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Right Turn
Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 10/28/2012

Obama needs to come clean on Benghazi

The Benghazi debacle has three parts: how we neglected security while al-Qaeda was building a presence in Libya; whether the administration tried to mislead the public as to the nature of the attack; and now whether the administration denied pleas for help from operatives on the ground at the consulate.

Now, presumably at the behest of Gen. David Petraeus — who has been remarkably tight-lipped and not defended his agency against White House accusations that senior officials’ misstatements were the fault of the CIA — the CIA threw the hot potato right back in the politicians’ laps.

“We can say with confidence that the agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi,” CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood told Fox News. “Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night—and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”

So how about it, Mr. President — who called off a rescue and why? President Obama, a little more than a week before the election, won’t tell Americans what happened. Well, why should he — the press doesn’t hound him, the liberal elite still rushes to his defense, and his White House attack dogs bark “Politics!” whenever legitimate questions are asked.

Meanwhile, the father of slain SEAL Tyrone Woods is furious with the administration, demanding to know why his son wasn’t saved when “apparently even the State Department had a live stream and was aware of their calls for help. My son wasn’t even there. He was at a safe house about a mile away. He got the distress call; he heard them crying for help; that’s why he and Glen risked their lives to go that extra mile just to take care of the situation. And I’m sure that wasn’t the only one received that distress call — you know, ‘Come save our lives.’”

Did Defense Secretary Leon Panetta take it upon himself to call off any rescue effort? (He told the press on Thursday that the Pentagon lacked clear information as to what was going on.) Where was the president and did he or some other official take it upon himself to deny help to the trapped Americans?

This is an appalling tale of, at the very least, gross incompetency and utter lack of transparency. The media, including those who continue to carry Obama’s political water, should be demanding Obama answer questions, before the election.

As for Mitt Romney, he’s not exactly been a profile in courage on this one. He, too, should be demanding answers and telling voters how he would conduct himself under similar circumstances. Sure, he got burned last time when the press freaked out over his remarks on the Cairo Embassy assault. But he’s going to face far worse as president if elected, so maybe it is time he, too, started pressuring the president to give some answers. That is what leaders do — speak up even when it is not easy.

By  |  08:30 AM ET, 10/28/2012

 
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