Ever since Watergate, titles for scandals have added the suffix “gate,” to indicate the high level of the scandal. The Benghazi event of 9/11/12 deserves that suffix more than most. After the extraordinary hearing last week with the initial whistleblowers—indications are that more such witnesses are in the wings—the mainstream media finally seems to have awakened from its Obamalove stupor to start asking serious questions. Perhaps they’re startled at the extent to which they’ve been played as fools.
Jonathan Karl of ABC began the questioning with a report on Friday that the so-called talking points used by Susan Rice on all the talk shows the Sunday after Benghazi were substantively edited twelve times, and that every indication is that the truth was stripped out of them and fantasies inserted. Statements from the CIA as to the planned nature of the attack and the attackers’ connections to radical Islamist groups were excised; in their place was the fiction of the anti-Muhammed video on the Internet sparking a spontaneous protest. This was the fiction foisted upon the American people not only by Rice, but specifically by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. They even stood beside the caskets of the dead Americans and told their families face-to-face that the video was the cause and they would make sure to prosecute those responsible.
All of that was untrue, and it began to dawn on every reporter that they had been misled. Into the fray came Jay Carney, press secretary for the administration, to somehow explain how what is evident to everyone is just a mist without substance. In the process, Carney came across as the unsubstantive one. His performance—an appropriate word in this case—was one of the most reprehensible ever carried out by an administration’s press secretary in recent memory. No, make that “in memory” period. Never was a man so unbelievable in attempting to defend that which has no defense. If you cannot convince a roomful of liberal supporters of the president—i.e., White House reporters—that this is all smoke without a smoking gun, you have failed miserably. Carney was misery personified as he weaved and dodged and blamed others. How many times did the names Bush and Romney crop up as part of the blame game? Even liberals thought that was a disconnect from reality.
Keep in mind, though, that Carney is merely the front man for the president. Everything he said was approved ahead of time. He wasn’t writing his own responses; he’s only the mouthpiece. While I can accuse him of spinelessness and/or willingness to deceive on behalf of his boss, the greater sin resides at the highest level.
Have you noticed the silence emanating from the Oval Office itself as this controversy swirls? A president who has never worried about inserting himself into events where he doesn’t belong—remember Louis Gates and Trayvon Martin?—suddenly has nothing to say.
Neither have we heard publicly from Hillary Clinton. If she ever is cornered on this, what might be her response?
We await further developments.