In Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, he ran to the left of Hillary Clinton as a moral reformer. Obama promised to transcend the old politics and bring a new era of hope-and-change transparency to Washington. Five years later, those vows are in shambles.
True, the murder of four Americans in Benghazi has become a mess of partisan bickering. But the disturbing facts now transcend politics. The Obama administration — the president himself, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, White House press secretary Jay Carney — all at various times blamed an obscure video maker for the “spontaneous violence” that killed Americans last September.
The problem is not just that such scapegoating was untrue, but that our officials knew it was untrue when they said it — given both prior CIA talking-point briefings and phone calls from those on the ground during the attacks.
As the congressional hearings on Benghazi were taking place last week, we also learned that the IRS, administered by the Department of the Treasury, has been going after conservative groups in a politicized manner that we have not seen since Richard Nixon’s White House. There was no evidence that any of these conservative associations had taken thousands of dollars in improper tax deductions — in the manner of former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, the one-time overseer of the IRS.