The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bengazigate? What's That?

Let’s think back to the scandal that lead to the postfix “-gate” for all political scandals that followed. In June, 1972, a third rate break-in occurred in the DNC headquarters by operatives of a Republican administration. The operatives were captured and arrested. As facts began to be uncovered by a dogged media, the Nixon administration tried to suppress the truth—in essence, they stonewalled, claiming that all accusations were politically motivated.

Members of the Republican administration lied early and often—all to protect their president. But the media and the President’s opposition kept at it. Thousands of newspaper articles, hundreds of TV investigative reports, and dozen of books all attempted to uncover the truth. Every media outlet participated with vigor, and before long, the phrase “what did he [Nixon] know and when did he know it?” became the operative meme for the investigation. A special congressional committee was formed to investigate, and ultimately, the man who tried to stonewall the truth, Richard Nixon, resigned in disgrace.

Fast forward 40 years. Rather than a third rate burglary at the Watergate complex in Washington, DC, a terrorist attack resulting the murder of an American ambassador and three other Americans occurred in Libya on September, 11, 2012. There were warnings before the attack, there was no action taken to save the Ambassador and his colleagues during the attack, and there are indications that someone gave the military the order to “stand down” as the attack unfolded. After the attack and during the final months of a presidential campaign, the administration fostered an outright lie, claiming that the attack was the result of a anti-Islam video. This lie was promulgated by the UN ambassador, Susan Rice, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the President, Barack Obama. It wasn't retracted for 10 days.

When questions began to be raised about the lie, the administration began to stonewall, suggesting that a full investigation would be conducted (and therefore no comment could be made) and then later, that it was all (1) the state department’s fault and/or (2) an intelligence failure.

As questions from the President’s opposition grew, the media remained curiously uninterested. Sure they reported the bare facts, but there was absolutely no vigor, no real interest in learning the truth. Most MSM outlets were more than happy to let the story die, and that’s exactly what they have attempted to do.

I wonder why that is?

Of course, the president’s many defenders suggest that there nothing more to look at (the media seems to agree). But how do they know that? How can they be so sure that there isn’t a lot more to this story? Ironically, Richard Nixon's defenders claimed exactly the same thing 40 years ago. It turns out they were wrong.

During Watergate, all of the media probed, they interviewed, they looked for someone in the administration that would leak information, they asked “what did he know and when did he know it?” And that's why the story stayed alive, grew, and finally lead to punishment of those that knowingly lied.

And now, with four Americans dead and an administration story that changes by the day, the media remains uninterested. Worse they suggest that anyone who is interested is politically motivated. Gosh, that’s deeply insightful—as if the opposition who pushed and pushed during Watergate had only the purest of intentions.

But no matter, the media must protect its chosen President—at all cost. If that means disinterest, if it means suppressing what it has learned, if it means defaming those who would like to know the truth, it’s all good.

Good, that is, for everyone except the American people and the truth.

Update (11/26/12):

A further comment from Michael Walsh:
The Arab Spring, falsely painted by a soft-headed US media as a purely pro-democracy movement, has in fact prompted seizure of power by Islamists. Benghazi, an armed hotbed of radicalism, was a fine target of opportunity for a strike at the Great Satan.

What’s also heart-rendingly clear is that our diplomats and security personnel understood the danger they were in, repeatedly requested more resources — and were left to die, as US military and intelligence assets monitored their deaths in real time, lacking the orders to protect them.

Benghazi was a first-class military and moral disgrace, and one that the Democrats paid absolutely no price for in the recent election.

But the questions won’t go away. Who gave the order to stand down as the consulate was under fire? Who came up with the cockamamie story — so eagerly peddled by UN Ambassador Susan Rice and other administration spokespersons right after the event — that the sacking and looting were in response to an obscure video that lampooned the origins of Islam and had been posted on You Tube for months?

And why did President Obama cling to such a risible explanation, and then (with a timely assist from Candy Crowley in the second presidential debate) turn on a dime and claim he knew the assault was terrorism all along?