We can now confidently deduce that Barack Obama’s White House, in coordination with Hillary Clinton’s State Department, created and continues to engage in a cover-up surrounding the 2012 attack in Benghazi. The mere fact that the Speaker of the House has appointed a select committee to investigate the Administration’s handling of the incident conveys that truth is being deliberately withheld.
Writing for American University Washington College of Law, Joshua Kuyers explains that “Section 413(b) of Title 50 of the U.S. Code requires the President to keep the congressional intelligence committees ‘fully and currently informed’ of all ongoing covert actions. It also requires the President to report his presidential finding to the intelligence committees ‘as soon as possible after such approval and before the initiation of the covert action.’ However, in ‘extraordinary circumstances affecting vital interests of the United States,’ this prior notification requirement can be limited to the so-called ‘Gang of Eight.’ Although in these extreme cases the prior notification requirement is limited, it is important to note that, at least under the statutory authority, the President simply cannot refuse to notify Congress.”
That Gang of Eight set forth by Title 50 is made up of the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the chairs and ranking minority members of both the Senate Committee and the House Committee for Intelligence. Of course, included in this membership since January of 2011 is Speaker of the House John Boehner.
When I wrote Benghazi For Dummies exactly one year ago, one matter remained unsettled for me – the possibility that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton may have been masking the details of a terrible tragedy toward the greater good of preserving an honorable, secret mission. Cover stories are fine in many instances of covert operations, like when the guy in the aisle seat next to you claims that he is traveling on business to hide the reality that he is an undercover air marshal.
But if Ambassador Chris Stevens lost his life while advancing a surreptitious sortie, Boehner would have been aware of it as a full-fledged member of the Gang of Eight. Instead, he announced the formation of a powerful select committee to replace the four more docile committees that had been frustrated in their attempts to discover the actions of the Administration’s personnel in Libya and in the U.S. during the period of September 11 through September 16, 2012.
Boehner explained that, “last week, a line was crossed in two places. First, it came to light that the White House did more to obscure what happened and why than what we were led to believe. Second, we now know that the Administration defied a formal Congressional subpoena. Our committees sought the full truth. And the Administration tried to make sure that they wouldn’t find it. Which means they tried to prevent the American people from finding the truth as well. In my view, these discoveries compel the House to respond as one institution and establish one select committee, a committee with robust authority.”
There will be worthy theater as the select committee chairman, Congressman Trey Gowdy, methodically builds a clear picture by prying the puzzle pieces out of the hands of the uncooperative Democratic administration. Gowdy: “Not only are we trying to get questions with respect to Benghazi, we are also now investigating what appears to be a White House cover-up and one of the worst explanations for why they didn’t turn the documents over. I think the Speaker just lost his patience.”
Trey Gowdy will be a recurring nightmare for President Obama, president-hopeful Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Press Secretary Jay Carney. Gowdy set the goal as, “What this committee is going to do is, once and for all, lay out all the facts.” The former federal prosecutor and state district attorney from South Carolina is tenacious and quick. Just ask former IRS official Lois Lerner. She owes her contempt of Congress charge to Gowdy for nailing her on an inappropriate invoking of the Fifth Amendment.
Of course, what prompted Boehner to release the Kraken were the revelations that came from emails recently subpoenaed by Judicial Watch [see emails here]. The notion of the attack being motivated by an American-made video seems to have originated from a press release from Al-Jazeera on September 11. But the body of emails do not convey a consensus that the strike came in response to the video.
Dated September 13, the same advisor who forwarded the Al-Jazeera story provides an update to Ambassador Rice and others that “US officials are investigating the possibility that the assault was a plot by Al-Qaeda affiliates or sympathisers, using the protest against the film as a cover to carry out a coordinated revenge attack on Tuesday’s anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.”
Yet the email that has everyone’s attention is from the President’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, Benjamin Rhodes. The subject line reads, RE: PREP CALL with Susan and conveys that the ambassador’s goals for the Sunday talk shows are “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy, and … to reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
Perhaps the soul motivation for the video narrative was to support Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. But Congressman Gowdy seems primarily driven to learn why the Benghazi consulate was so inadequately defended. I hope that he also discovers how it was that Ambassador Stevens happened to travel to the very location and time that a terrorist assault had evidently been planned. Perhaps then we will all know the answer to Hillary Clinton’s famous quandary, “What difference does it make?”
Some 16 months after the Benghazi attack, Secretary Clinton offered up two possible answers to her own question; 1. “because of a protest” or 2. “guys out for a walk one night who decided to go kill some Americans.” Every legitimate cover story conceals one’s own actions. Maintaining a cover story for an enemy’s motivation is beyond curious.