They say that the cover-up is worse than the crime. That was certainly true with Watergate. A break-in of the Democrat campaign offices would have been a one-day story if Nixon had apologized and fired a few people. Instead he involved himself in a presidential cover-up that included suborning perjury, raising payoff cash and attempting to use government agencies to harass opponents. He paid for it.
In the matter of Benghazi we still do not know what the crime was. We know that most of the Americans working in the consulate worked for the CIA not the State Department. We don’t know what they were doing there and our government remains unwilling to disclose it.
We don’t know why no effort was made to save them. The explanation that there wasn’t time to get relief to them falls of its own weight. No one had any idea how long the fight would go on. Yet no one in the media seems to care.
Our government knows that terrorists aligned with Al Qaida were the leaders of the attack. While the media has interviewed some of them, no one questions why the terrorists remain at large.
The recent disclosure of an email discussing the preparation of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice for her television appearances is illuminating. She was instructed “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
At no point in the assessment did the CIA or the Defense Department or the State Department ever mention a video. That was a contrivance of the White House. Six weeks before an election, politics subsumed policy.
Now we face a circumstance that no sentient person in a free society could ever imagine. The cover-up of the cover-up constructed by our lap-dog media.
It started early. Shortly after the attack, Mitt Romney responded to what was an act of war by criticizing a press release from our embassy in Cairo which had apologized for a video.
On September 12, Romney held a press conference and the reporters, waiting for his appearance, were heard on an open microphone coordinating their assault on Romney.
Morning Joe went so far as to blame Romney for diverting media attention from the attack itself. Think about that. A presidential candidate comments on an act of war and the media accuses him of distracting them from covering that act of war.
In the Rose Garden that day the president continued the bogus video narrative. No one asked where he was that evening and to whom he spoke. Instead they continued to question Romney’s judgment on a foreign policy issue.
Just two days later, as Bill O’Reilly of Fox News was expressing doubt about the video narrative, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee emailed State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, expressing his concern over O’Reilly’s comments. Nuland attempted to ease his mind by pointing to a Politico article: “Mike Allen piece now on Drudge rebutting.”
On Sunday, among five interviews, Ambassador Rice appeared on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer to continue the lie. Prior to her appearance, Schieffer interviewed Libya President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf who was asked, “And you believe that this was the work of Al Qaeda, and you believe that it was led by foreigners? Is that what you’re telling us?”
“It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival,” Magariaf said. Since that statement is so strikingly at odds with the administration position you might think that it would be news. It wasn’t. Schieffer didn’t even ask Rice for a comment.
In a presidential debate on October 16th Romney was critical of the false narrative about the video. The President pointed to the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, and said, “Get the transcript.” Crowley dutifully raised the transcript of the President’s Rose Garden comments on the day after the event and schooled Romney. “It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror.” She was wrong and quickly corrected herself, but Politico repeated that risible claim as fact just this past Monday.
Crowley’s comment helped craft the impression that the president referred to the attacks as an act of terror. Don’t you find it curious that she had that transcript in hand waiting for the opportunity to use it? Do you wonder how the president knew she had it readily available?
Last week Speaker Boehner announced that he was going to form a select committee to get to the facts on Benghazi. The incriminating emails that were produced in response to a judge’s ruling had been withheld from Congress. He decided to find out why.
This leaves the media with one more role to play in this tragedy. When the Democrats choose to not participate in the select committee the media’s new role will be to accuse Republicans of a partisan witch-hunt. After all, Hillary’s turn is at risk. I expect they will perform their role faithfully. We may never know what policy failure was covered up.
John Linder represented Georgia in Congress for 18 years. He and his wife, Lynne, have retired to a farm in Northeast Mississippi. He can be contacted at email@example.com