- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2012

President Obama is losing the trust of the American people. In fact, he is repeatedly showing himself to be an incorrigible liar. The Obama administration is collapsing under the weight of its numerous lies and false statements. The result: Mr. Obama’s credibility is eroding, and his popularity is dwindling. The electorate is slowly but decisively turning against him.

The administration has been caught in a web of deception. The latest is Libya. The State Department now admits that there were no protests outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11. Senior State Department officials have backtracked on their narrative that a “spontaneous riot” supposedly was caused by an anti-Muslim U.S. video.

Moreover, our intelligence agencies knew within 24 hours that Islamists had committed a premeditated, planned and coordinated terrorist attack on our diplomatic mission. Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were slaughtered. U.S. sovereignty was breached, and our compound was besieged. The Stars and Stripes was ripped down, replaced by al Qaeda’s black flag of Salafism.

In other words, Americans died and Mr. Obama lied. For nearly 10 days, senior administration officials — from the president to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice — engaged in a systematic cover-up. They insisted on the fiction that the video was to blame, and the assault was the work of “extremists” who had “hijacked” the angry protest.

At a recent congressional hearing, State Department officials testified the very opposite took place: Security cameras show there were no rioters — only armed jihadists storming our compound. Also, officials revealed that between June 2011 and July 2012, more than 230 security incidents occurred at the U.S. diplomatic mission.

In August, requests to bolster security were denied. The administration left our diplomatic personnel exposed and helpless as the anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, approached. Even when news of the assault broke, Mr. Obama refused to order military intervention despite there being U.S. fighter jets based only 450 miles away in Sicily, Italy, to defend the besieged compound. The reason: He didn’t want to violate Libya’s airspace without the permission of the government in Tripoli.

The administration’s behavior was reckless, naive and inept. Mr. Obama perpetuated the phony video-riot story because the Libya debacle demolishes one of his campaign’s central claims: The president has smashed al Qaeda. “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive” was the slogan at the Democratic National Convention. Mr. Obama has repeatedly — almost shamelessly — spiked the political football over bin Laden’s assassination.

Yet, the Benghazi atrocity reveals that the terrorist network is alive and well. Al Qaeda is spreading in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Instead of retreating, bin Laden’s Islamic warriors are on the march. Hence, the president and his surrogates concocted a fantasy — they deliberately misled the public — in a desperate attempt to preserve his reputation as a supposedly effective foreign-policy leader.

They don’t want voters to know what really happened: Jihadists succeeded in striking a major American target. The Obama team put cynical politics and systematic deception above patriotism. Mr. Obama has American blood on his hands. His actions reveal an Orwellian disregard both for the truth and the lives of his fellow citizens.

The administration’s mendacity, however, is not confined to foreign affairs. Since the beginning of his presidency, Mr. Obama has been haunted by the specter of chronically high unemployment — especially the rate of 8 percent. It is the benchmark he set for himself early on. Mr. Obama vowed following the passage of his nearly $1 trillion economic stimulus that should the jobless rate not fall below the magic 8 percent mark, he would be — and should be — a one-term president. For 43 consecutive months, America had unemployment above 8 percent. One month before the election, a minor miracle has happened. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) claimed that unemployment has dramatically dropped, to 7.8 percent. This is the biggest one-month turnaround in nearly 30 years.

There is only one problem: The numbers don’t add up. The BLS says that 873,000 jobs have been created. For this to be true, the growth rate would have to be a vigorous 4 percent to 5 percent, as it was in September 1983 during the Reagan recovery. The economy needs to be booming. Instead, the recovery remains sluggish. Growth is anemic at 1.3 percent. This year’s economic growth has been slower than in 2011, which was less than in 2010. Rather than expanding, the economy is stalling. In short, the BLS number of 7.8 percent is impossible. It is a political fiction, like Libyagate.

For four years, the liberal media have propped up the Obama presidency. They have ignored the administration’s countless scandals — the massive waste, corruption and political payoffs within the stimulus program; the illegal war in Libya; empowering radical Islamists to seize power in Egypt; unlawful breaking of contracts in the takeover of the auto industry; the numerous unaccountable and unconstitutional policy “czars”; the flagrant abuse of congressional procedures and open bribery to ram through Obamacare; the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation; Solyndra and other green-energy boondoggles, in which billions of taxpayer dollars have been used to reward Obama cronies; and now, the Benghazi cover-up and politically motivated manipulation at the BLS.

The reason is simple: Mr. Obama was supposed to be the liberal messiah — a black Franklin D. Roosevelt, who would preside over a “Green New Deal.” Instead, Mr. Obama is a political thug, who will say and do anything to hold onto power.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 (www.wrko.com) in Boston.