The in­dif­fer­ence of knaves

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

The Obama White House suf­fers from “the ’60s disease.” The af­flic­tion seems to be ter­mi­nal. The pres­i­dent’s men — and women — are mostly boomers, spoiled, greedy and self-cen­tered, nur­tured and in­dulged in the decade of the 1960s, when the cul­ture first be­gan to rot.

The boomers taught each other many things, how to turn up the vol­ume on their “mu­sic,” where to find the best pot and where to crash to smoke them­selves into mel­low stu­pe­fac­tion, how to avoid tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their blun­ders, and above all con­tempt for the na­tion’s in­sti­tu­tions and in par­tic­u­lar for the men and women who wear the uni­form.

The Clin­tons made no bones about their con­tempt for that uni­form, even af­ter Bubba took Hil­lary to the White House, where she treated her body­guards like ser­vants and the as­sorted White House mil­i­tary aides no bet­ter. Bubba had spent his youth dodg­ing the draft and wore his con­tempt for the suck­ers who went to Viet­nam as if it were the Medal of Honor, which he didn’t know much about ex­cept that it comes with a col­or­ful rib­bon. Bubba as the com­man­der in chief fi­nally learned to re­turn a mil­i­tary salute with­out stick­ing his thumb in his eye, but it took awhile. Khaki still makes Hil­lary’s nose wrin­kle, as if she smells some­thing on the bot­tom of her shoe.

Barack Obama mostly grew up abroad and never learned much about Amer­ica, and it shows. As an im­pres­sion­able young man, he hung out with the likes of Bill Ay­ers, the un­re­pen­tant ter­ror­ist bomber, and was men­tored by scruffy Marx­ists who drifted in and out of the house, teach­ing him that his coun­try — Amer­ica, not In­done­sia — wasn’t worth much, but with a lot of work it might be trans­formed into some­thing as noble as the Peo­ple’s Re­publics of Lower Volta or Up­per Slob­bovia. But the mil­i­tary must al­ways be kept on a short leash.

Con­sid­er­ing this past is the only way to un­der­stand how a pres­i­dent could have be­trayed the trust of his own am­bas­sador and the oth­ers whom he left twist­ing slowly, slowly in the stench of Beng­hazi. The pres­i­dent and his top aides, in­clud­ing the sec­re­tary of state, ped­dled elab­o­rate lies, eva­sions, pre­var­i­ca­tion, hoax, dis­in­for­ma­tion, fak­ery, flim­flam and as­sorted honeyfug­gle for months. Well they might, des­per­ate as they were to cover up the size, height and depth of the be­trayal. Nev­er­the­less, the squalid de­tails, tak­ing a cir­cuitous route to ex­po­sure, are be­gin­ning to emerge from the muck on Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue.

The ul­ti­mate dis­penser of the lies about Beng­hazi se­cretly awarded two medals for brav­ery for sac­ri­fice in Beng­hazi, per­haps as salve for con­science, and that as this news­pa­per re­ported this week, “fur­ther un­der­cuts the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s orig­i­nal story about the Beng­hazi tragedy.”

Rowan Scar­bor­ough, this news­pa­per’s re­lent­less de­fense cor­re­spon­dent, dis­closed how the pres­i­dent had res­cue teams read­ily avail­able in Tripoli, af­ter all, in­clud­ing eight mem­bers of the elite Delta Force and Green Berets, but would not lis­ten to them beg­ging to go for a res­cue in Beng­hazi. Fi­nally, two of the eight were al­lowed to fly the 400 miles to Beng­hazi and ar­rived in time to join the fi­nal min­utes of the fe­ro­cious fire­fight be­tween the ter­ror­ists and Amer­i­cans bar­ri­caded in­side a CIA “an­nex” near the U.S. mis­sion. The six oth­ers were told to stay in Tripoli.

Ev­ery chang­ing ver­sion of the night of ter­ror in Beng­hazi put out by the White House in the days af­ter­ward is full of holes, plugged with big­ger lies. Only now does the ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­mit that parts of their sto­ries are “mis­lead­ing.” Mis­lead­ing is not the word for the lies, be­gin­ning with the tale told by Hil­lary Clin­ton, then the sec­re­tary of state, that an un­flat­ter­ing video about the Prophet Muham­mad was what set off the Mus­lim ri­ots.

Pres­i­dent Obama and his han­dlers care­fully crafted the fak­ery and pre­var­i­ca­tion in the weeks fol­low­ing, lead­ing to the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The White House men fig­ured that, with me­dia col­lu­sion and in­dif­fer­ence, they could keep the hoax afloat un­til af­ter the elec­tion.

The hoax, with its vivid im­pli­ca­tions of the lack of pres­i­den­tial re­solve and his hes­i­ta­tion and timid­ity un­der fire, will con­tinue to un­ravel. Hil­lary Clin­ton must an­swer for her sins of cold in­dif­fer­ence to the plight of those fight­ing for their lives in Beng­hazi. No one in the ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­pears to un­der­stand the com­pelling ap­peal of sac­ri­fice, of a cheer­ful will­ing­ness to go above and be­yond the call of duty. Hil­lary turned aside ques­tions about of­fi­cial fear and funk with a chill­ing non­cha­lance: “What dif­fer­ence, at this point, does it make?” Spo­ken like an faith­ful child of the ’60s. Wes­ley Pruden is ed­i­tor emer­i­tus of The Wash­ing­ton Times.

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