So much for transparency

Rice right to withdraw amid the Bungle in Benghazi

This president and his spokesmen promised “the most transparent administration in the history of our country.”

But on the eve of a report by an independent review board on the Bungle in Benghazi, the State Department on Friday waffled about whether the report would even be released.

This, from an administration whose attorney general incurred a contempt of Congress finding rather than cooperate on the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal that may have led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

It’s a claim of transparency you can see right through.

The sudden exit of Susan Rice from the secretary of state sweepstakes on Thursday, coupled with the administration’s hesitancy to offer Hillary Clinton’s testimony this week to Congress, fueled speculation that the report on Benghazi could be embarrassing to the administration.

The media cover story last week was that Susan Rice was too black or female or something for Republicans’ taste. Hmm. You might ask former Republican Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about that.

Actually, the worse cover story is the one that Rice, currently ambassador to the United Nations, perpetrated on the American public after the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. Days later, Rice appeared on a series of Sunday news shows to carry forth a story that the attack was just a protest gone bad over an Internet video mocking Muhammad.

The truth, as the administration has since had to admit, is that the protest story was a fairy tale. The video did not cause the attack and, indeed, there wasn’t even a protest that preceded it. The protest story was a hoax by the administration.

In short, the administration flat-out lied about the proximate cause of a premeditated terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including an ambassador, and wounded others. Did they just not want to admit a terrorist attack could happen on their watch?

Rice’s prominent role in the bogus story made her a very poor choice to succeed the soon-to-resign Clinton as secretary of state. That is, if lying to the public means anything anymore. She was right to withdraw her name from consideration. It was the right thing to do, both ethically and politically. There’s no doubt that her role in the Benghazi circus would have dominated her confirmation hearings in the Senate.

But again, the timing of her withdrawal ramped up speculation on what the independent review of the Benghazi attack and its aftermath might conclude.

Someone in the administration clearly made up a story. The question is who and why? Let’s hope the review gets to the bottom of it.

Ironically, though, the most incriminating area of the inquiry may revolve around the administration’s abject failure to protect the embassy in a very dangerous and chaotic post-Gadhafi Libya. Reports have already indicated embassy officials had pleaded for more security and were denied or ignored. That four Americans now lie dead as a result is a travesty and an outrage.

This is a scandal that could have and should have been completely aired prior to the election, but the administration managed to kick the can down the road. And save for a few news outlets, the “mainstream” media oddly had little taste for probing the case. Little surprise, then, that a spot video survey of a number of voters in line on Election Day revealed very little knowledge of Benghazi or, of course, the administration’s bungling of it.

We pray this is the week that the truth becomes unavoidable.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has asked the State Department to identify those who survived the attack in Benghazi and where they are now and what their conditions are. He says the administration has refused to provide even that information.

Some transparency!

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