- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2012

President Obama has betrayed the American people. His administration is dissembling and engaging in a systematic cover-up. The reason: Mr. Obama does not want the public to know he bears heavy responsibility for the recent terrorist attack against the U.S. Consulate in Libya. He has American blood on his hands — blood he cannot wash away.

Islamic radicals recently besieged our diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The U.S. ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans. The compound was leveled. Our flag was taken down and desecrated. The jihadists raised the black flag of al Qaeda. The assault took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Al Qaeda in North Africa immediately announced responsibility for the carnage. Libya’s government said the raid had been planned and coordinated for months. Even a 9-year-old could grasp that this was a premeditated terrorist atrocity.

Not so the Obama administration. The White House immediately insisted that the attack was a response to an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States that supposedly incited religious passions. The video, however, has been circulating on YouTube since early July. It is badly dubbed and obviously the work of amateurs. If it was so inflammatory, why didn’t riots erupt in the summer? This is because it had nothing to do with the raid. It was a cheap — and cynical — pretense to commit murder and mayhem. Even Libya’s leaders have publicly said that the video did not inspire the attack — Islamist hatred did.

This hasn’t stopped the administration from deceiving the American people. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the video was to blame. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has claimed the attack was the result of a “spontaneous” uprising. For weeks, Mr. Obama has refused to call the assault an act of terrorism, preferring to repeatedly denounce the video. The reason is simple: Focusing on the video is a crude attempt to distract from the real scandal — Mr. Obama’s reckless, almost criminal policies.

The administration ignored warning signs that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was under Islamist threat. Security should have been bolstered — especially on the anniversary of Sept. 11. It wasn’t. The recovered diary of dead U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens shows that he and his staff were in fear of their lives. The State Department is refusing to release the diplomatic cables sent by Stevens days before he was butchered. They fear it will expose the truth: The ambassador and his colleagues were left twisting in the wind, dangerously vulnerable to the violent jihadists rampaging across Libya. The White House turned a blind eye to their plight.

Instead of confronting this, the White House is desperately deflecting culpability. Mr. Obama has not engaged just in irresponsible conduct. The lax security, the dead Americans, the lies and the cover-up — they reveal an amoral, self-absorbed celebrity-in-chief who puts power and his crass re-election above human decency. Yet it is even more ominous: Mr. Obama has directly empowered the very Islamists responsible for the terrorist assault.

The dirty little secret is that the president waged an illegal and unconstitutional war in Libya. He ordered U.S. military strikes that toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi without the authorization of Congress. Mr. Obama behaved like an imperial president, ignoring the American people and deliberately circumventing Congress. His actions were simply lawless.

Moreover, the intervention has transformed Libya into a jihadist haven. The administration — aided by NATO — helped arm, train and equip the anti-Gadhafi rebels. Many of them were hardened al Qaeda or Taliban fighters who had spent years ambushing and killing Americans in Iraq. They sought not a liberal democracy, but an Islamic theocracy. The results have been disastrous. Muslim militias roam the countryside. Shariah law is spreading. More than 20,000 weapons stockpiled under Gadhafi were looted by al Qaeda insurgents. Jihadists now occupy large swaths of the country. Mr. Obama’s war has made Libya safe for Islamist terrorists — the same ones who sacked our consulate and slaughtered our diplomats. The death of Stevens is a direct result of Mr. Obama’s inept policies. He is partly responsible.

That’s why the establishment media refuse to cover the story with any serious depth. It would expose the president for who he truly is: an anti-colonial leftist radical whose pro-Muslim sympathies have badly damaged America’s interests and cost American lives.

The Libya affair will go down in history as one of the worst abuses of presidential power and abrogation of proper authority. Under Mr. Obama, four Americans are dead. This is why he needs to be defeated in November. He has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. The sooner he leaves office, the better.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and daily radio host of “The Kuhner Report” on Boston’s WRKO 680-AM (wrko.com) from 11 a.m.-noon.