Protect and Defend! — Call it what you may.

Protect and Defend!
…. [M]ilitary officers in Tripoli were “furious” when they were told to stand down instead of trying to help the Americans under siege at the Benghazi consulate.
 
    An embassy of any country is recognized as sovereign territory belonging to the nation that is being hosted. All persons staffing that embassy on diplomatic visas even outside embassy grounds are treated as citizens under the jurisdiction of the country being hosted and are immune from any prosecution by the host country. The Benghazi attack was an attack on America and its citizens!
 
    In addition to warning Americans well before the 2012 elections of the betrayal of trust involved with the Benghazi tragedy, this Committee for the Constitution has posed three questions that have yet to be addressed regarding the failure to protect and defend American citizens in Benghazi. These questions focus on the failure to respond as the Constitution demands to the three requests to aid Americans under attack, and exist apart and beyond the attempted Obama cover-up of lies and deceptions. The first comes from the acknowledged fact that Obama’s people had evidence of the attack transmitted by the military drone overhead almost immediately at its onset.
 
    Secondly, embassy staff sent multiple requests for assistance for over 7 hours.
 
    Third, Ambassador Stevens was in direct contact via cell phone conveying the urgent need for assistance up until the time that he was sodomized and assassinated.
 
    The three questions arise from the also acknowledged and verified fact that apart from available military ground resources that should have responded, the flight time for a close air support military jet from Aviano is well under two hours. The three questions are: Why was none of the above requests to protect and defend Americans ever responded to?
 
    The Benghazi disaster and its accompanying cover-up are simply an egregious violation of the Constitution. “[P]rovide for the common defense” are words of unmistakable clarity and intention. Call it what you may.
 
CftC
 
Politics

    Hicks gave a moving, harrowing account of the night of the attack, sometimes visibly overcome by emotion as he spoke.  Nothing in his account gave even the smallest hint of any “spontaneous video protest.”  He was very clear about discussing events with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that very night, at around 2 AM… and yet she, and the rest of the Administration, continued peddling a blatantly false narrative about a video protest for days afterward.  The full 30-minute video of Hicks’ description of the attack appears below.

    As for the Administration’s vows to bring the perpetrators to justice, Hicks testified that the “crime scene” was unsecured for seventeen days before the FBI was allowed access to it.  He blamed this in part on the false “spontaneous video protest” narrative pushed by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on the talk-show circuit, which led to “bureaucratic resistance for a long period” from the Libyan government.

    The Administration was considerably more determined to protect itself from political fallout.  Hicks testified that he was specifically instructed by the State Department to refrain from talking to congressional investigator, or allowing anyone under his command to do so. He said nothing of the kind had ever happened to him before, and he’s been in the foreign service for over two decades.

    Hicks recalled Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills – a high-powered lawyer who worked on President Bill Clinton’s impeachment defense team, described in a January Washington Post profile as Hillary’s “guardian angel” – contacting him for a report after Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) met with him.  ”A phone call from that person is generally not considered to be good news,” said Hicks.  ”She was very upset.”  It’s hard to hear such testimony without concluding that Hillary Clinton orchestrated the cover-up.

    Speaking of Rep. Chaffetz, he asked a very good question during today’s hearings: we’ve been told that refueling tankers were unavailable to bring American aircraft to bear against the consulate attackers.  Why not?  Why wasn’t that precaution taken as the anniversary of 9/11 drew near, in an area the Administration (no matter what fantasies it sold to the American public) knew was dangerous?  Where was NATO during all this?

    Hicks said his “jaw dropped” and he was “stunned” after the Administration began pushing its false “video protest” story, while military officers in Tripoli were “furious” when they were told to stand down instead of trying to help the Americans under siege at the Benghazi consulate.  He contacted Beth Jones, who was the acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, why Ambassador Rice spent a whole news cycle talking about some phantasmal video protest.  ”She said, ‘I don’t know,’” Hicks recalled.  ”The sense I got was that I needed to stop the line of questioning.”

