No matter what happens with Darrell Issa's congressional committee meetings this week, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Obama administration, and the cause is Benghazi. It's impossible to overestimate the blowback that has been gathering steam for the past seven months, now about to erupt with full force. Few reputations will emerge unscathed, Obama's presidency will be crippled, Hillary Clinton's 2016 candidacy will be destroyed -- and perhaps some new heroes will be born.
My New York Post column on Friday, which was also linked at RealClearPolitics, sets the stage:
On Wednesday, the FBI released photos of three men present at the deadly jihadist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya; the bureau has asked the Libyans’ help in identifying them.
Which nicely highlights the fact that it’s been more than seven months since Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed — and yet there’s been no justice, nor even vengeance, in the matter.
Nor much exposure: We know little more today than we did in the immediate aftermath of the fiasco.
That's because, right from the jump, the administration has been lying through its teeth about what happened on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 -- the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, as it happens. It transparently lied about the Mohammad video, threw the scapegoated filmmaker in jail (where, last time I looked, he still is), and convened a bogus "accountability" board to whitewash the whole damn thing so as not to disrupt the precious Narrative that Osama was dead and al-Qaeda was on the run.
It was all a lie, of course, and some of us knew it at the time. I wrote about it repeatedly on the Post's Op-Ed page: you can find examples here, here and here. In this case, however, what happened in Benghazi, Foggy Bottom, the White House, and the Obama re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago was (as the saying goes) worse than a crime: it was a blunder. And that blunder may now bring down the man who never should have been president in the first place, for grotesque dereliction of his duty as commander-in-chief:
Indeed, the State Department’s Inspector General is now investigating the Accountability Review Board that reported on Benghazi in December, Fox News reported yesterday. What Fox called “well-placed sources” say the IG is trying to find out if the State panel failed to interview key witnesses who’d come forward.
In fact, Washington power attorney Victoria Toensing — a Reagan-era deputy assistant attorney general with a strong background in intelligence work — says she’s got a whistle blower inside State who’s itching to go public.
But so far she’s been stymied by officials who won’t act on her request for a security clearance so she can deal with classified material the case entails. Other attorneys for as many as three other potential witnesses from inside State and CIA say they’re having the same problem.
In fact, some whistleblowers allege that they’ve been threatened with reprisals should they come forward — even though federal law explicitly protects whistleblowers.
At his Monday press conference, President Obama shrugged off questions about all this, saying, “I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying.”
There's another lie -- this one of Nixonian quality. From the moment Obama learned of the attack on the Benghazi compound -- learned in part from Ambassador Stevens' frantic phone calls to Washington, begging for help -- what did he do? He went to bed early and flew off to Las Vegas in the morning for a campaign appearance; after all, first things first. And since Barry's only real function in this administration is as its frontman/pitchman, he was only doing what he does best.
He’ll be aware soon enough. Next week, the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), will open new hearings on Benghazi — and they could be explosive. He promises to expose new information the administration “has tried to suppress.”
Issa — who previously held the administration’s feet to fire over the still-unresolved Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal — has twice requested guidelines from State, but a department spokesman recently denied that any whistleblowers have come forward and scoffed at reports that they’ve been intimidated.
In fact, word is that some of the whistleblowers may testify that help in the form of a rapid-response force was only hours away — but, for whatever reason, was not authorized.