Taking vindictiveness to new heights, President Barack Obama’s onetime 2008 GOP rival 76-year-old Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” anchor David Gregory that the White House has engaged in a “massive cover-up” on Benghazi. Holding up Barack’s picks for Defense Secretary and CIA Director, McCain and his close friend Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tried to create a Watergate-like cover-up to the White House response to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Benghazi, Libya consulate, killing 52-year-old Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Alleging a “massive cover-up,” McCain shows that he’s gone off the rails trying to dig up dirt on his once rival. Unlike Watergate, the White House had nothing to do with the Benghazi terrorist attack nor with any security measures for U.S. embassies and consulates.
McCain and Graham allege that the White House monkeyed around with U.N. Amb. Susan Rice’s talking points in which she insisted on national TV that the attacks were based on violent protests stemming from an anti-Muslim U.S.-made video defaming the Prophet Mohammed. “There are so many answers we don’t know,” McCain told Gregory. “We had two movies about getting Bin Laden and we don’t even know who the people were who were evacuated from the consulate the day after the [Benghazi] attack. So there are many, many questions. So we’ve had a massive cover-up on the part of the administration,” said McCain doing back-flips with his logic. Unanswered questions flow logically from McCain into a “massive cover-up.” When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jan. 23, she rejected any notion of a cover-up.
When Gregory questioned McCain about his logical leap to a “massive cover-up,” the six-term senator got testy. “I’m asking you, do you care whether four Americans died,” asked McCain. “And shouldn’t people be held accountable for the fact that four Americans died?” showing the kind of illogical conclusions drawn by someone with age-related cognitive decline. On the one hand, McCain accuses the White House of stonewalling a Congressional investigation. On the other hand, he’s seeking accountability for someone’s deaths. Hillary made it very clear during her testimony that diplomatic assignments in the Middle East and North Africa were dangerous. “Well, what you said was the cover-up—a cover-up of what?” asked Gregory, dumbfounded by McCain’s conclusions. Still gunning for the president, McCain’s trying his best to slam his old rival.
Suspending their filibuster against Obama’s Defense Secretary pick former Sen. Chuck Hagel, McCain and Graham have to turn their ire to something else. Why they’re fixated on Benghazi is anyone’s guess. “What did the president do and who did he talk to t he night of the attack on Benghazi?” asked, McCain, knowing full well that executive privilege would prevent him from knowing those details. “The information has not been forthcoming. You obviously believe that it has. I know that it hasn’t,” McCain told Gregory, not realizing that he’s made Benghazi his cause célèbre. When you apply any common sense standard to Benghazi—no matter how tragic—most folks chalk up the tragedy to the risks of doing business in the Middle East. There’s nothing Obama or any State Department official could do to stop unexpected terror attacks other than beefing up security for next time.
McCain believes the White House minimized the Benghazi attacks to spare the president any embarrassment before the Nov. 6, 2012 election. McCain and Graham tried to tie the Benghazi debacle to Obama before the election. When their tempest-in the-teapot didn’t stick, they continued to use Benghazi to hold up the Hagel and Brennan confirmations. “Why did the president for two weeks, for two weeks during the heat of the campaign continue to say he didn’t know whether it was a terrorist attack or not. Is
it because it interfered with the line ‘Al Qaeda has [been] decimated?’” asked McCain, rejecting White House explanations that the intelligence community was still figuring out what went down in Benghazi. No White House explanation short of Obama admitting he participated in a cover-up would suffice for McCain or Graham. Both seek Obama’s head on a silver platter.
Continuing to beat a dead horse on Benghazi, McCain proved why Washington gets very little done. Obsessed with skewering Obama with a juicy scandal, McCain doesn’t want to face reality inside the GOP, leaving a majority of voters thinking politics take priority over responsible leadership “I don’t believe he is qualified,” McCain said of Hagel who finally gets his up-or-down Senate vote this week. “But I don’t believe that we should hold up his nomination any further,” finally agreeing to stop his politically-motivated filibuster. When the full Senate confirms Hagel this week, McCain will have wasted more precious Senate time trying to extract more useless information on Benghazi. With the election over, McCain needs to wake up to the reality that Barack has beat the GOP in two presidential elections. More politicking on Benghazi won’t help the GOP now.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.