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On the heels of the revelation of National Security Agency snooping on Americans, there’s another Obama administration scandal that’s still raising a significant question: What’s the real story of what happened when four U.S. diplomats were killed and 10 other Americans were injured in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012?
The latest scandals follow the IRS targeting of conservatives, the Justice Departments’ spying on reporters and the White House’s mishandling and cover-up of the Benghazi attack. The original trio of scandals that has threatened Obama’s second-term agenda have not been forgotten, however.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, for example, wrote in a Town Hall column that the American people still don’t have the full story of the Benghazi attack.
The Sept. 11, 2012, Islamic jihad attack on the American compound killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But the Obama administration first suggested it was a spontaneous reaction to Muslim offense over an obscure Internet video. Officials even maintained the explanation despite the facts that emerged emerged immediately and over the following weeks.
Santorum said that despite the gravity of the attack, “here we are now, nine months later, and there still are no answers or explanations from the Obama administration about what exactly happened, why it happened and what those in charge knew while it was happening.”
He said now is “the time for answers, and it’s time for our commander in chief to stop stonewalling.”
“Americans need and deserve to know the truth,” he said.
Santorum said the basic facts suggest that “our American diplomats were the victims of a coordinated terrorist attack carried out by the same type of people who crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 11 years earlier.”
“So why has it been so hard for the Obama administration to say this?” he asked. “What did it know about these attacks and when?”
Some pundits have suggested that an admission of an al-Qaida attack during the 2012 presidential campaign would have conflicted with Obama’s insistence his administration had al-Qaida “on the run” after killing Osama bin Laden.
But Santorum is not the only one with unanswered questions.
Rich Lowry, writing for the New York Post, asserted Obama’s “actions and nonactions on that terrible night are a blank spot in his presidency. ”
“We simply don’t know much about them, and the White House has always been perfectly content to leave it that way,” he said.
“When the White House has a good story to tell, we hear about it. As Boston Herald columnist Michael Graham points out, the president has been in constant evidence responding to the Moore, Okla., tornado,” Lowry continued.
But regarding Benghazi, Obama issued a statement condemning the attack and within a few hours headed out of the White House for a Democratic fundraiser.
In Congress, members are investigating. Most recently, the State Department turned over documents ordered in a subpoena by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The documents are related the extensive modification of the “talking points” the Obama White House used to communicate with the press.
“Committee investigators are reviewing the documents to assess the completeness of the delivery,” said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Issa.
Meanwhile, other angles are being investigated, including allegations Stevens was the target of a kidnapping plot, but terrorists decided instead to kill him.
And according to the Washington Times, Sen. Rand Paul is demanding answers about whether the U.S. secretly was running guns through the American post in Benghazi to arm Syrian rebels.
“Were we shipping arms to Turkey?” Paul asked. “And was that why the ambassador was there in Benghazi? And why the CIA annex was there?”