by Dick Morris | May 8, 2013 12:03 am
Americans can stand pretty much anything but not being lied to by their president. When Bill Clinton lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, his personal favorability ratings dropped twenty points and never recovered for the duration of his presidency.
As the Benghazi hearings unfold, it will become more and more clear that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly lied to the American people when they both pretended that the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi was just a demonstration against the anti-Muslim video gone violent. Even as the State Department wrote an intelligence assessment that said, “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaida participated in the attack.”
Is it possible that the president and the secretary of state were denied access to this information? Is it possible that a low level employee in State decided to alter the intelligence report and did not consult with his higher-ups about doing so? Is it possible that Clinton and Obama did not know the truth? No it is not possible. They had to have known. And that makes their remarks for two weeks after the attack out-and-out lies.
Beyond the cover-up lies the question of why we were not more robust in our military intervention on the ground as the attack was being waged. Special forces nearby were apparently ordered to “stand down” from responding to the attack. Is it possible that this order was given without consulting with the president or with the secretary of state? While possible, it is most unlikely. This was no minor attack and the use of American forces eight weeks before an election would certainly have to be cleared with the commander in chief.
Are Obama and Clinton really going to stake their future political credibility on the idea that they were out of the loop during this crisis? Are they really going to try to sell the idea that they were not informed by their own employees?
Even if they try to sell this bill of goods, it won’t succeed. For Americans to believe them, we would have to believe that Obama was so distracted by the presidential campaign that he was practically out of office when it came to crucial national security issues. It’s like he should have invoked the 25th Amendment citing as his disability the fact that he was busy running for a second term.
The reality, which will become more and more apparent to everyone is that he was busy claiming credit for extinguishing terrorism by killing Osama bin Laden and that he was not about to compromise that claim by admitting that al-Qaida could pull off an attack in Benghazi. He wants us to ignore the curious timing of the attack on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
This attempt is, of course, doomed to fail. Once we learn — as we have already — that the intelligence reports were doctored and that the military actions were aborted, it is only a matter of time until the blame filters up to Obama and Clinton, ruining one presidency and possibly preventing another.
Presidents fail when they get stuck, when past statements tie them down and deny them the freedom to maneuver that presidents need to survive. Richard Nixon got stuck in Watergate. Ronald Reagan got stuck in Iran Contra. Bill Clinton couldn’t get around his lie about Lewinsky. George W. Bush, who did not intentionally lie, was stuck by his claim that there were WMDs in Iraq. Now Obama is stuck. Hillary Clinton, too. They will not be able to free themselves or save themselves. The die is cast.
Obama Losing Power
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