May 12, 2014
The Ben Rhodes e-mail has demolished the Obama administration's defense that the White House had nothing to do with the infamous talking points ascribing the Benghazi tragedy to a spontaneous protest over an American-made anti-Muslim video. Even some of the White House correspondents accustomed to carrying water for the Obama administration clashed with White House spokesman Jay Carney, who shamelessly tried to sell them this bill of goods. Nobody likes being played for a sucker.
Now it is crystal-clear that the administration, right from the start, was intimately involved in a deceptive scheme aimed at deflecting the blame for the death of four Americans killed in the terrorist assault in Benghazi. But rather than clarify the situation, the Rhodes e-mail has only deepened the mystery.
What is the reason for the frantic, concerted effort to cover up the truth about Benghazi? Considering that it’s the cover-up rather than the deed itself that does all the damage, wouldn’t it have been safer to acknowledge the fact of a terrorist attack and disclose all relevant information, putting an end to the controversy? And yet the White House and its allies are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the American people from knowing what happened on that fateful day. Why?
As reported by Kenneth Timmerman, top military brass at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany watched live video feed from a Predator drone over Benghazi, which clearly showed no protests. The CIA station chief in Tripoli, in his report to Langley, not just indicated, but emphasized that there were no protests. Former AFRICOM’s Deputy Intelligence Chief Brigadier General (Ret.) Robert Lovell testified under oath to the same effect, and so did even Mike Morell, the smarmy ex-CIA deputy director.
Former CBS news reporter Sharyl Attkisson has uncovered an e-mail sent by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Beth Jones describing her conversation with Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45 am on Sept. 12, 2012. Atkisson reported, “When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attack, I told him the group that conducted the attacks – Ansar al-Sharia – is affiliated with Islamic extremists.”
The classic cover-up question – “What did they know, and when did they know it?” – does not apply in this case. We know that the White House and the State Department were fully informed about the events in Benghazi practically from the get-go.
Why did Hillary Clinton’s State Department resolutely turn down the many pleas for enhancing security at the Benghazi compound with which Ambassador Stevens bombarded his superiors, warning about the growing extremist threat?
Why didn’t the administration prepare for likely terrorist attacks on the anniversary of 9/11? Didn’t they know the Islamists’ propensity to time their attacks to mark important anniversaries, above all that of their “glorious victory over the Great Satan”? The Bush administration knew it and always prepared for such attacks, but Obama’s White House ignored the danger. Why?
Why was nothing done to rescue the besieged Americans in Benghazi? The Pentagon insists that there were no resources available to mount a rescue expedition. But many military experts insist it’s not true: much could have been done to relieve the pressure on the Special Mission Compound and the Annex.
Furthermore, according to Kenneth Timmerman (ibid.), orders were issued, then recalled, to deploy a 50-man Special Forces unit from Croatia that could have reached Benghazi within hours. Who ordered that unit to stand down, and why?
What accounts for the stonewalling on the part of the administration? Why has it strenuously refused to comply with the House subpoenas for its Benghazi-related internal communications? Why have none of the Benghazi survivors been allowed to testify to Congress about their first-hand experiences? And why has the FBI refused to divulge the records of its interrogations? Is the White House afraid of what those records might tell?
President Obama solemnly promised to track down and bring to justice the perpetrators who harmed Americans in Benghazi. A year and a half later, he has yet to start fulfilling his promise. It’s not that the perps are in hiding. They live openly in Benghazi, their addresses are well-known, and reporters have no problem getting in touch with them. It’s only the FBI that just can’t find them. Again, is the White House leery of what might transpire if the terrorists are allowed to talk?
Finally, the infamous video. Why, early on September 11, did the U.S. Embassy in Cairo suddenly, without provocation, apologize to the Muslim world for an obscure American-made video critical of Prophet Mohammed, as if inviting the faithful to give vent to their indignation? And four hours later, the Arab street obliged. Why did the White House and its allies continue to spread the video canard, knowing full well that it was a lie?
Why did President Obama, in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly on September 25, two weeks after Benghazi, invoke the video seven (!) times? Why, on September 14, did Hillary Clinton, at the coffin of Tyrone Woods, solemnly promise the grieving father to punish the man who she said was responsible for his son’s death – the author of the video? Such monstrous cynicism is beneath even the lowly standards of that woman.
There is a plausible scenario that to my mind answers all these questions:
The 2012 presidential election is around the corner. Polls predict a nail-biter. Obama can’t run on his economic successes, for the economy is in sorry shape. He certainly can’t run on his health care policy, as ObamaCare is more unpopular than ever. The president’s advisers come to the conclusion that foreign and anti-terrorist policy is his ace in the hole.
They devise a catchy slogan: “Osama bin Laden is dead; al-Qaeda is on the run.” President Obama and his minions mercilessly mock Mitt Romney as a hopelessly naive tyro who can’t hold a candle to the president, with his vast knowledge and experience. Thus, it is vital to maintain the fiction of Obama’s victory in the fight against the terrorist threat. Anything that would explode this myth could be disastrous to the president’s re-election chances.
The U.S. intelligence obtains advance knowledge that Ansar al-Sharia, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Libya, is planning a major military-style attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. What’s to be done? To send reinforcements to secure the facility would inevitably cast doubt on Obama’s boasts and, more damaging, attract attention to the U.S. operations in Libya’s second largest city.
What are the Americans doing there, and why hadn’t they left, like the Brits and others, in the face of numerous terrorist threats and provocations? There is every reason to suspect that the “diplomatic” facility was in fact a CIA center supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels, including many al-Qaeda loyalists. Without congressional approval, such a clandestine operation would be illegal (although Obama would certainly lose no sleep over such an all too familiar transgression).
But the terrible optics of Washington arming America’s mortal enemies would certainly be a major headache to the Victor over al-Qaeda. Furthermore, news that Benghazi was a hotbed of terrorist activity would call into question the merits of Obama’s little victorious war to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime, destabilizing Libya in the process.
Clearly, the Benghazi terrorist attack had to be kept under wraps, no matter what, lest Obama’s campaign be blown out of the water. Thus, a decision was made to do nothing so as not to attract attention to Benghazi – a decision inimical to the national interests, but logical from the political point of view. Hence the White House’s refusal to mount a military rescue operation and its cold-hearted willingness to sacrifice Americans in Benghazi.
As a matter of fact, aside from the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi, there were another three dozen U.S. personnel who were abandoned by the Obama administration. It was only thanks to CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty, the ex-Navy SEALs who ignored orders and led to safety the besieged Americans, that those people avoided the fate to which they had been consigned by their commander-in-chief. But we have every right to speak of twoscore actual and would-be victims rather than just four dead heroes.
Finally, the infamous video. Considering the apology offered to the world of Islam by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo ahead of any disturbance and the speed with which the administration scapegoated the video, it is hard not to suspect that it was a trump card prepared in advance and held by the administration up its sleeve to be thrown on the table as soon as the need arose.
To summarize: the White House came to the conclusion that disclosure of the truth about Benghazi would be a monumental PR disaster for Obama and a grave threat to his re-election hopes. Consequently, it resolved to minimize and gloss over the tragedy at any cost. And if a handful of Americans had to be sacrificed on the altar of Obama’s political ambition, tough. What are the lives of a handful of little people compared to the lofty goal of saving the Obama presidency?
So was there a White House conspiracy? You bet there was.