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Roger L. Simon

Benghazi and Going ‘The Full Nixon’

May 20th, 2013 - 12:04 am

Choosing which is worse between the Benghazi and IRS scandals is probably as much a Rorschach test of the chooser as it is anything else. Both scandals are hugely serious and likely to be with us for a long time.

For me, however, Benghazi is worse, in part because it is easier for some to dismiss and rationalize. Here’s an example of how that’s being done in a rundown of the scandals by John Avlon in the Telegraph. After tut-tutting about the seriousness of the IRS scandal (but careful not to go “The Full Nixon” — nothing could be as bad as that), Avlon writes:

Finally, there is the continuing inquiry into the killing of four Americans in Benghazi. After damning congressional testimony from former deputy chief Libya diplomat Greg Hicks, the White House belatedly released a barrage of emails – which showed that the editing of the now-infamous “talking points” used by officials in television interviews was largely the product of a bureaucratic turf war between the CIA and the State Department.

Largely? How about minutely? Even in the relatively small number of emails as yet released, the “limited hangout,” we see the whip hand of administration personnel Ben Rhodes and Tommy Vietor, and also references to the national security staff (NSS) reviewing the material, indicating even more people at the White House were involved.

Whatever minor-league turf wars were being played out, with an ambassador murdered and three other Americans dead, the administration was undoubtedly worried about considerably more than intramural rivalries.

The White House and the State Department were on the brink of serious humiliation before an election. They had screwed up royally. What were they going to say? They had to figure it out and at some point they decided to lie, downplaying the heavily armed terrorist attack and Ansar al Sharia and placing the blame on a video trailer almost no one saw. (For those who missed it, the only place the actual full-length film played was one screening at the Vista Theatre in L.A.’s Silver Lake district. According to an usher, the place was empty.)

Weeks later in front of the UN and on the Late Show with David Letterman and even, pathetically, on The View, the president was still blaming the terrorist attack on the ludicrous video.

John Avlon may find this largely a turf war. I don’t.

Ironically, good old Bob Schieffer on traditional old CBS seems willing to go further now than Avlon. He really let hapless White House “senior advisor” (he didn’t look very senior to me, but maybe that’s my age) Dan Pfeiffer have it on Face the Nation Sunday, though Schieffer too could not finally go “The Full Nixon.” For these establishment media-types, nothing and no one will ever be as bad as Tricky Dick and Watergate.

Only in my view (not The View), it’s actually worse.

The Benghazi scandal is more disturbing than just lying about a terror attack to get reelected. And that’s pretty disturbing, considering the lies were made directly to the families of the victims. (cf. Hillary Clinton telling Charles Woods, one of the dead SEALS’ father, they were going to get the guy who made that video and revenge his son’s death.)

The Benghazi scandal, in all probability, would not have happened if the administration and/or the State Department took the War on Terror seriously or even, dare I say it, put the words terrorism and Islamic together in a sentence. But that would break a thousand narratives in the mind of Barack Obama, from his childhood with Frank Marshall Davis until now and back.

So now he is riding the whirlwind. The question is, will he carry us (and Western Civ) with him?

As for the media, you shouldn’t be so shy. Sooner or later, you may actually have to go “The Full Nixon.” Need some practice? Click the YouTube below.

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Top Rated Comments   
The lies are nothing compared to letting our people get slaughtered without lifting a finger and then getting a good night's sleep and going to a big fundraiser the next day.

When someone does something that immoral, it's not his subsequently lying about it that bothers me.

It's not the cover up. It's the callous disregard and neglect of the CIC's duty.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I'm taking the ink blot test, I'm not seeing spiders or butterflies. I'm seeing gargoyles and mazikin.

As a thought exercise, let's take the following scenarios and the options of items that each of us feels is the MOST horrifying to our sensibilities. Let's examine Benghazi, the AP search and seizure, the assault on "those bitterly clinging to guns and Bibles", Fast and Furious, and Obamacare.

This is the ultimate ink blot test. You may only pick one answer as the one that MOST terrifies, horrifies and shatters your faith in your country.

Benghazi: Which of the following do you find MOST abhorrent.

A) The fact that both Bush 41 and Bush 43 had to explain in great detail the missions they intended, obtain consent of BOTH parties, and build a coalition of worldwide partners...and Obama has had to do absolutely no explanation for his forays into war, drone killing, invasions of sovereign nations and there is NEVER a "grim milestone" mentioned.


