On Tues., April 29, 2014, government watchdog group Judicial Watch announced it had received e-mails regarding the Benghazi controversy. Among those e-mails is a critical e-mail from former White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes to prepare then Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice for appearances on Sunday news talk shows. Many conservatives are describing the Rhodes e-mail as the "smoking gun" that proves the White House was behind the false narrative presented to the American people following he terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Why the failed Benghazi cover-up is a legitimate controversy.
Liberal media personalities, pundits, and entertainers routinely scoff at conservative outrage regarding Benghazi. So, to borrow a line from the President, let's be clear. Terrorists attacked a U.S. diplomatic mission in an organized, pre-planned manner and killed four U.S. citizens. With the 2012 election looming, the White House concocted a false narrative to deflect attention from the President's completely misguided foreign policy. Indeed, the Rhodes e-mail states as one of its goals, "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." (Emphasis added.)
Even worse, among its proposed sample answers to media questions, it includes the following: "The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex." At the time the e-mail was written on Sept. 14, 2012, British news outlets had already reported the event as a pre-planned terrorist attack. In fact, there was never any intelligent indicating there were demonstrations in Benghazi.
However, the initial false narrative is only part of the story. Judicial Watch has been attempting to obtain the Rhodes email since October, 2012. The White House originally falsely classified the email as privileged and redacted all useful information. It was only released in its un-redacted form after court proceedings.
The dishonesty of the White House on this matter has not stopped. Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney tied himself in knots arguing that the email did not say exactly what it says.
Why the effort to cover up the source of the false talking points used by Susan Rice? Why have the American people been treated to a string of shifting narratives and outright lies? There is only one explanation: to protect the President from even the merest shadow of negative publicity. Remember, Mitt Romney's campaign called out the Administration for responding to the Benghazi attacks by apologizing for the Internet video. Romney was vilified for "politicizing" the event before all the facts were known. Yet, the apology itself politicized the event since we already knew the video was not the cause of the attack.
This is a controversy because the President and his staff lied to the American people for strictly political reasons. They wanted to hide their "broader failure of policy," as well as the specifically administrative failure in not addressing the increasingly dangerous situation in Benghazi. They continued the charade for almost two weeks in order to impact the 2012 election.
Impeachment is not too drastic.
Almost forty years ago Richard Nixon was forced to resign as a consequence of trying to cover up illegal wiretapping by his re-election committee, actions that may have impacted the election but never put anyone in danger or hampered our national security. In the case of Benghazi, President Obama and his staff intentionally tried to alter facts that were already known to the public. They created a nonexistent ambiguity about the events for the sole purpose of delaying discovery of the truth until after the election.
President Obama has repeatedly lied to the people of this country. He has been caught over and over again. He lies to misinform the public to push his political agenda, regardless of the harm his agenda may cause. He has consistently placed politics over policy, party over people, ideology over prudence, and hypocrisy over principle. The events of Benghazi, as explained in a previous article, exposed his incompetence as a leader and administrator. Even the cover-up was incompetent. The White House artificially clouded the facts to keep the information from voters. Since then, as Charles Krauthammer phrased it, they have been trying to cover up the cover-up. If Nixon's cover-up of illegal wiretapping was grounds for impeachment and his resignation, then the cover-up of the criminal negligence that resulted in the death's of four American is certainly grounds for impeachment.
The death of Ambassador Stevens was long, painful, and utterly humiliating. These deaths were the result of nothing less despicable than criminal negligence by the President and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Not only was this itself tragic, it is an utter embarrassment for the United States, an embarrassment to which we have never responded.
A note on liberal media bias.
The resignation of Richard Nixon was a result of the efforts by intrepid journalists who refused to let the story die, who doggedly pursued the truth. Today's New York Times headline features the Clippers, the Benghazi cover-up does not even appear. The same for the ABC News web site. The web site for CBS News has a link to a story on the first page, but the first page is dominated by news about the Clippers. NBC? Not a single word. The same goes for the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, the Sacramento Bee. CNN, MSNBC. Only Fox News and expressly conservative new outlets are even acknowledging the story. Oh, and Sheryl Attkisson, who left CBS because of its refusal to report honestly about President Obama.