SAN DIEGO, October 26, 2012 — Fox News broke chilling new facts today regarding the September destruction in Benghazi.
According to Fox, “an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”
It’s almost unimaginable that the Obama administration could spin their way out of this one. They’ll try, but there aren’t too many cards left to play. The video narrative has ridden off into the horizon and can help them no longer.
They’ll probably dismiss Fox News as a right wing, hence unreliable source. They’d be wise not to try it. A quick trip down memory lane takes us back to September, when DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed the conservative Washington Examiner misquoted her, only to discover that her words had been recorded. (Washington Examiner, Sept 7, 2012).
Even if Debbie had not already paved the way to Fool’s Gold, Obama should remember that conservative news outlets are not alone in this ever morphing story. His allies in the main steam media cannot shield him forever. Sometimes, when evidence pours down like sharp, cold hail, conventional news outlets actually report the news. It might be a whole new experience for them, but they do it, if only by kicking and screaming. Just two days ago CNN published the following
“Two hours after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the White House, the State Department and the FBI were told that an Islamist group had claimed credit, government e-mails obtained by CNN show.
“One of the e-mails - sent from a State Department address to various government agencies - specifically identifies Ansar al-Sharia as claiming responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page and on Twitter.
“The e-mails raise further questions about the seeming confusion on the part of the Obama administration to determine the nature of the September attack and those who planned it.
“The attack left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.”
But today’s story about a command to stand down may be the most potent revelation of all. People are stretching their imaginations to figure out why help would be denied when Americans were under fire.
Even before this latest Fox report, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tried some damage control in a press conference saying, "You don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on…(We) felt we could not put forces at risk in that situation." He also said, "It was really over before we had the opportunity to really know what was happening" (AP, October 25, 2012),
Do his comments add up with today’s breaking news? However you parse it, we must conclude that the Obama administration was deceptive when it claimed that the Benghazi attack was spontaneous violence resulting from an anti-Muslim YouTube video.
Over a month ago, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive” (Press Conference, 9-14-12).
Press Secretaries say what they are told to say. Carney may have believed it or he may have known it was a lie and chose to go along. Either way, he repeated the official Obama narrative.
If President Obama knew the truth and told Carney to lie, he has lost the right to be president. The only other explanation is that somehow these reports never got to him, possibly because he was busy campaigning. That involves a scenario where the president’s subordinates were deliberately keeping him in the dark. Anything is possible, but this strains credulity.
For some Obama supporters, the information breakdown theory may be more palatable, but the choice is then between gross negligence and downright lying. In the case of negligence, a portion of the lie remains. If we ignore logic and assume that despite cries for help, e-mails, and official intelligence reports, Obama still did not know the truth, we are left asking where the video story came from. If he didn’t know anything, did he just make it up? It has been alleged that early intelligence did offer the video explanation, but this seems less and less likely as more news comes out. There were other riots in the region at the same time, and perhaps some of them were sparked by the video or terrorists exploiting the video. But we now know Benghazi was completely unrelated.
Facts are stubborn things. They come when least expected and can ruin a campaign slogan such as “Osama bin Laden is dead.” Obama wanted the country to believe that the death of a terrorist figurehead somehow meant that the war on terror was in significant decline. As Muslim riots visited one American embassy after another on the anniversary of 9/11, his optimistic view came crashing down clearly enough to be seen even by those who are naïve about Islamic extremism. The war on terror is alive and kicking, and so is al Qaeda. Those are inconvenient truths. Perhaps the video narrative worked better for Obama’s campaign until the truth ruined everything by climbing out of the rubble.
We cannot read minds. No matter what information comes out, no matter how much Congress grills this administration before or after the election, it is doubtful that we will hear anyone say in so many words, “We covered this up for the sake of winning re-election.” Neither will we see Obama apologize to Romney for accusing the governor of exploiting Benghazi to “make political points.” I do not believe we will ever read a headline saying, “Obama admits to being the greatest hypocrite of the century.” No, we will not see that in any paper, mainstream or new media.
But if an oddsmaker in Las Vegas asked us to make a bet, I’d know which odds to take. The smart money would not be with that guy who campaigned in Vegas on the day of the Benghazi attack.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.