Democrats are beside themselves. They desperately want the Benghazi investigation to end, but new revelations continue to surface, prompting more questions about the event and its aftermath. So they’re doing everything they can to discredit the newly appointed House Select Committee.
They’re calling it a kangaroo court, a witch-hunt. They tell us Benghazi has been thoroughly investigated by several bi-partisan committees. They talk about the 25,000 documents provided to investigators. They’ve even developed something novel for Democrats - a disdain for government spending, arguing that the committee would waste taxpayer dollars.
Nancy Pelosi recently squawked, “Diversion, subterfuge. Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?” As she and the Democrats desperately try to divert attention away from Benghazi, she fails to see the irony in her words.
In their desperation, they are omitting some significant facts.
They never mention the important Rhodes e-mail that the administration withheld when they provided those 25,000 documents. They don’t talk about the crucial information redacted from other correspondence, or the reports of retroactively classifying some records to keep them from investigators.
And those “bi-partisan investigations” were little more than a farce. We witnessed that during Hillary Clinton’s testimony, when she dismissed the whole process, protesting, “What difference at this point does it make?” Democrats agreed. Instead of hammering her with probing questions about the failures leading to the slaughter of her State Department officers, they spent their time shamelessly praising her fabricated accomplishments as Secretary of State.
The fact remains that even after 20 months there are still unanswered questions. We don’t know why a dupe, someone who, in Obama’s words, “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” was dispatched to promote the video narrative, and why that task didn’t fall on Secretary Clinton. We don’t know why the State Department ignored the pleas to enhance security at Benghazi. We don’t know why there was no rescue attempted during the eight-hour assault.
But perhaps the most troubling unanswered question is where the President was during those critical eight hours, and more to the point, what was his involvement as Commander-in-Chief?
Democrats can’t answer any of those questions, but their shrill protests over the Select Committee make it clear they don’t want them answered. Today, they’re huddled together debating, not how to settle those issues, but how to shield Obama and Clinton from a real investigation.
As to Obama’s activities that evening, some information was revealed during a recent interview with former NSA spokesman, Tommy Vietor. He seemed to be caught off guard when asked about the President’s whereabouts that evening, and tried to evade the question without appearing evasive. He finally divulged, not where Obama was, but where he wasn’t. After confirming that Obama was never in the Situation Room, he was pressed further. He responded, “He was in the White House.” His snarky answer implied a clear, unspoken addendum, “And that’s all you need to know, dude.”
But the best information available came from former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. He testified that he and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff briefed Obama in the Oval Office that afternoon. Panetta also testified thatObama told him to “Do everything we needed to do to try to protect lives there,” though when it came to specifics, Panetta said the President “left it up to us.” After the 30 minute briefing, there was no further contact with the President.
Barack Obama, himself, offered a slightly different account of that evening during his second presidential debate. He said that as soon as he learned the Benghazi Consulate was "being overrun," he was on the phone with his national security team, with instructions to "beef up security."
While Panetta and Obama both made vague references to helping our people that night, apparently they never discussed a rescue operation.
Was the subject of a rescue even broached during that Oval Office briefing? Would they not have discussed the potential risks of such an operation? Did Obama, perhaps, reflect back to the Iranian hostage crisis decades ago, the failed rescue attempt a few months before the 1980 presidential election, and its impact on that election?
Once and for all, the country needs to know, the families need to know, and history needs to know if Obama ordered a rescue or if, as Panetta suggested, our Commander-in-Chief quietly retreated to his quarters, leaving the paraphrased instructions, “Handle it.”
We need to know which Barack Obama was present at that briefing. Was it the indecisive state senator who voted “present” 129 times? Or was it the resourceful and determined President, unhampered by Constitutional law, needing only a pen and a phone to get things done?
Reasonable people already know the answer to that question, for regardless of the outcome, if Obama had ordered a rescue, our military would have mobilized eagerly and immediately.
Democrats don’t know what the Select Committee will reveal, but they are terrified that it could derail Clinton’s presidential aspirations. And they are terrified that it could expose Obama as a weak, indecisive, disengaged Commander-in-Chief, or a manipulative, self-serving politician, more concerned about his re-election than those courageous Americans serving their country abroad. Moreover, they would rather not know.
Peter Lemiska has spent more than 28 years in government service. He is a former Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Secret Service and an Air Force veteran. His political commentaries have been widely published on line and in print.
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