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Monday, February 11, 2013

Considering Panetta's Testimony, We Can Understand Obama's Cover-up Of The Benghazi Disaster

William Kristol and Peter Wehner lay out what Panetta's congressional testimony reveals about Obama's failure in Benghazi:
Thanks to the congressional testimony of outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey late last week, we know they met with President Obama on Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. in a pre-scheduled meeting, when they informed the president about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The meeting lasted about a half-hour. Mr. Panetta said they spent roughly 20 minutes of the session briefing the president on the chaos at the American Embassy in Cairo and the attack in Benghazi, which eventually cost the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and information officer Sean Smith.

Secretary Panetta said the president left operational details, including determination of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, "up to us." We also learned that President Obama did not communicate in any way with Mr. Panetta or Gen. Dempsey the rest of that evening or that night. Indeed, Mr. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey testified they had no further contact at all with anyone in the White House that evening—or, for that matter, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

That's not all we discovered. We now know that despite Gen. Dempsey having been informed of Ambassador Stevens's repeated warnings about the rise of terrorist elements in Benghazi, no forces were put in place or made ready nearby to respond to possible trouble. It also seems that during the actual attacks in Benghazi, which the administration followed in real time and which lasted for some eight hours, not a single major military asset was deployed to help rescue Americans under assault.

And we learned one other thing: Messrs. Panetta and Dempsey both knew on the night of the assault that it was a terrorist attack. This didn't prevent President Obama, Secretary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice from peddling a false version of events in the days and even weeks that followed, as the administration called the incident spontaneous, said there was no evidence of a coordinated terrorist attack and blamed the violence on an anti-Muslim video. So the White House, having failed to ensure that anything was done during the attack, went on to mislead the nation afterward. [emphasis added]
A tragic mixture of mismanagement and cover-up, aided by a media that we saw go to great lengths to insure the re-election of Obama.

Even now, there will be no consequences -- not for Hillary Clinton, who claimed to take responsibility for the State Department failures that led to the murder of US Ambassador Christopher Stephens and members of his staff, but didn't really mean it, nor for Obama, who is content to let the clock run out as the Benghazi terrorist attack recedes into history.

It is a scandal shared by the media that allowed Obama to foist a fabricated narrative on the public, refused to pursue Obama to get the details, and was slow to release details that embarrassed Obama and called his leadership and competence into question.

But the details and extent of both the failure and the following deception should be remembered.
Both for their own sake and for when Hillary decides to run for president, based on her record as Secretary of State.

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