Roger L. Simon:
For nearly a year, we have had no answer to why the administration lied about Benghazi — why it told the world, not to mention the parents of our murdered SEALs at the funeral of their sons, that the cause of that fatal conflagration was an anti-Islamic video no one saw, when the various arms of our executive branch (White House, State and intelligence) already knew, or strongly suspected, it was a terror attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates.
You only have to read the now infamous talking points to know that.
That this lie was deeply immoral is obvious. What still eludes us is the cause of that lie, other than the equally obvious desire to avoid embarrassment weeks before a presidential election.
But what was this embarrassment about? Recent events have supposedly unearthed a tie to secret arms shipments to Syrian rebels, but as the always cogent Barry Rubin points out, anyone paying attention to the story has known this for some time. Rumors of such shipments filled the Internet even before the Benghazi fireworks.
Furthermore, as Rubin also indicates, if that information had been immediately revealed or leaked to the public soon after the event, it would have been met by a national shoulder shrug that was firmly ratified by Obama’s loyal media claque. It wouldn’t have impacted the election much, if at all.
No, something more problematic was involved and I suspect I know what it was. No one wanted to admit — or probably face for themselves — the extent to which the president, and therefore his administration, the State Department, the CIA and even the military, was in bed with Islamists. That the Benghazi consulate (or whatever it was) was guarded by al-Qaeda types who surely either turned on the people they were supposed to be defending that night, or simply gave safe passage to the enemy, is only tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Like many icebergs this one has different sections and ridges. An important one was that the death of bin Laden meant the death or diminution of al-Qaeda, as Obama continually bragged during the election campaign. Nothing could be more absurd, if you think about it, and not just because al-Qaeda is once more at the top of the news, closing down dozens of embassies before a shot is fired, but because bin Laden was just one (okay, dramatic) ripple in the Islamist story.
We can assume that Obama is and was aware of the birth of the Muslim Brothers (later Muslim Brotherhood) in 1928 under Hassan al-Bannna, who later helped establish the Arabian spy network for — sorry for breaking Godwin’s Law, but in this case it’s necessary — Adolph Hitler. (If you’re unfamiliar with the history, Wikipedia has a good overview.) Bin Laden was one, particularly rich and particularly violent, avatar. But only one. (“Obama, Obama, we are all Osama!” as the Arab street shouted.)
The Muslim Brotherhood/al-Qaeda, etc., and their ideology, has been going on for centuries because they are basically Muslim revivalists continually — sometimes successfully, sometimes not — working against nationalism and secularism in Egypt and elsewhere.
As most of us know, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but Obama — and therefore the administration, State Department, intelligence and military — threw in to a greater or lesser extent with the Brotherhood and their Islamist colleagues. They did this despite the Brotherhood’s obvious extreme misogyny and homophobia, which, under normal circumstances, we would assume to be anathema to so-called “progressives.”