The Obama administration failed to defend our diplomatic team in Libya and then lied to us about it. For purely partisan political reasons the Obama administration sought to pawn off responsibility for the attack on Benghazi not on the Islamists who committed the attack, but on some obscure internet video that practically no one had ever heard of before until United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, rolled it out on the Sunday talk shows directly after 9/11/2012.
At this very moment the Obama administration is bogged down under at least three scandals. There is Benghazi. The IRS abuse of power in persecuting both conservative organizations and Jewish organizations. And the the Associated Press scandal.
Over the course of the coming weeks, and perhaps months, I will focus on Benghazi. My interest when it comes to the current administration tends to be upon its failed and sometimes racist foreign policies, thus I will leave it to others to flesh out the IRS and AP scandals. I will stay on Benghazi.
What I want to know at the moment is just how it was that this obscure internet video became the star of the show? The CIA talking points make no reference whatsoever to any such video and focus entirely upon radical Islam. Stephen Hayes of the conservative Weekly Standard has taken the lead on this story and in a recent piece writes this:
The new documents disprove claims by Obama spokesman Jay Carney, Hillary Clinton, and others that the White House and State Department had virtually nothing to do with rewriting the talking points. Carney maintained that officials from State and the White House were responsible for a “single adjustment” to the language. Clinton insisted that the intelligence community was the “principal decider” of what would be said. But the emails make clear that top White House and State officials played key roles in reshaping the CIA’s initial draft.
“The State Department had major reservations with much or most of the document,” wrote a CIA official from the Office of Public Affairs, at 9:15 p.m. on September 14. “We revised the document with their concerns in mind.”
We have both Clinton and Carney on record as suggesting that the White House and the Department of State had virtually nothing to do with any substantive changes to the CIA memorandum, but we now know, unequivocally, that they lied to us. This is not a matter of bias. This is not a matter of interpretation. This is not a matter of partisanship.
It is a matter of fact.
The Obama White House and the Clinton State Department did not like the CIA’s understanding of the attack on Benghazi so they arranged for the memorandum, the talking points, to be scrubbed of the vital and necessary information that should have been passed on to the American people. Instead of alerting the American public that this was a Jihadi attack against the facility in Benghazi, they pretended that it was a spontaneous uprising by righteous and angry Muslims over an insult to the prophet Muhammed.
The reason that the administration lied to the American public concerning the slaughter of Chris Stevens and his staff is because they had previously lied concerning the demise of al-Qaeda. Of course, the lie about the demise al-Qaeda was part of a larger deception in which the Obama administration sought to minimize the problem of radical Islam entirely by diminishing it to virtually nothing but al-Qaeda.
That is the true heart of the lie.
The Obama administration sought to protect radical Islam because they hoped to work with radical Islam going forward. We can only speculate about just why the Obama administration would have an interest in promoting radical Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, but a generous interpretation is one that emphasizes a desire to reform and moderate and democratize such groups because to do so would be in America’s national interest.
So, while we know that the administration lied to the American people around a question of vital national security, we still do not know who hatched up this cockamamy scheme to deceive the American public by foisting off the internet video as the cause of the attack.
Hayes tells us this:
There had been a demonstration in Cairo. The leaders of that protest used a YouTube video to incite a mob. A Benghazi attacker had seen the Cairo protest. He later participated in the attack in Benghazi…
And yet within days this previously obscure film became a central component of the Obama administration’s messaging on the Benghazi attacks. The Obama administration moved quickly to elevate the importance of the video. An attack that evolved from what the president would call “natural protests” by a mob over a video was a much better fit with the president’s claim that “al Qaeda is on a path to defeat” than assaults planned by al Qaeda-linked jihadists on multiple U.S. diplomatic facilities on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
We still do not know just who came up with the brilliant idea to deceive the American public by suggesting that the Benghazi attack was somehow related to the video, but Barack Obama told us that this was the truth.
Asked about Benghazi on September 20, President Obama referred to “natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video [and] were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.” It was one of several times he would cite the video.
Did he know it was a lie?
Curious minds want to know.
Mike Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.