As we watch the Left furiously attempt to wish Gregory Hicks away into the cornfield, we can easily appreciate why Obama’s campaign operation – the only truly functional part of his government – felt it was so important to keep the truth under wraps until after the election. A big chunk of Libya fallen into terrorist anarchy? Minimal protection afforded to the U.S. ambassador sent there? The rest of the American presence in Libya paralyzed due to Clinton and Obama’s indecision? Obama turning in early for his big Vegas fundraiser while Americans were under deadly attack on foreign soil?
He sure didn’t want all of that percolating into the public mind and coalescing into a “narrative” that maybe the Slayer of Bin Laden isn’t so hot on foreign policy after all. Given what we saw of the Romney campaign operation, it’s an open question whether they would have been able to put that narrative together… but remember how the big media obsession on the morning of September 12 was, “How dare Mitt Romney criticize Obama’s weak, confused response!”
“It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans, and to defend our values,” Romney said on the morning after the attacks, while Hillary and Obama were still cooking up their “spontaneous video protest” malarkey behind closed doors. If the Administration had conceded the true nature of the Benghazi attack, the public might well have found itself agreeing with Romney… and we couldn’t have that, could we?
Obama understands that these battles are won on a news-cycle basis. All of the information we received today, slamming into the Obama 2012 campaign at once, might have been fatal. But string it out over days and weeks – begin with a fairy tale about how the Benghazi attack was a total bolt from the blue, a spontaneous and somewhat understandable burst of Islamic rage that nobody could have seen coming – and the damage can be compartmentalized. The truth doesn’t have to stay in that conservative media ghetto forever. It just has to cool off long enough for the spin doctors to touch base with their media buddies and establish narrative control. Then it can dribble out slowly until the last few nuggets of truth are merely fossilized bits of old news that don’t matter any more. If they show any signs of life, they can be buried under a phony layer of righteous indignation. Benghazi happened a long time ago! At this point, what difference does it make?
By the way, does everyone remember the full text of Hillary Clinton’s infamous quote? “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? At this point, what difference does it make?”
Well, after today’s testimony, it’s clear that Hillary Clinton knew it was neither a protest, nor guys out for a walk with their droogies, looking for a bit of the old ultraviolence after a night of partying at the milk bar. She was still lying through her teeth when she had her little “what difference does it make?” outburst, still pretending that when she quite literally had the 2 AM phone call she talked about in her campaign against Obama, the planned and organized nature of the attack was not made clear to her. If American voters knew about that 2 AM phone call the day after the attack, things could have gotten very tense for the Obama re-election effort. I doubt Hillary would have been willing to quietly resign in disgrace to save Obama’s bacon. The 24 and 72-hour cycles after a politically dangerous event are crucial.
Now Obama and Clinton just need their media buddies to exile these new hearings to the ghetto of truth for a few news cycles, until the subject can be changed again.