Charles Krauthammer wants the Republicans to quit calling it a “gate” and I agree. This event has three levels that need to be tied together but are separate within themselves.
1. The run up to the attack where Obama was doing victory laps and selling his vision of how great AND SMART a President he is. After all, he managed to topple a dictator without actually getting mired down and losing Americans. Plus the “Arab Spring” he supported was all about democracy and freedom. Obama’s people intentionally ignored the threat and the actual attacks on the Benghazi compound. They didn’t want to answer questions like “If you say things are so safe and secure in Libya right now, why did you send fifty heavily armed men with Ambassador Stevens when he went to Benghazi?” Because that would make them admit the Islamic militias had run out everybody else and were very dangerous. That would lead to the obvious, “so things are so wonderful as you claim?”
Of course we know Obama’s victory lap was all political bullshit. Benghazi exposed that bull. Obama’s political wing (including someone like Ben Rhodes) went to work covering up the failure.
2. The actual successful attack was caused by two things- 1. The opportunity was made available by the White House/State Department insistence on calling the revolution a success and refusing to admit the danger on the ground was still very real. They (the White House and Hillary) were hoping nothing went wrong while they played with the lives of the men and women on the ground in Benghazi. It was a “hope this holds” kind of fix in place. Well, it didn’t hold. 2. The response to the attack was based solely on the political calculation they could handle any inquiries by controlling the narrative. If they had sent in the Seventh Fleet (figuratively speaking) they would not have been able to control the narrative. I believed they hoped the attack was over after Stevens was killed. That they could control. A quick assault with no way to responded, feign a little outrage, promise to hunt down and get those responsible and move on.
Unfortunately for them, the attack continued to drag out, more people were killed and the whole thing looked like amateur hour. Which was why the administration went into cover up mode.
On the contrary. Just hours into the Benghazi assault, Hicks reported, by phone to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself, on the attack with absolutely no mention of the demonstration or video that was later to become the essence of the Susan Rice talking points that left him “stunned” and “embarrassed.”
But Hicks is then ordered not to meet with an investigative congressional delegation. And when he speaks with them nonetheless, he gets a furious call from Clinton’s top aide for not having a State Department lawyer (and informant) present. His questions about the Rice testimony are met with a stone-cold response, sending the message: Don’t go there. He then finds himself demoted.
Get the facts and get them out? It wasn’t just Hicks. Within 24 hours, the CIA station chief in Libya cabled that it was a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous mob. On Day Two, the acting assistant secretary of state for the Near East wrote an e-mail saying the attack was carried out by an al-Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia.
What were the American people fed? Four days and twelve drafts later, a fiction about a demonstration that never was, provoked by a video that no one saw (Hicks: “a non-event in Libya”), about a movie that was never made.
The original CIA draft included four paragraphs on the involvement of al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists and on the dangerous security situation in Benghazi. These paragraphs were stricken after strenuous State Department objections mediated by the White House. All that was left was the fable of the spontaneous demonstration.
That’s not an accretion of truth. That’s a subtraction of truth.
And why? Let the deputy national-security adviser’s e-mail to the parties explain: “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities” — fancy bureaucratese for “interests of the government agencies involved.” (He then added, “particularly the investigation.” But the FBI, which was conducting the investigation, had no significant objections. That excuse was simply bogus.)
Sure it was. This was no longer about truth, this was about not giving Romney a leg to stand on. When he did manage to get on one, Candy Crowley kicked it out from under him. (And yes, she is still employed and still making excuses. If you want this to end, people need to pay the piper for their actions. )
3. The cover up, which included preventing Congress from seeing or talking to the actual witnesses/victims on the ground. It also included months of denying there was a State Department/ White House influence on the talking points. Recently the White House reluctantly released a ton of emails (the classic document dump) and then claimed all was well in the land of Obama. Some have asked why in all these emails why wasn’t the first days of the exchanges included. Silly rabbits! Are you not following the script here? The administration will give you just enough stuff to make you go away. And some, like Chris Matthews and his buddies, are looking to do just that.
Benghazi has legs. The scandal only gets worse as the White House keeps lying. But they have no option here. Either they- 1. admit they are amateurs and wrong or 2.- they admit they are liars or 3.- they keep digging hoping to get out of sight of Congress and the rest of America.
But then things got worse — the cover-up needed its own cover-up. On November 28, press secretary Jay Carney told the media that State and the White House edited nothing but a single trivial word. When the e-mail trail later revealed this to be false, Carney doubled down. Last Friday, he repeated that the CIA itself made the edits after the normal input from various agencies.
That was a bridge too far for even the heretofore supine mainstream media. The CIA may have typed the final edits. But the orders came from on high. You cannot tell a room full of journalists that when your editor tells you to strike four paragraphs from your text — and you do — there were no edits because you are the one who turned in the final copy.
This is why Benghazi is easy to follow for journalists. They know the White House and Hillary are lying. Worse, it appears they sent out Jay Carney with the orders to pick option three.