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The Mother of All Scandals

August 12th, 2013 - 8:48 pm


A system of voluntary tax compliance cannot survive a dishonest IRS. Lois Lerner and company have virtually ruined the agency. For the foreseeable future, each time an American receives a tax query, he will wonder to what degree his politics ensures enhanced or reduced scrutiny — or whether his name as a donor, activist, or partisan has put him on a watch list.

Worse still, when a high commissioner of the IRS takes the 5th Amendment, it sends a frightening message: those audited go to jail when they refuse to testify; those who audit them who do the same do not.


The Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring by the Obama administration was creepy not just because it went after a heretofore obsequious media, but because Obama’s lieutenants alleged that the reason was aiding and abetting the leaking of classified material.

Of course, disclosing top-secret information and thereby damaging the national interest is no small thing. But was leaking the real reason that Eric Holder lied under oath when he assured his congressional inquisitors that he was not monitoring the communications of Americans — after he had done just that in the case of James Rosen of Fox News?

No modern administration has leaked classified data like the Obama administration. Do we remember a frustrated Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warning White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon “to shut the f— up” for disclosing the secret details of the bin Laden hit?

Or was John Brennan’s effusive blow-by-blow description of the Navy SEAL team protocol worse? Or for that matter, why did David Sanger and David Ignatius seem to have access to classified details about the bin Laden document trove and the Iranian Stuxnet cyber-war campaign? The obvious answer is that after the midterm election of 2010, a panicking Obama administration worried about reelection, and especially polls that suggested the president was weak on national-security issues.

To rectify that image, politicos began leaking the nation’s most intimate secrets to remind the public that, behind the scenes, Obama was a veritable Harry Truman. The problem with the AP was not that it leaked, but that it did not leak in a fashion and at a time of the administration’s own choosing. In other words, the Associated Press was a competitor when Obama wished a monopoly on the leaking franchise.


No one knows much about the NSA mess. But already there are some disturbing developments. How can Director of National Intelligence James Clapper outright lie under oath without consequences after he assured the Congress that the agency did not monitor the communications of American citizens?

After the president’s press conference last week, an embarrassing paradox arose: the president promised all sorts of new NSA reforms. But why now, and for what reason the sudden worry? After all, Obama offered no new protocol to ensure that classified matters did not end up in the hands of a high-school dropout and highly ideological computer hacker like Eric Snowden.

Instead, the president de facto made Snowden’s case. It was only because of the illegal acts of Snowden that Obama promised future measures — not against the next Snowden, but against abuses promulgated by himself. Consider the logic: Snowden is supposed to be a criminal for leaking a top-secret intelligence gathering operation, but in response to that illegal conduct, Obama for the first time promises to address just the sort of abuses that Snowden outlined.

With enemies like Obama, the lawbreaking Snowden hardly needs friends.


Of the four most prominent scandals — and by “four” I do not wish to deprecate “Fast and Furious,” or EPA Director Lisa Jackson’s fake email persona, or the arbitrary non-enforcement of the law, from ignoring elements of Obamacare to granting pre-election amnesty by fiat to over one million illegal aliens — Benghazi is by far the most disturbing; the scandal is insidious.


Four Americans were slaughtered under conditions that we still cannot fathom. It was rumored but not confirmed that Ambassador Stevens in extremis was either raped or brutalized, though those details remain murky — given that the assassination of an American ambassador is rare, and the vicious brutalization of his person is unprecedented. Witnesses of the attack on the CIA annex have either disappeared or gone silent. The families of the deceased have received conflicting accounts of how loved ones were murdered. All that we know for now is that the entire scene of the caskets arriving on U.S. soil — from the melodramatic assurances that the perpetrators would shortly feel American retaliation, to the demonization of Mr. Nakoula as the cause of the deaths — was a lie, and a cynical one at that.

Military protocol?

The American military takes incredible risks to come to the aid of its own beleaguered. When it does not — consider Wake Island in World War II — a national scandal erupts. For now, we know that those under assault requested aid; that sending such help was imminently feasible; and that no one yet can explain why such succor was not sent.

