Benghazi Scandal Worse than Watergate

“Mr. President it’s called an abrogation of duty. You have not taken your oath to honestly and faithfully execute the duties of your office. As commander-in-chief, you have not protected us. This dereliction of duty as commander-in-chief demands your impeachment. Your cover-up was for political advantage, the promotion thereafter. Virtually everyone involved in your conspiracy and the stonewalling of Congress, the denying of access to key witnesses all add up to a classic cover-up.” Judge Jeannine Pirro


By Morgan Norval | May 14, 2014

Watergate was a political burglary gone wrong that was not authorized by the president, while Benghazi was an unacknowledged deadly terrorist attack resulting in multiple deaths. Both scandals involved U.S. presidential election campaigns, Nixon, of Watergate fame, during his 1972 reelection against Democratic candidate George McGovern.  Benghazi occurred during President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign against Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  The Watergate break-in was an extremely foolish crime as President Nixon was comfortably cruising to a 60.7% to 37.5% landslide victory over his Democratic opponent carrying 49 of 50 states.

The al-Qaeda affiliated attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi occurring on the anniversary of 9/11, however, posed a real danger to President Obama’s reelection campaign as it threatened to enhance his opponent’s charge of pursuing the wrong foreign policy in an incompetent manner. Obama won a comparatively close race with 51.1% to Romney’s 47.2% carrying 26 states to 24 states respectively.

Four Americans died in Benghazi, including former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, information officer Sean Smith and Ambassador Chris Stevens. Our leaders were derelict in their duty not to make even the slightest attempt to send help. The timeline bears this out. Rest assured, no one died in the Watergate scandal — not a single American life was lost.

Increasingly, the Benghazi scandal appears to be a White House cover up, which in the Watergate scandal ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation in the face of certain impeachment.

On her Fox News Channel program, Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro, the former judge and prosecutor recently said in her ‘opening statement’ that President Barack Obama was derelict in his duty to protect Americans in Benghazi and should be impeached. “Mr. President it’s called an abrogation of duty. You have not taken your oath to honestly and faithfully execute the duties of your office. As commander-in-chief, you have not protected us. This dereliction of duty as commander-in-chief demands your impeachment. Your cover-up was for political advantage, the promotion thereafter. Virtually everyone involved in your conspiracy and the stonewalling of Congress, the denying of access to key witnesses all add up to a classic cover-up.”

Consequences of a biased mainstream media

The Watergate cover-up quickly unraveled due to relentless media coverage. Nixon had no friendly media to shift public attention away from it onto other matters. Benghazi-gate, if you will, was a different matter. The mainstream media were champions for Obama from day-one and the Obama White House knows this and considers them trusted allies.

On the other hand, the press hated Nixon and waged an extensive and continuous probe of his administration.  An intense media campaign was conducted against him. It was successful, eventually driving him from office.

In the matter of Benghazi, the press, with few exceptions – FoxNews and Internet bloggers, for example, – have until recently ignored Benghazi providing cover for the Obama administration in its attempts to sweep Benghazi under the rug. Unlike the Nixon administration, the liberal media has had an incestuous relationship with the Obama administration. There were no major media personalities fired for dogged reporting on Watergate.

That hasn’t been the case with the Obama administration.

An award-winning journalist and 20 year veteran for CBS, Sharyl Attkisson was allegedly fired by David Rhodes, President of CBS News. The investigative correspondent, who reportedly had become frustrated with the network’s liberal bias, reached agreement with CBS to resign in March. She is currently said to be writing a book with the working title, Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington. Another CBS journalist, Lara Logan, has been placed on leave for her 60 Minutes program on Benghazi.  Logan and Max McClellan 60 Minutes producer spent a year preparing the original report. CBS appears to have expunged the October 27, 2013 60 Minutes report from the Internet and its been reported Lexis Nexis was asked to delete the transcript as well. Are David Rhodes and CBS ‘erasing history’ because of one flaw in their Benghazi report? In a blatant conflict of interest, David Rhodes happens to be the brother of Ben Rhodes, the Obama advisor whose White House emails provided guidance to Susan Rice to help her spin the tale that Benghazi was the result of Muslim outrage over a two-year old obscure yet offensive YouTube video.

Two problems with this fairy tale scenario come to mind: First of all, if the YouTube video was so obnoxious why didn’t mobs form when it first appeared two years earlier? Instead, it magically surfaced to become an excuse for a crisis a couple of months before the 2012 elections?

Secondly, this supposed spontaneous mob showed up armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG-7 grenade launchers, and an 82 mm mortar. The assault rifles and grenade launchers are designed to be used by individuals but the mortars are crew served weapons meaning it takes more than one person to set them up and use them. They are also considerably heavier than assault rifles and RPG’s not likely to be toted around casually. Spontaneous mobs using mortars is stretching that definition quite a bit.

Recently released White House emails obtained by a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information request are showing White House involvement and orchestration in concocting the spontaneous mob assault story that then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice would peddle on the weekend TV channels. The goal, according to the September 14, 2012 email from White House advisor Ben Rhodes, was: “To underscore that these protests were rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” Ben Rhodes was a driving force behind the spontaneous mob theme of the Benghazi attack. As noted earlier, he is the brother of the President of CBS News. Given the Obama administration’s proclivity to go after and punish perceived enemies, it isn’t much of a stretch of one’s imagination that “brotherly love” may have been a factor in the action taken by CBS against Attkisson and Logan.

Michael Morell, acting Director of the CIA right before Benghazi, took the blame for altering wording based on intelligence reports that were to be used as “talking points” by the Obama administration to provide cover for the spontaneous mob theme rolled out by the White House.

Morell retired from the CIA in 2011 and was replaced by David Petraeus, who, in turn, left as head of the CIA over a sex scandal. Morell? He was hired in January 2014 by CBS News, headed by Ben Rhodes brother, as a Special Contributor on National Security and Counterterrorism. He was also appointed by Obama to become a member of a White House advisory board on national security.

Morell is expected to assume a significant role in a prospective Hilliary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign. No wonder this shallow attempt to blame Benghazi on a video was to provide political cover for both the Obama administration and to cleanse Hillary’s derelict role as Secretary of State, so it wouldn’t haunt her future political career.

The Freedom of Information email revelations appear to be opening cracks in the incestuous relationship of the media and Obama administration. Some are starting to question the spin on Benghazi. One could say it is too little, too late, and they would be right. But this raises an interesting paradox: few question the necessity of a free and independent press to the maintenance of a free society. This revolutionary precept is enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution. But what happens to this free society when the press, operating under First Amendment protection, is a biased instrument – in reality, a propaganda arm for the president in power – of a political agenda repugnant to a huge section of the society it reports to? Benghazi shows this dark side of the press. The media should reflect on this but one doesn’t hold their breath waiting for something good to happen.

The U.S. government under Obama – the White House, State Department, CIA, etc. – was willing to lie about the killing of four Americans in order to protect the President’s reelection campaign and future political moves by Hillary Clinton. In fact, it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not the UN Ambassador Susan Rice who should have appeared on the five Sunday morning TV talk shows on September 16 to explain the fatal Benghazi terrorist attack on September 11. The main stream media were more than willing to aid and abet the Obama administration in this classic cover-up. America’s standing in the world has been seriously diminished and her power terribly degraded as a result. Speaker Boehner, in the wake of the released White House emails and at the behest of many in his caucus, has set up a select committee to investigate Benghazi.

As eager as the main stream media was to destroy Richard Nixon, no one was killed in the Watergate scandal.


Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.