B)The fact that open and notorious threats were evident for months in Benghazi, repeated pleas for protection went unheeded and aggressively ignored, and yet to this minute...there is NO CLEAR EXPLANATION as to what was so necessary to have the ambassador in Benghazi in the first place and NO INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING has been attempted to find out.

C) That in the aftermath of the bloodbath, with bloody fingerprints scraped across the walls left behind, a scheme was hatched to alter the reports, not once...but multiple times, to deny the American people and their very incurious press, the truth about the attack. And, that the conspiracy to defraud was engaged in by the White House, Secretary of State, the CIA, FBI, and the military at every level, including the highest.

D)That whistleblowers who knew the truth were threatened, their lawyers hamstrung, they were demoted or passed over for promotion, and their careers damaged.

E)That Susan Rice and the entire administration...including the President, the Secretary of State and the Press Secretary openly and repeatedly lied about the source of the attack and continued to do so for weeks on end.

F) That an arrogant and dismissive Secretary of State said, "what does it matter at this point" in the face of all of the above.

G) That the Press Secretary continues to this day to BLAME REPUBLICANS for examining this entire scenario, because it is "nothing but political theater".

or

H) That this government stormed into an American household in the middle of the night, dragged out a videographer who exercised his First Amendment rights to tell a story he believed in, the government called the media to witness him being perp walked, in order to blame him for an event that did NOT INVOLVE HIM AT ALL, ...and they imprisoned him to this day. An event, which our incurious media and the "protectors of the civil rights of innocents" who were so vocal during the Bush years...have been utterly silent.

I will be more than happy to run this ink blot test on those other topic heading as well. If...you can stand the nightmares.

Full Nixon?

Don't make me laugh. Full Stalin.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everyone seems confused by the attack in Benghazi, as if it's confusing why Obama left the consulate unguarded, and didn't react when it was attacked...but it's simple and obvious why he did these things.

First, he made a Speech in Cairo, and as a result the Arab World doesn't hate us any more. Muslims love us now. President Obama understands the Muslim world much much better than everyone else...after all he lived there for much of his childhood. Now that he's replaced the Evil Bush, our diplomacy is much smarter, and the Arab World loves us. There's no need for security at our consulate, especially in Libya, where we assisted in ousting the previous regime. This means all the Muslims, even the extremists, will be grateful to us, and never attack us.

Once the attack began, of course the problem was there wasn't enough information to make a decision. Since the Muslims love us, it was confusing that Muslim extremists were trying to kill us. It was self-evident that this couldn't be true, so there was a lot of delay while the administration went over this time and again, trying to figure out how it could be true. Don't you understand how mystifying this was, since they knew the Muslim world loves us now? The stand-down orders and so forth, those came about because we have to show respect to the new leaders of Libya and other places...if we don't show them respect, they won't love us any more. Contradicting them on TV doesn't count, of course...

Doesn't all this make more sense, now? Once it happened and it was obvious that the President's opinion of his own understanding of the Muslim world was wildly overconfident, they had to come up with a story that would cover their asses...otherwise he might have lost his bid for reelection. That of course is paramount, preservation of power is important enough to sacrifice almost anything...truth is relatively insignificant beside it.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (61)
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Here is the real worrying problem Roger.

Obama's approval ratings unchanged since Benghazi, IRS, AP scandals broke. Still over 50%.

Someone famously said, we can survive another 4 years of an Obama Administration, but not the electorate that put him there and supports him.

PS - Is this a paraphrased quote from a Czech politician?

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
This thing has the unmistakeable reek of cover up. To me, and others, the foremost question is: Where was Barry, exactly, hour by hour, when this fiasco was going down? So far, the only direct answer we have from his regime on this is: What difference does it make? Was he in the Situation Room through most of that fateful and massively damaging evening? The official reply: nobody knows what room he was in, but we are assured that he was being kept informed by unnamed, lower-level "national security" employees.

