Friday, November 30, 2012 5:22 AM
This week's syndicated column
It is neither “racist” nor “sexist” to question U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s role in the Benghazi scandal. It is, however, almost entirely beside the point.
Rice wasn’t making life-and-death decisions on Sept. 11, 2012, when the U.S. compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack; President Obama was. Rice, therefore, is unable to answer the all-important question about what order President Obama issued upon hearing that U.S. diplomats in Benghazi were under fire. She can’t look America in the eye and answer whether the U.S. military was ordered not to rescue Americans fighting for their lives.
Nor is Rice likely to be the Obama administration official who first concocted the false narrative blaming a YouTube video for a (nonexistent) protest in Benghazi, which, the false narrative continues, “spontaneously” erupted into “unplanned” violence – the whopper President Obama told for two full weeks.
Another key piece of the puzzle Rice is unlikely to possess is why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, three days after the Benghazi attack, was out there flogging that same concocted story, as when Clinton tried to console the father of slain ex-SEAL Tyrone Wood by promising him the video’s producer would be arrested and prosecuted. Further, it is unlikely Susan Rice can explain why CIA Director David Petraeus went before the House Intelligence Committee, also on Sept. 14, in a closed session and similarly lied, deceiving members into believing that an “unplanned” attack left four Americans, including an American ambassador, dead.
These are just some of the red flags over Benghazi that can never be checked if GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire continue to monopolize the issue and focus solely on Rice and those not-all-that-interesting talking points. It’s almost as if they wish to tighten the lens over Benghazi so closely that we never notice that what’s really needed is a review of the administration’s Arab Spring policies. It is these policies, which, thanks in large part to Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and White House adviser Samantha Power, actually put Uncle Sam on the path to jihad in Libya by supporting al-Qaida and other jihad terrorists in their bid for power. Maybe that’s because the GOP largely supported these same disastrous policies, too.
Here are some of the Benghazi questions that still demand answers:
Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone – White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) – on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the false video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?
Speaking of the president’s U.N. address – notorious for declaring, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” – who wrote it? Its underlying message that “slander” (read: free speech) of Islam causes violence dovetails neatly with the Istanbul Process, an Obama administration initiative to prohibit and even criminalize speech critical of Islam. The initiative is spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in conjunction with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an Islamic bloc of 56 nations, plus the Palestinian Authority.
President Obama stated to an outside-the-Washington-Beltway reporter that “the minute” he found out what was happening in Benghazi, he sprang into action. “Number one,” the president said, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do.”
Did Obama, in fact, issue such an order? If so, it appears to have been ignored. Shouldn’t someone be fired for insubordination? If no U.S. military assets were available – a big “if” for the sake of argument – why weren’t NATO allies such as Turkey or Britain called on to help? What exactly was the president doing during the eight-hour span of the terror attack?
On Sept. 9 and again on Sept. 10, a YouTube video featuring al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was posted online. In it, Zawahiri exhorted Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the killing of al-Qaida senior leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. The CIA and other intelligence agencies appear to have ignored this video entirely. Why?
Why was the United States in Benghazi relying on Libyan jihadists for security? This is where we might pick up on the Arab Spring trail the Obama administration followed to this whole disaster. For example, the small CIA contingent that flew in to Benghazi in the wee hours of Sept. 12 was “aided” (delayed) on arrival by Libya Shield. Not only did this militia fight in the Libyan revolution under the black flag of al-Qaida, but U.S. government analysts believe its leader, Wissam bin Hamid, a jihadist veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, may be the leader of al-Qaida in Libya.
What was the Benghazi mission (it did not function as a consulate) doing there in the first place? Troubling reports indicate the U.S. presence in Benghazi may have been part of a secret CIA operation to run weapons to Syria’s anti-Assad rebel forces, which, as was the case with Libya’s anti-Gadhafi forces, include a heavy contingent of jihadist actors seeking to spread Shariah (Islamic law). Was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, previously point man to jihadists in Libya, party to this unauthorized operation?
Notice I haven’t even mentioned Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While not altogether unimportant, it is a distraction from weightier matters. For example: How can David Petraeus lie to Congress – a felony – and get away with it?
Ask President Obama.
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