    Hicks wasn’t the only one to offer emotional testimony.  Regional security officer Eric Nordstrom was moved to tears when he answered Hillary Clinton’s legendary “What difference, at this point, does it make?” effort to dismiss further inquiry into the Benghazi disaster and subsequent cover-up:

Incidentally, the full text of Hillary’s callous remark about the Benghazi attack was: “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?  What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

It was neither of those things, and this shameless liar knew it all along.  Hicks’ testimony makes it clear that Hillary Clinton knew the consulate was hit by a coordinated terror attack, using precision mortar fire, no later than 2:00 AM that morning.  She was still lying about it when she had her “what difference does it make?” outburst in January 2013.

Everything the Obama Administration told the American people about Benghazi during the election was a deliberate lie – not a misunderstanding, not some talking points messed up by anonymous intelligence staffers, not a confused struggle to understand incomplete reports.  Obama lied, Hillary lied, Susan Rice lied… and they did it with calculated malice, knowing the full truth all along.  They made a political calculation that admitting the incident was an organized terrorist attack would expose them to devastating criticism about the weak security in Benghazi, their confused response, and President Obama’s apparent disinterest in the situation as it unfolded.

The behavior of committee Democrats during these hearings has been nothing short of a national disgrace.  Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) professed admiration for the whistleblowers, but then set about trying to discredit their testimony before any of them said a word.  He drifted into a bizarre sermon about how “death is a part of life,” which must have had the families of the Benghazi dead grinding their teeth:

Every other Democrat on the committee tried to flog the discredited talking points about how Republican budget cuts supposedly set the stage for the Benghazi disaster – which, as an exasperated Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa had to remind them at one point, is not true, according to testimony right out of the State Department itself.

It doesn’t seem as if the Democrats came prepared to do much beyond wail about budget cuts.  Hilariously, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) tried claiming they weren’t given time to prepare.  (Funny, I thought Benghazi happened “a long time ago,” according to the White House.)  Their confidence that the media would not cover these hearings, so they didn’t have to do anything but recycle the old talking point about budget cuts, must have been absolute.  We’ll soon know if it was justified.  If not, the Democrats’ conduct at the hearings may prove to be as damaging as the explosive testimony delivered by the whistleblowers.

 
The Clintons’ Fixer
The lawyer at the center of the Benghazi scandal is brilliant and fiercely loyal.
 
“Number one about Cheryl Mills, she is one of the smartest people with the highest standards of integrity that I met at the White House,” says Lanny Davis, the former special counsel to President Clinton, “which is a statement, because there were a lot of smart and a lot of honest people there.’
 
Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing on the Benghazi attack and its aftermath centered unexpectedly on Mills, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s counselor and chief of staff. She is also one of the longest serving, most trusted, and most unflinching members of the former first couple’s inner circle.
 
If the GOP congressmen and whistleblowers who spoke at Wednesday’s hearing are correct, Mills stands at the center of the Obama administration’s attempt to put the lid on the Benghazi scandal. Ohio congressman Jim Jordan described Mills as “the person next to Secretary Clinton,” tracing the growing scandal to the highest echelons of the State Department.
 
“She is the fixer for the secretary of state, she is as close as you can get to Hillary Clinton, is that accurate?” he prodded. “Yes, sir,” responded Foreign Service officer Gregory Hicks. He went on to describe a phone call he received from Mills as the investigation into the attack unfolded. “I was instructed not to allow the RSO[regional security officer], the acting deputy chief of mission, and myself to be interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz,” he said, adding that he received a follow-up call from an irate Mills, who demanded details of his meeting with the congressman.
 
“I have no doubt that she had the right motives in wanting a State Department lawyer to be in the room,” Davis tells me. “She has very high standards of integrity, and she gets angry when they’re not complied with.”
 
Mills is, by all accounts, a formidable opponent. She played a central role in the scandals that marked President Clinton’s two terms in the White House, and she emerged unfazed and unscathed. She has been here before, and she is no doubt prepared for the showdown that the current political storm may bring.
 
