Belmont Club


Roger Simon is justifiably outraged at news that the Obama administration intentionally distorted the narrative of the attack on the Benghazi consulate to improve president Obama’s re-election chances in 2012. “Previously unreleased internal Obama administration emails show that a coordinated effort was made in the days following the Benghazi terror attacks to portray the incident as “rooted in [an] Internet video, and not [in] a broader failure or policy.”

Roger writes “I didn’t know how right I was when I wrote on September 29, 2012 ‘Benghazi Worse then Watergate.’ With the release of new emails it is spectacularly worse — so bad in fact that it has made a full investigation with an impeachment trial necessary for the protection of our republic.” Roger is right, it is far worse than Watergate.

However, as Glenn Reynolds points out, impeachment ain’t gonna happen for the same reason I adduced. Obama is a sacred cow, as Hillary will be a sacred cow. And sacred cows never get impeached.  Democratic Party identity politics means it’s that designated identity group’s time and must not be interrupted. Like Lebanon, each identity group gets its turn at the trough or there’s political civil war. So, with some reluctance, Glenn Reynolds states what he regards as the facts of political life:

I don’t think anyone will impeach Obama because (1) He’s black, and impeaching the first black President is too fraught; (2) Another impeachment so soon after Clinton might set a pattern; and (3) President Biden. But I was serious when I called for him to resign over the Nakoula arrest. It was a transparent case of political scapegoating and a complete abrogation of Presidential responsibility. In itself, it indicated an unfitness to serve, and subsequent revelations have merely underscored that fact. For the same reason, of course, I didn’t expect him to resign.

But if impeachment isn’t going to happen, that’s no reason not to put the principals under oath at Congressional hearings. The truth should be brought out, in all its ugliness.

But the lie about Benghazi is actually the good news. The bad news is the ignorance it implies about our understanding of the entire direction of Obma’s foreign policy.  There must be a shadow policy from the fact that a cover legend exists. We are like British children before D-Day who climb into a field full of Sherman tanks to find they are actually rubber decoys. So where are the real tanks? Or are there any?

The public still doesn’t know what America’s foreign policy has been these last five years, a situation analogous to a pilot tapping on the gauges of the instrument panel halfway through a transoceanic flight only to see the pointers line up limply with the ground. The passengers must now accept the dials aren’t hooked up to anything. The hope is that Captain Obama and First Officer Biden actually have a backup set of dials somewhere. That they secretly know what they’re doing. But the data shown on the dashboard is just dummy.

What is worse, the second bit of really bad news is that the deceit was a conspiracy. The disinformation effort was intentional on order of the White House. Susan Rice was sent out, papers were shopped, talking points were broadcast in a concerted effort to mislead the public. And conspiracy adds up to malice.

Up to this point it has been possible to argue that Obama was merely inept, blundering from one disaster to the other. But here is bad faith, pure and simple. He may still be inept, but the emails suggest he is also malicious. It’s interesting to re-watch the Romney debate knowing what we know now. Obama knew at this point that the the misdirection program was in train. He was setting Romney in the debate up, with the willing or unwilling help of Candy Crowley, to push a lie.  There he was smiling and triumphantly gloating, and all the time it was fake.

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These two factors taken together mean that the public may not simply be ignorant of the true purposes of the Libyan operation, but also potentially everything the president has been negotiating, including Ukraine, arms control or the war on terror. If the Libya narrative is crooked, what else is bent?

How do you bound the liability? To steal a tagline from the 2014 Godzilla movie,  we are like the Bryan Cranston character, who suspects something very horrible is out there in the Pacific deeps but unable to guess its true nature.

You’re not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a natural disaster. You’re lying! You’re hiding something out there! It was not an earthquake, it wasn’t a typhoon … you have no idea what’s coming … and it is going to send us back to the stone age..

The Obama administration’s foreign policy is falling apart before the public in near real time. One by one the initiatives are winking out like lights on the same circuit, as if the secret infrastructure of the administration’s policies are unraveling and pulling down each other.  Just now  US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt warned Russia that troop movements into Ukraine “would lead to tragic consequences.”  One again, another Red Line just waiting to get crossed has been indifferently drawn, this time in the heart of Europe.

At first glance, this sounds like tough talk. In essence, Pyatt seems to be telling Moscow, “if you invade, U.S. troops will stop you.” And certainly, with 600 U.S. troops already moved into Poland and the Baltic states, things could get ugly. But the statement was rather cryptic. How would the U.S. respond? With military force, more diplomatic maneuvers, or more sanctions? And invasion would lead to tragic consequences for whom?

Further, it doesn’t make much sense. Ukraine has already been invaded. Crimea — if we can shift the clock back a few months — was very much a part of Ukraine. It was invaded and taken over by Russian forces, held a sham referendum, then annexed.

Nobody knows what Pyatt’s warning means, possibly not even the Russians, for whom the message was meant. Possibly Pyatt doesn’t know what it means either.  Maybe it’s just something Ben Rhodes told Pyatt to say.

But if Glenn Reynolds is right, the American political system is helpless in the grip of these pilots with the fake readouts, like being in a nightmare where it is impossible to flee from the approaching danger. Whatever befall, nobody can impeach Obama nor it seems, can anyone persuade him to resign. The world — or the US at least — is condemned to be to chained to the spot while whatever horror is out there lurking in the deeps wades monstrously out of the water. Only when we see it come into the light will we know what we’re facing and not before.

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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