Warnings had surfaced about a possible 9/11 attack. But Hillary Clinton’s State Department dismissed a request by the regional security officer to keep a 16-member military force in Tripoli. The Administration recklessly botched security and lied to the American people for days about the killings. As Rep. Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania Republican, noted in a recent Washington Times column, more than 230 security incidents occurred in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012, with 48 of them in Benghazi. Those included a bombing of the compound on April 6 and another two months later.
On Oct. 12, the Washington Post’s lead editorial advised everyone to “Forget the ‘coverup’” and called Republican claims “overblown.” The Obama administration had fallen victim to “confused assessments and even more confused rhetoric.”
But the colossal prevarications make the Watergate scandal look like petty politics. Americans don’t like being lied to about matters of life and death. We can forgive a lot, apparently, if the lies are merely sordid. After all, Bill Clinton got re-elected even though nobody mistook him for George Washington. It helped that he had a Republican Congress that reformed welfare and held down spending. And it helped that Mr. Clinton seemed a likeable lug. He has a way of winking at you without winking.
By contrast, Mr. Obama comes off as a condescending, leftwing college professor with false jocularity. His signature, upbeat sentence-enders tell the listener that the case is closed: argue with me only if you want a bad grade.
After Mitt Romney revealed Mr. Obama’s brittle side, the press is finding it more difficult to sell their narrative of a fearless, peerless communicator. But they’re still ignoring Mr. Obama’s radical origins, crony corruption, bizarre religious history, sealed academic records, openly racist Justice Department, power-mad Environmental Protection Agency, and curious, to say the least, job creation numbers. The average reporter still portrays Mr. Obama as a unifying, reassuring moderate.
When a multitude of scandals exploded around Bill Clinton, most of them related to his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, many wondered how he was able to hang on. “The simple explanation is that Clinton is the Great Prevaricator,” the late Joe Sobran surmised. “He doesn’t merely fib a little. Lies ripple outward from him in great waves, through his aides, friendly members of the press. Getting others to spread his lies and smear his enemies is part of his modus operandi.”
Indeed, during Monicagate, the White House re-directed the press to scrutinize Kenneth Starr, the straight-arrow special prosecutor. One reporter mentioned darkly that Mr. Starr even hummed hymns during his morning jogs. What an extremist.
Mr. Clinton’s prevarications weren’t about terrorism but centered on a man and his zipper. This was so interesting that the press ignored the far more serious scandal of Chinese communist money pouring into Democratic Party coffers after Mr. Clinton eased the flow of U.S. missile technology to Beijing. In Mr. Obama’s case, the media are focusing not on a lesser scandal but on the Republicans’ expose of the Benghazi debacle.
In the face of the administration’s monstrous breaches of public trust, the media reflexively repeat Democratic operatives’ charges that a liar is running loose! There he is! It’s – Mitt Romney! That’s right. Mr. Romney’s the big liar, not Mr. Obama.
This tactic – accusing opponents of doing exactly what you are doing in order to distract, confuse and create moral equivalence – is a devilishly effective narcotic: “They all do it, so whose hands are clean?” It was invented by the same person who came up with “Hath God really said?”
Look at Big Bird. Look at the mean Republicans picking on the State Department. Look at anything but the shocking lies coming out of the White House.