As of Monday, there are *four major scandals dogging the Obama administration. More than one of them have the potential to bring major officials down and dominate the news for the foreseeable future. The stories are all moving so fast that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Health and Human Services soliciting funds from the health care industry for the implementation of ObamaCare. This one is “raising eyebrows,” says MarketWatch.
The Times said Sebelius obtained $10 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and $500,000 from H&R Block for the effort. HHS officials said that Sebelius’s efforts would continue, after first denying they were soliciting funds for the effort. But a spokesman for Sebelius said a section of the Public Health Service Act allows her to encourage others to support those working to help carry out public health activities.
Sebelius reportedly has sought donations for Enroll America, a private non-profit group that is working to get the uninsured covered under the 2010 health-care law.
“Nice company ya go there…” This activity is illegal, and marks the second known time that Sebelius has broken the law while atop HHS. The first was when she used official time to campaign for Obama’s re-election, then reimbursed the agency after the fact to paper things over. Does Sebelius get a third strike?
2. Benghazi. Four Americans died in a terrorist attack conducted by Libya’s al Qaeda branch, Ansar al-Sharia, on September 11, 2012. President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador Susan Rice all blamed the attack on a spontaneous demonstration against an obscure YouTube movie, and downplayed al Qaeda’s role. Just a few days prior to the attack , the Democratic National Convention pushed a theme that al Qaeda had been put on the run with the killing of Osama bin Laden. Talking points drafted after the attack were edited 12 times, consistently to remove references to terrorism and al Qaeda specifically. The YouTube movie never appears in the talking points, but it became the message of Clinton, Rice, and Obama through his UN speech on September 26, 2012.
Security had been deteriorating in Benghazi for months leading up to the attack. A warning published in Egypt on 9-10 proved that the attacks were not about a movie at all. Information from the field during the attack proved that it was a coordinated terrorist attack. Someone ordered U.S. special forces in Tripoli who were readying to respond to the attack to stand down. The administration continues to claim that it did not have time to marshal U.S. forces to help, but they had no idea how long the attack would last. Libya deputy chief Greg Hicks, who assumed command upon the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, testified that he believed that the attack had turned into a hostage rescue situation when Stevens went missing. The U.S. Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) is designed to go from “zero to wheels up” very quickly and should have been deployed, according to Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for operations — counterterrorism bureau. The Accountability Review Board appointed by Clinton to investigate Benghazi never interviewed Clinton or Thompson, and did not have stenographers present when witnesses were interviewed. Hicks and Thompson claim that State officials engaged in intimidation to silence them. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has spent most of the Benghazi scandal running interference for the Obama administration, but after last week’s dramatic whistleblowers’ hearing is calling for more public testimony from more witnesses. More whistleblowers are reportedly considering coming forward.