Was the cover-up necessary even to defend the administration’s “perfect” record against terrorist attacks on Americans”? No.
The expose of this arms-supply channel would have bothered few and changed nothing. But since we knew already that the administration was helping arm anti-American, antisemitic, anti-Christian, homophobic, and anti-women Islamist terrorists, I don’t think the difference was huge.
Did the cover-up have to lead to the refusal to defend properly American personnel to prevent what they were doing from leaking out? No
In short this program of lies, deception, and coverup wasn’t even necessary. Those Americans may have been rescued and those lies might have been avoided with no harm to the administration.
I think that tells a lot about how the Obama Administration treats and manipulates the American people. And it also tells us about its very profound incompetence and ignorance.