They knew. The president and the secretary of State knew all along. But for Mr. Obama, the revelation would have been disastrous to his re-election campaign — Election Day was less than two months away. And for Mrs. Clinton, her hopes to win the White House would have been greatly compromised if it turned out she had stood idly by while terrorists killed a U.S. ambassador — on Sept. 11, no less.
So they lied. For weeks, the White House refused to call it “terror” — then, in a remarkable turnabout, claimed they had said all along that the attack was terrorism. An investigation into what happened, commissioned by the White House, bottled up facts for months. In the meantime, Mrs. Clinton ran out the clock, refusing to testify to Congress until days before she left her post.
When she finally appeared, she came out with this spectacularly brazen line, one only a true “ends justify the means” devotee could espouse: “What difference at this point does it make?”
Now, more than a year later, with still so many unanswered questions, finding the truth seems lost to the wind. So little firsthand knowledge exists: Only a handful of eyewitnesses has testified (although there were dozens at the diplomatic compound), and footage from a U.S. drone that flew over the site that night has never been shown. For the record, the CIA demanded agents who were in Benghazi sign a second nondisclosure agreement, and video surveillance from on-site security cameras reportedly shows no protest before the attack.
As a Christmas present, The New York Times, bent on electing another liberal in 2016, is seeking to rewrite the entire narrative. The paper wrote Dec. 28 that “contrary to claims by some members of Congress, [the attack] was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.” And there weren’t any “terrorists,” The Times says, just some local “fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi” — whatever that means.
So, disciples of the-ends-justify-the-means philosophy are winning, at least for now. But perhaps someone — anyone — in Congress with a desire to get to the truth for truth’s sake, to adhere to the rules that govern not just elected officials but all of humanity, will make a stand. It’s not too late — at least not yet.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.