SCANDAL – Reprinted from the Beverly Hills Courier, May 17, 2013
A classic formula for tragedy occurs when weak character combines with unbridled ambition. Too many in officialdom suffer from this character flaw malaise. Tragedy then erupts into full blown scandal when, acting with no constraints on satisfying their desires and maintaining their power and privilege, the politicos engage in manipulative deceit and orchestrated deception. A case in point – the outrage at Benghazi, Libya.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, organized terrorists with heavy weapons attacked the U.S. Consulate and CIA safe house in Benghazi. It was a planned and deliberate military assault that resulted in the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other brave Americans.
The terrorist-led firefight lasted for several hours. State Department officials were able to monitor the assault in real time. A rescue mission was deployed in Tripoli but, prior to launch, was ordered to stand down.
On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, Gregory Hicks, the second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli at the time, spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 2:00 a.m. Benghazi time the next day. He informed her that the attack was a planned terrorist operation and not in any way shape or form a demonstration or street protest induced by a so-called You Tube anti-Muslim video. On the same day, Beth Jones, the acting assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs emailed: “The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”
The White House and State Department Response
On Friday, September 14, 2012 the fallen bodies of the Ambassador and his three colleagues in flag-draped coffins arrived at Andrews Air Force Base. A ceremony ensued attended by the President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Both embraced family members of the deceased heroes and informed them in substance, while looking eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose directly at them. “We will prosecute the producer of that hideous video that caused this event.”
On the same day and at times thereafter, the White House (“WH”) press secretary, Jay Carney, informed the WH press corps that it was the video that riled-up demonstrators who spontaneously launched the attack. Of course, there was no protest or demonstration which the WH knew. On Sunday, September 16, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, appeared on five T.V. talk shows pontificating earnestly and definitively that the best evidence in the possession of the State Department was that it was the anti-Muslim video that stirred-up emotions leading to the out-of-control demonstration that led to the attack.
The WH edited out, deleted from the CIA’s initial intelligence assessment report – Talking Points – all reference to the terrorist attack and in its place spun out the concocted duplicitous version that the video/demonstration was the responsible agent for the attack on the Benghazi mission.
Throughout the presidential campaign, the WH’s foreign policy narrative was that Bin Laden’s dead and al Qaeda’s on the run. Campaign discipline demanded that there be no deviations from that mantra.
Sadly, the WH viewed the Benghazi incident in political terms. Any public awareness of the Benghazi event in real terms would seriously undermine the campaign’s narrative. With a compliant media not pursuing the facts, the WH created and disseminated a faux report about the root causes that led to the Benghazi debacle.
In so doing, the President and then Secretary of State Clinton forsook their duty to serve the interests of the American people. Instead of trying to save the lives of our people in Benghazi, they stood down and four Americans were killed. The WH didn’t even attempt to intervene with a military force. Our tradition of protecting Americans imperiled was disregarded for crass political reasons. In fact, after 6:00 p.m. on September 11, 2012, the President was a non-player and didn’t reappear until the morning of September 12 to give a perfunctory Rose Garden statement before leaving for Las Vegas to attend a fundraiser.
Most importantly, we demand from our elected officials, particularly from the President and his team, the truth. Unfortunately, the WH subordinated truth for partisan advantage.
Lest we doubt the depths of this WH’s deceit, think hard about what type of person would intentionally and knowingly misrepresent the facts to the parents of the four dead Americans about how and why their sons were killed. The President and Hillary Clinton did just that to the parents at Andrews AF Base on September 14, 2012.
For further evidence of this official deviant behavior, look no further than to the treatment rendered by the State Dept. in its dealing with Gregory Hicks. For truthfully recounting the events about the Benghazi incident to Congressional official fact-finders, he was excoriated and fired. When Hillary Clinton recently appeared before a Congressional committee scrutinizing the Benghazi drama and the State Department and WH misrepresentations, she stated inter alia under oath: “What does it matter – they’re dead!” That comment gave a re-birth to the Sen. Joseph McCarthy hearings historical injunction: “Have you no shame Senator?!”
When we have a WH that has an expiration time and date attached to its promises, the Benghazi case is readily understandable. With values coarsening, ethics situational, morality relative and leadership corrupt, no wonder heart breaking deceptions and duplicity are deemed by some in the political class as the new normal.
However, this alleged new normal will hold no sway with the American people who are fundamentally moral, attempt to institutionalize virtue, recognize evil and are unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of our cherished traditional values. The WH is not only bereft of righteousness but also is more and more meretricious than meritorious.
In English literature there is an appropriate description for the scandalous conduct engaged in by the President and Hillary Clinton throughout the Benghazi affair particularly their misconduct at Andrews Air Force Base when they deceived the parents of the deceased four Americans about the root cause of their deaths. “To show an unfelt sorrow is an office which the false man does easy.” — Macbeth
Robert K. Tanenbaum
May 14, 2013