BENGHAZI: What did the President know and when did he know it?

When is someone going to start asking the Obama Administration why a coverup of Benghazi was necessary? Photo: AP Photos

WASHINGTON. August 20, 2013 — Howard Baker’s famous question from the Watergate hearings has become the gold standard of investigative questions for Presidential scandals. 

While many people have wanted to ask that question about any number of so-called scandals, there is one scandal where that question must be asked sooner rather than later.


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What is it?

It is the Benghazi scandal. 

In three weeks, the one-year anniversary of Benghazi will happen.  One year on, there are still no answers but there are now even more questions.

What really happened in Benghazi?   What was that outpost really for since it was not a consulate?  Were there really four hundred American surface to air missiles taken from that compound and were they destined for Syria?


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The conventional wisdom is that it is never the actual scandal that brings down a politician but the cover-up.   It is the cover-up in Benghazi that has never made sense, unless there is something really damaging involved.

Watergate was infamously described by the Presidential Spokesman Ron Zeigler as a “third rate burglary.”  Benghazi is not a third rate scandal.  Men died at Benghazi.

The question has always lingered as to why the Obama Administration went into overdrive to cover up Benghazi.

As the Obama Administration presented the scandal originally, it simply was not bad enough to rate a cover-up.  Islamists attacked the consulate in Benghazi.  They overpowered the local security, most of whom fled.  They then burned the compound and during that burning and firefight, the four Americans died.


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That might be a little embarrassing, but that would be it.  With a fawning media, it is something the Obama Administration and the Obama Reelection Campaign should not even see as a bump in the road.

If that was the case, why was a cover-necessary?

The cover-up began immediately and continues to this day.  From Susan Rice being trotted out to the media with falsified talking points days after the tragedy, to Hillary Clinton shrieking, “What difference at this point does it make?”

It makes a lot of difference now.

If there really were four hundred surface to air missiles in Benghazi that fell into the hands of terrorists, it matters.  If Benghazi was being used as a transit hub for weapons flowing to Syria, it makes a difference. 

If the Obama Administration was sending sophisticated surface to air missiles to the Syrian rebels, without congressional authorization, it matters a lot.

If Islamist terrorists are in possession of American surface to air missiles, this becomes a scandal that makes all other previous scandals pale in comparison. 

No one died in Watergate or Iran Contra.  No one died in White Water. 

If it is true that we shipped surface to air missiles to Benghazi and then they fell into the hands of terrorists, we face one of the worst threats we have ever faced.   We face the prospect of something that could dwarf 9/11.  We face the prospect of unconventional war on American shores.

For unknown reasons, neither John Boehner nor Mitch McConnell seem very keen in pursuing the truth about what happened in Benghazi.  They should.

And someone needs to ask the important question, what did Barack Obama know and when did he know it?

And someone else needs to ask a question just as important.  What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?


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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips

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