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Mark Caserta: Truth about Benghazi is being avoided

Mar. 20, 2013 @ 10:35 PM

It's been six months since Ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues were killed by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya, and Americans and victim's families still aren't any closer to the truth about what actually happened.

While not given to conspiracy theories, I believe the ongoing lack of attention given to the terror attack in 2012 represents a shameless attempt by the White House and the liberal media to cover up a serious mishandling of the incident by the Obama administration.

From the very beginning, the White House, in apparent collusion with the press, has worked harder at diverting attention away from the truth of Benghazi than they've worked at interpreting the facts.

It began with U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice's staged appearances on multiple news shows blaming the attack on an anti-Muslim video and continued with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony before a Congressional committee in which she became indignant to the line of questioning and attempted to refocus the investigation.

"But, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice," Clinton said. "...and then maybe we'll figure out what was going on in the meantime."

I submit that "what was going on in the meantime" is at the very center of the apparent cover-up.

First, it's indefensible that this administration knew we had Americans in an unfriendly Muslim country on Sept. 11 and didn't anticipate potential problems. In fact, reports indicate the State Department actually "reduced" security during the months leading up to the attacks despite warnings of escalating unrest in the region.

We know that Ambassador Stevens sent multiple cables to the White House informing them of a recent spike in "organized" attacks and that Libyan security provided "little deterrence." Yet, requests for additional security were ignored.

Multiple reports and testimony also indicate the U.S. had an unmanned Predator drone over the Benghazi consulate during the attack and that the president was watching a video feed of the onslaught in real time.

Why was this scenario allowed to happen? Why did the president not take action? And why is the White House covering up the facts?

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham believes the White House is now attempting to prevent the survivors of the attack from sharing their accounts of that horrific evening.

In an interview with Fox News, Graham alleged the survivors of the Benghazi attack have been "told to be quiet" and feel intimidated about telling their stories. Sen. Graham indicated he's "had contact" with some of the survivors, calling their story "chilling."

"We cannot let this administration or any other administration get away with hiding from the American people and Congress, people who were there in real time to tell the story," Graham said.

In my lifetime, I cannot recall such disregard for the lives of Americans and the grieving hearts of family members by any administration.

One has to ask: Is anything held sacred above the legacy of Barack Obama?

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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