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Benghazi and the Lust for Power

Did the president sacrifice four American lives on the altar of ambition?

by
Abraham H. Miller

Bio

May 8, 2013 - 9:53 am

The Benghazi scandal raises the issue of whether President Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s lust for power is so addictive that they would  sacrifice the lives of four fellow Americans, put scores of others in harm’s way, and then precipitate an ongoing national crisis through a long, torturous cover-up. We expect our politicians to lie. We expect them to be corrupt.  We expect them to be a class unto themselves and to exempt themselves from the laws they create.  We just don’t expect them to kill to attain power.

Or shouldn’t we? Ricky Ray Rector is a name you will probably seldom see in the mainstream media. On January 24, 1992, the state of Arkansas executed Rector for murder. Rector, however, was mentally deficient. He was so mentally deficient that he put aside a piece of pecan pie from his last meal and told his guards he would finish it after his execution.

Then presidential candidate and Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton could have stopped the execution. Instead, Clinton made sure the execution went ahead as scheduled, breaking off his primary campaign in New Hampshire to return to Arkansas to personally oversee the implementation of the sentence.

Clinton was capitalizing on pro-capital punishment voters and on distancing himself from 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis’s strong stand against capital punishment, a stand that many observers felt cost him the race for the presidency in 1988.

Christopher Hitchens — no member of the vast right-wing conspiracy — in his book about Bill Clinton, No One Left to Lie To, condemns Clinton for manipulating Rector’s execution for political advantage and to divert attention from the continuing Gennifer Flowers sex scandal.

While candidate Clinton killed one person to get Gennifer Flowers off the front pages, President Clinton was willing to bomb an entire country to get Monica Lewinsky out of the news cycle.  In a highly controversial decision that embittered relations with both Russia and China, and was not authorized by the UN,  Clinton implemented high-altitude bombing and missile strikes on Serbia that appeared rushed through on faulty intelligence and without much concern for American interests.  Among the targets America struck were a bus convoy of Bosnian refugees, the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and a Serbian television station. The strained justification for this military adventure was that the Serbian regime was implementing an apartheid regime in Kosovo and was conducting ethnic cleansing. Yet there were war crimes on both sides and America has avoided going to war in other places where there is ethnic cleansing because our interests are not at stake.

Why the former Yugoslavia was so important to our national interests to go to war was never adequately explained. Even less adequately explained was how this was an issue for NATO. After all, Serbia had not attacked any NATO country.  The most immediate result of the war was the stream of refugees flooding into NATO countries. But if refugees running from a bloody conflict were a justification for war, America would have invaded Mexico years ago.

One immediate consequence of the bombing was that Monica Lewinsky was immediately removed from the news cycle.

So, in order to win the presidency, would President Obama let Americans perish to maintain a campaign fiction that al-Qaeda died with Osama bin Laden and was no longer a threat to our security?  Is Obama, in his lust for power, of the same moral stature as candidate Bill Clinton, who manipulated the execution of a mentally deficient Ricky Ray Rector in order to appear tough on capital punishment and make Gennifer Flowers disappear from the news?  Is Obama, in his lust for power, indistinguishable from President Clinton, who was willing to get Monica Lewinsky out of the news cycle by bombing Serbia. From what we already seem to know, the answer is a resounding yes.

During the Watergate scandal, the nation was saved by Barry Goldwater, the conscience of the Senate, a man whose integrity was unquestioned.  Nixon was willing to dig in his heels and fight impeachment, but Goldwater thought of nation instead of party and persuaded Nixon to spare the country a national crisis.  Goldwater told Nixon that for the benefit of the country it was time to go.

Does the Democratic Party have a person with the stature and integrity of a Barry Goldwater who will tell Obama that it is time to go, that abandoning scores of Americans to terrorists for political gain and covering it up is not what America is about?  I doubt that.

The tragedy of Benghazi is about to be compounded by witnessing how callous this administration is when it comes to sacrificing life for power. As CBS and CNN have gotten out of the tank for Obama and are starting to ask penetrating questions of the administration, it is only a matter of time before American journalists start acting once again like journalists.  And when that happens, the cover-up is seriously going to unravel and make Watergate look relatively insignificant. It is time for Obama to spare the nation a crisis and to depart. Of course, he is not going to do it.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a former head of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I do not enjoy being this cynical but the truth is that NOTHING will happen to Obama. He should be in jail for what he did - and Hillary with him - but that won't happen. He won't even be indicted, let alone tried. He'll simply ride out this latest scandal and then retire to have someone else write his memoirs (for which he'll stiff them and keep all the money for himself). He has no conscience for the dead and no loyalty for the living; he is simply a corrupt narcissist who's been protected and will continue to be protected by those around him because they're every bit as awful as he is; thus protecting him is protecting themselves.

