couldn’t bring my usual snark-riddled voice to my blog when we had a horrific storm roaring up the east coast.

This morning, news coverage confirms Sandy impacts many through direct storm hits, raging fires, and blizzard conditions. My thoughts and prayers ping out to blog buddies in the U.S. and Canada impacted by this monster storm.

After five days of following myself around, I discovered I had been using my most productive writing time (early, early morning) be-bopping the net, reading and commenting on blogs.

I do intend to post most of the findings and attempts at behavior changes later this week.

Sneak Preview: One of those changes was to establish discipline for Social Media — I do not permit myself access to the internet until I’ve completed two hours of focused writing — from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

YEP! I’m a morning girl.

Yesterday, after those two hours of writing, I gleefully bopped to email to discover what was happening in my world.

AND, THE IMPERFECT STORM COLLIDED

One of the blogs in my inbox was a new post on Piper Bayard’s site titled Intelligence Perspective on Benghazi.

For those of you not familiar with Piper, posts on her blog range from KA-SNORTs waiting-to-happen to informative. fact-based posts on world events.

Piper Bayard and Social Media guru, Kristen Lamb, staged a campaign for President in 2012. I was honored to host one of their campaign stops.  They put a humor spin on political issues, missteps, and ridiculous legislation.

A non-partisan spin.

The same non-partisan approach holds true for, ‘Jay Holmes’,  the author of the post on Benghazi, and someone I trust to know, understand and report the facts.

Why?

Quoting directly from their blog:

Jay Holmes’, is an intelligence veteran of the Cold War and remains an anonymous member of the intelligence community. His writing partner, Piper Bayard, is the public face of their partnership.

I was too emotionally engaged/enraged yesterday to find a “just the facts, Ma’am” approach for this ping-back post. Thankfully, I forced myself to sleep on it so I could cite pertinent details from ‘Jay Holmes’ and redirect to the original post for additional details.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Nearly seven weeks ago, on September 11th, 2012, an attack was made against the American Embassy in Benghazi. Four Americans lost their lives in this attack.

My heart aches for the friends and families of Ambassador Christopher Stephens, for Sean Smith, a Foreign Services information officer, and Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Dougherty, two former Navy SEALs working as security personnel at the consulate.

My adrenaline pumps each time I read or hear emerging facts that embassy personnel were denied additional security prior to the attack, and support forces during the attack.

My frustration increases each time a non-answer is issued by a member of our intelligence community or representatives of the Executive Branch when questioned about this tragedy.

American voters are about to vote on who will serve as Commander in Chief during the next four years. My intent with this post is not to influence the votes of fellow Americans.

Again, Holmes says it better than I can in the closing paragraph in Intelligence Perspective on Benghazi:

What happened in Benghazi matters. It matters to the families; it matters to our Americans abroad; it matters to our enemies; it matters to the public, and it matters to our political future as a nation. How much it matters to the election, however, will depend on the reaction of those Americans who will vote independently this November.

We Have a Right and Obligation to Understand What Happened

At the end of Intelligence Perspective on Benghazi, there was a copyright warning.

Okay. So. I’m dealing with a member of the intelligence community and  his public voice, Piper Bayard, a self-described “Reformed Attorney.”

I wanted to ping out the facts presented by ‘Holmes’, and I chose to play by the rules.

[Hey! I had visions of Holmes somehow redirecting drones to drop Piper's lawsuit in my lap. It's wonky in my imaginary world.]

When asked, Piper and ‘Holmes’ graciously agreed to let me include quotes.

In the comments section, you’ll see a specific request from Holmes that I emphasize that this is not a partisan issue.

What we are not being told is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an American issue. Following are portions of the comments between the three of us.

FROM PIPER BAYARD

  • Hi Gloria. Holmes and I always ask ourselves the question, “In the unlikely event that this should go viral, can we live with it?” We always reach a “yes” before I hit “publish.” Based on that, I would say quote and ping-back to your heart’s content, and thank you for your support. I’ll still be sure to forward him your email, though. He enjoys contact with our readers.

    FROM HOLMES:

  • Hi Gloria. Feel free to pass it on if you think it would be useful to do so. To avoid accidental partisanship please also send next weeks article concerning the Bush administration’s handling of the Battle(s) of Fallujah. The government and our press also handled that one poorly.

    I would hate to accidentally encourage the idea that distrusting one political party should equate to devout faith in some other political party. Faith in political parties is a hazard to democracy. It lowers our nation’s political standards.. FROM GLORIA RICHARD

    • Noted, Holmes. With your permission, I want to include this response in my post — to provide concrete evidence that neither your position nor mine is partisan in nature.

      Like you, I’m not attempting to influence the vote. Each American has the right to vote with his/her conscience based on the facts.

      My position is that American voters have the right to know the facts before they vote on their next Commander in Chief. Stall tactics until after November 6th? Say it isn’t so!

      This post is proving more difficult to craft than I anticipated. “Just the facts, Ma’am” when I’m emotionally engaged/enraged.

      Perhaps it will be best if I pluck salient details from your post to encourage a ping over to this site.

Those are the key segments in our comments.

I encourage you to exercise your right to vote. I encourage you to gather as much data as you can to make an informed choice. I encourage you to access one of the links to read the Intel ‘Holmes’ shares in his Intelligence Perspective on Benghazi.

Whether you agree or disagree, comments are welcome and encouraged. It’s one of the blessings we have when we live in a truly open and democratic society.

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