When the presidents lose credibility, when trust vanishes and their word is no longer accepted, they have only themselves to blame. In confronting the Benghazi and IRS scandals Obama has relied on lies, spin, and obfuscation. The main objective is to mislead the press and public. A lesser aim is to sidetrack the controversies and reduce them to a debate over tangential issues.
LIES: even when he’s been publicly corrected Obama repeats mistruths. “The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism”. Obma said. Only he hadn’t. Obama actually said in the Rose Garden “ no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” It was a generic mention of terror, not directed at the Benghazi attack. Steve Kroft interviewed Obama immediately after his Rose Garden statement—“well it’s too early to know exactly how this cam about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans”. Obama also insisted at his press conference that no one knew “what was taking place during the course of these first few days” after the attack. Greg Hicks, said that he knew form day one it was an al Qaeda backed terrorist attack. On the IRS scandal the presidents initial reaction was to shift potential blame away fro himself by characterizing the IRS as an “independent agency. It’s not and never has been.
SPIN: the president again in the press conference said he “sent up the head of our National counterterrorism center, Matt Olsen up to capital hill and he specifically said it was an act of terrorism and that extremists elements inside of Libya had been involved in it”. Olsen did testify as Obama recounted, but not because he was “sent up” by the president, Olsen had been long scheduled to appear at the 9/19 hearing on cyber-security. 9/20 aboard Air Force one Carney said it is “self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack”.
OBFUSCATION: this is used to turn a scandal into a squabble by focusing it on peripheral issues. The White House tried this by leaking a single email to a reporter in order to raise questions about the accuracy of another reporters quotation form a different e- mail. Media may concentrate coverage on who weakened the talking points, the CIA or the State Department? Pursuit of that question would keep the press away from Obama to the delight of the ‘White House.
Sources—fred barnes, weekly standard, NYT