We are left with the suspicion that some official surmised that the reelection campaign did not want a Mogadishu-style shoot-out less than two months before the election, or a messy Libya, or the risk of beefing up security. The reelection mantra was instead that Osama bin Laden was dead; al Qaeda was nearly defunct; and that the “lead from behind” removal of Moammar Gaddafi had helped to energize the Arab Spring and lead to a new age of reform. No wonder someone ordered a stand-down to preserve that fantasy.

“Leading From Behind” has led to “Leaving Them Behind.”

If Obama can monotonously “spike the ball” on Osama bin Laden, cannot he offer a little clarity to the families of the deceased? Nearly a year after the murders, what happened to Obama’s reelection boast that he would bring the perpetrators to justice?


Barack Obama, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton all falsely swore that the obscure amateur video maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was guilty of prompting a mass riot at Benghazi. Nakoula — petty crook and loud opponent of Islam — was a fall guy right out of central casting.

A favorite topos of Barack Obama — consider the al-Arabiya interview, or the Cairo speech — is his courageous and principled opposition to supposedly ubiquitous Islamophobes. Beating up on the unsympathetic Nakoula killed two birds with one stone: it reminded the world that the multiculturalist Obama would not tolerate anti-Muslim thought on his shores, and it propped up the sinking narrative of an extinguished al-Qaeda.

There were absolutely no professional consequences for publicly lying — to the nation, to television audiences, to the relatives of the deceased, to the United Nations — that the Nakoula video was the cause of the deaths of our Benghazi personnel. Barack Obama was reelected. Hillary “what difference does it make” Clinton retired from the secretary of State post to congratulations and media frenzy about her likely 2016 presidential campaign. Susan Rice was promoted to National Security advisor.

There is almost no one left at his 2012 post. In addition to the above, General Carter Ham, in charge of Africa Command, has retired. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has retired. CIA Director David Petraeus has resigned.

How did it happen that just nine months after the attack, most all of the relevant decision-makers — Clinton, Ham, Panetta, Petraeus, Rice — have vanished from their jobs?

Ron Ziegler Redux

Jay Carney cannot be believed. He lied when he said that there were only “stylistic” changes made to CIA talking points, when in fact the administration’s revisions were both major and predictably aimed at serving a false narrative. Carney also did not tell the truth when he repeated on several occasions that Mr. Nakoula was the culprit for the violence, a fact that he knew at the time was false. And when Carney deprecated Benghazi as a “phony” scandal, we heard the ghost of Ron Ziegler stonewalling with “third-rate burglary.”

The Engaged President

We saw minute-by-minute pictures of Obama in command surrounded by advisors during the bin Laden raid. Why not the same level of photographed attention on the night of Benghazi? In a nutshell, in one operation we sent lots of soldiers after a few enemies, and in the other, lots of our enemies were sent after a few of our soldiers. Saving trapped Americans from a pre-planned al-Qaeda hit is not a photo-op in a way a preplanned American attack on al-Qaeda most certainly could be. Otherwise, I have no idea where the president was during that long tragic night, only that we will never know until he is well out of office.

“National Security”

The hallmark of most recent American presidential scandals — whether Watergate or Iran-Contra — has been the evocation of “national security” and often the supposed role of the CIA that must preclude full disclosures. For now, almost a year later, no one knows what exactly the CIA was doing in Benghazi, only that hiding whatever it was doing — perhaps gunrunning confiscated weapon stockpiles to insurgents of some sort in Syria — was of utmost importance, at least in the political context of late 2012. I have read the accounts of the original CIA talking points, reviewed the public statements of Gen. David Petraeus both before and after his resignation, collated the assertions of top administration officials — and the narratives cannot be squared. Someone at some point flat-out lied and thought it critical to hide American activity in Benghazi.

A False Campaign?

The election of 2012 may well have been altered by the Benghazi cover-up, in ways that transcend debate moderator Candy Crowley’s puerile and unprofessional efforts to shield Obama from Romney’s questioning about the deaths. Imagine the fallout on voters had we been told from the very beginning that an al-Qaeda affiliate had stormed our consulate — ill-prepared and unable to obtain needed beefed-up security, reliant for safety on local suspect tribal militias, in a country that had deteriorated into a failed society after our Libyan bombing — and slaughtered four Americans, apparently stationed in Benghazi to help in some way a covert CIA operation.

