The Corner

A Tainted Campaign?

If it is proven that the IRS thwarted some groups from obtaining tax-exempt status in fear that their traditional or conservative messages might hurt the 2012 Obama campaign (especially if it did so under pressure from White House-affiliated operatives), and if it is proven that the Obama administration deliberately ignored warnings about lax security at the Benghazi consulate, missed real opportunities to send help, or deliberately massaged intelligence reports in order to mislead the pre-election public about the true nature of Benghazi in order to further a false campaign narrative of a near dormant al-Qaeda and a calm progressing post-Qaddafi Libya, then the scandals point to the potential corruption of the electoral process itself. The election outcome may have been successfully affected by these Machiavellian tactics. More will come out, as the scandals work themselves up the chain of command. We still do not know the circumstances of why Mr. Nakoula was suddenly jailed after being denounced by the president and Susan Rice. The fate of Petraeus and the role of his communications are thus far baffling and raise similar questions about the role of the election. We have entirely forgotten the issue of why there was a sizable CIA presence in Benghazi to begin with. Unfortunately, the upcoming Obamacare ‘train wreck’ and the AP wiretaps are not long enough tails to wag these dogs away.

The president’s press conference, after Jay Carney’s dismal performance, was one of the worst since Richard Nixon’s 1974 meltdowns, especially given that he used the conditional  “if” about the IRS acting improperly – after the IRS had already confessed to just that fact. Obama also mentioned the uncertainty of the catalyst for the attack – though he is most certainly on the record for blaming the attack on a film-maker in Benghazi’s immediate aftermath.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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