A Voice for Ambassador Chris Stevens – Part Two

May 20, 2016 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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By

Lydie Denier

 

Part Two of Lydie Denier’s article detailing the tragic death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Politics surrounding it. Part One can be found here

 

Everyone said it’s now old news and that every aspect has been covered. The media joined in the chorus, praising Hillary to the hilt, after all, she did such a masterful job of handling the mostly redundant questions and constant probing from the politically motivated Republicans. This is of course business as usual, politicians controlling facts to suit them and I am fed up and disgusted. Plenty has been written about Hillary Clinton’s email server. What will be the final verdict, felony or no felony?  I will let Mr. Comey decide while the families and loved ones of those killed in Libya continue to search for answers.

My former fiancé, Ambassador Chris Stevens, was murdered in an attack in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012 but illegality always mattered less to me than being kept in the dark about the crucial details of that tragic day. People like me who loved someone who was murdered in Benghazi, wanted desperately to know the facts, while all along Hillary Clinton had the emails containing this vital information and right at her fingertips. She slyly kept them for months and years, telling no one. What sort of character does someone possess to do something like this? Who would go to extremes to set up an elaborate scheme to have all emails private against the express rules of the intelligence community and federal law? There is only one answer: Someone accustomed to flouting the rules and the law, someone who plans to hide the truth in the future and someone who wants to become president of the United States, the most powerful position in the world.

 

On that fateful day, September 11, 2012, when Islamist militants attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and the Annex, a nearby CIA station in Benghazi, Chris Stevens was not the only American to lose his life. U.S Foreign Information Service Officer Sean Smith and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty also perished in what has been referred to as the Battle of Benghazi. Afterward, the United States increased security at diplomatic and military facilities around the world and began investigating the attack. A media frenzy ensued and a political blame game began. State Department officials were openly criticized for denying requests for additional security prior to the attack, and today, the now former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains under fire for her role in the tragedy.

 

Ambassador Chris Stevens was a man whose substantial knowledge, experience, and respected leadership were so well suited for the post of Ambassador to Libya. But diplomats such as Chris and their important work and contributions don’t make headlines until something horrible happens. Those who lose their lives are quickly forgotten by the media, as policy and politics swallow up focus and attention.

 

Chris’s death raises serious questions about the U.S government’s role in the Middle East and exactly what they are trying to accomplish there. Is America really trying to help foster democracy or simply working to further U.S interests?

 

Throughout his diplomatic career Chris took risks that placed him in many dangerous settings. The purpose of his job was to provide reliable information and thorough analysis to Washington upon which they could formulate policy. Chris innately understood that he had to express empathy in a genuine way and by effectively fulfilling his role he defied the stereotype of an American diplomat who was equal parts arrogant and ignorant.

 

Chris arrived at the embassy in Tripoli, Libya, on June 7, 2012 and as ambassador, he passionately believed that the forces favoring terrorism in Libya could be overcome by an aggressive demonstration of U.S assistance to better the lives of the Libyan people. He had a remarkable gift for listening and he used that gift to satisfy his voracious appetite to learn about the wants and needs of other people. Chris was aware of the hate Libyan youth had toward the U.S due to years of neglect and oppression. This created an atmosphere where joining radical factions in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq became a powerful option that many chose. Chris realized he had to offer new opportunities to compete with the radicalism, particularly for young Libyans by helping them disengage their ideologies based on hate. Chris was fearless in his pursuit of representing America abroad and always for the right reasons: to help the people rather than simply serve America’s own special interests.

As a little girl growing up in Brittany, the coastal area of northern France, I held all Americans in the highest esteem. Even in the 1970s there were reminders everywhere of those American heroes who had come to liberate France from the German invaders. There were not only memorials where the names of men long dead were carved and wreaths laid, but also the bunkers and tank entrapments where American soldiers fought and died to free Europe from the horrors of Hitler during World War II.

Chris epitomized my belief that all Americans were the same as those who fought at Normandy. He was very much like those courageous men who set out to help, not to conquer, daring and heedless of the risk to their lives. It was this single minded guts and idealism that put his life in danger when Secretary Clinton told Chris that he needed to go to Benghazi to establish a diplomatic presence before the end of the fiscal year. As Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton was very aware that security was deficient, but did not want to have to go through Congress, which meant that she would have had to wait until the new fiscal year.

