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Benghazi as Lazarus, Back from the Dead

The more we know, the more rancid, not to say criminal, the administration’s behavior appears. The more we know —and we’re learning more almost daily — the worse it looks. One of the best reflections I’ve read on the event is PJ Media columnist Andy McCarthy’s essay "The 10 P.M. Phone Call," which appeared at NRO yesterday. A former federal prosecutor, McCarthy has an instinct for the jugular, a sixth sense of what the capital issues are.  “Benghazi,” he points out, “ is not a scandal because of Ambassador Susan Rice, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, and ‘talking points.’ The scandal is about Rice and Nuland’s principals, and about what the talking points were intended to accomplish. Benghazi is about derelictions of duty by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton before and during the massacre of our ambassador and three other American officials, as well as Obama and Clinton’s fraud on the public afterward.” [My emphasis.]

McCarthy asks a question that should be posed again and again until we have a satisfactory answer. What did then-Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama talk about when they spoke at 10:00p.m. the night of September 11, 2012?  “There is good reason to believe,” McCarthy points out, “that while Americans were still fighting for their lives in Benghazi, while no military efforts were being made to rescue them, and while those desperately trying to rescue them were being told to stand down, the president was busy shaping the ‘blame the video’ narrative to which his administration clung in the aftermath.”

McCarthy paints a very disturbing picture:

We have heard almost nothing about what Obama was doing that night. Back in February, though, CNS News did manage to pry one grudging disclosure out of White House mendacity mogul Jay Carney: “At about 10 p.m., the president called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation.”

Obviously, it is not a detail Carney was anxious to share. Indeed, it contradicted an earlier White House account that claimed the president had not spoken with Clinton or other top administration officials that night.

The earlier story better fit Obama’s modus operandi, which is to disappear in times of crisis. His brief legislative career was about voting “present” because he prefers to be absent when accountability knocks. . . .  He is not a commander-in-chief for the battle but the armchair general of the postmortem.

As McCarthy points out, “Fraud flows from the top down, not the mid-level up.”  In the present case, we saw our secretary of State, our ambassador to the UN, and the president’s press secretary go to town with what McCarthy calls the blame-the-video “fairy tale.”  Where’d they get that idea? Jay Carney declined to answer when CNS News asked.  But I hope that more people like Andy McCarthy will keep hammering away.

Writing at NRO a few days, Conrad Black said that it didn’t look to him as if Obama’s behavior in the Benghazi affair rose to the level of an impeachable offense: “gross material abuse of office, or abuse of office with intent to subvert the Constitution and fundamentally alter the nature of government.” I wonder.