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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

 

The Mother of All Scandals

Victor Davis Hanson on the Benghazi lies and deceits.

Four Americans were slaughtered under conditions that we still cannot fathom. It was rumored but not confirmed that Ambassador Stevens in extremis was either raped or brutalized, though those details remain murky — given that the assassination of an American ambassador is rare, and the vicious brutalization of his person is unprecedented. Witnesses of the attack on the CIA annex have either disappeared or gone silent. The families of the deceased have received conflicting accounts of how loved ones were murdered. All that we know for now is that the entire scene of the caskets arriving on U.S. soil — from the melodramatic assurances that the perpetrators would shortly feel American retaliation, to the demonization of Mr. Nakoula as the cause of the deaths — was a lie, and a cynical one at that.

No one has paid for lying directly in the face of the American people, and the media have been complicit ion the cover-up.

There were absolutely no professional consequences for publicly lying — to the nation, to television audiences, to the relatives of the deceased, to the United Nations — that the Nakoula video was the cause of the deaths of our Benghazi personnel. Barack Obama was reelected. Hillary “what difference does it make” Clinton retired from the secretary of State post to congratulations and media frenzy about her likely 2016 presidential campaign. Susan Rice was promoted to National Security advisor.

There is almost no one left at his 2012 post. In addition to the above, General Carter Ham, in charge of Africa Command, has retired. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has retired. CIA Director David Petraeus has resigned.

How did it happen that just nine months after the attack, most all of the relevant decision-makers — Clinton, Ham, Panetta, Petraeus, Rice — have vanished from their jobs?

The truth of the matter.

So here we have it: a beleaguered “consulate” that was refused additional security and relied on local militias, apparently due to administration worry over destroying an Obama campaign narrative of a reborn Libya and dying al-Qaeda. A CIA operation of some sort supplied something to someone, but what and why and to whom, we are not supposed to know. Four Americans, the very best the country had to offer, are dead, denied assistance when assistance could have saved them — the why and the how and the when of it all we are not told. We fear it might have been a crackpot cost-benefit analysis: four lives versus another Mogadishu and an Obama November defeat.

We know only that the dead were far more heroic than the leaders who chose not to aid them.

And in reaction to all this, we jail a petty video maker, who makes the perfect scapegoat as a supposedly right-wing Islamophobic hate monger whose take-down advances our president’s politically correct narrative of Muslim outreach. That yarn required a president, secretary of state, and UN ambassador to lie repeatedly. When we ask questions, witnesses are browbeaten, the knowledgeable fade into the Washington woodwork, the luminaries have all left their offices, and we are left with “phony” scandal and “what difference does it make.”

All in all — the mother of all scandals.

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