McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

September 16, 2013

Benghazi anniversary brings little notice - and no justice

(Continued)

STILLWATER, Okla. —

And sadly, the evidence over the past year is that Obama is much more interested in protecting his political flank than in bringing those terrorists to justice.

For several weeks after the attack, his administration peddled the absurd claim that the Benghazi attack began as a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video that got out of hand. Indeed, the only arrest made in connection with the attack was of the maker of the video, on unrelated charges.

This, you see, was necessary so the president’s claim that terrorism was on the run in the Middle East would not be undermined during his campaign for reelection.

But even after he was safely reelected, the verbal tap dancing continued.

In late January, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton perhaps thought pounding the table would make her disingenuous testimony in front of a Congressional committee more credible.

“Was it (the attack) because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again,” she said.

Well, madam former secretary, the difference is that the only way to “figure out what happened and … prevent it from every happening again” is to own up to what actually happened in the first place, which is that it was a premeditated terrorist attack featuring the use of heavy weapons on a compound that remained poorly defended after some significant warning signs.

It took a non-U.S. news agency, Reuters, to report that Ansar al-Sharia, the branch of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, had within hours claimed responsibility for the attack.

Yet, all year, the diversions and thuggish attacks on anyone who countered the approved story line continued. In May, the testimony of three State Department veterans shredded that story line. One of them, former deputy chief of mission Gregory N. Hicks, was demoted to a desk job after he spoke with House investigators and testified that the anti-Muslim video was a “non-event” in Libya. And, surprise, surprise, he was smeared by anonymous State Department sources who told the blog ThinkProgress he was a “disaster as a manager” and said to the  magazine Foreign Policy he was “a classic case of an underachiever who whines when big breaks don’t come his way.”

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