The Obama administration, anxious to continue the administration narrative that “al Qaida is on the run,” sent U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to the Sunday talk show circuit, armed with administration talking points, to explain that the attacks were a spontaneous protest made in response to a YouTube video, notwithstanding evidence which pointed to a distinct military attack.
However, an independent panel formed by the State Department to investigate the attack concluded that, contrary to the initial conclusions of the Obama administration, responsibility for the attack rested solely with terrorists who had apparently planned the attack and executed it with devastating success.
The panel also concluded that, “Systematic failures in leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”
In the wake of that report, Mrs. Clinton was summoned to testify before a congressional panel in which she appeared to downplay both the attack and the casualties with her now infamous declaration of “What difference does it make?”
The Obama administration’s clumsy and unprofessional handling of the immediate response to the event, which led Ms. Rice to withdraw her name from consideration as Mrs. Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State, is troubling and suggests that the administration either did not anticipate or was unprepared for the attack or both.
Even now, eight months after the attack, questions still remain about the president’s knowledge of and response to the attack as it was occurring since, at the time of the attack, Mr. Obama was jetting to Las Vegas for a political fundraiser leading up to the November elections.
In addition, in response to reports that the Benghazi survivors are being intimidated by the Obama administration and their attorneys stymied in their efforts to obtain appropriate security clearances to obtain information on the attack, many in the media and in the blogosphere have begun to openly wonder where the survivors of the attack are and why we have not heard from them.
These questions are turning up the heat on the Obama administration and have led to responses such as that from Secretary of State John Kerry, who dismissively told reporters that “he does not intend to spend the next year talking about Benghazi.”
In addition, White House spokesman Jay Carney deflected questions from reporters about why the Benghazi survivors have not spoken up, saying that the attack “was long time ago” and implying that the story is old news.
Even the president stated in a recent press briefing that he was unaware of any action taken by officials to discourage the Benghazi survivors from testifying before Congress, continuing the administration efforts to convince us that Benghazi is a “nonstory.”
What a disgrace. The American people deserve better. The Benghazi survivors and the victims’ families deserve better.
No matter how uncomfortable it is for the Obama administration, the deaths of four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, at the hands of terrorists is worthy of a full inquiry, including the appointment of a special prosecutor, so that the whole truth of the Benghazi attack is revealed.
Jerry Landers is an attorney in Marietta.