The Benghazi Issue Non-Issue
Four Americans dead. An ongoing “investigation.” The President comments on softball questions in his presser yesterday, with the media failing to follow up with pointed questions. Their lack of response is due to stupidity or hero worship, (remember that giggling reporter, “I’ve never seen you lose”) rather than “inquiring minds want to know.”
The President used Sir Galahad bravado coming to the defense of Amb. Susan Rice, after Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte, called for a Select Intelligence Committee to investigate Benghazi, and dared to cast aspersions as to Rice’s wisdom appearing on five network news channels carrying water for the Administration. Dared to question her fitness for Secretary of State. The President stated Rice went on the news shows at the White House’s request, “but for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi?” Inquiring mind: If she had nothing to do with Benghazi, then why send her out to answer questions instead of Panetta or Clapper, who were directly involved in directing the US response?
In the second Presidential debate, the President, bolstered by moderator Candy Crowley, said that he called Benghazi an “act of terror” in his Rose Garden comments. Inquiring mind: If it was an “act of terror,” then why was Rice allowed to blame the violence as a response to a YouTube video on five national networks. Our Ambassador to the United Nations made a total fool out of herself, especially when she appeared on one show opposite the Libyan prime minister-elect, who patently contradicted her, and called Benghazi a terrorist attack.
Next, we have the President reiterating his comment, “I can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my National Security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they’re safe.” Obviously Mr. President, that didn’t happen. Inquiring mind: why did it take nineteen hours to respond? Why, on the approaching 9/11 anniversary were there no ground forces nearby, in a region already experiencing widespread instability? Why were warnings from Amb. Stevens and the State Dept. regional security director ignored? And Leon Panetta’s comment, ”You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.” Did you not have real-time information being sent via drone operating above the compound? Isn’t that why we have Special Forces/Navy SEALS? Don’t they train specifically for these types of rescue operations?
The national media’s deportment and complicity, with the exception of FOX news and ABC’s Jake Tapper, in keeping the Benghazi issue a non-issue for the President is blatantly apparent. The unconcern and lack of spin from the White House and Justice Dept. regarding the upcoming appearance of former CIA Director Petraeus before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday, also is an omen that Petraeus will say nothing that could lead the investigation anywhere near the White House denizens. Given how Petraeus handled his affair, I don’t hold out much hope that he’s going to “do the right thing.”
Charles Krauthammer has been right thus far. Obama is the “luckiest politician” he, and we, have ever seen. But, spectacular rises are usually accompanied by Icarus-like spectacular falls. Take heart. Obama’s legacy has yet to be written on the pages of fate.