I don't enjoy this prediction. I really don't.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The best you can hope for here, as far as a voice of morality within the Democratic Party, is that if the Benghazi revelations reach the stage where it's "Every man (or woman) for themselves," as was the case in the last 8-10 months of Watergate, you could have the situation of Team Obama trying to save their jobs by throwing Team Clinton under the bus, and Team Clinton trying to protect Hilliary's 2016 viability by throwing Team Obama under the bus.

Not exactly a decision based on doing what's right, but it's the only way you're going to hear anyone in the Democratic Party call for the resignation or the shunning of either of the party's two most high-profile people.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
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Those who understood how national security policy is implemented knew immediately that Benghazi was a case of massive civilian meddling in security policy for political advantage. President Obama and Leon Panetti deliberately prevented a rapid response team from deploying in order to preserve the myth that Africa was Al Quaeda free. Congratulations to Miller for elegantly showing us ruthless this crowd behaves to preserv their political advantage.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
We can remember a time when getting caught in a LIE was a career-threatening crisis for a politician, at least in countries that retain pretensions of democracy. Now there is a whole thesaurus of EUPHEMISM's for LYING, and it is opened daily. O believes the bull spilth he reads fro his teleprompter. His speech writer has the thesaurus and uses new and exotic synonyms for the word lie and has great fun throwing them around for the most potent effect. Clinton, of course, has Bill as a mentor and tutor for instruction on the fine art of lying. What a duo-O and Clinton. (Bill is a close second)
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the millions of good, honorable US citizens, come Clintons and Obamas. For lack of an impartial media and an ignorant, uninformed populace, such criminals get elected to high offices, where they cling like barnacles to the ship of state. Until we begin to educate the voters and stop reading trash sheets like the NYTimes, there will be no change for the better. God help the USA !!!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Professor Miller: I did not get your question, viz., did Obama sacrifice 4 people to assure his election and etc. I find not a few raise the matter as you have done. Sir! - He has sacrificed an entire people, and intends (see Hestilow on DHS and Obama) to make war on American citizens. The recommendation (from Ayles and Dohrn) is to kill 150 million to get rid of the capitalists etc. Perhaps he'll settle for a smaller number. This is the Weather Underground we have, now ruling this destracted and lost people.

R. J. Loewenberg
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"....weakens BOTH camps sufficiently that the voice of reason once again asserts itself in the Democratic Party."

The voice of reason only resides within the center moderates of each party. The Tea party in the House removed nearly all of them in 2010. In 2012 more far left regained some seats. The very same story for the GOP in the senate. Now, we're left with largely the two extremes of the two parties and what a mess they've brought to the congress and the american people at-large. One party largely shooting themselves in the head daily and the other party sitting back enjoying the show.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
@ Sparky Redux way down below
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Armed conflict is messy business for any president and lots of people get killed because a strategy failed to present as planned. Likewise, I'll repeat myself in saying that NO president or department head in times of armed conflict make decisions in a vaccum and certainly not in a political partisan/ideological vaccum.

Radicalism is an amazing thing!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
My cat just dug a hole a buried something that has more stature and integrity than any liberal politician.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the way it works is this: The press is sympathetic to, or worse, a cheerleader for, progressive politicians, most blatantly when they're Democrats. All the Clintons have to do, or Obama, is give the media another story to run with and they will gladly play their role: smearing lipstick on very ugly pigs. They work in tandem, these two: corrupt politicians and their enabling press.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christopher Hitchens's book, "No One Left to Lie to" is a great read. I think Hitchens - who is no Republican - would take the Democrats protecting Hillary to task where he still alive today.

The link you've provided is to the hardcover/paperback versions of the book, which are out of print. The book is also available on Kindle on the Amazon site, here:
http://www.amazon.com/One-Left-Lie-Triangulations-ebook/dp/B007EDYSD6
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Were" rather than where.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do not enjoy being this cynical but the truth is that NOTHING will happen to Obama. He should be in jail for what he did - and Hillary with him - but that won't happen. He won't even be indicted, let alone tried. He'll simply ride out this latest scandal and then retire to have someone else write his memoirs (for which he'll stiff them and keep all the money for himself). He has no conscience for the dead and no loyalty for the living; he is simply a corrupt narcissist who's been protected and will continue to be protected by those around him because they're every bit as awful as he is; thus protecting him is protecting themselves.

I don't enjoy this prediction. I really don't.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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