by Matthew Vadum
As the scandal regarding the Obama administration’s deadly bungling in Benghazi, Libya, begins to heat up, suddenly CIA director David Petraeus is out, felled by his own sex scandal.
Complicating matters further, Ronald Kessler reports at Newsmax that “Senior FBI officials suppressed disclosure of the highly sensitive case, apparently to avoid embarrassment to Obama during his re-election campaign.”
Congressman Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the details of the Petraeus situation that have been reported by the media so far don’t make sense. “It seems this [investigation] has been going on for several months, and yet now it appears that they’re saying the FBI did not realize until Election Day that Gen. Petraeus was involved. It just doesn’t add up,” said King.
According to the administration, the Petraeus resignation makes the ex-CIA chief unavailable to testify in Congress this week about what the administration knew and when it knew it. Acting CIA director Michael Morrell is now expected to testify Thursday before the House and Senate intelligence committees behind closed doors.
Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee’s panel on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, said Petraeus’s resignation ultimately won’t prevent Congress from compelling his testimony.
“The fact that he’s resigned and had an affair has nothing to do with whether he will be subpoenaed to Congress. I hope we don’t have to subpoena a four star general and a former CIA director. I would hope he would come voluntarily but if he won’t he will be subpoenaed … But there is no way we can get to the bottom of Benghazi without David Petraeus.”
The knives have apparently been out for Petraeus for a while. In a story that may have been planted by the Obama White House, Fox News reported earlier this month that the CIA did almost nothing while the consulate was in flames. Anonymous officials also told the Wall Street Journal that the CIA failed to provide adequate security at the mission. The CIA replied that its personnel were involved in repelling the attack.
Petraeus is the highly respected Army general who commanded the successful “surge” that helped to turn around the war in Iraq. As the nation searches for answers about the Sept. 11 atrocities in Benghazi, this war hero has been made to fall on his sword, conveniently disposed of to protect the president.
Leftists won’t lose sleep over Petraeus’s ouster because they already despise him. MoveOn published a full-page ad in the New York Times in 2007 accusing the then-general of “cooking the books for the White House” to justify President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. The ad labeled Petraeus “General Betray Us.” The message prompted an unusual official rebuke from the U.S. Senate, which voted 72 to 25 to condemn the offensive ad. To no one’s surprise, then-Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden missed the vote.
It was reported last week that the married Petraeus had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and suddenly Democrats, whose party stands for abortion-on-demand and free condoms, are outraged. (There is also talk that Petraeus may have been involved with another woman not his wife.) As Robert Spencer noted, Obama and his party care nothing about sexual improprieties. In fact it can be argued that among his fellow Democrats such behaviors can be resume-builders. (See Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Ted Kennedy, Eliot Spitzer, and recently, Bob Menendez.)
Those who study history and the grim statecraft of scapegoating must find it difficult to take Petraeus’s explanation seriously. Doomed Roman officials would take a warm bath and slit their wrists, often after a farewell party, before peacefully drifting off to Elysium. In the old Soviet Union, an out-of-favor intelligence chief would be found dead of an apparent heart attack, or shipped off to remotest Siberia to enjoy an early retirement, but in America a sex scandal will suffice as a cover story.
Meanwhile, the State Department continues its stonewalling operation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined an invitation to testify in Congress this week. Instead she’ll jet off to Australia.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) is unhappy with the State Department for refusing to hand over information that she demanded.
“While I understand that investigations by the FBI and the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board are ongoing, it is imperative that this Committee, having direct oversight responsibility, be kept informed every step of the way of developments in the matter,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote in a Nov. 7 letter to Clinton.
Few observers take the department’s Accountability Review Board that is supposed to investigate Benghazi seriously. It is headed by former Ambassador Thomas Pickering whom critics deride as a pro-Islamist tool of Islamofascist Iran who doesn’t take the terrorist threat to America seriously.
Now that President Obama is safely past the electoral finish line, he is free to focus on eliminating any remaining obstacles that threaten his project to “fundamentally transform” the United States.
While official Washington and the mainstream media are entranced by the Petraeus sex saga, playing with it like a kitten plays with a ball of yarn, the Obama administration’s cover-up regarding the Sept. 11 massacre at Benghazi, Libya, that claimed four American lives, including the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, continues.
Evidence has already established that two hours after the deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama White House knew the operation had been orchestrated by Muslim terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda. Instead of trying to solve the problem, President Obama hopped onto Air Force One on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 and escaped to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. U.S. forces that could have come to the rescue sat idle an hour’s flying time away awaiting an order to deploy that never came.
Benghazi could be Obama’s Watergate, a potentially presidency-ending scandal far worse than anything President Nixon ever did. Nixon, who almost certainly would have been impeached had he not resigned, involved himself after the fact in covering up a bungled and otherwise inconsequential break-in at the opposition party’s headquarters. 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, a city he otherwise mocks. And if Obama didn’t know, that in itself is an indictment.
Nixon got involved in a scandal that would have, but for his association, faded away to become a mere footnote in history. Nixon did something and it was relatively trifling; Obama did nothing and his omission cost American lives, including the life of a sitting U.S. ambassador.
There are so many other improprieties that could topple or at least weaken President Obama in his second term. There is Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious Mexican gun-walking scandal, a Reichstag fire calculated to foment anti-gun hysteria; the failure to defend U.S. borders; the refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and the ongoing abuse of executive orders and recess appointments.
This is only a partial list.
During President Obama’s second term, the list is bound to grow.
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