White House not telling the truth. To get to the truth, connect the lies. Do what intel analysts and detectives do: Build a scenario from the facts and watch the lies blink red. And when anyone tells as many lies as this administration has told about its Benghazi debacle, you get a Christmas tree.
To get to the truth, connect the lies. Do what intel analysts and detectives do: Build a scenario from the facts and watch the lies blink red. And when anyone tells as many lies as this administration has told about its Benghazi debacle, you get a Christmas tree.
A three-act drama emerges from the facts that have leaked out. It starts ugly and turns hideous.
Act One: Our personnel in Libya worried for months about security, repeatedly petitioning the State Department for enhanced protection, especially for Benghazi. Requests denied.
Why? In Iraq, the State Department played tough guy, hiring mercenaries who gunned down innocent locals to “protect their packages” (our diplomats were the least diplomatic people we had in Baghdad). When Secretary Hillary Clinton took over, she moved, to her credit, to dump the psychos.
But the pendulum swung to the other extreme. Security issues became the preserve of soft-power lefties who despise our military. Putting more trust in local gunmen than in the US Marines, they got Ambassador Chris Stevens killed. “Small footprint,” indeed.
The White House bears no blame for this stage. Security for diplomatic posts doesn’t make any president’s briefing calendar. Blame State and Mrs. Clinton.
Act Two: We now know, almost minute by minute, what happened in Benghazi. We know (as the White House knew immediately) that there was no riot. The attack had nothing to do with that goofball video.
What matters isn’t just what happened in Benghazi, tragic though it was. What matters to our country is what happened in the White House this Sept. 11: All the president’s men panicked.
Instead of asking themselves what they could do in Benghazi, their priority was what they could say in Washington.
Obama had campaigned as the great bin Laden-slayer. Now he faced a major terror attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. The “tough-on-terror” president had let down the nation’s guard on the one day of every year when an Islamist terror attack is most likely.
His “White House plumbers” didn’t think about the danger over there, but about the election over here. They flailed about for a way to blame the security lapse on anything but their policies. And somebody said, Hey, that Cairo demonstration was about, like, this video thing. Just say the Benghazi stuff was, like, the same and it got out of hand.
The words may not be exact, but I’d bet you a falafel sandwich they nail the essence. And the coverup began, focused not on strategic needs, but on political expediency.
Why no attempt at a military rescue? I don’t think one could have gotten there in time — this was hard — but, jeez, we should have tried. Yet the White House feared escalating the situation and elevating the story (great work, guys!). A Benghazi rescue mission was less important than rescuing the election.
The panicked decision to tell that first big lie precipitated all the other lies that followed (and the media’s disgraceful collusion). That near-sighted, self-absorbed decision to promote an obscure video as the cause of the attack also gave the video global publicity — which did lead to widespread rioting and deaths.
The second act ends with that shameless White House whopper: “The video did it.”
Act Three: It’s the old “hubby did something really dumb and lied to the wife about it” scenario. One lie is never enough. Other lies must be told to defend the first lie.
If the strategic shenanigans were inept, this White House showed its Chicago side when it came to shielding the president. The director of National Intelligence and the CIA director may have been pressured to support the lies told to Congress and the American people about the Benghazi debacle.
Let me be clear: No intelligence professional could have believed that a complex attack with accurate mortar fire, heavy weapons, a detailed scheme of maneuver and well-placed roadblocks popped out of a flash mob.
But the professionals were silenced as intel-community political appointees toed the “blame the video” line until it became clear that the emperor not only lacked clothes, but hadn’t bathed in a while. Now the finger-pointing has begun (note to former four-star generals: You aren’t tough enough for this brand of politics).
This White House has several protective rings. The president fills the innermost ring, defended at all costs. His morning-after remarks (before he flew off to a Las Vegas fund-raiser) were beautifully crafted to commit him to nothing at all. Hillary’s in the second ring, with a few others. She has to be protected, too (at least until Bill does his part for the campaign).
Everybody else is disposable, even Obama pal Susan Rice, our UN ambassador, who was shoved out on the world stage to lie.
The administration ruthlessly pursued two goals: Stonewall until America votes, then drag things out until the story withers. The political hacks have gotten away with the first one.
The lies continue, although they twist and turn as facts emerge — White House spokesman Jay Carney’s so shameless he’s bound to end up with his own reality show. And the president, while refusing to risk a press conference, won’t associate the attack with Islamist extremism (“workplace violence,” perhaps?).
Watergate’s starting to look small-time. Now we’re only waiting for “Son of Deep Throat.” Meanwhile, Congress must put our top intelligence-agency political appointees under oath and ask them, “What did you know and when did you know it?”
Expect a “Saturday Night Massacre” if this president is re-elected. Heads are going to roll. The wrong heads. But as a better president learned, the lies don’t go away when you dump the bodies.
Ralph Peters spent ten years in Germany working in military intelligence. He later became a Foreign Area Officer, specializing in the Soviet Union. He attended the Command and General Staff College. His last assignment was to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. He retired in 1998 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
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