Barack & Benghazi
There is an odd coincidence in American politics -- presidential second terms often seem cursed. For Ronald Reagan it was the Iran/Contra scandal. For Bill Clinton it was Monica Lewinsky and impeachment. For George W. Bush it was the financial collapse. For Barack Obama it could well be Benghazi.
Whistle-blowers are scheduled to testify before Congress tomorrow. We hope that this cover-up, which began more than six months ago, will be fully exposed and that those responsible will be held accountable. The families of four dead, brave Americans deserve at least that.
Exposing corruption and demanding honesty from our leaders is what a real opposition party and a free press are supposed to do. Amazingly, the New York Times continues to ignore Benghazi, refusing even to report the fact that blockbuster hearings are taking place tomorrow.
On the eve of the hearings, I want to remind you of what was happening in the days leading up to the attacks and immediately following.
The attacks on the Benghazi consulate took place on the anniversary of 9/11 -- September 11, 2012. Seven days prior, Democrats gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, for their national convention.
At that convention, Obama "spiked the ball in the end zone" -- reminding everyone listening that he had taken out Osama bin Laden. But more importantly, Obama claimed Al Qaeda was on the ropes -- "defeated" or "decimated" as we were told over and over again.
It was the theme of virtually every speech in Charlotte. Joe Biden hammered it home with his line, "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive." That was all voters needed to know, according to Biden, to reelect Obama.
But just one week later that theme was in jeopardy as riots engulfed many Muslim capitals in the Middle East, allegedly in reaction to an anti-Islam movie trailer. The U.S. embassy in Cairo was assaulted. Egyptians stormed the walls and raised the black flag of the "dead" Al Qaeda movement. Then came the military-style attack on our consulate in Benghazi, an attack that lasted at least seven hours.
What happened next was a significant moment. On the anniversary of 9/11, as Islamist rioters surrounded the walls, embassy officials in Cairo released a statement condemning the American filmmakers for exercising their free speech rights rather than condemning Islamic extremism for the violence. Mitt Romney held a press conference criticizing the statement, citing it as an example of the administration's weakness.
Big Media, heavily vested in Obama's reelection, launched a full-throated assault, not on Obama, Biden and Clinton for their false bragging a week earlier, but on Mitt Romney! The line out of Washington was, "Mitt Romney doesn't have the demeanor and wisdom to be Commander-in-Chief. Now people are dead!"
Think about that for a second. You've got to tip your hat to the naked shamelessness of those involved. They knew that Islamists had caused the attacks. They knew they refused to send help.
And what did they do? What leftists always do: Faced with huge exposure and tremendous vulnerability, they went on offense. They successfully turned the events to their advantage, damaging Mitt Romney in the process. And the sympathetic media fully cooperated. In politics and in war the best defense is often a good offense.
Meanwhile, as all of this is unfolding, we now know that the CIA had provided talking points blaming Islamists. But a top career official at the State Department, Victoria Nuland, sees a watered-down draft of the talking points and still insists that they failed to "resolve all my issues or those of my building [the State Department] leadership." Translation: Hillary Clinton is upset.
Just imagine being president of the United States or secretary of state and, while America doesn't know yet and the media show no interest in knowing, you know exactly what you did and did not do on the night four Americans died. So what do you do? If you are Barack Obama, you head to Las Vegas for a fundraiser the next day.
Three days later, on September 14th, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton welcome home the caskets carrying the bodies of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty. Family members of the dead Americans asked, "What happened? Why is our son dead? Who did this?"
Obama and Hillary looked Patricia Smith in the eye and promised to get to the bottom of it. But they already knew what happened. They scrubbed the talking points to make sure the family members did not know the truth, that members of Congress did not know the truth, that American voters did not know the truth.
Two weeks later, the FBI had not arrived in Benghazi to investigate. Why not? One of the whistle-blowers who will testify tomorrow believes that it was the result of fallout and bad relations with the Libyan government.
The president of Libya was reportedly furious with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's false statements to the Sunday talk shows denying that there was any connection between the attacks and Al Qaeda. He called Rice's remarks, "completely unfounded and preposterous." So when Obama sent the FBI, they parked in Tripoli for two weeks. News organizations were in Benghazi before the FBI got there.
From that point on, anytime Obama or Clinton were confronted by Romney or any reporter about whether Benghazi was handled correctly, they wrapped themselves in the burial shrouds of the men who died. "I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews," Clinton said.
The whole time she and Obama knew they had abandoned their fellow Americans to fend for themselves. Chutzpah does not even begin to describe it!
In conclusion, this sorry chapter in American history demonstrates in so many ways all the problems that bedevil America's current debate and political process. Today's media are unwilling to do their job and are too often partisan players in the political process.
Today's Democratic Party is not the party of JFK, FDR and Harry Truman -- men who took responsibility for their actions and confronted tyranny. Instead it produces leaders whose first instinct when faced with terrorism is to tell the American people to pipe down. The left does have a "killer instinct," but only when "the enemy" is conservatives.
Against this formidable force is a Republican Party whose most recent presidential nominees were not tough enough to deal with people like Obama or Clinton or the liberal press corps. As a result, Mitt Romney is a private citizen while Barack Obama has three and half years in the Oval Office.