Cheney: Looks like Obama tried to cover up the terror attack on Benghazi consulate
posted at 3:21 pm on October 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
I missed this yesterday at Real Clear Politics, but it’s worth mentioning because Dick Cheney isn’t the only one talking cover-up. So is Jon Stewart, not normally known as a Cheney clone, and at least one British newspaper reports the same. For now, though, the former VP tells Sean Hannity on his radio show that this will “get messier,” and that the cover-up springs from a denial of reality that goes much further than one attack on an American diplomatic mission:
ORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: I think the danger from [the Obama Administration’s] standpoint is that this whole episode of Benghazi demonstrates that they don’t have a handle on foreign policy and national security matters. They like to go out and say, “bin Laden is dead. Terrorism is dead, al Qaeda is dead, and, you know, we’re great in the foreign policy field,” but that’s hogwash. First of all, the people who deserve credit are the intelligence professional who worked on that issue for ten years and finally got on the trail of bin Laden. But secondly, that claim to be competent in the world of foreign affairs just goes down in flames when you look at what happened in Benghazi. The latest thing I’ve heard now is that, and they were denied – now this is all second hand, I haven’t seen the confirmations yet – they had denied the additional security resources that had been requested by the Benghazi consulate or the Libyan – our embassy in Libya had asked for more help and didn’t get it.
SEAN HANNITY: Well, that was Jake Tapper’s report that the White House had no comment today on the assertion that the Libyan mission requested security prior to 9/11 which would make sense considering that Ambassador Stevens actually put in his own diary that he felt his life was in jeopardy – that he was being targeted by terrorists. Now, I doubt that if he was really feeling that deeply about it that he didn’t communicate that via cable or an email to somebody someplace that he needed help. It doesn’t make sense.
CHENEY: Yeah, it looks to me like its gonna get messier and messier, and in fact, it looks like the administration’s been involved in a cover up claiming that it was all caused by this YouTube video, when in fact, it was clearly the result of the developments with respect to al Qaeda and terrorism in North Africa. The battle is not over by any means. They keep wanting to say that there is no War on Terror, we don’t use the word terror. They refuse to recognize the situation we are in and that’s the first step towards ultimate failure and ultimately future terrorist attacks.
In Britain, the Telegraph’s defense editor Con Coughlin asks if Barack Obama ordered a cover-up:
Dr Rice, in common with other senior officials in the Obama administration, insisted that the assault on the US consulate had been “spontaneous”, rather than a carefully planned attack by terrorists. By making this claim, the White House effectively silenced any criticism that the Obama administration was culpable for not taking more effective measures to protect the consulate.
But now it appears that Rice’s version of events – endorsed by the White House – was wrong. Within 24 hours of the attack taking place, Washington was informed by a variety of intelligence sources that the attack had indeed been pre-planned and was undoubtedly the work of al-Qaeda which, apart from attacking the consulate, had also attacked the CIA’s safe house in Benghazi.
As a result, rather than absolving itself of any blame for this tragic incident, the White House – and Mr Obama – now find themselves at the centre of a mounting storm over what precisely they knew about the attack on the consulate, and when.
Now that Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has confirmed there was an explicit link between al-Qaeda and the attack, questions are being asked about the role Dr Rice played in trying to play down the significance of the attack. The Republicans have already called for her to resign from her post for misleading the American people.
But the real smoking gun is whether the Obama administration was warned in advance that al-Qaeda was planning an attack. A number of Israeli newspapers have suggested that Washington was warned as early as September 4 – a week earlier – that the environment in Benghazi was becoming increasingly hostile and anti-American, while in London the Foreign Office took the decision to withdraw all its consular staff from Benghazi two months before the murders. This decision was based on an intelligence assessment made by MI6 that al-Qaeda was openly operating in the area following a failed assassination attempt on Sir Dominic Asquith, Britain’s ambassador to Libya, in June.
Clearly, someone coordinated the public spin for the White House, although it became considerably less coordinated as the story fell apart, as Stewart noted on his show. That had to have a purpose, especially since we have learned that the White House knew full well that it was a planned and coordinated terrorist attack within the first 24 hours, and even had a pretty good idea of who attacked us and killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The question is now who ordered Susan Rice to deliver a demonstrably false story to the US media on September 16th, and why.
Michael Ramirez also addresses this from a different angle. Like Cheney, Ramirez considers this the result from a policy of denial:
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.