Five conservative Republican members of the House had the gumption to ask why a person with Ms. Abedin’s alarming connections to prominent Islamic supremacists would be given a high-echelon State Department job, performance of which requires a security clearance granting access to top-secret intelligence. Based on Abedin and other officials with disturbing Islamist ties, the five members asked for inspector-general investigations into Muslim Brotherhood penetration of our government.
In response, Secretary Clinton deftly called out the Washington establishment’s Republican guard. Senator John McCain, House Speaker John Boehner, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, and other top GOP figures obliged, dutifully lambasting the House conservatives. Nothing to see here – just “a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations,” twaddled McCain. Boehner, who conceded that he did “not know Huma” and had not read the House conservatives’ letters, nevertheless assured Americans that Abedin had a “sterling character” and that the accusations “were pretty dangerous.”
Mind you, while all this was happening, Obama administration policy, led by the State Department, was swinging dramatically in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Middle East. Obama was even intervening in Libya on behalf of the Brotherhood and al Qaeda elements in Benghazi, toppling a theretofore American-supported regime that had been providing us with critical intelligence against anti-American Islamists. Yet, Secretary Clinton succeeded in burying the story. Thanks to the GOP greybeards, the media meme became purported conservative Islamophobia. The bullet was dodged as the manifest influence of Islamic-supremacists on Obama administration policy was ignored.
Unlike that outrage, the public’s interest has been roused by the killings of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, State Department IT specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, in virulently anti-American Benghazi – at a U.S. State Department compound of unexplained purpose which, under Clinton’s leadership, stood recklessly unprotected.
Clearly, the administration, including the President and Secretary Clinton, knew the compound was under terrorist attack from the early stages of the September 11 siege. Yet, they took no meaningful action to protect and defend the Americans there. Furthermore, there are grounds to believe the command chain may actually have prevented a forceful response, ordering special forces to stand down while the attack raged.
That remains to be established. What we do know is that, at a minimum, Obama was inexcusably derelict in failing even to attempt to overcome Libyan intransigence. At the airport in Benghazi, officials of the new Libyan government – the one Obama brought to power – obstructed the few brave Americans who desperately tried to come to the rescue, delaying them for over three hours. Put aside the commander-in-chief’s failure to deploy U.S. military assets (discussed by Jed Babbin, here); Obama never even picked up the phone to cut through the red Libyan tape. Then, in the days and weeks that followed, top administration officials serially lied to the American people. The president and his underlings repeatedly claimed that the lethal jihadist attack – which, as Steve Hayes has meticulously detailed, they mendaciously downgraded to a “demonstration” – had been a spontaneous protest over an obscure video demeaning Islam’s prophet.
As the White House knew from the first, the Benghazi Massacre was a coordinated terrorist attack involving al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists who used mortars and other high-power weapons. Alas, the attack occurred in the stretch-run of the presidential campaign. Obama had staked his reelection on the claims that he had decimated al Qaeda; that he had prudently intervened against Qaddafi for the benefit of freedom-craving Muslim moderates; and that he was bringing the war on terror to a successful conclusion. An al Qaeda attack against America in Benghazi, the heart of the anti-Qaddafi jihad empowered by Obama’s heedless Libya War, puts the lie to this fairy tale. Consequently, the White House plainly decided (a) not to respond forcefully to the jihadist attack lest it look like what it was – a jihadist attack; and (b) to obscure the truth, and run out the 2012 campaign clock, with the preposterous video canard.