 

Chris Stevens was not to blame for the reduction in security personnel. His requests for additional security were denied or ignored. Officials at the State and Defense departments in Washington were solely responsible for the decisions that resulted in reduced security. Senator Lindsey Graham stated on the Senate floor that “Chris was in Benghazi because that is where he was supposed to be doing what America wanted him to do: Try to hold Libya together.” And he did, until his government deserted him.

 

The American public is still hungry for more facts about Benghazi. As a way to deal with his loss and to share the facts of his life, I’ve written a memoir about Chris and our time together. It is a love story set against the backdrop of our careers, and ambitions. Chris wanted to become an ambassador and work closely with the people of the Middle East, and I was a working actress promoting a television series. During the process of seeking publication, it became obvious that political forces were hindering my ability to do so. They didn’t want Benghazi mentioned I was told, because this is an election year. This made me angry but more determined than ever to tell our story.

 

 

Politics, Opposition and the Average American

 

The people who love Trump love him because he has tapped into their sense of powerlessness and anger as well as their need to be heard. The voting public is frustrated, fearful and nostalgic for the way they believe America used to be. People say they have never seen a presidential candidate like him because he is unfiltered. He paints himself as confidently anti-establishment and by siding with the average citizen, he has amassed a following that is radical and occasionally fringe. It is true that Trump is not a politician in the purest sense of the word but he does know how to play the candidates game and to grab public attention.

 

Throughout history there have been others like Donald Trump, men and women who appear as the result of the serious dissatisfaction and mistrust of the public. In France, my country of birth, a candidate very much like him ran for president. It was October 30, 1980 when Michel Coluche, a comedian and actor, took on those in power. He was known for his irreverent attitude toward politics and the establishment and, weary of lying politicians, he began campaigning. At first he was not taken seriously, until the polls showed that the people wanted a non-politician to be their president. In his opening speech, he said: “I’m asking all the lazy, the filthy, drug addicts, alcoholics, gays, women, parasites, young, old, artists, convicts, apprentices, black people, Arabs, French, hairy, crazy, transvestites, former communists, all those who can’t count on politicians, to register at their town halls and vote for me. I am the only candidate who has no reason to lie to you!

 

Coluche received so many death threats, he made the grave decision to stand down and remove himself from the election. One of the last warnings he received was a bullet with a note that read “The next one is for you!” A few days later, he died in a suspicious accident. Conspiracy or murder, one thing is certain; the French loved the idea of Coluche and what he represented and they would have voted for him. Ten thousand people, famous and anonymous, attended his funeral.

 

Democracy depends on truth. Its success depends upon the right to criticize, the right to association, the right to personal liberty and the right to property. In both America and France, everywhere in our world, people need to know the facts about what government is really doing and they need to be heard. Christopher Stevens needs to be heard.

 

 

 

 

 

Lydie Denier has recently written a memoir about her life with Chris Stevens and is actively looking for a publisher. She has also partnered with Steven Barber and Vanilla Fire productions to film a documentary with the purpose of sharing Chris’ story with the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lydie Denier

Actress, singer and model Lydie Denier, known for her extensive film and television work has appeared in several feature films including Bullet Proof and Wild Orchid II. Her television credits include her role as Jane Porter in the Tarzan series, Red Shoe Diaries, The Ellen Burstyn Show, China Beach, The Flash, General Hospital, Acapulco Heat, Spin City, Gilmour Girls, Starman, Baywatch, The Single Guy, Melrose Place, General Hospital, The Garry Shandling Show and Hammerhead. She has worked with such notable actors as Drew Barrymore, Terri Garr, Kathleen Quinlan, Martin Landau, Gary Busey and Malcolm Mcdowell. As a model she has appeared in both Vogue and Elle.

1 Comment

  1. Leonard Bustos September 20, at 23:54

    What beautiful, touching well written pieces commemorating Chris Steven's life and contribution Lydie has written. I, like Lydie, feel the same way about Hillary Clinton. How in the world can America elect someone so incompetent, corrupt and heartless as she is? What is truly frightening is to realize that the Mainstream media, the President, State Department, DOJ and FBI are covering for her corruption and incompetence. Can you imagine what respect she will have for the rule of law if she becomes President? For those interested, you can get an audiobook of the Final Benghazi Report here: www.ReportOnBenghazi.com . Lydie - I would love to help your cause - can you please contact me through my website? Thanks Leonard

    Reply

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