Mills is perhaps best known for her unwavering defense of the former president during his impeachment trial. As a 33-year-old deputy White House counsel, she offered stirring testimony on the president’s behalf. Grainy C-SPAN footage shows her clad in a gray suit and pearls that provided a stark contrast to her baby face as, for over an hour, she defended the president against charges of obstruction of justice.
 
Addressing Republicans’ repeated appeals to the primacy of the rule of law, she told the Senate, “As a lawyer, as an American, and as an African American, it is a principle in which I believe to the very core of my being.” She continued, in soothing tones, “We cannot uphold the rule of law only when it is consistent with our beliefs, we must uphold it even when it protects behavior that we don’t like, or that is unattractive, or that is not admirable, or that might even be hurtful.”
 
The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, who calls Mills Hillary Clinton’s “guardian angel,” has drawn attention to the praise her testimony garnered from the media. The BBC labeled her “the shining star of the defense team” the following day, adding that she “slapped down” the obstruction-of-justice charge levied against the president. The Washington Post was similarly effusive, praising her, at turns, as “remarkable,” and “a legal star on the rise.”
 
Mills, the daughter of a lieutenant colonel in the Army, was raised in Germany, Belgium, and the United States. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia and a member of the law review at Stanford Law School, she has been connected to the Clintons since 1992, when she moved to Little Rock, Ark., to join the newly elected president’s transition team.
 
Heinlein’s Razor in Benghazi
It was both breathtaking incompetence and political malfeasance.
U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi after the 9/11 attacks
 
    In a 1941 novella called Logic of Empire, the science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein has one character say to another, “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.” I was supposed to have read the story in a freshman lit class, which I decided was an unreasonable demand on my time. But Wikipedia tells me that the story is ostensibly about indentured servitude on Venus — and that it’s really about how a bunch of flawed, self-interested individuals with no particular malice unwittingly conspire (if you’ll indulge the contradiction in terms) in a great evil.
 
    The quote is thus a pithy encapsulation of the theme, and paraphrases of it — most notably “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” — have entered the lexicon as “Heinlein’s razor.”
 
    Heinlein’s razor is surely on the minds of some who watched the Benghazi hearing in the House on Wednesday, at which America’s former top diplomat in Libya, Gregory Hicks, gave a disturbing insider’s account of the September 11, 2012, attacks, as well as of the parade of mistakes that constituted their prologue and aftermath. So what does Hicks’s testimony, as well as that of Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom, respectively senior counterterror and security officials in the State Department, tell us about the mix of incompetence and malfeasance that led to the Benghazi attacks and their aftermath?
 
We knew already that a number of decisions taken before September 11 made the eventual attack both likelier to occur and likelier to succeed. The whistleblowers made clear that those decisions were either made or improperly delegated by people at the highest levels. Specifically, Wednesday’s testimony suggests that, although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered Ambassador Chris Stevens to Benghazi on that day in part to work on the transformation of the U.S. facilities there into a permanent consulate, Clinton had decided (or allowed, against statute, the decision to be made for her) to leave a substandard security apparatus in place, and indeed had let security be reduced in the months before the attacks, even as security experts protested and reports of violence increased. This happened, according to the results of the Oversight Committee’s investigation, because the administration was in a great rush to “normalize” its presence in Libya, the better to portray it as a foreign-policy success story.
 
    This would appear to be negligence of a particularly gross sort. Since the only other excuse offered by the administration’s defenders in Congress for the baldly inadequate security is budget constraints, and since no one actually involved in the decision-making process seems to take that excuse seriously, it’s hard to read these decisions as “difficult choices” that reasonable people could disagree on. These weren’t “close calls”; they were blown calls. One point here for incompetence. And yet there remains room for conspiracy, or at least the suggestion of it, in the revelation that the preemptive warnings from Nordstrom and others were minimized in the official after-action report on the attack, and that experts such as Thompson were not even consulted.
 
