The Benghazi Playbook: Lies, Betrayal and Cover-Up
The emergence of new evidence documenting an alleged cover-up by the Obama administration during the aftermath of the Benghazi attack has accelerated the dissolution of President Obama’s fictitious narrative about an anti-Islam YouTube video, which supposedly inspired throngs of demonstrators to spontaneously assault the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and kill Ambassador Chris Stevens and three brave Americans. To paraphrase Howard Baker, we may yet find out what the president knew and when he knew it.
Last week, the Weekly Standard obtained “a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence” – evidence that the talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice were heavily edited by senior members of the Obama administration to hide the role of Al Qaeda in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on the evening of Sep. 11, 2012.
As the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes notes in “The Benghazi Talking Points,” the administration knew as early as two hours into the attack that an “al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya” was responsible. That information was known throughout various government agencies. However, by Sunday, Sep. 16, the story had been transformed into the now-infamous lie about an anti-Islam YouTube video.
Later, when the video story began to unravel, the administration issued a statement through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that suggested that new information had come to light about the role of terrorists in the attack.
Yet the information was not new; it had been known from the very earliest stages of the attack. Was this a deliberate attempt to deceive the nation?
Evidently so, that is what three “whistle-blowers” – senior State Department officials with inside knowledge of the Benghazi attack – will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, May 8.
According to CNN, one of the witnesses, Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy, has already told congressional investigators that “a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the attack was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command South Africa.”
If a force had left Tripoli to head to Benghazi, Hicks said it might have saved the lives of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Instead the attack went unchallenged.
Hicks also questioned Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points that made the rounds on numerous Sunday shows following the attack. Hicks said he was “personally known” to Rice’s staff and that he could have been called before Ambassador Rice conducted her interviews on the Sunday shows.
“You know, it’s jaw dropping that – to me that…I could have been called, and, you know, the phone call could have been, ‘hey, Greg, Ambassador Rice is going to say blah, blah, blah, blah,’ and I could have said, ‘no, that’s not the right thing.'”
Yet, that phone call was never made – and the media never reported any such information.
Later, on April 29, Victoria Toensing, a lawyer for one of the whistle-blowers, told Fox News the whistle-blowers were threatened with “career-ending reprisals” if they disclose new information about the Benghazi attack to Congress. As Charles Krauthammer said Monday night on “Special Report” with Bret Bair, given the allegations made by the Benghazi whistle-blowers, the events that occurred in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack are “by definition a cover-up.”
Meting out appropriate punishment is necessary not only because it is just, but also because rectifying previous mistakes is the only way to ensure that the correct safeguards are implemented in the future.
At the upcoming hearing, therefore, congressional leaders must effectively instill an appropriate sense of moral and military awareness within the Obama administration – for, that alone will keep our great nation and the next generation of American diplomats safe.
It’s certainly the least we can do for them.
Mr. Raskas served in the Israel Defense Forces and is currently a research analyst for SecureAmericaNow.org.