My article from the Nov. 19, 2012 issue of Front Page Magazine:
Petraeus Recants Obama’s Benghazi Fiction
By Matthew Vadum
Former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress he never believed the Obama administration’s claim that the attack on a U.S. mission in Libya was a spontaneous mob action prompted by a crude anti-Islam video.
In closed-door testimony Friday, Petraeus said that he believed all along that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. In so doing, Petraeus recanted his previous account two months ago of that terrible day that left four Americans dead in which he promoted the Obama administration’s official storyline.
“General Petraeus’ testimony today was that from the start he told us that this was a terrorist attack, that terrorists were involved from the start,” King said after the House Intelligence Committee sitting. “I told him in my question I had a very different recollection of that.”
“The clear impression we were given was that the overwhelming amount of evidence was that it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration and it was not a terrorist attack … he has, I think, a different impression of the impressions he left on Sept. 14.”
A CIA analyst also testified that the intelligence agency’s talking points for the White House immediately drafted after the attack specifically stated that al-Qaeda played a role in the attack that claimed the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Somehow the passage about al-Qaeda disappeared from documents. “After it went through the process … that was taken out,” King said.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice monopolized the Sunday TV talk shows on Sept. 16, regurgitating the official version of events which blamed the attack on an obscure YouTube video that few around the world had actually seen at the time of the attack.
Critics say Rice was part of a pre-election cover-up and that she knowingly deceived the public. For a fortnight after the attack the Obama administration strenuously maintained the fiction that the incident in Benghazi, a known terrorist stronghold, was an organic popular uprising somehow inspired by an Ed Wood-quality anti-Islam video. Eventually the administration was forced to admit that what happened in that Libyan city was carried out by Islamic terrorists.
The lie about the true nature of the attack helped to prevent a spectacular implosion of President Obama’s claim that al-Qaeda was on the run and virtually irrelevant thanks to his policies. Weeks before this past election Obama bragged, “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
Benghazi could easily become Obama’s Watergate, potentially a presidency-ending scandal far worse than President Nixon’s cover-up of a bungled burglary.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be called to testify on the events in Libya. In 1974, she was part of a legal team advising the House Judiciary Committee. She may have participated in drafting the three articles of impeachment approved by the committee that accused President Nixon of acting in a manner “subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
Obama almost certainly knew what was happening on the ground in Libya as it was happening and yet he did nothing, preferring instead to fly off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas. And if Obama didn’t know, that in itself is a devastating indictment of his presidency.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is determined to nip any talk of impeachment in the bud. On Friday, he dismissed three Republican senators’ demand for the creation of a Watergate-style congressional committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had written Reid a letter on Nov. 3 that was co-signed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
“[I]t is essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment of the attack in Benghazi … the complexity and gravity of this matter warrants the establishment of a temporary Select Committee that can conduct an integrated review of the many national security issues involved, which cut across multiple executive agencies and legislative committees – including Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Armed Services, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.”
Justifiably confident that the mainstream media wouldn’t cause any trouble, Reid told the senators to take a long walk off a short pier.
In a Nov. 16 reply Reid said he won’t allow the Senate to become a “venue for baseless partisan attacks.” Several committees in the House and the Senate are already investigating the attack and a Watergate-style panel “may serve to further politicize an issue that has already been manipulated by Members of both the House and Senate in service of partisan agendas.”
Reid then accused Republicans of playing politics with the Benghazi scandal and putting American lives at risk.
“In the weeks following this terrorist attack, members of the Republican Party in both the House and Senate have misrepresented the facts as presented in numerous briefings by the United States Intelligence Community through a constant stream of falsehoods, exaggerations, and leaks of sensitive national security information.”
McCain “has gone so far as to make the outrageous claim that this event was ‘worse than Watergate’ – despite the fact that there is no evidence that any crime was committed, no evidence of any cover-up, and no evidence that the administration has characterized the incident in any way that has not been consistent with the Intelligence Community’s contemporaneous assessments.”
Reid also blasted House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for “undertak[ing] a deeply flawed and partisan investigation with a clear intent to politicize this tragedy.”
Meanwhile, left-wingers are stepping up their attacks on Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) for daring to criticize a senior member of the administration who happens to be black and female, two important victim groups in the Marxist catechism.
Setting the cause of civil rights and feminism back decades, a group of far-left lawmakers smeared McCain who said Ambassador Rice was “not qualified” to be secretary of state based on her statements about Benghazi. McCain said he would “do everything in my power to block her” from becoming America’s top diplomat. “She has proven that she either doesn’t understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face.”
With her racism and sexism decoder rings turned to maximum sensitivity, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), said, “There is a clear, a clear in my opinion, sexism and racism that goes with these comments that are being made by, unfortunately, Senator McCain and others.” Fudge is the incoming chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Where were these people when then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was being savagely attacked as an Uncle Tom and as a “skeezer” during the Bush administration? Oh wait, they were the ones doing the name-calling.
Rice, along with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), are reportedly under consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
Given President Obama’s micromanaging tendencies, it may not matter much who succeeds Clinton in Foggy Bottom.