“But Aaron’s Staff Swallowed Theirs”
One common characterization of politicians is that they are like snakes. They slither and weave their words carefully like the serpent of Eden. “He speaks with forked tongue” is an old American Indian critique of the occupying European. Having a forked tongue means that your speech is meant to be taken one way but your intentions are something dramatically different. The Indians knew this firsthand when they were promised one thing by the white man only to see it carried out in a way that shrunk their lands, the herds and their people.
Any fair assessment of the Benghazi timeline suggests an Administration speaking with several forked tongues. The latest from the White House is that Ambassador Rice, who emphasized the spontaneous, video-induced, nature of the attack, was merely following what intelligence was providing her at the time. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/19/us/benghazi-spontaneous/index.html. But the New York Times writes today that intelligence did not paint such a clear picture: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/us/politics/explanation-for-benghazi-attack-under-scrutiny.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. (Indeed, prior media reports suggest that the senior intelligence officials believed early on the attack was an organized terrorist attack with North Africa Al Qaeda links — http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/12/world/africa/libya-attack-jihadists/index.html; http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/12/world/africa/libya-consulate-attack-scene/index.html; http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/12/u-s-ambassador-to-libya-3-others-killed-in-rocket-attack-witness-says/; http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/27/intel-quickly-saw-signs-of-al-qaeda-links-in-consulate-attack). And clearly that picture is different from the one the President painted at the last debate in which he claimed he knew it was a terrorist attack and said so on September 12. Even if it is true that there were differing views within the intelligence community the only explanation for why the White House would send Amb. Rice to claim emphatically that is was due to the anti-Islam video (itself a real stretch given the timeline of release of that video and the series of violent episodes starting in February of 2012 and continuing through September involving the Benghazi consulate, the British Ambassador and the Red Cross) was to throw a white cover over the utter failure of Obama’s appeasement strategy in the Middle East. Of course, the problem of reduced security at Benghazi despite repeated requests is another story in this fatal debacle and itself seems traceable to the effort by the White House to paint a rosy picture of peace in Libya, for who would any longer need a substantial security force in a land of growing peace? Finally, Hot Air notes this intriguing report by CBS which raises the valid question why there was no military aid provided to the sieged defenders of the consulate. http://hotair.com/archives/2012/10/22/cbs-news-why-didnt-we-send-the-military-to-rescue-benghazi-personnel/. Had the rapid response 16 man security team which was in place a month before September 11 attack remained, it would have been a much different result in Benghazi. In the aftermath, various officials have been “thrown under the bus” in the words of the media. From senior level State Department Officials, to intelligence officers to Mrs. Clinton herself. But no one has been fired and no one has resigned. The ones thrown under the bus were our own diplomats and the right to free speech for good measure.
It is near certain that the fatal Benghazi debacle will be raised tonight at the debate. It is near certain that the President will do everything he can to point the blame to some other source than his own failed foreign policy and other than his own deadly incompetent Administration. It is near certain that, like the snakes of the Pharoah attacked the snake of Aaron, he will attempt to attack Governor Romney for that man’s brave statement the night of September 11, 2012. And it is near certain that the Governor will swallow up those attacks like the staff of Aaron.