One can be thankful for C-Span. Through the years, I’ve watched especially the hearings held in Congress, with all their warts and foibles. I watched Ted Kennedy skewer Dr. James Holsinger, Bush 43’s eminently qualified nominee for surgeon-general, providing an example of the arrogant jackassery possible, exampled also by Joe Biden when he told Attorney General Gonzales, “I’ll be watching you, buddy,” or words to that effect.
In 1954, I repaired to the lobby of the local hotel in the evenings to watch the Army-McCarthy hearings (probably replays), the best entertainment in town though not on C-Span, of course. One of the most enlightening hearings was the House hearing regarding Katrina, the one all democrat members of the committee avoided, and for good reason. Truth can be a hard thing to swallow.
C-Span did everyone a favor this week in airing the hearings conducted by Congressman Issa concerning the catastrophe at Benghazi, in which the ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered on 11 September in what was known immediately by the people on the ground as a well planned and orchestrated terrorist attack, something the administration, in the face of an abundance of intelligence, labeled long after the fact as a “protest” engendered by a movie trailer allegedly insulting Mohammad, though it merely described the man accurately.
An army officer and three State Department staffers, one an ambassador, were the witnesses in the segment of the hearing that I saw. With the exception of the lieutenant colonel, they were the obvious scapegoats sent out by the administration to do their duty and take their places “under the bus.” Their discomfiture could have been avoided if their superiors had stepped up to the plate and taken the responsibility for an event that competence on their part could have prevented.
Instead, one remembers the scene in the Rose Garden shortly after the massacre, when State Secretary Clinton and President Obama appeared to publicly consign the blame for the whole affair to an American’s film about Mohammad. As is his wont, the president blamed some part of this country concerning a tragedy – this time an individual – for being bad, another of his ways for apologizing for the very existence of the U.S.
Obama might as well have said that the Americans deserved to die because Mohammad was insulted and that free speech that decries Islam is a bad thing no matter how true and shouldn’t be allowed. Both he and Clinton, who made the same fraudulent case in other venues, certainly knew within at least two days how inordinately untrue their claim was, but they sent out UN Ambassador Rice and press-apparatchik Carney all over TV to spew the BIG LIE days after they had to know better.
Clinton, Carney and Rice should have been the witnesses in the hearing but it would do no good to call them because the president doubtlessly would invoke executive privilege in foreclosing that possibility. Or, Director of Intelligence Clapper might be called but the same thing would probably happen. These people are above the fray and will not fall upon their swords.
The lesser ones are expected to do the sword-number. After all, the term “terrorism” is not allowed in this administration. As Homeland Security Chief Napolitano insisted long ago, there’s no such thing as a “terrorist” – too harsh a term that she replaced with “man-caused disaster.” So, what happened in Benghazi was carried out by “man-caused disasters.”
The apparatchiks in the hearing, forced to tell the truth under oath, indicated that requests for more security forces in Libya had been ignored or denied for months before the slaughter. They indicated that the mishandling was not a matter of funding, of which there was plenty to meet all the necessities. The buck, of course, gets its first stop on Clinton’s desk and its second stop on Obama’s (as President Truman’s ghost would have it), except in this case the buck stops nowhere. It’s just “out there,” floating around in bloated-bureaucracy-la-la-land.
Congressman Kucinich, in a prepared speech, made the most telling points, especially that the Libya mess was fomented by the U.S. in the first place through an un-Constitutional act by the president, a fellow democrat, in simply on his own ordering the U.S. military to attack a sovereign nation in 2011 for no reason. Libya, with a population two million less than that of New York City, was a threat to no one.
Now, the president has dispatched some 150 military operatives to Jordan, next-door to Syria, where civil war rages, something in which this country must not be drawn. According to the Associated Press of January 2011, $100 million was added to the regular $363 million allocated by the U.S. government to Jordan, so how could Jordan’s King Abdullah say “no,” when he probably hates the whole impingement upon his nation?
Obama thought he could change the government of Libya and show his power, with the result being, as Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood said in the hearing, the strengthening of Al Qaeda, not Libya or the U.S. What does Obama propose for Syria? Chances for his defeat in November seem slim but four more years of his chaotic, dangerous and unpredictable behavior is unthinkable.