Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
For all the tumult over the decision of the House of Representatives to empanel a select committee to revisit the September 11, 2012 destruction of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, public attention has not fixed upon what may well be the most significant issue: whether or not there was a cover-up.
Taking their cue from Democratic allegations of a politically motivated “witch hunt,” mainstream media types are spinning the work of the new committee in terms of the attack itself and our apparent lack of preparedness. These issues were indeed the subjects of earlier congressional hearings. Yet the committee’s mandate is more narrowly focused as it seeks to learn why a key document that should have been turned over pursuant to a subpoena issued in August 2013 by an earlier congressional investigating committee has only now been produced by the Obama administration as the result of a freedom of information lawsuit.
This is a very big deal and calls to mind claims leveled against Richard Nixon and his cohorts that they undermined the oversight function of Congress by conspiring to withhold relevant documents.
The document that has now surfaced is a September 12, 2012 e-mail from White House adviser Ben Rhodes to various administration officials providing direction as to how to prepare then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice to respond to questions about Benghazi during her appearances on talk shows. Despite having clear evidence to the contrary (as reflected in an earlier CIA memo), Mr. Rhodes listed, in a section labeled “Goals,” what Ms. Rice should seek to accomplish:
These talking points represented significant changes from the document prepared by the CIA – especially with regard to the reference to the Internet video – and were relied upon by Ambassador Rice. In its August 2013 subpoena, the congressional investigating committee requested all documents relating to the development of the administration’s talking points – a request that clearly covered the Rhodes e-mail. But it was not forthcoming until earlier this month.
The Rhodes e-mail was not released until a federal judge granted a Freedom of Information Act request by the watchdog group Judicial Watch for all relevant documents. Significantly, a court order does not have the legal wiggle room of a congressional subpoena. The White House could not, therefore, risk the consequences of a federal court contempt citation.
Congressional subpoena power is obviously key to that body’s constitutional oversight responsibilities; non-compliance with such subpoenas does great damage to the heart of the American system of government.
The Nixon administration was brought low not so much by the Watergate burglary itself as by the subsequent cover-up and contemptuous treatment of Congress. There is something very troubling in the way the Obama administration has reacted to Benghazi from day one. If not for a compliant press corps, the president would have a lot more explaining to do. Depending on what emerges from the new committee’s work, he still might.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.
Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .
With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?
The Gazans are now paying for the choices they have made.
As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.
Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.
UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.
There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]
Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?
It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.
Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”
The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.
Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.
So Hamas needed a way to end the blockade and secure the release of its prisoners.
Many of us thought Mr. Obama’s diplomacy strategy was simply a device to dodge a decision that force was necessary to ensure the rogue state of Iran would not get its hands on nuclear weapons and thereby pose an existential threat to world peace.
In fact, the two suspects were arrested by Israeli authorities – not, as the Times tried artfully to suggest, by Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
Unfortunately, we must deal with some of the practical lessons of this tragedy. The murders did not happen in a vacuum.
It is no secret the president is furious with Republicans in Congress for blocking his efforts to change immigration laws.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/an-overlooked-benghazi-issue/2014/05/14/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: