Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn. So why couldn’t President Obama’s White House and State Department find the truth about what happened in Benghazi? The answer is they knew the truth; they just couldn’t handle admitting the truth because it would jeopardize Obama’s re-election campaign.
Enter heretofore unknown YouTube video maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, stage right. His new role is called “scapegoat,” and his location is prison. This filmmaker became the target of the Obama Administration’s efforts to explain away Benghazi two months before an election. The conclusion they jumped to was that Nakoula made a hateful video about Islam and that caused people in Benghazi to attack the consulate and kill Americans. It might have been plausible if they could identify one of the attackers who actually saw this video, or for that matter, just identify even one of the attackers. Oh, and if they could keep the truth from coming to light that terrorists were the real perpetrators.
The Benghazi event left four Americans dead, personnel injured, the consulate a burned-out ruin, and Americans wanting to know why. During a January 2013 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) wanted to know why the Obama Administration was blaming a YouTube video plucked from obscurity by the administration for causing “spontaneous” protests outside the consulate. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded by saying, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. If it was because of a protest or if it was because guys out for a walk decided to go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?”
It makes a world of difference to the families of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty. It makes a difference to the American people.
Secretary Clinton continued, “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer my questions about this but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get the best information but you know, to be clear, it is from my perspective, less important today looking backward as to why these militants decided to do it, as to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.”
They were trying to get information in real time? According to a Washington Times article, the Department of Defense (DOD) had an unmanned drone overhead within two hours of the beginning of the attack with a live video feed being viewed at a DOD facility, but evidently it was not fed to the White House. There lie yet more questions; why wasn’t it being fed to the White House, and why wasn’t the president or his staff demanding to view it? Where was the president? In the meantime, according to the Times article, the State Department was viewing closed-circuit security camera images from a camera mounted on the consulate gates.
There was, however, an even better insight into what was happening “real time” – they had the phone calls from State Department foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission/charge d’affairs in Libya, Gregory Hicks.
During Mr. Hick’s testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 8, 2013, he testified that at 2:00 a.m. Libya time (8:00 p.m. Washington time on September 11, 2012), he briefed Secretary Clinton of the attack. Mr. Hicks had also notified the State Department four hours earlier (10:00 p.m. Libya time) when the attack commenced. He was reporting updates to the State Department throughout the night. For those of you wondering, yes that does mean “real time.”
Before Hicks spoke with Secretary Clinton, he had learned that the hospital where Ambassador Stevens was taken is controlled by the terrorist group Ansar al-Shariah. According to Hicks, at 12:30 a.m. he had learned from Twitter feeds that Ansar al-Shariah was taking credit for the consulate attack.
So to summarize, Hicks knew within hours that this was a terrorist attack. Hicks told Clinton and State Department personnel the terror group Ansar al-Shariah was taking credit for the on-going attack.
The answer Obama and Clinton “sought” was known by them from almost the beginning of the attack, and it took a career foreign service officer, a whistleblower, coming forward to let the American public know it, too. This public knowledge however comes eight months after the attack and six months after President Obama was re-elected.
Now the victim’s families and the American public deserve to know the whole truth about who made the decision in the American government to lie and why they did it. We can handle the truth; can the administration?