A TribLIVE.com exclusive: Benghazi questions remain unanswered — save one
By Richard W. Carlson
Published: Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Benghazi, that ancient Libyan port city, unknown to most Americans until one year ago, has passed the tipping point for sustained publicity.
Despite the manipulative efforts of President Obama and his allies in the media to quash the interest of the American public in what happened there, Benghazi will not go away. Its name is now a lasting part of our culture. It has joined the herpes virus of American politics. It is tied like a bouncing can to the bumper of “the most transparent administration in history.”
Six congressional committees have examined parts of the Benghazi cover-up. They have all failed to answer the most important questions:
What were diplomats and CIA officers actually doing there?
Why did America abandon the four Americans who ultimately died?
How were Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his communicator, Sean Smith, murdered, exactly?
Why has the public been prevented from seeing a coroner's report?
Why were former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, who died eight hours into the attack, denied rescue?
Is it true that Doherty and Woods were in Libya to track down MANPADS, shoulder mounted surface-to-air missiles?
How were 10 other Americans wounded, some of them grievously?
Why are they still being hidden from the public?
What were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama doing the night of the attack?
Why didn't they personally act?
Why did the administration labor to sell the false story that the attack was in retaliation for an American-made TV film?
Why did it take the FBI four weeks to get to the two sites in Benghazi when American and British news reporters were combing through the damaged buildings the next day?
We have no answers to these questions, said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., in an interview with Ginni Thomas at DailyCaller.com last week. Wolf is an 11-term member who is chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee and a respected longtime human rights campaigner.
Playing off Hillary Clinton's now infamous question, “What difference, at this point, could it possibly make?” Wolf told Thomas:
“I know that Hillary Clinton is now receiving $200,000 a speech. I also know that Susan Rice, who went on five talk shows saying that it was the (blasphemous) video, is now the national security adviser. I also know that Leon Panetta signed a $3 million book deal. I also know that Gen. Petraeus (then director of the CIA) is now working for a large Wall Street firm up in New York and making a lot of money. I also know that Jack Lew, the chief of staff, is now the secretary of the Treasury. So they have all gotten rewards. But I also know that four people died who are American heroes and patriots and two were seriously wounded. And several others were wounded. The comparison of that situation, I think, is just not very good.”
Wolf has always been motivated primarily by love of country, not partisan politics, when he gets behind an issue. He is up against a lying, cynical president and his cronies, an administration whose decisions are invariably driven by just the opposite motives — partisan, self-serving politics.
To them, politics always trump what is best for America. I think this fact is finally catching up with the public's view of Obama. It is just too obvious to ignore much longer.
The Obama administration's response to the Benghazi attack — and then its cover-up of what actually happened — was all about Obama's re-election, then less than two months away.
Let me quote a couple of paragraphs from a long and incisive article by Guy Taylor on the front page of The Washington Times of Sept. 10, the day before the one-year anniversary of Benghazi.
“As President Obama ran to election victory last fall with claims that al-Qaida was ‘decimated' and ‘on the run,' his intelligence team was privately offering a different assessment that the terrorist movement was shifting resources and capabilities to emerging spinoff groups in Africa that posed fresh threats to American security. ...
“The gulf between the classified (intelligence) briefings and Mr. Obama's pronouncements on the campaign trail touched off a closed-door debate inside the intelligence community about whether the terrorist group's demise was being overstated for political reasons.”
As Obama crossed the country that fall, touting his killing of Osama bin Laden and implying to mindless crowds that he had crushed al-Qaida, the Benghazi attack came along and threatened his campaign narrative.
Factual threats to Chicago politicians are always met with obfuscation, media manipulation and lies.
Richard W. Carlson is a former U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles and the former director of the Voice of America.
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