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November 24, 2012

Column: Stonewalling on Libya suggests a more serious scandal

A dozen women representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives said it was “sexist” to beat up on United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice for her misleading account of what happened in Libya on Sept. 11, and there’s this to be said for their position: Rice wasn’t the one most at fault for the deception.

President Barack Obama himself said in a recent press conference that she made her public remarks at the request of the White House and only cited information she had been given. And Gen. David Petraeus, the recently resigned director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told of how the intelligence initially sent out by the CIA spoke of al-Qaida’s likely involvement in what appeared to be a terrorist event, information left out of the Rice account.

The Rice story told in five TV interviews was that the killing of four Americans at the Benghazi consulate rose out of a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic film produced in the United States. That version of the event is little short of a hoax, and the real sexists would appear to be the people who altered the information before it was given to Rice, in effect making this bright, articulate, highly educated woman a convenient tool sent out to tell an untruth — unwittingly — to the American people during Obama’s re-election campaign.

The version of events as told by Rice obscured the threatening rise of al-Qaida despite the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Some explanations proffered for disguising the truth are laughable. One is that the administration did not want al-Qaida to know we were spying on the group, as if these terrorists who are viciously evil are also stupid. They aren’t.

The truth is that Obama’s policies on dealing with terrorists have not been nearly as successful as oratory would have it, and that his policies in a variety of areas have fallen short or failed miserably.

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