Even though the carnage at Benghazi stoked broader and more determined public outcry than the (closely related) issue of Islamic-supremacist infiltration of our government, Secretary Clinton reasonably figured the whitewash strategy that had worked so well before might do the trick again. Enter Pickering and Mullen.

The game here is to convince the public that two Beltway eminences, objects of bipartisan reverence, would never help blind Americans to the administration’s malfeasance – no more than would McCain & Co. when it came to Huma Abedin. The game exploited the certainty that the mainstream media would slobber over Pickering and Mullen as if they were a pair of lovable moderate mavericks who might, at any moment, unleash a “wacko bird” tirade against conservatives or inveigh against “Tea Party hobbits.”

In truth, Pickering and Mullen are a pair of reliable politicos who have drunk deep from Washington’s See-No-Islam well. Ambassador Pickering was President George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the UN – hailed at the New York Times, that weathervane of transnational progressivism, as arguably the best ever in that post. He later seamlessly transitioned to the Clinton State Department, becoming ambassador to Russia and, later, undersecretary of state for political affairs. I’d give you more chapter and verse, but Diana West has already done the scut work:

Pickering is one of those Washington insiders whose public record is less a matter of what he’s done than what he’s been: U.S. ambassador to Russia, Israel, El Salvador, Jordan, India, Nigeria and the United Nations. What such postings may obscure, however, is that the man is a foreign policy establishment leftist. It’s not just that Pickering serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group, a George Soros group that, for example, advocated engagement with the Shariah-supremacist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (and moving Russia’s to east of the Urals); and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions. And speaking of Iran, Pickering sits on the boards of two pro-Tehran groups, the American Iranian Council and the National Iranian American Council….

Pickering’s politics place him squarely inside the Obama foreign policy mainstream[.]… Pickering has expressed support for Obama’s Libya policy, “where,” as he put it in March, “we play a major role behind the scenes and … incorporate many other people in the activities we did in Libya.” Explaining the Libyan “experimentation” in “consultative leadership” that minimizes the U.S. military role, Pickering sounds as if he also endorsed the disastrous policy of relying on local jihadist militias for U.S. security.

On a panel titled “The Muslim Experience in America” at Washington’s National Cathedral, Pickering recently advocated “dialogue with the Iranians … informed by an effort to develop religious understanding and perhaps harmony,” while also bridging the “gulf” with Islam in America more generally. He also made an ominous call for “strong efforts … to deal with opinion leaders who harbor (anti-Islam) prejudices, who espouse them and spread them.”

Yes, who better than a supporter of the Obama-Clinton policy of empowering Islamic supremacists to conduct an investigation into whether that policy created the conditions that directly caused the Benghazi Massacre? Who better to probe whether the administration’s post-siege cover-up is explained by the Obama campaign’s need to conceal that policy failure?

Then there’s Michael Mullen, a four-star admiral named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Bush in 2007. Having exhibited the required cluelessness about our enemies’ ideology, Mullen was subsequently reappointed by President Obama.

Echoing Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood consultants, Mullen denies the nexus between Islamic scripture and the threat to the West. The jihad, he instead insists, is the result of “the humiliation, the hopelessness, the illiteracy and abject poverty which lie at the core of the attraction to extremist thought[.]” In fact, Mullen actually claims – I’m not kidding – that if we just taught illiterate Middle Easterners how to read, they would eschew violence because they would “understand the Koran for what it is.”

Could it really be lost on a man of Mullen’s experience and stature that jihadist leaders are frequently well-educated scions of wealthy families? That the Koran contains over a hundred verses lauding violent jihad, and that globally influential sharia jurists like Sheikh Qaradawi – who know a lot more about Islam than Mullen does – interpret Muslim scripture to endorse suicide bombings in Israel, terrorist war against U.S. troops in Iraq, the subjugation of women, and the brutalizing of apostates and homosexuals?