    This brings to mind the cliché about Washington scandals: It’s not the crime that brings you down, but the cover-up. And it’s in the political aftermath of the attacks that we find things we can’t dismiss as mere stupidity. The most flagrant example comes from Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff and fixer (and Bill’s lawyer during his impeachment), who instructed Hicks to break State Department protocol and refuse to talk to Representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) without State lawyers present, and who chewed Hicks out when he said lawyers were excluded from one meeting because they lacked security clearance. That’s pure political damage control that, depending on whether ethical or legal boundaries were transgressed, could rise to the level of cover-up.
 
    More insidious, and more nebulous, than this is the administration’s increasingly strained and pathetic effort to blame the deaths of four Americans on a YouTube video. Here Hicks’s testimony is unequivocal and damning. The video “was a non-event in Libya,” he said, and there was no report from Tripoli, either during the attack or after it, that indicated it might have been a “spontaneous” demonstration gone awry, rather than a jihadist attack. This is why Susan Rice’s tour of shame on the Sunday shows “shocked” and “embarrassed” Hicks, who asked Clinton’s Near East deputy why Rice would say such things and was promptly told to discontinue that line of questioning.
 
    Since we still don’t know the administration’s decision-making process on post-Benghazi talking points — in part because the trail of e-mails has not been made public — we can’t say definitively how much forethought there was in the way they misrepresented reality. It is possible that there was no overarching “plan” to lie, no marching orders, no formal cover-up. It could well be that members of the administration just panicked and did whatever they could to avoid “al-Qaeda-backed attack kills Americans” headlines in the middle of a presidential campaign.
 
    Some of the people involved may not have even known they were lying, per se. They might have merely reasoned themselves into believing the video was the cause. Such a belief would certainly soothe the kind of mind that thinks all anti-American Islamic terrorism is “”blowback” or “chickens come home to roost.” Or they could have been somewhere between, engaging in classic political bull, exploiting the possibility that the video explanation might be true to distract from the far greater likelihood that it wasn’t.
 
    An administration isn’t a hive mind, it’s a crowd — and in a crisis, frequently a mob. So it’s likely that there was some of all this in the administration’s reaction to Benghazi, or that, à la The Logic of Empire, what started as a number of individuals trying to cover their own rear ends, or Madam Secretary’s, or Candidate Obama’s, morphed into official policy — and a great evil.
 
    A probably apocryphal story is told of the philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell’s wit. When he emerged from the delivery room where his wife had just given birth, a well-wisher asked Russell, “Is it a boy or a girl?” To which Russell replied, “Yes.”
 
    Conservative commentator Ken Gardner borrows a page from Russell in what is perhaps the best 140-character summary of what we’ve learned about Benghazi so far: “Was the Benghazi attack and its aftermath the result of incompetence or a dishonest coverup with media complicity? Yes. It was.”
 
— Daniel Foster is news editor of National Review Online
 
Bad Faith and Benghazi
Hillary Clinton’s “whatever” defense falls flat.
Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on the Benghazi attack, January 23, 2013.
 
“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? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
 
That was how then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously brushed off the question of when she knew that the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were, in fact, a terrorist assault and not a “protest” of an anti-Islam video that got out of hand.
 
Clinton’s fans, in and out of the press, loved her defiant response, and they should be ashamed of themselves for it.
 
What Clinton was really doing there was deflecting attention away from the fact that she had lied. We now know, thanks to Wednesday’s congressional hearings and reporting by The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes, that administration officials knew from the outset the video had nothing to do with it. Intelligence sources on the ground in Libya and officials in Washington knew it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. The video was a “non-event in Libya,” according to Gregory Hicks, the man who inherited Stevens’s duties after the ambassador was killed by al-Qaeda-linked militants. The false video story was simply imposed from above by Clinton, President Obama, and their subalterns.
 
Let’s return to that lie in a moment.
 
The hearings exposed another lie. Obama and Clinton have insisted that they did everything they could to help the Americans besieged in Libya; they just couldn’t get help to them in time.
 
That’s simply untrue.
 
But even if that were true, it would still be a self-serving falsehood.
 
If you see a child struggling in the ocean, you have no idea how long she will flail and paddle before she goes under for the last time. The moral response is to swim for her in the hope that you get there in time. If you fail and she dies, you can console yourself that you did your best to rescue her.
 
