Remember when candidate Hillary Clinton raised the frightening prospect of the 3:00 A.M. phone call to rookie President Barack Obama in the White House?
Well, it was 3:00 A.M. with both Hillary and Barack on the job, and somehow or other they missed the call. And now the administration is in full damage control mode.
This morming Betsy Newmark has a post explaining why the State Department is attacking CNN for reporting what was in Ambassador Christopher Stevens's journal. CNN found it in the ruins of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya nearly a week after the terror attack that took the ambassador's life. State refuses to answer any questions.
Ideologues at State and in the mainstream media are now working overtime to shield not only Barack Obama, but now Hillary Clinton as well. Her tenure at State was supposed to give her the impeccable foreign policy credentials that would make her the prohibitive presidential favorite in 2016. She won't be the favorite if Mitt Romney wins, which I believe he will.
But the press apparently does not, so we have a cover up going on. It would be one thing if we were looking at the type of scandal that the press of another day would have swept under the rug. In the old days the press would ignore a scandal if it was unrelated to the functioning of government. FDR and JFK both carried on affairs that the press chose to disregard because they judged them to be nothing about policy.
The murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his staff is a scandal of a different nature. This was a failure of individuals in their execution of policy and, arguably, a failure of the policy itself. It was a catastrophic security failure and a catastrophic intelligenct loss.
If there were all these intelligence gathering assets on the ground before the terrorists attacked, why didn't the administration know that it needed to provide security for the ambassador? Were the White House and State caught by surprise? Were they not paying attention? Ambassador Stevens knew he was in danger. He even wrote in his journal that he was in danger. Is there any reason to suspect that he didn't communicate his fears up the chain of command? It's hard to imagine.
Maybe the White House and State simply ignored warnings. I can certainly imagine Obama in denial over the prospect of anti-american rioting. That sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen after the inauguration of Barack Obama. Muslims were going to see America in a new light.
This is a monumental scandal. One that other administations might not survive. What happened to the ambassador's 3:00 A.M. phone call for help? Will our watch dog media bother trying to find out? They should. This is a huge failure.
Update: "Sources say intelligence agencies knew within a day that al Qaeda affiliates were behind the attacks in Benghazi, Libya—they even knew where one of the attackers lived. Eli Lake reports."
Isn't it funny (odd, not hilarious) that the New York Times celebrated the anniversary of 9/11 this year with an article by Kurt Eichenwald that accused George W. Bush of ignoring warnings before the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
So George Bush, who attended every one of his daily intelligence briefings by the way, should have prevented the attacks when nobody knew where and when al Qaeda would strike. Can we expect Mr Eichenwald to put his investigative skills to good use and find out why Barack Obama, who attended maybe half of his daily intelligence briefings by the way, didn't prevent the attack in Benghazi when his ambassador there knew he was in danger? Let's just say I won't hold my breath.