At President Obama’s “news conference” today, when asked about eye witnesses (some in the State Department) being blocked, or otherwise pressured from coming forward, and requests by their attorneys for the necessary security clearances to represent them being ignored, President Obama claimed ignorance.
Q Ed Henry: And on the Benghazi portion, I know pieces of this story have been litigated, you’ve been asked about it. But there are people in your own State Department saying they’ve been blocked from coming forward, that they survived the terror attack and they want to tell their story. Will you help them come forward and just say it once and for all?
THE PRESIDENT: Ed, I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying. So what I’ll do is I will find out what exactly you’re referring to. What I’ve been very clear about from the start is that our job with respect to Benghazi has been to find out exactly what happened, to make sure that U.S. embassies not just in the Middle East but around the world are safe and secure, and to bring those who carried it out to justice.
But I’ll find out what exactly you’re referring to.
Q Ed Henry: They’ve hired an attorney because they’re saying that they’ve been blocked from coming forward.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not familiar with it.
There was no “Yes Ed, if what you are saying has any truth to it, I will help them come forward so the American people may know the truth in the matter. As you know Ed, this administration prides itself in being open, transparent, and forthcoming with the truth.” Maybe the President should assign someone in his administration to watch FOX news, the only network carrying the story?
Adding to the ignorance is Secretary of State John Kerry (who served in Vietnam). In classic John Kerry, his response was bi-polar.
- First chastising Republicans pressing for answers to what happened on the night of the attack, and for not simply accepting “the conclusions of the Accountability Review Board empanelled by his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
- Then seeming to agree with Republicans saying “We have to demythologize this issue and certainly depoliticize it. The American people deserve answers. I’m determined that this will be an accountable and open State Department as it has been in the past, and we will continue to do that, and we will provide answers.”
The only problem with his statement is the “as it has been in the past” part. Because his predecessor, Secretary of State Clinton, was anything but forthcoming with facts. Was forthcoming with the false story about a YouTube video.
Then a State Department spokesman denied that any requests by attorneys representing the whistle blowers were made. Which doesn’t jibe with Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) complaint that he had not received responses to four letters he sent to the administration calling for whistle-blowers’ lawyers to get the security clearances needed to represent their clients. Further, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell flatly denied that any employee had been threatened or told to remain silent.
Whether we’re looking at ignorance, or a cover-up, based on statements coming from The White House and the State Department, there’s plenty enough reason (not even counting the surviving family members’ need to know) to get to the bottom of what happened on the night of the attack. Including why no help was sent.
Link: News Conference by the President | GOP persists with questions about Benghazi attack