Benghazi Cover-up Will Follow Clinton to 2016
As the Benghazi cover-up continues to collapse, the real loser is Hillary Clinton, now stuck with a major scandal as she moves to fulfill her dream of gaining the White House in 2016.
The failed cover-up is now saddled with an avalanche of revelations that destroy the Obama administration’s coordinated attempt to obscure the truth surrounding the terrorist attack on September 11 that killed four Americans.
These revelations will be aired at a house hearing Wednesday when three whistleblowers are expected to testify. Administration attempts to silence the whistleblowers have failed.
The focus of the cover-up is now squarely on the State Department. A thread of evidence shows that the cover-up was centered in Clinton’s department from day one.
Fox News reports that one of the whistleblowers will recount how Clinton tried to shut her own counterterrorism unit out of the decision-making process on the night of September 11 as the State Department hastily sought to respond.
Then there is the issue of the talking points developed shortly after the attack that guided the Obama administration’s responses to Benghazi for weeks. The Weekly Standard reported late last week that high-level administration officials altered initial talking points drafted by the CIA, with the State Department taking the lead.
According to the Weekly Standard, the initial talking points said “Islamic extremists with ties to Al Qaeda” participated in the attack. The administration removed these references and blamed the attack on spontaneous demonstrations inspired by a rogue video.
The Obama administration, again led by Clinton’s State Department, sought to end questions about Benghazi through an in-house investigation known as an Accountability Review Board. The Board’s findings are now under investigation by the State Department’s inspector general.
One of the concerns is that the Board did not interview key witnesses to the Benghazi attack. In fact, the Board allegedly did not interview Clinton.
When Clinton finally faced congressional inquiries in a hearing in January, she was defensive and combative. She claimed she was not aware of requests for added security in Benghazi before September 11 and dismissed questions about the origins and details of the attack as irrelevant.
Ultimately, the Benghazi cover-up rests of the door of the White House. Administration spokespeople and Obama himself perpetuated the myth of the rouge video for weeks after the Benghazi attack, thereby obscuring the issue in the heat of the presidential campaign.
Nevertheless, the stakes are high for Hillary Clinton. The Benghazi attack was not inconsequential. Four Americans died, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Her department was responsible for their safety.
Benghazi is a permanent scar on Clinton’s reputation. She will forge ahead in pursuit of the presidency, but the events of last September 11 will follow her every step of the way. The fallout may be too much for even a Clinton to handle.
During the course of his career, Walker has worked in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Phoenix. He served as a reporter in Chicago, a press secretary and speechwriter in Washington, and in numerous positions in New York in corporate and financial services communications.
Walker is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.