By Obama standards, it’s been his team’s finest hour.
The White House and Obama’s media cohort believe they now have the Benghazi consulate attack story under control. They have, they think, established two foundation points of the narrative that relieve Obama of any responsibility for the events and their aftermath.
The two points are, first, that the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three others were the result of bad decisions by low-level people in the State Department, not bad policy choices by Obama. The second point is that by doing nothing about the attack — leaving it to the FBI to investigate and Libya to prosecute the perpetrators in non-existent Libyan courts — is preferable to doing anything like, well, turning whatever terrorist cells we can find in Libya into smoking holes in the ground. Both points are patently false.
To say that the deaths of the four Americans aren’t the result of Obama’s bad policy choices is such a quantum leap over fact and logic that it requires us to spend a microsecond resetting our brains before responding. Let’s start with the fact that none of the four would have been in Libya had Obama not chosen to follow Nicolas Sarkozy into war there despite the advice of then-defense secretary Robert Gates that we had no national security interest there.
If we hadn’t intervened, it’s not likely that the small and not very capable French-British force would have been able to topple Gaddafi, so there would have been no U.S. ambassador in Libya, nor would his staffer have been there to be murdered with him.
And if we hadn’t intervened, there would have been no need to send the two former SEALs who were killed into Libya to try to locate the thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles Gaddafi had which have now gone missing. The four men’s deaths were a proximate result of Obama’s decision to intervene.
The second bad policy choice by Obama is the one that led to the cover-up that is exploding in Obama’s face. Obama has chosen to prostitute U.S. foreign policy on the bed of the so-called “Arab spring.” Obama would have the world believe that the toppling of the Egyptian and Libyan governments of Mubarak and Gaddafi are leading to an outburst of Jeffersonian democracy in the Middle East, the Arab nations blooming with freedoms hitherto unknown in the region and elevating Obama to a Reaganesque status as the liberator of millions.
The problem with that is that while many millions in nations such as Poland now enjoy real freedom, the flower of freedom hasn’t burst into bloom in Egypt or Libya. Egypt is now ruled by the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood, which isn’t interested in freedom. Its president, Morsi, rebuffed Obama’s notion that freedom of speech would be coming to his nation. Only Sharia law pertains. Anything that insults Islam is prohibited. In Libya, there really is no government — yet — and the authorities there aren’t identical to Morsi in their politics. But they are identical to him in his rejection of any freedoms that inconveniently collide with Islamist dogma.
Nevertheless, Obama insists on the pretense that he has freed the Egyptian and Libyan millions from the despotisms they lay under before he acted. He and his administration insist that the Libyans will capture the “criminals” who slew the four Americans and will either try them in non-existent Libyan courts or turn them over to us so Eric Holder can have them tried in U.S. civilian courts. That leaves even some of Obama’s best media allies in a bit of a quandary.
Monday’s lead Washington Post editorial is a perfect example. I wrote last week that the FBI was on a fool’s errand in Libya, trying to search a “crime scene” in Benghazi that couldn’t — and wouldn’t — result in any identification or capture of the terrorists who killed the four Americans. Now the Post seems to come to the same realization. It wrote yesterday that the investigation is too much like the investigation of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, in which the investigators, as the Post describes, were stymied by the Yemeni government’s lack of cooperation and by the U.S. embassy there, which was more concerned with not offending anyone than in capturing the terrorists.
But, predictably, the Post comes down in favor of Obama’s actions. It says that “trials in U.S. courts” are the best option for the Libyan terrorists, should they ever be found. Better that, says the Post, than finding them and killing them in a drone strike. What nonsense.
Which brings us around to the worst, and final, of Obama’s bad policy decisions. It is better, he has determined, for the terrorists to escape than to drop the curtain he has erected around the “Arab spring” and let the nation see just how absurd is the entire concept that Obama has brought freedom and democracy to Egypt and Libya. The lives of four Americans are far less important to Obama than the façade he has erected around the “Arab spring.”
Which, inevitably, led to the cover-up of the events in Libya which is best illustrated in the Fox News timeline.
The Fox timeline shows how Obama personally and many of his minions stuck to the story that there were protests at the Benghazi consulate which somehow morphed into an attack long after the facts were known to them. A few points from the timeline:
There’s more. In the 11 October vice-presidential debate, Joe Biden blamed the intelligence community for Obama’s denials that it was a terrorist attack. Did the intel people know less than Charlene Lamb? That’s what you have to believe in order to believe Biden.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?