Thursday, May 16, 2013

Benghazi Email Dump

Gary L. Bauer


Responding to demands from major media outlets for more details on the Benghazi talking points, the White House released nearly 100 pages of emails yesterday. But once again, the emails raise nearly as many questions as they answer.

For example, the released messages begin 67 hours after the attacks. The parallels to Nixon just keep coming. One of the things that brought down Nixon was an 18-minute gap of Oval Office tape recordings. Here we've got two days of missing information!

Do the emails exonerate the administration from charges it tried to manipulate the talking points? Not at all. The Weekly Standard writes: "Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims," while ABC News declares, "Talking Points Changed at State Dept.'s Request." And the emails reinforce how much the Obama White House and State Department watered down the talking points with then-CIA Director General David Petraeus concluding, "Frankly, I'd just as soon not use this."

Taken together, President Obama's counterattack was enough to cause some of his media allies to back down and insist it was time to move on. I'm not convinced.

Every day we learn more. Like the fact that the IRS was running interference for Planned Parenthood, targeted as many as 500 organizations and even went after a Catholic professor over a few columns she had written.

Again, something like this didn't happen by accident. Some liberal apologists are trying to suggest that there is no scandal here because there is no "smoking gun" connecting it to the Oval Office. But you don't need one.

Consider the IRS "rogue employees." Think back to 2009 and 2010 and all the horrible things that were said about the Tea Party or religious conservatives being bigots, accused of spitting on members of Congress, and referred to as the "American Taliban."

If a group applies for tax exempt status and the group has been compared to the Taliban and smeared as racist and dangerous, is it surprising that leftists at the IRS would harass it and prevent it from getting tax-exempt status?

The White House did not have to send official orders to discriminate against conservatives. As Senator Marco Rubio said, it is all part of a bigger "culture of intimidation."