Clinton's Benghazi Cover Up 3.0
By Mark Alexander
In an address to the nation in 2010, Barack Obama declared what I suggest will be the defining words of his administration's legacy: "The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide."
Seasoned political observer Jonah Goldberg noted that Obama's deceptions amount to "the biggest lies about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president." While I concur with that assessment, Obama and his secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton, are in a dead heat for "biggest lies about foreign policy."
Though Obama promised to have "the most transparent administration in history," his has without question been the absolute polar opposite. But history tells us that if Hillary Clinton makes it to the White House she'll make Obama look like a piker.
Getting to the truth of any matter in this era — an era in which progressive falsehoods are routinely enabled and propagated by the Leftmedia — is often exceedingly difficult. This is especially true when dealing with accomplished masters of the art of lying like Obama and Clinton. Indeed, they have taken executive-level deception and obfuscation into uncharted depths.
Under the Obama/Clinton watch, our nation's paper tiger foreign policy has resulted in numerous colossal failures. The most catastrophic of these so far would include the expansionist "Russian Spring," our abrupt abandonment of Iraq after securing a hard-won victory over the region's jihadists, and the resulting rise of the "JV" Islamic State whose mayhem is now spreading across the Middle East.
However, the foreign policy failure that is most viscerally linked to Clinton's malfeasance as secretary of state is the September 11, 2012, embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya — and her subsequent efforts to cover for Obama and further her own political aspirations with a series of deliberate deceptions about that attack.
Clinton's failure to provide adequate security for our diplomatic team in Libya — despite repeated requests from Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself — resulted in the deaths of Stevens and three other Americans: Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. That failure was inexcusable, but it is her effort to cover up the attack — to frame it as a "spontaneous protest" over an obscure YouTube video — that is beyond indefensible.
On January 23, 2013, Clinton testified on Benghazi before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee — the day before she introduced her successor, John Kerry, who is another case study in foreign policy ineptitude and malfeasance.
In her testimony, she lamented, "For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it's personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters."
But at the same time she was "comforting" family members, she was actively advancing the faux video protest narrative, even though, within 24 hours of the attack, it was clearly understood by the Pentagon, CIA and Clinton's own State Department that it had been carried out by Ansar al-Shari'ah, an al-Qa'ida-affiliated group.
Clinton stood in front of those flag-draped caskets and declared to the families of the dead, "We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that, because it is senseless and totally unacceptable." She then shamelessly assured Charles Woods, the father of slain former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, "We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted."
Once the ruse was discovered, Clinton ensured that any "smoking gun" evidence linking her to the phony politically motivated protest narrative would be difficult to find.
In March 2015, The New York Times first reported that Clinton maintained all of her official communication on a "private" email server in her home rather than on official DoS secure servers — a colossal violation of State Department policy, security standards and any modicum of common sense. There had been no public mention of that private server prior to the Times' report, though the State Department had been vigorously fending off Freedom of Information Requests for Clinton's emails.
Once that news broke, Trey Gowdy, Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, ordered Clinton to turn those emails over to the government.
Clinton obviously kept all her communications on a private server to maintain complete control over them and to cover her tracks wherever necessary — which would aid her run for White House in 2016.
It was no surprise, then, to learn that Clinton and her black-bag team had already sorted through and deleted some 32,000 of the 62,320 emails that she'd sent or received from her server during her tenure as secretary. These communications, she assured us, were simply not relevant to State Department activities — or to the Select Committee on Benghazi investigation.
What we knew, prior to establishing what we will likely never know from Clinton's email, is that her Benghazi cover-up is now in its third political iteration.
The first iteration was the 2012 pre-election cover-up, which The Patriot Post covered in detail. Clinton propagated the false video protest narrative to provide Barack Obama cover for his "al-Qa'ida on the run" campaign theme, just weeks ahead of the first 2012 presidential debate with Mitt Romney.
At that time, we believed that Clinton's principal co-conspirators were, first, then-CIA Deputy Director Michael J. Morell. He retired from the CIA in 2013 and went to work for Beacon Global Strategies, founded by Philippe Reines, who The New York Times describes as Clinton's "principal gatekeeper." Morell also is a commentator for CBS News, whose president is David Rhodes, brother of Barack Obama's then-Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. (Ya can't make this stuff up.)
