Though journalists, CIA personnel and State Department people listening in real time all knew from intercepts and reports back from our people on the ground that this was a terrorist attack involving automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, the fabricated story -- that it came out of a protest, a protest that never happened -- was pushed relentlessly by the administration.
Jay Carney pushed it two days after the attack. Petraeus pushed it on the Hill three days after the attack. Rice went on five TV shows five days after the attack to recite it chapter and verse. Obama held off calling it a terror attack for weeks in TV interviews and mentioned the video half a dozen times at the U.N. on Sept. 25.
Another question arises from the press conference.
When Obama said Rice "gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her," was that also the best intelligence the president of the United States had?
If it is, if five days after the attack Obama was that clueless about what actually happened in Benghazi, he ought to clean house at his intelligence agencies.
From the outside, it appears everybody was on board to describe the attack as "spontaneous" and attribute it to the video.
Yet none of this was true. And many inside knew, during or right after the attack, the truth about what had happened and were leaking it to the press. That brings us to the question: Why?
Why would the administration hierarchy collaborate in putting out a phony story denying there had been a terrorist attack and attributing it to a spontaneous riot that never happened?
Two answers come to mind:
One, the "spontaneous protest" cover story would enable Obama to keep pushing his campaign line that he had gotten Osama bin Laden and that al-Qaida was "on the run" and "on the path to defeat." A successful al-Qaida-type attack in Libya would have contradicted his best foreign policy claim.
Second, if it was a spontaneous attack, an attack no one could have foreseen, predicted or prevented, then that would absolve the administration of responsibility for failing to see it coming, failing to provide greater security, failing to have forces prepared to deal with it when our guys were being shot and killed for seven hours.
What was behind the cover-up is what Congress needs to find out.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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