EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

May 12, 2013

Column: Benghazi the biggest coverup since Watergate

“There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy,” President Barack Obama told the United Nations last Sept. 25.

A fortnight after the deadly attack on America’s mission in Benghazi, Libya, Obama surely knew that an al-Qaida-propelled assault, not a YouTube recording, killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

As Wednesday’s sworn testimony by three State Department whistleblowers demonstrated, this was just one of many lies deployed by Obama and other top officials. These lies nurtured the myth that “al-Qaida is on the path to defeat,” as Obama claimed the day after Benghazi. With the truth conveniently obscured beyond Nov. 6, Obama won re-election as the man who supposedly killed both Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. In fact, only the former is dead.

Appearing before the House Oversight Committee, these diplomats shattered Team Obama’s carefully crafted post-Benghazi narrative.

From the very start of this episode, U.S. officials called it an attack rather than a video-driven protest.

— “Greg, we are under attack,” Stevens said in his last words to Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks, just before Stevens’ cell phone clicked off on the night of Sept. 11.

— In a newly revealed Sept. 12 email to State Department staffers, a top Middle Eastern specialist named Elizabeth Jones recalls consulting Libya’s ambassador in Washington. Jones wrote: “I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”

-- “The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya,” Hicks testified under oath Wednesday. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on our consulate. ... No protest.”

In the May 13 issue of Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes carefully documents how Team Obama sanitized the CIA’s initial talking points to erase al-Qaida’s fingerprints from this attack. A Sept. 14 version of this document stated, “we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaida participated in the attack. ... Ansar al-Sharia’s Facebook page aims to spread Sharia in Libya and emphasizes the need for jihad to counter what it views as false interpretations of Islam.”

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