The longer the Benghazi story goes on, the more it looks as if this administration has something to hide.
After eight months of stonewalling by the Obama administration, we finally may get some answers when three high-level State Department officials with close knowledge of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Libya appear on Capitol Hill this Wednesday.
The witnesses, Mark Thompson, the department's acting deputy assistant secretary for counter-terrorism; Eric Nordstrom, who was the Libyan regional security officer when the attack occurred; and Gregory Hicks, the former deputy mission chief at Benghazi, may provide some information on how security failings at the site may have led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
One thing that the families of the four victims want and deserve to know is who made the command decisions and then pushed the phony story that this was not an organized terrorist attack but the result of an anti-Muslim YouTube video. The fact that Retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led a State Department investigation on the attacks in Libya, failed to interview then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a joke and smells of coverup.
With four American deaths, many feel this is a bigger scandal than Watergate, which brought down President Richard Nixon. What many would also like to see a detailed account of how President Obama handled events last Sept. 11. We know that he went on a fundraising trip the day after the attacks but just what was the president's involvement as the attacks were unfolding at the U.S. compound?
We all remember that self-aggrandizing spectacle peddled by the White House when our special forces took out Osama bin Laden. It showed Obama, secretary Clinton and other staffers in a situation room following the play-by-play. But there was no such photo op of this administration's involvement in Benghazi. The fact that it occurred less than two months before the presidential election might have something to do with that.
One of the biggest differences between Watergate and Benghazi is the press treatment. Led by the dogged investigation of Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward four decades ago, Watergate was constantly on top of the daily news cycle between 1972 and 1974. Today, the only major news outlet doing any responsible journalism in pursuing the Benghazi story is Fox News.
When questioned about Benghazi, some within this administration appear arrogant and condescending that anyone would even raise the issue. Just last week, White House spokesman Jay Carney responded that the Benghazi attack "happened a long time ago." That idiotic reply was in response to a question about defense department personnel being threatened or blocked from wanting to appear before Congress to give their information about the attacks. Carney's comment was shameful and offensive to the victims' families.
Also last week, the president said he was unaware of any story regarding people being blocked from testifying. Incredible, since it was a major news story the day before!
During last January's congressional hearings, when Secretary of State Clinton was asked by Sen. Ron Johnson about the attacks, she lost her cool and pounded the table, replying "Was it because there was a protest or was it because there were guys who went out for a walk one night who decided they would kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?"
It certainly makes a difference to Pat Smith, the mother of a Benghazi victim, who has been trying to get answers out of this administration for months about her son's death.
Like millions of other concerned Americans, she's been asking questions the mainstream media have been ignoring, especially "Who blew it and why were our embassy people not protected?"
By Jim Zbick