Is Benghazi Obama's Watergate?
While political pundits and media analysts who live in an alternative universe (also known as the left-wing) scream conspiracy theory from the rooftops, we are witnessing an historic event playing out in the form of the Benghazi hearings. Reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's infamous accusations of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" when the House impeached her husband, everyone from Al Sharpton to Debbie Wasserman Schultz is demonizing the House Oversight Committee for staging a "witch hunt" in order to understand what happened the night that four American citizens were murdered by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in Libya. But despite Obama and Clinton's combined political savvy (coupled with a complicit and disinterested mainstream media), a Shakespearean tragedy that will make Watergate look like child's play may very well be unfolding.
In the face of Clinton's "What difference, at this point, does it make?" and Jay Carney's "Benghazi happened a long time ago," three "whistleblowers" appeared before a Congressional committee on Wednesday to begin to fill in the facts that the administration has been obfuscating. And just as it ignored repeated requests for additional security in the lead up to the attacks, was derelict in its duty to save American lives as the tragic events played out, and then trivialized the significance of what had transpired, the administration continues to stone-wall and obscure the truth. But with so many unanswered questions, the Obama machine may finally be in over its head.
We knew going into Wednesday's testimony that within two hours of the initial attacks on our consulate, the White House and State Department were informed that the Islamic militant group, Ansar al-Sharia, claimed responsibility. One email that stated, "Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack," was addressed to the White House Situation Room. And yet, the administration continued for weeks to blame the attacks on an anti-Muslim video that sparked a spontaneous protest. But as the facts trickled out and the election neared, it became obvious that the administration was not being honest, perhaps fearful that its claim that "al Qaeda is on its heels" would have been proven just one more politically motivated fable (which it was). But with the lies bolstered by the likes of Candy Crowley who ambushed Mitt Romney during one of the presidential debates, Obama went on scot free to win the election in November.
But it is never too late for the truth. And one of the insights we learned on Wednesday from Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, was that despite vociferous and repeated claims to the contrary, the only "non-event" in Libya was the staging of riots over a YouTube video. The YouTube videos that are significant, however, are those in which we see Jay Carney pronounce three days after the attack, "Let's Be Clear. These Protests Were in Reaction to a Video" and Susan Rice proclaim on five different Sunday morning news shows just after the attack, "This was not a pre-planned, premeditated attack" but rather the result of spontaneous "demonstrations" inspired by a video. And we cannot ignore Obama's appearance on Letterman just one week after the tragedy in which arrogantly declared (sans the "uhs"):
Here's what happened. We had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character, who is a [sic] extremely offensive video directed at Mohammed and Islam...making fun of the prophet Mohammed and so this caused great offense in much of the Muslim world. But what also happened was extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies including the consulate in Libya.
And then there is Clinton's promise to Charles Wood, father of slain Navy SEAL Tyrone Wood, that "she will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted." No wonder the mother of slain Foreign Service officer, Sean Smith blames Clinton for her only child's murder.
It is bad enough that Obama trotted out his good little foot soldiers Carney and Rice to look the American people in the eye and lie. It is disgusting that the Secretary of State looked the victims' family members in the eye knowing full well she was not telling the truth while ensuring that an innocent individual would be sent to prison as the administration's scapegoat. But the President of the United States who was entrusted with protecting the American people blatantly lied to them as well.
How do these people sleep at night? The answer to that question goes to the core of who they are. It is ironic that Obama described an unknown filmmaker as a "shadowy character" while never admitting that his administration is full of nefariously sinister characters who to this day continue to perpetuate lies about what happened on September 11, 2012 and do everything in their power to prevent the truth from being discovered.
However, the latest revelations highlight just how blatant Obama's cover-up has been and raise the stakes. Hicks disclosed that he spoke to Clinton at 2am explaining that the embassy was under attack by terrorists (so much for Hillary being more prepared for the 3am wake-up call than Obama who apparently slept through the entire event before jetting off the next day to a campaign event in Las Vegas). Hicks went on to explain that he was "stunned" and "embarrassed" as he watched Susan Rice make the Sunday talk show rounds repeating the lies.
