Much like the days following the Watergate scandal, the outrage surrounding the Al-Qaeda inspired attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi leaves many more questions than answers. Although President Richard Nixon consistently denied any involvement/knowledge of the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters in June, 1972, a White House recording system would implicate him in attempting to cover up the affair. Nixon’s actions ultimately led him to resign in disgrace, decimated the Republican Party for years and could have destroyed the republic.
Fast forward to 2012. On its face, the shameful fiasco in Benghazi seems not to have affected Obama’s re-election. Still, his administration’s decisions in Libya prior to Sept. 11, 2012, and the apparent cover-up that followed, could still dampen the celebratory atmosphere surrounding his second term, worsen his already sub-par legacy and threaten the Democrat Party.
Then there is the potential danger to the nation.
Just as the smoking gun that brought down Nixon was his own tapes, intelligence emails to Obama officials reveal a real-time awareness of events as they occurred in Benghazi. Yet a complicit media buried this story to ensure Obama’s re-election and will continue to ignore it so long as there is no public outcry to do otherwise. Had these journalistic enablers ever shown a true interest in honestly reporting events of the past four years, perhaps the Libyan outrage may not have even occurred. Sadly, the spirit of Woodward and Bernstein long ago went missing.
Still, it’s been said that history repeats itself. Although the Libyan story has yet to run its course, FOX News and conservative talk radio show us that the timeless adage “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” rings true. What else can explain how a president, absent of character, and his minions can push a poorly conceived lie of a video-driven protest to hide a coordinated seven hour terrorist attack which left four Americans dead? Despite the fact that Obama’s role in the Benghazi affair has yet to be fully determined, no stone should be left unturned in finding out what really happened leading up to the attack and in the weeks that followed. This makes a Watergate-style Congressional investigation necessary. Some might scoff, but here is why.
Among the questions that need asked:
• As terror attacks on Westerners increased in Libya in Spring of 2012, why did Americans remain after our consulate was attacked in April and June and an assassination was attempted on the British ambassador?
• Why were requests to maintain an elite American security team denied by the State Department in favor of Libyan protection? Why was Ambassador Stevens meeting with the Turkish Counsel General on the day of the attack?
• Why were Steven’s pleas for increased security refused/ignored leading up to the attack?
• If U.S. intelligence had real-time reports of the consulate attack, how did the White House conceive of the fictional protest? Why did they then persist with it for weeks?
• The consulate attack lasted seven hours, yet why were at least three requests for military assistance denied? Why did it take over two weeks for the FBI to arrive at the consulate to investigate?
• Was this attack related to a secret program to provide U.S. weapons to Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria’s civil war?
• And most importantly, what did Obama know and when did he know it?
Getting answers to these questions would tell us if this incident was due to more of Obama’s inept and failed foreign policy or to a simple cover-up.
There are those who will say that Benghazi is nothing like Watergate and that any effort to link the two events is nothing but post-election sour grapes. But like Nixon’s 1972 re-election following the break-in, Obama is basking in a similar limelight while a controversy brews. In Nixon’s case, his fortunes would quickly turn.
Could Obama’s arrogance lead him to a similar fate? History has yet to fully record the events in Libya, but truth must trump politics. Four Americans died in Benghazi. They, their families and our nation deserve a thorough investigation of this sordid affair that, like Watergate, holds officials responsible for their actions. It’s what America has always stood for. To accept anything less would reveal even more about us as a people than it does about our leaders.