Some Things To Consider About Benghazi
Elizabeth Taylor reportedly said, “You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal.” Of course, she was in Hollywood, perhaps the only place where loyalty means less than it does in Washington, D.C.
But some people in the Obama administration are about to find out what she meant.
The Congressional hearing this week on the Benghazi cover-up was important not only for the information we heard from the witnesses, but also because, for the first time, it piqued the interest of the mainstream media. Perhaps it’s genuine concern over having been lied to, or maybe the MSM has realized its credibility is on the line. Whatever the reason, the testimony of whistleblower Gregory Hicks has progressive defenders of the president nervous.
So worried were these Progressive Swiss Guards that the activist charity The Center for American Progress took to its “Think Progress” blog: to denounce himthrough an “anonymous source” who claims to have been in Benghazi with him. Miraculously, a “Think Progress” blogger was able to find someone who not only worked with Hicks in Libya, but also didn’t like his work. Not bad for a D.C.-based blog considering this appeared just two days after Hicks testified and major news outlets haven’t been able to find a detractor in the eight months since the attack. The miracle of Soros money, I guess.
I’d never say the “Think Progress” blog post is bogus. I’m sure every blog could just happen upon some random Libyan embassy worker who thinks a man who just convincingly accused the White House of fecklessness and lying through measured, fact-based testimony is incompetent. Nor would I ever say whether thisperson: is real, “Think Progress” probably was handed a phone number by someone in the White House. And I never would suggest this “anonymous source” seems to have been coached in this story by someone looking to protect the president. What I would say is that to believe in this story is to believe in a level of coincidence not seen outside of a bad sitcom.
Activist charities the IRS is strangely disinterested in investigating aside, a few things about the Benghazi terrorist attack still remain curiously uninvestigated.
One — We’ve heard a lot about how the military could not have acted in time to save any lives, including Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were killed in the 7th: hour of the attack. First off, if that’s true how weak or disorganized is our military? We had just helped overthrow the Libyan government with air power, have the fastest planes on the planet and have bases throughout the region. If we can’t get support to Americans under attack anywhere in the world in seven hours someone needs to be fired.
Also, since this “We couldn’t have gotten there in time anyway” mantra was the most frequently said statement from Democrats at the hearing; I’d like to ask any of them for next week’s lottery numbers. They seemed to know how long an ongoing attack will last and precise point at which even trying to save lives would be fruitless, so they must be able to see the future. Unless, that is, they’re only using this weak talking point to distract from the very real impotence that allowed people to die.
The fact is we don’t know if lives could have been saved because the Obama administration did not try. And we have no idea why.
Two — President Obama easily could put this whole thing to bed if he simply came out and said what he was doing the night of Sept. 11. The only thing we know for sure is the president was on Earth during the attack. Where on Earth and how involved or interested in the fate of the lives of people protecting us remains a mystery.
The White House never has been shy about releasing pictures of the president reacting to emergencies or events of significance. We’ve seen pictures of him learning of the shooting in Newtown and watching the raid that killed bin Laden and holding a “beer summit” on his porch. But on the night of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, we know nothing. No 8 x 10 glossy of him in in action. No garbled phone or radio voice. If he were asleep, in the midst of a campaign cram session or doing something else embarrassing, you’d get, well, the nothing we’ve gotten. The White House knows the truth. That it hasn’t even tried to share it clearly says it considers this PR gut-punch less damaging.
Three — In October 2012, President Obama was asked the only serious questions he’s ever faced about the Benghazi attack. It wasn’t by some big-time network anchor or major newspaper Woodward and Bernstein wannabe, it was by: Kyle Clark, a reporter from a local TV station in Colorado. The only thing worse than national media is local media, but Kyle is an exception. He asked the president, “Were the Americans under attack at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, denied requests for help during that attack? And is it fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and we’ll all find out after the election?”
President Obama did what he always does … he spoke a lot of words that add up to nothing. But Kyle wasn’t having any of it. When the president didn’t answer his first question, Kyle repeated it. “Were they denied requests for help during the attack?”
Here, in my opinion, is where President Obama opened himself up to trouble.
His answer was, “Well, we are finding out exactly what happened. I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. No. 1, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. No.2, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. No.3, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the State Department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had [as their] No.1 priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.”
His second point was interesting since he was (presumably) told of the attack while it was happening. So ordering an investigation into something ongoing seems odd. Then again, he did use the past tense “happened,” so maybe he wasn’t aware of it until after the seven- to eight-hour attack was over. We don’t know.
His third point also is odd because, if he were really interested in bringing the perpetrators to “justice,” and he’d found out while it was happening, he could have ordered justice be brought to them in real time since they were there for hours attacking Americans.
But the real problem for the president is his first point, “…make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”
He said these were his “directives” the minute he “found out what was happening.” Assuming he found out it was happening within the first hour of the seven-plus-hour attack and given nothing was done to aid those in Benghazi, that means either he gave a direct order that was directly disobeyed by people in his chain of command … or he never gave that order.
Since no one has been fired, court-martialed or even reprimanded for disobeying a direct order from the president that led to the deaths of four Americans, that tips the scales toward the lying option. Again, this easily could be cleared up by the president at a press conference or by the White House releasing his whereabouts during the attack, but…
There is much we don’t know about the events of Sept. 11, 2012, and that’s not by accident. I don’t know the answers to the questions I’ve posed here, but I do know there are people in the White House who don’t want them — and many other questions — answered ever.
Stonewalling and lying made political sense before the election, but why they’ve allowed these questions to remain unanswered and to grow and distract is the real mystery. The media seemed interested this week in finding out why and what the White House is hiding. We’ll see how long this interest lasts. Hopefully it’s long enough for the American people to find out the truth and the families of four American heroes killed in the line of duty to get the closure they deserve.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist.: You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.