So here we have it: a beleaguered “consulate” that was refused additional security and relied on local militias, apparently due to administration worry over destroying an Obama campaign narrative of a reborn Libya and dying al-Qaeda. A CIA operation of some sort supplied something to someone, but what and why and to whom, we are not supposed to know. Four Americans, the very best the country had to offer, are dead, denied assistance when assistance could have saved them — the why and the how and the when of it all we are not told. We fear it might have been a crackpot cost-benefit analysis: four lives versus another Mogadishu and an Obama November defeat.

We know only that the dead were far more heroic than the leaders who chose not to aid them.

And in reaction to all this, we jail a petty video maker, who makes the perfect scapegoat as a supposedly right-wing Islamophobic hate monger whose take-down advances our president’s politically correct narrative of Muslim outreach. That yarn required a president, secretary of state, and UN ambassador to lie repeatedly. When we ask questions, witnesses are browbeaten, the knowledgeable fade into the Washington woodwork, the luminaries have all left their offices, and we are left with “phony” scandal and “what difference does it make.”

All in all — the mother of all scandals.

Update: “Pictures Do Lie.” A brief addendum to this article, at the PJ Tatler.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Scandal: Damage to reputation or character caused by public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behavior; disgrace.

My dear cyberfriend, VDH...Obama and this administration (as well as any and all leftists) cannot, by definition...suffer a "scandal".

A key element is missing.

"Public disclosure"

The flying monkey brigade also known as "the media", (as well as their counterparts in Hollywood/entertainment/infotainment, and academia...not only will never "disclose" the full, fair and in depth investigative facts about a leftist "scandal"....they will do everything in their power to cover it up.

Obama, Hillary, Rice, Holder, Lerner, ...the whole fish...stinks from the head down.

Because they will NEVER be held accountable for ANY actions...the term "scandal" does not apply.

Totalitarian corruption of our government cannot exist without a complicit information stream. We are not a target for being informed...we are targets for being "transformed". Good and hard.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am outraged by this litany of deceit and incompetence by an administration whose only governing rule is that there are no rules. Worst of all I feel like I have absolutely no representation in government. What is the purpose of an opposition party that refuses to oppose? An opposition party whose primary focus seems to be to act polite and not make anyone uncomfortable. Consent of the governed my ass. I know that I am not alone, that there are millions of us out there, but we feel isolated because of the bias and distortion and utter lack of professionalism of the media. Thank you Dr Hanson for providing the focus and facts that the media refuses to provide - to the utter infamy of their name.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The worst scandal in the past five years is the nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance of the "Fourth Estate". They made all of the Obama scandals possible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (152)
All Comments   (152)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
With no accountability, there is no scandal and Obama, Clinton, Rice et al
literally get away with murder. The radical, liberal MSM is primarily responsible.
Turn off your T.V. Let their advertising revenues dry up, and hopefully they
will go out of business, for without the sycophantic MSM, Obama and the rest
of them would be nothing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is it OK to consider the Commander-in-Chief a sociopath, that has no cares for the dead as long as it didn't affect his ability to play golf on the taxpayer's dime?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And Victor your point? We all know Obama is incompetent and a street thug. We all know scandals will not be reported.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know, if I had an uncle that was an ambassador, he'd look just like Christopher Stevens.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Benghazi is a much worse scandal than detailed by Dr. Hanson. Here is why: No help was coming no matter how many were going to die. In fact from Oboutme's perspective the more dead Americans the better because dead men don't tell tales; much easier to effect a cover up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember how apoplexic both Democrat and some Republicans became over Iran Contra? Remember how the partisan "Special Prosecutor indibeted Casper Weinberger, literally on election day?

The contention was that the Reagan Administration was attempting to supply arms to rebels who's cause we supported? Well, why isn't anyone interested in knowing if Obama was doing the "terrible" thing now that was so "illegal" then?

You see in practice how difficult it is to hold a President with DOUBLE IMMUNITY (Black AND Democrat) to the same standards of honesty and integrity as a White Republican President! It is more than the "Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations for Blacks; it is the international cheering section called the MSM that will willingly cover up for any popular Democrat.

