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The Benghazi Explanation

By | November 05, 2012 | Opinion, Top Opinion Story

Like many Americans, my concerns over the lack of adequate security in Benghazi — due to failures within the State Department to protect Ambassador Stevens — created more questions than answers.

Stonewalling by the administration — first blaming it on a video, then slow dancing around a coordinated terrorists attack — were finally relieved upon hearing the president’s explanation:

“I’ve spoken to you from this historic office on many occasions and about many things.

“The power of the presidency is often thought to reside within this Oval Office. Yet it doesn’t rest here; it rests in you, the American people, and in your trust.

“Your trust is what gives a president his powers of leadership and his personal strength, and it’s what I want to talk to you about this evening.

“For the past three months, I’ve been silent on the revelations about (Benghazi). And you must have been thinking: ‘Well, why doesn’t he tell us what’s happening? Why doesn’t he just speak to us as he has in the past when we’ve faced troubles or tragedies?’

“Others of you, I guess, were thinking: ‘What’s he doing hiding out in the White House?’

“Well, the reason I haven’t spoken to you before now is this: You deserve the truth.

“And as frustrating as the waiting has been, I felt it was improper to come to you with sketchy reports or possibly even erroneous statements, which would then have to be corrected, creating even more doubt and confusion.

“There’s been enough of that. I’ve paid a price for my silence in terms of your trust and confidence.

“But I’ve had to wait, as you have, for the complete story. That’s why I appointed Ambassador David Abshire as my special counselor to help get out the thousands of documents to the various investigations.

“And I appointed a special review board, the Tower Board, which took on the chore of pulling the truth together for me and getting to the bottom of things. It has now issued its findings.”

And then I woke up.

No, the above speech is not attributed to President Barack Obama about Benghazi.

It is a speech delivered to the American people by President Ronald Reagan over Iran-Contra on March 4, 1987.

Reagan did not make this speech because Republicans had serious questions.

He made that speech because Democrat leaders posed serious questions, and with the assistance of media pressure, poked the president into doing the right thing.

That was then. This is now.

The differences are huge. Reagan did not blame Iran-Contra on a “video.” He didn’t address the United Nations blaming it on a “video.”

He kept silent until the investigation was completed before addressing the people.

Contrast that to President Obama’s quickness to blame Benghazi on a video without having all the facts.

We have since learned it was not due to a video at all, and now the administration has back-peddled refusing to answer questions until a full investigation is completed after the election.

Republican leaders have serious questions, but the lack of media pressure has kept the pressure off the president to address the American people.

Nothing could be more damaging to a presidency.

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