It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up
By Alan Caruba
I still recall the long months of the Watergate scandal that began with a botched break-in of the Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. It was directed by a group of presidential operatives dubbed the “plumbers” inside the White House. No one died, but a number of the operatives, including the Attorney General, John Mitchell, went to jail!
As always, it is not the crime, but the cover-up that brought down the Nixon presidency. It was the testimony of John Dean III, a top aide to Nixon, who revealed the extent of the corruption that existed and Nixon’s complicity.
The initial revelations and subsequent congressional investigations did not lead to a swift application of the law. Indeed, it would not be until August 9, 1974 that Nixon would resign, the first and only President to do so.
Two years would pass and, if one applies this to the Obama presidency, that means he has some twenty-four months left in office, a period of time in which he can do a lot of damage, assuming events play out as they did in the 1970s. Obama’s conduct of the presidency is a stain on the office at this point and his personal conduct an insult to Americans struggling to find work, pay their mortgages, put their children through college, and maintain any faith in their government.
At this writing, there is no way to know what revelations will occur during Wednesday’s congressional committee hearing on the events surrounding the Benghazi attack that led to the assassination of a U.S. ambassador and the three security personnel who gave their lives in the effort to save him.
What is known is that neither the State Department led by then-Secretary of State Clinton, nor the White House did anything to protect the Libyan embassy, consulate, and ambassador prior to or during the attack. This is a serious dereliction of duty, particularly by the Commander-in-Chief who retired to bed after being informed of the attack and then flew off to a fundraising event the following day.
Unlike Watergate, four Americans died. That is very serious, but the White House has devoted the months since September 12, 2012 to an effort to distract our attention from that fact.
When the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, can dismiss the attack as something that happened “a long time ago” you get a very clear insight regarding either his insipid stupidity or a deliberate effort to stonewall reporter’s questions, or both. In testimony before Congress, Clinton may well have committed perjury. At the very least, “What difference does it make?” displayed a level of indifference that is appalling.
Most certainly, with the exception of Fox News and a handful of others, the lap dog journalists that cover the White House have done their best to avoid the obvious. Indeed, was it not for the on-going investigative work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, the Watergate scandal might have been swept under the rug.
On May 4 Roger Simon, a political columnist for Politico.com, reminded readers that, on October 27. 2012, he asked, “If Barack Obama is reelected, will he face impeachment over Benghazi—a yet more unpleasant and far more wrenching result than to lose an election?”
“It could happen—and in my estimation should happen—the way revelations are playing out over the bloody terror attack that took four American lives and has led to weeks of prevarication and obfuscation.” In Simon’s opinion, “Barack Obama is bloody lucky he’s a Democrat, because if he were a Republican, he’d been in deep trouble right now, close to the brink of extinction. Only his increasingly pathetic loyal media clique can save him. It will be interesting to see if they do so at the expense of their own reputations.”
If history is any guide, those who will testify at the congressional committee hearing now and subsequent ones to occur, will lay the blame at the door of the Oval Office, the Department of State, and even Defense.
There is a lot of malfeasance and misfeasance to go around. Recall that the President, Secretary of State Clinton, and the Ambassador to the UN, were all complicit in spreading the boldfaced lie that the attack was not orchestrated by al Qaeda—on the anniversary of 9/11—but was the result of a video that was alleged to inflame the anger of Islamic terrorists.
I doubt that anyone in the CIA and other agencies of government wants to go to jail for Barack Obama or Clinton.
We are, I suspect, going to repeat a new version of the Watergate scandal and, if Congress and the courts rise to the occasion, we may well have seen the last of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
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