But if you just stand on the beach and do nothing as the child struggles for life, saying, “Well, there’s just no way I can get to her in time,” it doesn’t really matter whether you guessed right or not. You didn’t try.
 
The White House and State Department insist they guessed right, as if that somehow absolves them of responsibility. They would have sent help if they could have, they claim, but they simply weren’t ready to deploy forces on September 11, the one day of the year you’d expect our military and intelligence agencies to be ready for trouble in the Middle East, particularly given that before his murder, Stevens warned of security problems in Benghazi.
 
But we know the administration ordered others who were willing, able, and obliged to come to the consulate’s rescue to “stand down.” They in effect told the lifeguards, “Don’t get out of your chairs.”
 
Though an unmanned drone was there to capture the whole thing on video, which must have been reassuring as the mortar rounds rained down.
 
Leon Panetta, who was the secretary of defense during the attack, mocked critics who wanted to know why the Pentagon didn’t scramble any jets from Italy to the scene. “You can’t willy-nilly send F-16s there and blow the hell out of place. . . . You have to have good intelligence.”
 
Never mind that real-time video of the attack is pretty good intelligence. An F-16 doesn’t need to blow anyone to hell to have an impact. As military expert and former assistant defense secretary Bing West notes, “99 percent of air sorties over Afghanistan never drop a single bomb.” Just showing up is often intimidating enough.
 
What motivated the White House and the State Department to deceive the public about what they did is unknown. Maybe it was incompetence or politics or simply understandable bureaucratic confusion.
 
But we do know they deceived the public. Which brings us back to the lies over the video. In the wake of Benghazi, the country endured an intense debate over how much free speech we could afford because of the savage intolerance of rioters half a world away. Obama and Clinton fueled this debate by incessantly blaming the video — as if the First Amendment were the problem.
 
Clinton and Obama both swore oaths to support and defend the Constitution. But after failing to support and defend Americans left to die, they blamed the Constitution for their failure. That’s what difference it makes.
 
—Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Clichés, now on sale in paperback. You can write to him at goldbergcolumn@gmail.com, or via Twitter @JonahNRO. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

 
A Monstrous Cover-Up
The truth about Benghazi emerges.
Gregory N. Hicks speaks during hearings on Benghazi, May 8, 2013
 
    “There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy,” the President of the United States told the United Nations last September 25, one of six “video” references in his speech. A fortnight after the deadly attack on America’s mission in Benghazi, Obama was still insisting that Innocence of Muslims, an obscure, anti-Islamic YouTube video, had fueled the mayhem. Presumably, a spontaneous protest spun out of control and unleashed lethal violence.
 
    As Wednesday’s sworn testimony by three State Department whistleblowers demonstrated, this was just one of many lies deployed by Obama and others high atop the U.S. government. These lies nurtured the myth that “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” as Obama claimed at a Las Vegas campaign rally the evening after the Benghazi onslaught. With the truth kept conveniently obscured up to November 6 and beyond, Obama won reelection as the man who supposedly killed both Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. In fact, only the former is dead.
 
    The truth behind this monstrous cover-up finally is emerging, too late to defeat Obama at the polls, but perhaps in time to speed his early return to Chicago.
 
    In gripping testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, these top diplomats broke their silence and shattered Team Obama’s carefully crafted post-Benghazi narrative.
 
    From the very start of this episode, U.S. officials called it an attack, rather than a video-driven protest.
“Greg, we are under attack,” Ambassador Stevens said in his last words to Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks, just before Stevens’s cell phone clicked off on the night of September 11.
The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes reports that two hours into the onslaught, at 6:08 p.m. Eastern Time, a State Department Operations Center alert, in Hayes’s words, “indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda–linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack.”
In a newly revealed September 12 e-mail to State Department staffers, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones recalls consulting Libya’s ambassador in Washington. Jones wrote: “I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar Al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”
“The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya,” Hicks testified under oath Wednesday. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on our consulate. . . . No protest.”
    The father of the late Tyrone Woods says that, as his son’s remains were officially welcomed home on September 14, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton approached him. She promised that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula — the Los Angeles–based, Egyptian-born Coptic Christian behind the anti-Islamic video – would be “prosecuted and arrested.” Never mind that producing anti-Islamic videos is not illegal, for now. (Nakoula remains in jail, nonetheless, for probation violations tied to unrelated crimes.)
 
