McCain charges 'massive cover-up' on Benghazi
Senator John McCain yesterday escalated his rhetoric on the Obama administration stonewalling over Benghazi, and said a lot of important things. Then, in the manner that has maddened conservatives over the years, he proceeded to pre-emptively surrender leverage he and his Senate minority colleagues have to do something about this alarming situation:
Dylan Stableford of Yahoo News chronicles the former Republican nominee's interview with David Gregory yesterday on Meet the Press:
There are so many answers we don't know," McCain told host David Gregory. "We've had two movies about getting bin Laden and we don't even know who the people were who were evacuated from the consulate the day after the [Benghazi] attack. So there are many, many questions. So we've had a massive cover-up on the part of the administration."
This is a good start. President Obama has claimed that there are no more legitimate questions (implying further questions are illegitimate), so getting it on the record that The Senate is not being allowed to speak with the people who were on the ground there is important.
Gregory then pressed McCain on what the Arizona senator meant by "a massive cover-up."
"I'm asking you, do you care whether four Americans died?" McCain said. "And shouldn't people be held accountable for the fact that four Americans died?"
"Well, what you said was the cover-up--a cover-up of what?" Gregory asked.
"Of the information concerning the deaths of four brave Americans," McCain replied. "The information has not been forthcoming. You obviously believe that it has. I know that it hasn't. And I'll be glad to send you a list of the questions that have not been answered, including 'What did the president do and who did he talk to the night of the attack on Benghazi?'"
Again, good. The question is about something self-evidently important: what in the world was Obama up to that was so important he couldn't be bothered with the fate the fate of the man sent there as his representative, a man so recently and familiarly called "Chris" at eulogy time.
McCain continued: "Why did the president for two weeks, for two weeks during the heat of the campaign continue to say he didn't know whether it was a terrorist attack or not? Is it because it interfered with the line 'Al Qaeda has [been] decimated'? And 'everything's fine in that in that part of the world'? Maybe. We don't know. But we need the answers. Then we'll reach conclusions. But we have not received the answers. And that's a fact."
A good close to the case. McCain is laying out the case that craven political motives are behind the cover-up. Hooray for straight talking!
And then McCain, after yapping at the Democrat s' big dog, lies down in submission, eschewing a hold on Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense.
"I don't believe he is qualified," McCain said. "But I don't believe that we should hold up his nomination any further."
Ever the gentleman Senator, McCain goes for comity. It's a cover-up, but let's not ruffle any feathers.
Benghazi already is a major political scandal based on the cover-up itself. What exactly is being covered up likely would be the bigger scandal, if the information ever comes to light. This cover-up must not be allowed to succeed. The media are doing their best to downplay it, but cannot extinguish all awareness of the compelling questions that remain unanswered. Now that Obama has been re-elected, his allies in the media have less reason to protect him. President Nixon rode out the early stages of Watergate and rode to re-eelection before it started unraveling. Benghazi is a far more compelling story.