On Sept. 11, 2012, and 55 days before the presidential election, the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya came under attack by a well-organized, well-armed force of Islamic terrorists who killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, his aide, and two former Navy SEALs. The attack flew in the face of President Obama’s often-repeated campaign claim that he killed Osama bin Laden and Islamic terrorism was defeated. Period.
When faced with undesirable facts, the same people claimed: You can keep your health-insurance plan. Period. You can keep your own doctor. Period. They did what politicians often do: sacrifice the truth on the altar of politics. But, to be fair, such deplorable conduct was not invented by the Obama administration. Aeschylus, the Greek tragic dramatist (525-456 B.C.) famously wrote, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”
Nor is the Obama administration the first to ignore inconvenient facts. In 1937, famed aviator Jimmy Doolittle toured Hitler’s aircraft factories and saw the Nazis “cranking out top-of-the-line fighters and bombers at an alarming rate.” Doolittle sent his findings to Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Doolittle’s report was ignored. In 1939, Doolittle returned to Nazi Germany, confirming that the Nazis had just created the world’s mightiest air force, the Luftwaffe. Once again, Doolittle’s findings fell on deaf ears.
At the request of military intelligence Charles Lindbergh traveled to Nazi Germany in 1937, 1938 and 1939. After each trip, he hounded the Roosevelt administration with his conclusion that the U.S. must quickly rearm or be overwhelmed by Nazi air power. Lindbergh’s reports were ignored.
Based on Congressional hearings, it appears Mr. Obama and then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton knew from the get-go that Islamist terrorists were attacking our people in Benghazi but pressured underlings to fabricate a fanciful campaign-related tale that Islamic terrorism was not involved. Worse, orders were given to “stand down.” When all the facts are known, this is likely to be a terrible historical legacy for Mr. Obama and Clinton. But wait. It could be far, far worse.
What if the Benghazi attacks were a covert operation by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, using hired guns to stop the Obama administration from shipping arms from Libya, via Turkey, to Syria to help the Islamic rebels defeat Putin’s client, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad? That would be an Act of War. If, rather than face a pre-election Act of War, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton left our ambassador and three other Americans to die, that would be the most historically inconvenient truth of all.
William Hamilton was educated at five universities, including Harvard.