Perhaps yesterday was the turning point in finding out exactly why four Americans, including a United States ambassador, died horrific deaths in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
Standing before the ordinarily friendly White House Press Corps, Press Secretary Jay Carney, spun like mad to explain a recently released White House email in which, prior to Susan Rice’s television appearances, political operative Ben Rhodes advises to “underscore that these protests are rooted in [an] Internet video, and not a broader failure [of] policy.”
Carney’s attempt to explain the White House position was embarrassing and almost painful to watch. For instance, he attributed the fact that this email was only wrested from the White House’s clenched fist after a lawsuit and Freedom of Information Act Request by Judicial Watch to the claim that earlier requests weren’t worded precisely enough to yield this information gem. That’s an explanation Bill Clinton could truly appreciate (how you define “is” makes all the difference).
No wonder people hate lawyers.
For years, the basic cover for Carney and others in the White House was the fact that their primary antagonist was Fox News. It was easy for the White House to repeat the party line that any Benghazi question was solely motivated by a political witch hunt or as Hillary Clinton would say “a vast right wing conspiracy.”
Yesterday, however, Fox News no longer stood alone. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl was unrelenting in his cross-examination of Carney. He was soon joined by Ed Henry and reporters from other media outlets.
Perhaps Karl and the others are clueing in to the simple fact that no reporter wins a Pulitzer Prize for being a politician’s patsy. You don’t become Woodward and Bernstein by currying favor with the White House Press Secretary.
Charles Krauthammer equates the release of the Rhodes’ email with the discovery of the White House tapes in 1973.
While it remains to be seen if the two events bear any similarity in the eyes of history, there is one correlation that can’t be denied.
Watergate was a slow drawn out historical event. It’s not like there was a burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and Richard Nixon resigned a week later. It took well over a year for all the pieces to come together resulting in Nixon’s resignation. Many times along the way, it even appeared that might not be the outcome.
The Benghazi story has many facets. Where it leads remains to be seen, but it certainly deserves further investigation, most likely vis a vis a Special Committee appointed by the House (since the chance of Harry Reid calling for such an investigation is nil).
It will be interesting to see where events lead. Perhaps after a full vetting of everything the American people will finally be able to judge exactly what difference all this makes.