    In the May 13 Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes carefully documents how Team Obama sanitized the CIA’s initial talking points to erase al-Qaeda’s fingerprints on this attack and, instead, make it look like a demonstration gone crazy. A September 14 version of this document stated, “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qa’ida participated in the attack. . . . Ansar al Sharia’s Facebook page aims to spread Sharia in Libya and emphasizes the need for jihad to counter what it views as false interpretations of Islam.”
 
    By the time the State Department and the White House had whitewashed these talking points, a third version, on September 15, explained: “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” Were these extremist Muslims? Extremist vegetarians? Extremist Rotarians? The scrubbed document does not say.
 
    If the records he cites are accurate, Hayes writes, “It is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public.”
 
    The next day, United Nations ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday-morning talk shows. Relying on the doctored talking points, she told Fox News’s Chris Wallace: “What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the Internet.” Rice added, “It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States.”
 
    “I was stunned,” Hicks testified, concerning Rice’s TV appearances. “My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed.” He added that Rice never spoke with him before doing her interviews, even though — after Ambassador Stevens’s assassination — Hicks had become America’s top diplomat in Libya.
 
    The State Department’s Administrative Review Board was supposed to discover the truth about Benghazi. However, it now is being investigated by State’s inspector general to determine whether it adopted a don’t-ask-don’t-tell approach. The ARB never interviewed Hillary Clinton about her role in this disaster. Whistleblower Mark Thompson, a top State Department counterterrorism official, testified Wednesday that he had volunteered to speak with the ARB but was ignored.
 
    Team Obama has hindered Representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) as he has tried to solve the Benghazi puzzle. “The first week of October, I did go to Libya,” Chaffetz told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Wednesday night. “I did meet with Mr. Hicks. And we heard testimony that Mr. Hicks was coached ahead of time not to allow me to speak to three individuals there, including Mr. Hicks. The State Department had sent along a babysitter, a minder, to listen and take notes of everything I did.” Chaffetz continued: “The idea that a member of Congress trying to seek out the truth, and they are being told not to allow that member of Congress to have an individual conversation — I mean, that’s pretty stunning.”
 
    Hicks testified that State Department officials ordered that “we were not to be personally interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz.” He added that Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Miller, called after he met with Chaffetz. “She was very upset with me,” Hicks said. “She delivered a blistering critique of my management style.”
 
    Hicks also ran afoul of State’s aforementioned Elizabeth Jones. “I asked her why the ambassador [Rice] said there was a demonstration when the embassy reported there was an attack,” Hicks explained. “The sense I got is that I needed to stop my line of questioning.”
 
    Hicks also testified that “I’ve been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer” — perhaps because he has failed to toe the Obama line.
 
    In addition to the three whistleblowers who came forward this week, 30 more Benghazi witnesses remain hidden and reportedly afraid to speak up. As American citizens, they should not have fear in their vocabulary.
 
    So, why this abundance of lies and obstruction?
 
    An al-Qaeda–affiliated terror group targeted an American diplomatic facility and killed four American public servants, including Washington’s first ambassador to be murdered on duty since 1979. These facts completely undermined the myth that al-Qaeda had been in retreat since SEAL Team Six liquidated Osama bin Laden in May 2011. So, Team Obama buried these inconvenient truths beneath a sand dune of lies.
 
    Since Obama’s Justice Department cannot be trusted to investigate itself, House Speaker John Boehner should assign a select committee to probe Benghazi, subpoena and immunize the 30 remaining survivors of the attack, and invite the sworn public statements of those who can detail what may be the biggest federal cover-up since Watergate.
 
    The American people — not least the families of Messrs. Stevens, Smith, Doherty, and Woods — deserve to know who perpetrated this fraud, no matter how far the mighty may fall.
 
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.