The other principal was then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who appeared on five Sunday morning network news programs to utter a carefully crafted talking point: "What happened this week in Benghazi was a result, a direct result, of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated."
Clinton's primary water carriers for this pre-election charade were the aforementioned Rhodes and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Other players included then-Obama Spokesman Jay Carney, then-Deputy Obama Spokesman Josh Earnest, then-Obama Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-Obama Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-Obama Senior Advisor and political strategist Davie Plouffe.
In the first debate between Romney and Obama on October 3, 2012, there was no mention of Benghazi, al-Qa'ida or terrorism, though Romney did note, "What's happening in the Middle East — there are developments around the world that are of real concern."
Romney demolished Obama in that first debate, though he neglected to challenge Obama on his Benghazi cover-up. I then published a "Memo to Mitt From Grassroots Americans," insisting that, in the second debate, he address the issue among others important to his political base.
In that second debate on October 16, Obama was pitched a softball question about security in Benghazi. He replied that he ordered his staff to "investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us, to make sure folks are held accountable and it doesn't happen again." He reiterated his campaign theme: "I said that we'd go after al-Qa'ida and bin Laden, we have. ... I said that I'd end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said we'd refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have gone after al-Qa'ida's leadership like never before and Osama bin Laden is dead."
Obama then criticized Romney for "trying to make political points" regarding how he and Clinton handled the Benghazi affair, asserting, "You don't turn national security into a political issue. Certainly not right when it's happening."
Of course, that's precisely what Obama and Clinton did.
Romney rebutted, "There was no demonstration involved. It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people. ... It took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror." Romney then began to note the cover-up narrative, but the liberal moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley, gave Obama some much-needed air cover, cutting Romney off when Obama insisted his time was up. There was no further discussion on the subject.
In the third debate on October 22, Romney alluded to Benghazi as "an attack apparently by, I think we know now, by terrorists of some kind," but he did not raise the issue of the Obama/Clinton cover-up narrative. Obama rebutted, saying, "Despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying America is our friend." Obama went on to repeat his campaign mantra: "We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al-Qa'ida's core leadership has been decimated. ... The truth, though, is that al-Qa'ida is much weaker than it was when I came into office."
Clinton launched the second cover-up iteration in January 2014 when Senate and House investigators were turning up the heat on Benghazi. She brazenly insisted that any suggestion of a cover-up was pure politics. "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Clinton protested.
Obama insisted, "The whole issue of [Benghazi] talking points frankly throughout this process has been a sideshow."
Obama spokesman Jay Carney persisted, "It has been repeatedly said by some of the critics on this issue that the White House provided talking points and that has been categorically refuted not just by us but by the intelligence community and yet it is still periodically said on the air, um, and it's just wrong. ... The unrest around the region has been in response to this video. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent."
Virtually everything in Carney's statement is a lie.
And finally, we arrive at the third iteration of Clinton's Benghazi cover-up — the release of emails from her confidant and long-time Clinton hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal, which support the "spontaneous video protest" narrative.
According to Rep. Trey Gowdy, "This correspondence far and away dominates all other emails we have from Secretary Clinton regarding Benghazi."
But make no mistake, the only reason the Department of State "found and released" Blumenthal's emails to the House committee investigating Benghazi is because Clinton and company decided to provide them.
The entrance of Blumenthal, who ostensibly floated the video protest narrative to Clinton, is just more deception and obfuscation, setting up Blumenthal as a willing political cutout to provide Clinton 2016 cover. If Clinton needs plausible deniability, she can now simply claim that her trusted adviser Sidney was her authority. Blumenthal is thus prepared to fall on his own sword to defend his queen.
The bottom line? Thus far nothing relating to Clinton's key role in the dishonorable and reprehensible political cover-up of the Benghazi attack has stuck. And likely no future revelation will.
Recall, if you will, that Democrat President Harry Truman was noted for his motto, "The Buck Stops Here," which was engraved on a sign for his White House desk. But Obama's "foreign policy strategy," if one can be discerned, has clearly been predicated on the motto, "The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here." Obama has always planned to pass his domestic and foreign failures to the next administration — even if that is Clinton.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.