It should be a wake-up call to the citizens just how easily a Dictator could seize power if he only has the Liberal Democrats and a worshiping media and academia burnishing his image!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"A False Campaign?" - The IRS scandal should also be mentioned here. Who knows how much impact they had on suppressing the Tea Party vote in 2012?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
you forgot a scandal-see below

A Scandal Bigger Than Benghazi?

By Arnold Ahlert, FPM

Extortion-17In a story that has remained largely under the mainstream media radar, Congress announced late last month that it would finally investigate the Aug. 6, 2011 helicopter crash in Afghanistan that resulted in 38 deaths, including 22 members of SEAL Team 6, made famous three months earlier when they killed Osama Bin Laden. Grieving family members insist that soldiers in the elite unit were placed in unnecessary danger by the recklessness of the Obama administration, whose actions they characterized as criminal. “We’re going to dive into this,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security.

The families of the slain soldiers have every right to be furious. SEAL Team 6 is a covert unit whose operations are ostensibly classified. As a result, it has never been revealed which members of the team were involved in the killing of the terrorist mastermind, or how many of those same men were among those killed when the Chinook helicopter in which they were traveling was shot down by Taliban terrorists.

The focus of the families’ fury and shock, along with that of SEAL Team 6 members themselves, was the administration’s desire to tout their success in killing Bin Laden — compromising the safety of the unit in the process. Only two days after the raid, Vice President Biden gave a speech at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. “Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees: Adm. Jim Stavridis is a — is the real deal; he could tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALS and what they did last — last Sunday,” Mr. Biden revealed to audience members gathered for the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank.

What followed was a testament to Biden’s disturbing ability to speak before thinking. “And what was even more extraordinary was — and I’m sure former administration officials will appreciate this more than anyone — there was such an absolute, overwhelming desire to accomplish this mission that although for over several months we were in the process of planning it, and there were as many as 16 members of Congress who were briefed on it, not a single, solitary thing leaked. I find that absolutely amazing,” Biden added, apparently oblivious to the reality that he had just perpetrated one of the more egregious leaks of national security information in recent history.

As a result, SEAL Team 6 members realized they had a target painted on their backs. That reality was hammered home in a May 10, 2013 Fox News interview with Karen and Billy Vaughn, whose son Aaron was killed in the chopper crash. Karen spoke first. “As soon as Joe Biden announced that it was a SEAL Team who took out Bin Laden, within 24 hours, my son called me and I rarely ever heard him sound afraid in his adult life….He said, ‘Mom, you need to wipe your social media clean…your life is in danger, our lives are in danger, so clean it up right now’,” she revealed.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Disturbing indeed. Michael Savage made the case that it was a setup over a year ago. As a Muslim, Obama had ample motive to punish those who killed Bin Laden (a hero among Leftists), even though he supposedly ordered them in. More likely it was a political necessity, to burnish his image among the Sunni Jihadist circles with whom he cultivates relations. (As an umbrella group, the MB is more than a political party, it is also a conduit into the heart of most major Sunni terrorist networks).

Given all that we know about Obama and his cabal, it would not surprise me in the least to learn that he ordered the murder of those magnificent men, as a kind of blood sacrifice of atonement to protect his image in certain circles of the Muslim world.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the two most mis-applied words regarding the behavior of the rogue regime and the thoroughly corrupt government in general ar the suffix "gate" and the word "scandal"-

Watergate was a "gate", and it was decades ago. Although "scandal" is defined as a moral or legal problem that causes problems or embarrassment, it has been overused to the extent that it no longer connotes real seriousness.

It is long past time to begin to refer to the behavior of our ruling class as what it is- unConstitutional, unethical, illegal, criminal, felonious all come to mind as much more accurate, particularly under this regime.

The message is controlled by they who control the language; it is time for Conservatives to begin to make some serious progress in controlling the language.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And don't forget the mother of all overused/misused words "crisis", a word that actually has, or had, a very specific meaning.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If the so-called president and US Attorney General have to follow no laws why should any of us?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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