The Corner

Libya: Why the Cover-up?

Over the last few days I’ve been focusing on the chain of events that led to the horrifying security breakdown in Benghazi (the “crime”). But leaving aside the crime, why the cover-up? Why would the administration invest so much of its credibility in the mob/video explanation? After all, the security breakdown would perhaps be even more outrageous if a mere spontaneous mob could break through a consulate’s defenses and kill an American ambassador. While we can’t know for certain why the administration continued to tell the mob/video tale long after it was clearly false, we do know the following:

1. The Arab Spring has thus far been a disaster for American interests. Egypt, the most important Arab country, is under Muslim Brotherhood rule, Tunisia is in the hands of the Islamists, Yemen is a cauldron of tribal violence, and Syria is in the midst of a brutal civil war with jihadists taking an increasing role in the opposition military effort.

2. Until September 11, Libya was the one, shining, exception to this disastrous trend. NATO helped topple a longtime anti-American terrorist without any loss of Western life (Hillary Clinton was pleased enough to even publicly <a href="http://

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