Lincoln * Institute

Colin A. Hanna

Colin A. Hanna

Let Freedom Ring, USA


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Let Freedom Ring

The Benghazi Smoking Gun

by Colin Hanna

It's often said that the cover-up of a scandal is worse than the scandal itself. That was certainly true of Watergate. It may prove to be true about Benghazi as well. This week, a new email emerged as a result of a lawsuit — an email that should have been provided by the Obama administration to Congress months ago.

But unless you habituate one of a very few media websites or channels like Fox News or The Blaze, you wouldn't know it. That's because the so-called mainstream media are now complicit in the whole cover-up scheme. What we have therefore is the cover-up of a cover-up. And just like a cover-up may be a greater scandal than the underlying original offense, so the cover-up of a cover-up should be a greater scandal than the original cover-up. Let me explain.

We all know that the Obama administration promoted the now-discredited myth that the Benghazi attack was somehow America's fault, because an obscure Egyptian named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, living in the United States, made an eleven-minute video that offended Muslims because it denigrated the prophet Muhammad.

Just like the Danish cartoonist whose cartoons allegedly denigrated Muhammad sparked Islamic demonstrations against Denmark, this video sparked some demonstrations against America — most notably in Cairo. The Obama administration's initial explanation for what happened in Benghazi is that the Cairo demonstrations against the video had sparked a demonstration against the video in Benghazi, and that the demonstration got out of hand and morphed into an attack on the American consulate there. A few days later, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice went on five Sunday television news shows making that claim — five nearly identically-worded appearances, reflecting a studied effort at consistency of message. It was no surprise therefore to learn that she had been provided a set of talking points by the White House that were responsible for this consistency of message. When it began to emerge from on-the-scene witnesses and other experts that the Benghazi attack on the consulate did not in fact look like a protest demonstration that got out of hand, but rather looked like a planned and coordinated Al Qaeda-style operation, the Obama team and the President himself redoubled their efforts to spin the story that it was related to the video. The motive for this fiction was obvious: the President, with his reelection less than two months away, had told the American people that he had decimated Al Qaeda and put it on the run. A revelation that Al Qaeda was alive and well and capable of a major attack on America like the one in Benghazi could be politically damaging.

When the mainstream media took little interest in embarrassing the President that most of them supported, Congress stepped into the fact-finding vacuum and initiated a series of Congressional hearings designed to get to the bottom of who was responsible for the tragedy that cost four American lives and for the scandalous attempt to place blame for the catastrophe anywhere but on the Obama administration and its polices. They demanded documents and emails. The administration dragged it feet, claiming executive privilege among other stalls, and when documents were finally provided, they were heavily redacted — in other words, portions removed. The President called the concern a "phony scandal," and the sycophantic mainstream media dutifully followed suit, echoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emotional whine, "What difference does it make?"

This week, that all changed. Tom Fitton's courageous organization Judicial Watch finally prevailed in a court case that forced the Obama team to provide what I think has been properly called the smoking gun. That should have been huge news. Except that it wasn't. It was ignored. By now the mainstream media were so heavily invested in towing the Obama line that they had not manipulated the facts for political purposes that they simply chose to ignore a piece of evidence that refuted their storyline. The Obama administration had engaged in a cover-up of how they deceived the public. Judicial Watch proved that they had intentionally covered up the truth, and now the media covered up the cover-up.

This is dereliction of the most basic duty of a free press. It's the most fundamental contravention of the ideals of the First Amendment. It's the loss of integrity of what Edmund Burke called the Fourth Estate and what John Adams called essential to freedom in a state. I urge the listeners to American Radio Journal to use every social media tool at your disposal to express outrage at the death of honest journalism by the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, NBC, the Associated Press and on and on. Freedom is at stake. And if tyranny by the Obama administration over the mainstream media prevails, many more lives will be at stake. It's that important.

(Colin Hanna is President of Let Freedom Ring, USA. Find him on-line at