Hope and change? Obama hopes he can kick the Benghazi can past the Election
When the CIA issues a statement designed to put some air between itself and the Administration with regard to the security debacle in Benghazi, you know the stuff may be approaching the fan.
For those who have forgotten, here is the CIA’s statement:
“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night—and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”
First off, such a statement would have been approved by the Director. Why? Because the issue is a political football and CIA Directors are political players. Additionally, the reputation of the organization is at stake if the public believes the CIA may have left their own to suffer and die. Finally, the statement was e-mailed. Why? To avoid immediate follow-up questions directed at the CIA.
Oh, and was issued on a Friday afternoon, as memory serves.
Phrases like “say with confidence” and “reacted quickly” are subjective; they are indicative of the CIA’s best assessment at a particular point in time and are designed to present the agency in a positive light.
However, the tone shifts with the next sentence. “No one at any level in the CIA told anyone not to help those in need,” means 1) the CIA was not the decision-make on this issue, 2) the CIA elevated the issue to the decision-maker, and 3) the decision-maker choose to not take action. The assertion is presented as an absolute and it’s an absolute which begs more questions (that is, the kind of questions where depositions are taken and testimony is provided).
And of course, after the fact, Leon Panetta has said: “You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.” Not only is this an idiotic offering—the military and first responders almost never have full knowledge of any situation—but it’s effectively a non-denial that requests for aid were not only made, but that they were rejected.
Who was the decision maker, Leon?
Meanwhile Mr. Obama is kicking the Benghazi can, instead offering that the whole thing is being investigated. Hurricane Sandy removed much of the focus on Benghazi and with much of the media in the tank for the President, Mr. Obama is now just hoping he can get through the election without another major revelation of the Administration’s incompetence, flawed leadership and policies, and/or political malfeasance.
It first appeared to be a case of people died, Obama lied. Now it looks more like a case of Obama denied, Obama lied, people died.
If Mr. Obama is re-elected, Leon Panetta will take the fall: he was going to rotate out anyway, his political future is somewhere well behind him, and he’s a Democrat team player.