The great Benghazi blackout
Hurricane Sandy is poised to rock the northeast with widespread power losses, but there has already been a huge blackout in the Northeastern news corridor, concerning discussion of the latest Benghazi revelations. The embargo is nearly complete: one of the greatest scandals in Presidential history is unfolding, and only Fox News wants to talk about it. It’s like the “Fast and Furious” blackout, except in fast-forward. Obama’s fans in the network news rooms know they only have to close ranks around the President and avoid the story for a few more days; their ignorance is studied to the point of weaponization.
Joel Pollak at Breitbart.com kept an eye on the Sunday news shows, and found that only on Fox News did the moderators find the “stand down” order in Benghazi to be a topic worthy of discussion. David Gregory of NBC News actually cut one of his panelists off when Carly Fiorina tried to broach the subject, dismissively assuring the audience that “we’ll get to that a little later,” but of course they never did. George Stephanopolous at ABC News quickly changed the subject when Newt Gingrich tried to talk about it. “Face the Nation” guest John McCain had to drag Mr. Foreign Policy, host Bob Schieffer, into a discussion of the story.
On the rare occasion that a local news guy does manage to slip a Benghazi question to the President, he gives the kind of slippery non-answers and dusty talking-points promises that would drive the press into a feeding frenzy, if they emitted from a Republican. Obama tried blowing off a Colorado reporter with “the election has nothing to do with the four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” but when that didn’t work, he tried this: “The minute I found out what was going on, I gave three very clear directives – Number 1, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”
Well, here’s the problem, Mr. President: we now that that your Number 1 directive was an order to CIA assets to “stand down” and refrain from helping the beseiged U.S. Ambassador and his valiant, hopelessly outnumbered defenders. “Security our personnel” was your top priority in the same sense that “job creation” has been the top priority of your Administration – which is to say, it wasn’t.
CIA director David Petraeus stated that “no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.” That means the stand-down order came from the White House. Or is Obama accusing Petraeus of lying? Are there supposedly rogue elements running some kind of shadow government beneath the President’s notice? These are questions that dwarf the Watergate scandal, especially since this scandal has a body count. There are Pulitzer Prizes to be won, but no one outside of Fox News seems terribly interested in pursuing them.
Among the most remarkable aspects of the Benghazi Blackout is the treatment of Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, one of the ex-SEALs who ignored the stand-down order and died defending Ambassador Chris Stevens. Once upon a time, when Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in Iraq and she lashed out against President George Bush, she instantly became one of the most famous people in the world, invested overnight with “absolute moral authority” by newspaper columnists – an authority they did not rescind no matter how deranged Sheehan’s pronouncements became, until she started criticizing Barack Obama.
But Charles Woods can’t seem to get any attention outside of Fox News and talk radio, even though he’s saying very cogent, and incredibly powerful, things about the Administration’s negligence in the matter of his son’s death. Woods appeared on Geraldo River’s show Sunday night to ask the questions that the press doesn’t seem interested in asking: “My question of the president would be this: Your Honor, I respect your office as president, but if this attack on American citizens, on American soil, happened 2,000 miles away from Washington, D.C. — say in Los Angeles or in Seattle — would you have waited seven hours before you sent the first airplane? Would you have waited seven hours until the attack was over? Would you have waited a couple of days until you had all of the videos and all the information before you responded in a responsible military way?”
“Remember this, Mr. President,” Woods added. “My son and the others died heroes and it’s better to die the death of a hero than it is to live the life of a coward. If you are responsible for the death of my son, I forgive you, I love you. I also love America.” (Video of the segment can be seen at the Daily Caller.) Why are only Fox News audiences hearing this?