The CIA is denying. The Pentagon is denying. And now the White House is denying that anyone refused to send help to our embattled CIA and State Department personnel engaged in a seven hour running firefight with more than 150 jihadists.
It just doesn’t get any lamer than this:
The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th.
“Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.
Why was this so hard for President Obama to say on Friday when asked a direct question about assistance to Americans under fire?
President Barack Obama said repeatedly Friday that his administration would “find out what happened” and punish those responsible, but he twice ducked questions about whether U.S. officials denied requests for help.
As Bill Kristol points out, Obama doesn’t have to “find out what happened” in the White House — he was there and presumably was kept informed.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD understands that it will take some time to “gather all the facts” about what happened on the ground in Benghazi. But presumably the White House already has all the facts about what happened that afternoon and evening in Washington—or, at least, in the White House. The president was, it appears, in the White House from the time the attack on the consulate in Benghazi began, at around 2:40 pm ET, until the end of combat at the annex, sometime after 9 p.m. ET. So it should be possible to answer these simple questions as to what the president did that afternoon and evening, and when he did it, simply by consulting White House meeting and phone records, and asking the president for his recollections.
1.) To whom did the president give the first of his “three very clear directives”—that is, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to?”
2.) How did he transmit this directive to the military and other agencies?
3.) During the time when Americans were under attack, did the president convene a formal or informal meeting of his national security council? Did the president go to the situation room?
4.) During this time, with which members of the national security team did the president speak directly?
5.) Did Obama speak by phone or teleconference with the combatant commanders who would have sent assistance to the men under attack?
6.) Did he speak with CIA director David Petraeus?
7.) Was the president made aware of the repeated requests for assistance from the men under attack? When and by whom?
8.) Did he issue any directives in response to these requests?
9.) Did the president refuse to authorize an armed drone strike on the attackers?
10.) Did the president refuse to authorize a AC-130 or MC-130 to enter Libyan airspace during the attack?
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has asked the White House these questions, and awaits a response.
Those are good questions, but why bother? The narrative is in place. The media is cooperating by mostly squelching the story. The cover-up, as John Hinderaker writes, is continuing:
The administration knew that four Americans had been killed in a successful terrorist attack by an al Qaeda affiliate, but lied about the event for weeks in hopes of minimizing political fallout. Extraordinarily courageous Americans fought a seven-hour gun battle against well-armed and well-organized terrorists who vastly outnumbered them before finally succumbing, during which time the Obama administration did nothing. And when the bodies of the dead Americans were returned to the United States, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton misappropriated the occasion to deliver politically-motivated lies, both to the victims’ survivors and to the American people. All of that we now know for sure. If, in addition, there is credible evidence that American soldiers, fighting desperately for their lives against our country’s most bitter enemies, called for help but were cynically left to perish in order to protect Barack Obama’s petty re-election campaign, Obama will not only lose the election but will be turned out of office in disgust by a clear majority of voters. Reporters and editors know this. It will be interesting to see how they respond during the coming days: will they do their jobs, or will they assist their candidate with his cover-up?
How do we know that the White House is lying about denying requests for military assistance from our beleaguered diplomats? Consider: If a news story is published basically accusing the President of the United States of standing by while Americans were killed, shouldn’t the reaction from the White House be a little more indignant? A little more agitated? Perhaps a lot angrier?
All of these denials point to one of two conclusions; either Fox News is making stuff up, or the administration is lying through its teeth. There is no other possible explanation.
And I would note the extraordinary detail in the Fox article, including specific communications between the various locations in Libya and national security people in Washington. If Fox is making stuff up, someone has a pretty vivid imagination.
Hayward wonders if the cover-up will last through the election. He also says this: “So how will the media formerly known as mainstream, which have done their best to try to drag Obama’s sorry campaign across the finish line, deal with the Benghazi story?”
Answer: They will continue to drag the Obama campaign across the finish line — just as these Italian Olympic officials dragged their 1908 marathon runner Dorando Pietr across the line to an apparent victory:
Note: Pietr was eventually disqualified.