While Jay Leno has no trouble finding occasion to poke fun at Republicans, last night he made a joke at President Obama’s expense last that contained an all-too-accurate observation:
Well, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is back — not for gays in the military, it’s President Obama’s new policy for questions about Libya. Don’t ask, don’t tell! Well, that’s the big story, the Republicans are accusing the White House of successfully engineering a massive coverup on the Libyan attack, but on the plus side, it’s the first time Republicans are giving credit to Obama for doing anything successfully.
We’re more than seven weeks out from the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, but we’re still left trying to put together an accurate picture of what actually happened and the White House is still deflecting questions. As the Weekly Standard wonders, we have heard from various government officials, but that has left us with still more questions about Obama’s commanding-in-chief:
So here’s where we are: Petraeus has made clear the CIA wasn’t responsible for the decision not to act. Panetta has tried to take the responsibility himself—and the White House has seemed to encourage this interpretation of events. But Panetta’s position is untenable: The Defense Department doesn’t get to unilaterally decide whether it’s too risky or not to try to rescue CIA operators, or to violate another country’s air space. In any case, it’s inconceivable Panetta didn’t raise the question of what to do when he met with the national security adviser and the president at 5 p.m. on the evening of September 11 for an hour. And it’s beyond inconceivable he didn’t then stay in touch with the White House after he returned to the Pentagon.
So the question remains: What did President Obama do that evening (apart from spending an hour on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu)? What did he know, and what did he decide, and what was the basis for his decisions?
Of course, when I say that “we” are still left with questions, I only mean the people who are bothering to be interested in this travesty of a security failure — because there seem to be a lot of people within a certain profession who are actively disinterested, as Charles Krauthammer argued last night: “You could argue that it takes Libya off the front pages, but then again, it wasn’t on the front pages in the first place. It is the mainstream media, who spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of articles on the supposed outing of a CIA agent in the Bush administration, in which she was safely in Washington and never in danger, has an epidemic of incuriosity about the murder of an ambassador.”