|The Benghazi Bungles|
|Written by Douglas Wilson|
|Monday, 29 October 2012 06:50|
I have followed the Benghazi story generally but have not said much about it to date here in this space. But as more and more information comes out about it, the debacle appears to be either evil and high cyncism that got caught in the act, or it is the result of a staggering incompetence,. And, given the fact that more than a few people had to have been involved in it, it was perhaps both.
There are at least three layers to the story/scandal. The first was the denial of additional requested security. The second was the doubledown attempt to misrepresent the nature of the attack, claiming it was a mob, protesting them a video, when it was nothing of the kind. And the third appears to have be a denial of military reinforcements during the attack, a denial that came from someone high up in the chain of command, and perhaps from the president himself. Throw into the mix some terrible optics (Obama jetting off to Vegas, Biden's classless remarks, arresting the maker of the video, etc.), and you have a perfect storm of scandal.
But it is clear that the president is playing the electoral game with it, wanting to push the "findings" of any "investigation" that might be conducted out past the election -- which they may be able to do.
What I am suggesting here is more of a thought experiment than a prediction, but I would like to ask you to work with me here. Grant me a few assumptions, and see what happens then.
Right now the president can point to the polls as evidence of a country divided right down the middle. This means that he has a certain amount of political cover for his stonewalling on the story. But if I am right about how the presidential election is going to go, and it is a Romney landslide, this means there will have been a massive repudiation of Obama on the merits, and then the scandal will erupt, full force, in the first few weeks of his time as a lame duck. This will make him the lame duck of all lame ducks -- still responsible, and unable to defend himself as he is doing now.
It is possible that these choices were made despite the fact that a video feed of the whole situation was going straight to the situation room at the White House. But whether that is the case or not, it is certain that the White House staunchly maintained that this whole thing was the result of a protesting crowd that had run amok because of an anti-Muslim video, despite knowing within hours that this could not have been the case. Obama then flies off to a fundraiser in Vegas the next day while the bodies are still warm. The administration maintains, for an insane length of time, that this was the result of that stupid video. The maker of the video is in solitary confinement for a "parole violation," and his first hearing isn't until after the election. The whole thing is simply horrific.
In other words, if people are as angry with Obama over this as they are now, what will it be like when he has no cover, after he has been repudiated electorally, and the facts start tumbling out? The information that is coming out now is being leaked -- some people are settling scores, others are just covering their butt, and others are trying to manage a job into the next administration. In other words, people are betting on the election. There will or will not be a transition of power in the next few months in Washington, and a number of functionaries are betting (with their leaks) that Romney will take it. So what will the leaks be like a week from now when everybody knows that Romney has taken it? What will it be like when it becomes apparent that there will be hearings in the House and the Senate, and, given the realities of modern warfare, there is a paper/video trail for absolutely every element of this farce?
Note that I am not talking about what Romney and the congressional Republicans will do. I am talking about what all the people with damning evidence will believe the Republicans will do, and what they will do with the media as a result and in the meantime.