Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Libya Standown

By Donald Sensing

The San Diego Union-Tribune on the Benghazi coverup:

Isn’t this a story – a gigantic story? 
Of course. But we fear that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post will only choose to realize how obvious this is after Nov. 6. Then it will come to them – spontaneously, we’re sure.

HT: M. Simon

They say, "Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by mere stupidity." No matter which way you want to see it, the Obama administration abandoned Americans to die in Benghazi. Whether it did so knowing it was so doing, or whether it is just another example of the administration's ineptitude at crisis management, we may never know. But abandon them it did.

It's simply not credible that President Obama does not know exactly who decided that night not to send a rescue mission. Yet he refuses to say anything except that "an investigation is under way."
On Friday, President Obama was asked directly by Denver's KUSA-TV's Kyle Clarke whether our forces were denied backup during the attack. The president dodged the first question. Clark followed up, "Were they denied requests for help during the attack?"

"Well, we are finding out exactly what happened," the president responded.
This answer is either dissembling (highly likely) or evidence of Obama's disengagement with the whole issue (sadly, just as likely).

Personally, I opt for the former. Someone definitely made a decision to leave Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans to die, be wounded and/or captured. The question is, Who? As Glenn Reynolds has answered, "Someone too big to fit under the bus."

IMO, that means only two persons: Obama himself or Vice President Biden. Some blogerati have fingered Valerie Jarrett, whose influence on the president is enormous, but even if Obama heeded her counsel, she could not have personally given the order. It still would have needed to come from him.

Columnist Jack Kelly says that the Benghazi coverup is "much worse" than Watergate's "third-rate burglary." (And no one was left to die in the Watergate Hotel.) How do we know there is a coverup going on? Because the administration's version of events keeps changing.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said all along that there was just not enough information in decision-makers' hands to send in a rescue mission.
"You don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on," Panetta said. "(We) felt we could not put forces at risk in that situation."
Now, though, Panetta's own official spokesman says that Panetta did order forces to Benghazi, according to The Washington Post's David Ignatius:
George Little, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, told me on Wednesday, responding to an initial online version of this column: “Within a few hours, Secretary Panetta ordered all appropriate forces to respond to the unfolding events in Benghazi, but the attack was over before those forces could be employed.”
So it was only yesterday that anyone in the SecDef's office awoke to remember, "Hey, wait a minute! The SecDef did order a rescue!" And somehow not even Panetta remembered this order in his statements before yesterday.

Larry Bell at Forbes sums it up well:
There are some large disconnects between Obama administration explanations concerning security and response actions taken before, during and after the disastrous terrorist attacks on our Benghazi consulate and accounts, compared with those which continue to emerge from outside sources. Following numerous White House claims now known to be inaccurate and intentionally misleading, we are repeatedly assured that we will get the real scoop in due time after full investigations are complete. One perplexing issue, among many, revolves around conflicting accounts regarding requests and denials of military aid which might have saved American lives.

Further delays only increase wide-spread suspicions that there are no legitimate answers, and that the president’s strategy is to run out the clock until after his final election is over. If this were not the case, it would seem logical that he would seize upon every opportunity to demonstrate evidence of the leadership and transparency he has repeatedly promised.
I think that Obama's strategy for dealing with this matter is very simple: stonewall until after Nov. 6. Then stonewall some more. If Obama is reelected (which he clearly thinks he will be) then he knows that the media will drop this issue like a hot watch. And with the looming adjournment of the existing Congress, attention will drop there, too. If Obama loses, no one will care what happened on his watch before Nov. 6 and all media attention will turn to Romney and the transition.

Like Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans, the Benghazi abandonment will soon be dead and buried. That is what Obama is counting on, and I think with sound reasons.

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