When you drive in rural or suburban areas where deer sometimes cross the roads, you learn to watch for the trailing deer. Deer often travel in small packs, so when you see one cross the road, there’s likely to be more. This means that if a deer crosses up ahead, you slow down and keep a careful watch for another. Many of my readers have probably had a deer-collision (or close encounter) because they disregarded or didn’t know this important protocol. It has happened to me.
I thought of this wildlife phenomenon last week when the House of Representatives held hearings to reveal more fulsome details concerning the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack upon our embassy in Benghazi, Libya. That attack destroyed the embassy buildings and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy staff. On Thursday, May 8, three senior State Department staff gave testimony which differed significantly from the Obama Administration’s official (and evolving) version of what had transpired before, during and after the attack. The three “whistleblowers,” as they are being described by Big Media, were: Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism; Gregory Hicks, the former deputy of mission in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, a former regional security officer in Libya.
The controversial hearing finally attracted some attention from the Mainstream Media, which had largely ignored contradictions between State Department “talking points” and the true situation on the ground in Libya at the time of the deadly attack. Five days after the attack, UN Ambassador Susan Rice was still insisting on Sunday talk-shows that the Benghazi violence had grown out of a “spontaneous” street-demonstration against an internet video-clip that defamed the Prophet Muhammed – a statement that State insiders knew to be false.
In a press conference following the testimony of Hicks, Nordstrom and Thompson, Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to fend off a blizzard of questions from White House reporters who were energized (and perhaps annoyed) by the realization that they had been lied to, from the start, about Benghazi. (Mr. Carney did his best to explain how the talking points – which for weeks had blamed the violence on the video clip – were not really “lies,” but it was heavy going.)
Media energy on the Benghazi scandal ramped up for almost a full day, until a “trailing deer” crossed the road. That deer was the shocking revelations, by senior Internal Revenue Service officials, that some “low-level” IRS employees had added “tea party” and “patriot” to a list of names identifying groups that would receive special scrutiny from the tax-collection agency, in the context of reviewing those groups’ tax-exempt status. Top IRS officials maintained that there was no political motivation behind the special IRS scrutiny of these groups – a claim that received derisive laughter from all political corners. More than one pundit suggested that Richard Nixon’s “enemies list” had seen a resurrection in the Obama administration.
The Washington Post subsequently reported that the IRS also had targeted groups that “…criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.” In his press conference of Monday, May 13, President Obama expressed outrage that this was going on in the IRS. (Shocked is wot ‘e was…) He claimed that he had just learned of the targeting by “reading the papers,” like other Americans. (Translation: “I don’t know who’s running this circus, but it’s certainly not me…”) Mr. Obama vowed to find and punish the guilty – thereby reinforcing the Limbaugh Theorem, which postulates that Mr. Obama is never associated with (or responsible for) the actions of his own government.
Whatever bad news the IRS scandal may represent for Mr. Obama and his government, it was certainly good news from the standpoint of completely eclipsing the Benghazi scandal. Reporters of every political stripe will now chase the IRS scandal for weeks – possibly months – while the Benghazi scandal slowly sinks from sight. This is a lucky break for Mr. Obama and his designated successor, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The whistleblower testimony was clearly going to finger her and the president for having denied the Libyan embassy the enhanced security which it had requested. It was going to be very difficult for these Top Bananas to evade responsibility for the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and the other three staff. The media were wise to them, and they were not looking good in the Court of Public Opinion.
But then – just like the cavalry’s timely arrival in those old western flicks – along came the IRS scandal, late on Friday afternoon, to divert the newshounds. How did it happen that IRS officials chose that very time to announce a scandal that would almost certainly affect them, personally? Is it possible that high administration officials coordinated those revelations? (No, surely not. We all know these things just happen, willy-nilly. Don’t we?) It is fascinating to consider, though, that the IRS scandal won’t touch Mrs. Clinton, and probably won’t reach Mr. Obama, either, while the Benghazi scandal could damage both of them.
As I mentioned earlier, however, there is often more than one trailing deer. Can we look for another, besides the IRS scandal, to cross the road? Perhaps it already has. On Monday, May 13, just after the press conference in which Mr. Obama dismissed Benghazi as a “sideshow” and vowed to hunt down the IRS miscreants (to the ends of the earth!), a huge new scandal erupted concerning the Justice Department’s secret seizure of two months worth of telephone records from Associated Press reporters and editors.
The AP says the government seized the April and May (2012) records of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the news agency and its reporters. Evidently the raid was related to an AP article which reported that the CIA had foiled an “underwear bomber” type of attack planned by Al Qaeda to occur in Yemen on May 2, 2012 – i.e., the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. The AP’s “crime” appeared to be its publication of the story about the CIA’s plot-foiling a day before the Obama administration planned to publicize it. In other words, the AP foiled the White House’s management of the news for maximum political advantage. (I know it seems unbelievable that Obamanistas would do this, but there it is.)
CIA Director John Brennan has stated that the AP’s release of the story of the Yemen plot was “…unauthorized and dangerous disclosure of classified information.” But the AP claims it published the story only after receiving assurances that it posed no threat to national security.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt has demanded return of the phone records and destruction of all copies. In a protest letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., Mr. Pruitt wrote:
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of the Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”
Is it surprising that a major governmental intrusion into the privacy of a major news agency’s confidential phone communications will divert all media attention away from any other scandal? Every news organ in the land will run after this shocking story. All else will be forgotten. (Isn’t that interesting?)
In other news, the scintillating situation of the three women released from captivity in Cleveland, Ohio, emerged last week. All were evidently held as sex-slaves for ten years by a degenerate man; one actually bore his child. Media hounds will be slavering after this story for months. There will be a sensational trial, plus endless “human interest” stories about the women. It is a media bonanza.
The sex-slave story emerged – amazingly! – just when a verdict was expected in the trial of the ghoulish abortion “doctor,” Kermit Gosnell. The trial had dragged on for weeks, as Gosnell’s associates described in grisly detail how he had “snipped” the spinal cords of each living child to kill it. The procedures would have caused Doctor Mengele, the Nazi Angel of Death, to barf. (Are we in a Buchenwald time-warp?) On Monday, May 13, the jury finally handed down its verdict after two weeks of deliberation. Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder for deliberately killing three infants who had survived abortion. It could not be called “negligent homicide,” as he clearly meant to kill those living children.
The grotesque Gosnell situation had posed a serious problem for liberal reporters who were squeamish about shining a negative light on abortion, which some have called the “liberal sacrament.” Several weeks into the trial, there was almost no coverage of the trial by Big Media, until Fox News and a few other conservative organs shamed major networks and newspapers into reporting on the ghastly details of Philadelphia’s own Dr. Mengele.
But lo, deliverance has come for Big Media. They will not have to say much about Gosnell because of the welcome diversion of the Cleveland sex-slaves. Their story is the trailing deer for the Gosnell case. Meaning no disrespect to those unfortunate women, they are certainly viewed as a “miracle” by liberals.
It’s wonderful how these things work out. Some are a little too “coincidental” to be believable, however. One wonders how long the IRS story was on the back burner before this precise moment was chosen for its disclosure. And how long was the situation of the captive women known by authorities before it was finally revealed at the opportune moment?
Interesting coincidences – but I don’t believe in political coincidences…