Lisa Schiffren

The scandal surrounding the Obama Administration’s actions in Benghazi, Libya, last September 11, in which four Americans died at the hands of an al Qaeda mob– as the President and the Secretary of State declined to send any kind of military help – is finally getting the coverage it deserved from the start. The Obama Administration succeeded in suppressing interest and information during the fall election season, and continues to throw cold water on the investigation. Today the President, rather tauntingly, called the whole incident plus cover-up a “sideshow.”

That’s a scary claim. Because if a failure of action of this magnitude – which the Administration obviously thought was important enough to go to the trouble of covering up with many rounds of lies and interagency memos specifying what the nature of the lies should be – is just a sideshow, then clearly he thinks we are missing far greater failure elsewhere.

To be sure, the debacle in the center ring – the U.S. economy, with the damage about to hit from hurricane ObamaCare—is a bigger failure.

Still, Benghazi is worth understanding, if only because it occurred on the watch of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a woman who has held high office but accomplished little, yet who is considered “unbeatable” as a Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 2016.

For reasons not yet disclosed, US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was sent to the outpost at Benghazi, for a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador. Stevens had been the US liaison to the Libyan “Rebels,” whom Hillary Clinton had been so insistent on supporting. “Liaison” in this sense has to do with supplying arms, a task one imagines the CIA, and not the State Department, helped with. And, indeed, there was an active CIA station near the consulate in Benghazi.

Stevens, obviously a man of real courage, had asked, several times over previous months, for more security at the Benghazi outpost. Because an outpost in the middle of ungoverned desert, peopled by Arabs with ties to Al Qaeda, probably isn’t a good place to hang out without taking all reasonable precautions. But Hillary Clinton’s State Department first ignored, then rejected the requests. But they let him go back…for a meeting on September 11, a date that apparently did not ring any bells. Why would it? Osama was dead; GM was alive; and Obama was making the US popular again.

At the time, we knew that the consulate had been attacked; Ambassador Stevens killed, and dragged through the streets. Others had escaped. And three other Americans, who had spent the seven hour ordeal phoning in for help, shooting at the assailants, and keeping them in sights for airpower to take out, had also died.

Lisa Schiffren

Lisa Schiffren is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women's Forum.