Hicks testified that these lies led to anger on the part of the Libyan president that "negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi." Furthermore, he attested that not only did the FBI never interview him during the course of its investigation despite his position and proximity to the events as they unfolded, but once Congressional investigators did arrive in Libya, the State Department did everything in its power to intimidate him and prevent him from speaking with them.
In addition to the cover-up that occurred after the attack, we also learned of the administration's horrific handling of the situation throughout the seven-hour ordeal. Hicks testified that Special Forces were "furious" when they were told to stand down rather than intervene in order to save American lives. One month after the attack, former assistant secretary of defense, Bing West, wrote a devastating analysis of the failure to protect the Americans. He pointed out that Washington was immediately notified of the attack as it began and that the "White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and numerous military headquarters monitored the entire battle in real time via the phone calls from Benghazi and video from a drone overhead." He stated:
Our diplomats fought for seven hours without any aid from outside the country. Four Americans died while the Obama national-security team and our military passively watched and listened. The administration is being criticized for ignoring security needs before the attack and for falsely attributing the assault to a mob. But the most severe failure has gone unnoticed: namely, a failure to aid the living.
One of the more bizarre spectacles that occurred yesterday was the attempt at spin on the part of the Democrats. As they accuse Republicans of political games, their self-righteous ostensible indignation at an investigation into how it came to pass that American officials stationed abroad who requested protection and did not receive it and who paid the ultimate price for the administration's failures with their lives is appalling. In the face of their treatment of GWB who actually cared about the country's national security, the statements pouring forth from the Democrats would be laughable were they not so serious.
Echoing Clinton and responding to "Reverend Al's" question, "Is there anything that justifies this other than some political posturing," Eleanor Holmes Norton (whose treatment of one of the witnesses was disgraceful) responded, "What's the big deal here?!" William Lacy Clay decided that budget cuts were to blame for the terror attacks. And after the entire room sat in silence in response to Hicks' detailed testimony about what transpired the night the consulate was attacked, Elijah Cummings had the audacity to explain that "death is part of life..." and then lectured that Hicks has to "protect [his] fellow employees." These are our elected representatives and their indifference, pathetic justifications, and appalling accusations are downright scary.
President Obama took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution as well as to faithfully execute the office of the presidency. He accepted the job of Commander-in-Chief and with that, the responsibility to protect U.S. citizens at home and abroad. But on September 11th, Obama was singularly focused on his re-election while shirking his responsibilities as president, and in so doing he is ultimately responsible for the deaths of four Americans. Harry Truman recognized, "The buck stops here."
There have been calls for Obama's impeachment throughout his presidency. Nothing he has done to date has been as lethally blatant a dereliction of duty as Benghazigate. Do Obama's inactions (relating to providing appropriate security prior to and during the attacks) and actions (relating to the dishonest statements and cover-ups after the attacks) rise to the level of an impeachable offense?
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." According to a document prepared by the Impeachment Inquiry Staff, Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives, "The Supreme Court has held that such [a phrase] must be construed, not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers meant when they adopted [it]." The document indicates:
- Historical evidence "shows that the framers intended impeachment to be a constitutional safeguard of the public trust..."
- James Wilson, in the Pennsylvania convention, stated, "we have a responsibility in the person of our President; he cannot act improperly, and hide either his negligence or inattention..."
- Justice Joseph Story wrote that impeachment applies to offenses of "a political character...growing out of personal misconduct, or gross neglect, or usurpation, or habitual disregard of the public interest in the discharge of the duties of political office."
As we learn more about the events surrounding the Benghazi murders, the possibility that Obama will ultimately be found guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors" appears greater every day. Unlike the re-election of Nixon in 1972 when voters were unaware of his flagrant disregard for the integrity of the presidency and abuse of power at the time they voted for him, Americans re-elected Obama knowing full well that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
Obama's Oval Office rug includes the following quote: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Perhaps Obama and Carney should rethink the "Benghazi was a long time ago" talking point because while it may take some time for Obama's dishonesty to catch up with him, Americans will witness justice ultimately being served. As Horatio states in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "Heaven will direct it."