In Washington, when the official line seems improbable, people often say, “It doesn’t pass the smell test.” There’s a lot that stinks at the moment about the Benghazigate affair, including now the circumstances involving the forced resignation of a man in the middle of it: President Obama’s CIA Director and former four-star Army General David Petraeus.
Within hours of the jihadist attack in Libya on September 11 that killed four Americans, the administration started dissembling and lying about what happened. Gen. Petraeus could surely shed light on the matter. But — because of an affair the FBI knew about for months, yet we supposedly didn’t mention to the White House until the night of the election — he’s out. Consequently, the general won’t testify at any of the three congressional hearings called to look into the Benghazi debacle later this week.
This really stinks, and Congress needs to find out why. Here are some lines of inquiry that cry out for no-holds-barred investigation:
Thus, we potentially have a full-scale national security disaster on our hands. Imagine, for example, even a few of Qaddafi’s thousands of surface-to-air missiles being used, not to shoot down Syrian air force jets and helicopters, but U.S. airliners, here or abroad. Who will be held accountable if that happens?
Presumably, CIA Director Petraeus would have been intimately familiar with the details of what his operatives in Benghazi were up to. That would certainly have been true after their station was murderously attacked and (as Ms. Broadwell suggested to her audience in Denver) he swiftly established that it was a terrorist attack. He would, therefore, have to have knowingly dissembled when, shortly thereafter in the course of hastily organized briefings on Capitol Hill, he parroted the Obama administration meme that this act of jihad was actually just a spontaneous response to a provocative video.
In light of the general’s reputation for integrity, could he have been coerced by a White House determined to deflect and deceive at least until election day, in a position to destroy his career?
Sound implausible? Well, is it any more implausible than this: Ronald Kessler reports at Newsmax.com that, “FBI agents investigating CIA Director David Petraeus’s affair were shocked when told by Bureau officials that, despite the national security implications, no action would be taken on their findings until after the presidential election.”
One thing is certain: Even though the election is now safely behind it, Team Obama has every incentive to obstruct congressional investigators. The effect of forcing Mr. Petraeus‘ resignation at this juncture is to defer his testimony — for the time being at least, if not indefinitely. With a compliant press, myriad distractions during a compressed lame-duck session and the short-attention span of both legislators and the public, the administration may be calculating that it can stonewall this inquiry as it has done with Fast-and-Furious, among other scandals. That would not just fail the smell test. It would allow the continuation of what appears to be serious rot at the highest levels of our government.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.
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Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on 1260 AM.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
By Susan Crabtree - The Washington Times
President Obama forgot to return the salute of a U.S. Marine while boarding Marine One Friday morning, then came back out to shake the Marine’s hand, according to a tweet by CBS News’ Mark Knoller.
By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times
House Republicans who are critical of the federal health care law have written to more than a dozen companies, including top insurers Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield, to ask if President Obama’s top health official tried to solicit funds from them to support the overhaul.