“That’s old news.” “What difference does it make now?” “It’s time to move on.” Those kinds of disdainful phrases worked for Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. Will they work again? Subject: Benghazi.
It’s not the new Watergate; it’s worse. As many commentators have reminded us, no one died in Watergate. Was the government’s response to the 9/11/12 attack on U.S. grounds in Libya a case of incompetence, false ideology, or political calculation? Perhaps all three? The official review board set up to investigate didn’t even interview the secretary of state. And when Hillary Clinton finally, begrudgingly, appeared before a congressional committee, she used her husband’s old tactics, hoping the incident would go away. For a while, it looked like it might, but those who were on the ground and responsible have now come forward to tell their story. They are whistleblowers, and the story they tell is not pretty.
Will this story get enough coverage to ensure the public is well informed? It all depends on the media. CBS finally found its voice, but it took eight months:
Yesterday’s hearing in the House was pretty dramatic. I saw and/or listened to much of it. The accusations against this administration were staggering, with most of the testimony pointing to direct orders not to come to the aid of those under attack. Republicans on the committee were well versed and organized with their questions. Democrats decried the whole thing as merely political, as they went into full circle-the-wagons mode to protect their next presumptive nominee for president:
The unasked question yesterday, but sure to come up as this investigation proceeds, is “where was the president during this crisis?” He seems to have been conspicuously absent, more focused on getting to his next big fundraiser in Las Vegas. Does he have reason to worry where this might lead?
After yesterday’s intensely personal and painful testimonies, there’s really only one inescapable conclusion:
One of the whistleblowers, Gregory Hicks, who was the number two man in Libya and who took over when the ambassador was murdered, was asked what role the anti-Muhammed video played in the terrorist attack. Remember, according to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, this video was the instigation for a “protest” and the resulting violence. Hicks’s response was short and to the point: “The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya.” In fact, testimony from all the whistleblowers yesterday made it clear that everyone involved from day one—except those at the top, apparently—called this what it really was, a terrorist attack emanating from radical Islamists.
In his press conference late last week, when asked about government employees being threatened and intimidated into silence, Obama feigned ignorance. He acted like he was completely unaware of any potential whistleblowers:
If there is any connection to the Watergate scandal, it might be the this:
If someone should ask me if what Obama is doing is comparable to what Nixon did, I would have to say no. It’s worse. Four people died.