Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cover-Up: The Three Benghazi Timelines

I was calling this scandal a cover-up within days of the initial reports. The deceit is so brazen it's almost shocking. Almost. This is the Obama administration after all, and it's fundamentally steeped in corruption. 

From James Rosen at the Wall Street Journal, "Every White House sooner or later succumbs to the temptation to cover up an embarrassment":
If the Obama White House has engaged in a coverup in the Benghazi case, the ostensible motivation would bear some similarity to that of all the president's men in Watergate. Mr. Obama faces a rendezvous with the voters on Nov. 6, and in a race much tighter than the Nixon-McGovern contest of 1972. In such a circumstance, certain kinds of disclosure are always unwelcome.

As with the Watergate conspirators, who were eager to conceal earlier actions that related to the Vietnam War, the Obama team is determined to portray its pre-9/11 conduct, and particularly its dovish Mideast policies, in the most favorable light. After all, no one wants to have on his hands—even if resulting from sins of omission and not commission—the deaths of four American patriots. Or as Mr. Obama told Jon Stewart on Comedy Central this week, the deaths were "not optimal."

Ms. Lamb, in her congressional testimony, said that from her command center in Washington she was able to track the lethal events of Benghazi in something akin to real time. She was in constant communication with the agent on the consulate grounds who first notified Washington that an assault—"attack, attack," the agent said—was under way. Ms. Lamb also said that the State Department was receiving a steady stream of data on the afternoon of Sept. 11 indicating that terrorism was afoot. Such admissions are what have given rise to charges of a coverup.

"Everyone had the same intelligence," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Fox News last week. But that also appears untrue. How information immediately made known to an assistant secretary of state could somehow be withheld for eight days from the secretary of state herself—and from our U.N. ambassador, from the director of national intelligence, from the analytic corps at the Central Intelligence Agency, from the president's chief spokesman, and from the president himself—now forms the central question in the Benghazi affair.

In Tuesday night's debate with Mitt Romney, President Obama claimed to have "told" the American people that Benghazi was a terror attack the very next day, Sept. 12, when speaking from the Rose Garden. The assertion was untrue, despite moderator Candy Crowley's ruling to the contrary. The president had only spoken generally of terror attacks, and Benghazi would have been understood to fall under that umbrella only if it had been acknowledged as a terror attack.

On Sept. 12, that was not the administration's line. Not until his afternoon appearance on "The View" on Sept. 25—the "two weeks" of delay that Mr. Romney alluded to in the debate—did the president offer Americans an explanation of Benghazi that made no reference to a protest over a video. The YouTube connection had figured prominently in his Benghazi pronouncements as late as Mr. Obama's Sept. 20 appearance on Univision, and even in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on the morning of Sept. 25.

"The business of intelligence has become politicized," says an intelligence source with knowledge of the Benghazi episode, "regardless of which party is in charge." This is an enduring legacy of Vietnam and Watergate. Now, as then, American voters horrified by loss of life in a time of war will cast ballots without having all the facts that might inform their choice.

I reported on that Univision interview. The questions were amazingly penetrating, what we we're largely not getting from the U.S., Obama-kept media.

And see the left's pathetic efforts at disinformation, from yesterday, "Leftists Tout Politically-Driven Intelligence Revisions on Obama's Benghazi Massacre Clusterf-k."