I believe he had started partying earlier than usual that day (all he had on his schedule the next day was a fundraised in Vegas), and was too sh**faced to take the com. I honestly believe that that is the most logical explanation for the gross dereliction of duty that occurred that night and over-night. His entire administration stood down at a time when every one of them should have been standing up. How these people can live with their actions is beyond me. But then, I'm not a D.C. person.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Due to republicans complicity nothing will happen. You might glimpse into how it will play out by watching Romney's pathetic performance in the debates (particularly 3-d one).
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sooner or later we will have to apply some logical thinking to the Benghazi affair and construct a time line from 60 days prior to the demonstration to two months after the demonstration and attack at the Annex.
Then with just a modicum of intelligence wi will see what really happened and why it happened. We will be able to see the terror in the hearts of both Obama and Clinton as their little kidnapping crime blossoms into a real nightmare and so many lies that it cannot be contained......
Wake up folks this started out as a sham kidnapping and two exSeals who refused to 'stand down' turned it into real war which caused many problems with multiple lies by the Crats in Charge...... Get the rope so we can have a hanging party and invite Obama and Hillary as the guests of honor......
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't help but think of all our soldiers who are being sacrificed as so much expendable "cost" of business in this sordid tangled web.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"was largely the product of a bureaucratic turf war between the CIA and the State Department."

This is supposed to minimize it? This HIGHLIGHTS the problem! That these clowns were doing this in the aftermath of a horrible, national embarrassment IS the problem. It's not the crime; It's the cover-up. (Of course, it wasn't a turf war. It was WH and State damage control.)

Every time these guys come up with some way of trying to whitewash something, they reveal their broken thinking. It's like the current practice of saying, "I don't know." They think it makes them inculpable, but in fact, it is worse! It shows them to be, not just grossly incompetent, but grossly negligent, which makes them both incompetent AND culpable.

You'll notice, also, they never, ever apologize, because they are all lawyers, and lawyers think that an apology means culpability. Broken thinking from broken values.

These people are just slimy scum infesting the stagnant waters of our political system.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GOP has fallen down on this one as well. Instead of standing up for principles, they have let themselves get mired down in ad hoc attacks claiming racism and female-hatred without a shred of evidence. In other words, we are letting identity addicts get away with murder a slice at a time and reacting a slice at a time. No woman, gay, black person or Muslim can do wrong in America or overseas.

Instead of filibustering drones, it's time someone in Congress stood up and acted like an adult and told people you can't decide right and wrong by recycling how the Crusaders killed everyone in Jerusalem and women couldn't vote and we had Jim Crow and throw in lies about post-colonialism and la-dee-frickin'-da.

Were I a congressman, I'd insist the Hispanic, black and Asian tri-caucuses disband, and that I would not do any business with anyone who is a member. That would send a message and put the real racial bigots back on their heels for once. We can't allow this type of nonsense based on the idea every last racist must be hunted down.

The issue always was about institutional discrimination, not people frowning at somebody. Without one-sided institutions, frowns go both ways. We are being lied to, conned, extorted and bullied. Hatespeech is being mainstreamed.

Whatever you think of that silly little Muslim movie, it's no different in principle than "The Life of Bryan." In identity, it's thought of in completely different ways.

All of what we're seeing flows from two things: identity and how those identities were and are still being treated. It's time to grow up and stop letting a single murder be a trend, and a trend be a single murder based on nothing more than what the people involved were on the day they were born.

This past weekend the venerable Nebula Awards for best science fiction novel were held. 3 of the 6 nominees and one who won Best Short Story as well as the President are avowed racialists who never shut up about what jerks white people are on their blogs, including almost daily on Twitter. These are the people who'll write the Dr. Who and Star Trek and Star Wars your kids will watch and read.

Better start waking up and attacking the seeds rather than the pollen.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If this President is to be impeached, it will have to be in abstentia. He is everywhere and nowhere. He's in charge but not really. This guy is like a serial arsonist who shows up briefly at his own fires. He's the political version of a photo bomber. Bizarre beyond belief.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
While latinos believe in the welfare state, unlike the denizens of Santa Monica and Berkeley they intuitively believe in the honor of defending your turf. The Benghazi embassy was USA turf and Obama/HRC did not defend it. The RNC should have commercials all over spanish language media pointing this out.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Democrats and the Vichy Press Corps would merely turn it into a "cynical Republican racist" campaign.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
May I also say what ever happen to the Fast and Furious investigation. Has that scandle also been buried? American citzens were also murdered because of the King Obama administration and subsequently cover-up! How about it Issa?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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