I wrote previously that as the Benghazi fiasco, scandal, cover-up chugs along, we would see a war between "Foggy Bottom"(catch-all phrase for the career bureaucracy) and "Chicago" (catch-all phrase for Chicago). Foggy Bottom fights efforts to blame it for disaster with leaks: drip, drip, drip to the press, to Congress, to bloggers. Chicago fights with a variety of tactics, such as blackmail, personal destruction, corrupt media, and very importantly, with what I called before (here and here) the "Whitewater Defense."
The current uproar over l'affaire Petraeus forms part of the battle between Foggy Bottom and Chicago. In the vicious chess game between the two, the Chicago mob has employed the Whitewater Defense which worked so well for the Clintons. Remember the Whitewater scandal? It involved high-level corruption in Arkansas with then Governor Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, who worked for the Rose law firm. Very simply put, Whitewater was a real estate development that needed zoning restrictions modified to go ahead. The Governor named the zoning board. The solution? The developers gave Hillary huge fees for all sorts of nonsensical work, she claimed to make large sums of money in areas where few do, e.g., cattle futures, and she represented the developers before the zoning board. Presto! The board rules in favor of the developers! Hillary served as the cut-out for bribes paid the Governor. The Whitewater defense involved making it sound so complicated, intricate, and technical that the lazy mainstream press, already inclined to give Clinton a pass, would deem it too complicated, too difficult to explain to readers--no easy way to sum it up. Lots of distractions and side issues. It worked so well that even the GOP deemed it too complicated to exploit, and the Clintons got away with it.
Enter Benghazi: Most likely a pretty straightforward story of Islamic terror and incompetence by State, CIA, and the Pentagon, and dereliction of duty by the White House. A true analysis of the Benghazi fiasco would lead to a questioning in the middle of an election campaign of the Obama misadministration's extravagant claims to have killed Al Qaeda; of its disastrous "Arab Spring" policy; and of its mad delusions about turning Libya into a social-democratic wonderland. Ergo the need to make the affair as complicated as possible. First, a torrent of lies and half-truths flung about by Susan Rice about a silly video clip and a flash mob gone bad. Then a steady effort to rewrite history almost as it happened; careful parsing of words; contradictory and nonsensical briefings by different arms of the intelligence community; and, of course, wrapping oneself in the flag, e.g., the Andrews ceremony, taking "offense" at any questioning of motives. Then make sure that the GOP candidate stays quiet about it; for that, nothing better than giving him "classified" briefings with the caveat "be careful what you say about this or you could screw up sensitive and ongoing operations. You don't want to be responsible for that, do you?" Then--Pennies from Heaven!--the ultimate distraction, right on cue, an unforeseen gift from Zeus, a massive hurricane! What paltry media attention had gone to Benghazi, now went to examining storm damage, and portraying Obama as savior of the storm tossed. Obama and Christie, arm-in-arm, surveying and consoling: a modern day Laurel and Hardy act sure to keep the media enthralled and waxing on about the glories of bipartisanship.
With the passing of the election, a new distraction: Sex and the General! The Petraeus sideshow gets underway. Once again, the media responds as predicted. Concentrating on the carefully orchestrated leaks about emails, sex under the desk, a lover scorned, etc. All of this clouding the real issues, and making it all so trivial, so complicated, so intricate, and so difficult to explain that nobody ever will. The Whitewater defense in all its glory.
The Petraeus scandal is a sideshow. Those of us who want to know what happened and why in Benghazi need to focus. Keep asking the basic questions. I have provided some of them and you can peruse the archive log for the many pieces on Benghazi.
Why was it Rice and not Clinton who appeared before the press? Who wrote the talking points for Ambassador Rice? What was the facility in Benghazi? If it was important, why wasn't it protected? Why was the Ambassador there on 9/11? What was the meeting with the Turkish official about? Were we "walking guns" to Syria's rebels? If so, is there any indication of Iranian or Syrian involvement in the attack? What did Secretary Clinton know and when? What did she do about it? What did Petraeus know and when? What did he do about it? What did Panetta know and when? What did he do about it? What did President Obama know and when? What did he tell the military, et al, to do? What did they do?