“I know this chamber agrees that few Americans give more to their country than our diplomats and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.” President Barack Obama spoke these words in his State of the Union on Tuesday, knowing that the father of one of the victims of the Benghazi terror attack was in the gallery, and just days after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged Benghazi was her greatest regret.
In 2013, Obama was more effusive: “And all this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk–our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military the world has ever known.”
These words are a grave insult to the four who died, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, because it is clear that the Commander-in-Chief did not do all that he could to protect diplomats in Libya–not even communicating with his national security staff during the night. The latest Senate report on Benghazi stops short of blaming Obama or Clinton, but makes clear that the attack was preventable, and that responsibility lies at the top.
The conventional media wisdom has shifted–slightly–since that Senate report. Now it is acceptable to note that Democrats are in denial about Benghazi, but journalists still criticize Republicans for being too “rabid” about it. That’s the same response the media used in September 2012 to avoid real reporting on the issue: they made the story about Romney’s late-night press release rather than Obama’s late-night inaction, and subsequent lies.
When historians look back on this episode, many will likely conclude that Republicans were not “rabid” enough. The idea that the President of the United States could abandon U.S. diplomats to a terror attack, then lie about it–while making sure that a scapegoated filmmaker was sent to jail–is just atrocious. It is the ultimate failure, and any other president–even a Democrat–would have been hounded out of office by the media by now.
There were more than a few lies in the State of the Union on Tuesday, the most blatant of which was Obama’s claim that the interim nuclear deal with Iran–whose full text he refuses to reveal–requires that the regime “eliminate” its stockpile of highly-enriched uranium. But if there was any point that deserved a Joe Wilson-style interjection, it was the claim that Obama cares about our diplomats abroad. What a lie. What a disgrace.