- - Monday, December 9, 2013

The Obama State Department has finally released a second round of photos revealing the harrowing devastation wrought by a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

The new photographs depict rampant damage to the consulate. They show charred walls, smoldering fires, Arabic graffiti defacing exterior walls, and scattered debris throughout. The extent of the damage would lead any reasonably serious person to conclude that this was a cold, calculated attack, carefully coordinated to mark the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Unfortunately for the American people, the Obama-Clinton-Rice cabal that led to the Benghazi cover-up was far more interested in political-damage control than serious damage assessment.

Let’s be clear: The photos clearly reveal that the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate was not some spur-of-the-moment prank pulled by a couple of hyped-up Libyans coming off a YouTube binge, as top Obama administration officials led the American people to believe. It was most certainly not, as President Obama himself suggested to the entire world via the United Nations, the result of “a crude and disgusting video [that] sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”

Hyped-up hotheads are not normally armed with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, AK-47s, FN F2000 NATO assault rifles, gun trucks and mortars. They don’t launch carefully staged five-hour assaults on well-fortified compounds surrounded by a 9-foot outer wall topped by barbed wire and augmented by barriers, steel drop bars and other security upgrades. They rarely leave behind the kind of devastation depicted in the photos Judicial Watch has obtained.

In short, the newly released photos, along with those released last June, reveal not only a massive attack — they reveal the big lie as well. There is no other way to put it: When Mr. Obama, Secretary of then-State Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice launched their Benghazi cover-up tour in the hours, weeks and months after the attack, they knew they were lying. They had received firsthand reports as the assault was underway. They had been given continual updates by top military brass asking for guidance from the Oval Office. They had also seen the revealing photos Judicial Watch obtained, along with “hours of video” the Obama State Department’s own Accountability Review Board has acknowledged having watched.

That’s right: Despite being forced to release the 30 new Benghazi documents to Judicial Watch, the State Department has continued to withhold the videos reviewed by the board. A Justice Department attorney told us that the State Department is withholding all videos in full, citing privacy and law enforcement exemptions. On top of that, a December 2012 article at Breitbart.com, reported that there was live drone footage two hours into the attack on the consulate. It further reported that there were closed-circuit security cameras on the outer walls of the consulate, and one State official said that the main-gate camera revealed “a large number of men, armed men, flowing into the compound” at 9:40 the night of the attack.

So one is left to wonder: Why the continuing cover-up? What do the “hours of video” reveal that the Obama administration desperately does not want the American people to know? Are the videos enough to shake the foundations behind an already foundering presidency? Or, perhaps, prevent a wannabe president from achieving her dream of Oval Office power? We now know that Mr. Obama lied to the American people with his pledge “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance.” Does the Benghazi video footage prove conclusively that he also knowingly lied to the entire world from his elevated position on the U.N. dais?

Since the day the Obama administration first launched its duplicitous Benghazi cover story, Judicial Watch has been pressing for the full truth. The fact that we’ve had to wait nearly a year and file a federal lawsuit for basic documentary material of the attack shows that this administration is still in cover-up mode. Now, the Obama administration brings the Benghazi stonewall to a whole new level by withholding video of the attack, using frivolous arguments such as “privacy.” Our organization has filed four lawsuits and 23 Freedom of Information Act requests to reveal what Mr. Obama is covering up. The newly obtained Benghazi wreckage photos are beginning to break through the stonewall. When the big lie finally, fully collapses, there may be some political careers collapsing along with it.

Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch, author of the “The Corruption Chronicles” (Threshold Editions, 2012) and executive producer of the documentary “District of Corruption.”

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