This past weekend, conservatives took to the air, online and print to declare former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as being responsible for the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram’s recent kidnappings. The logic was that since Mrs. Clinton didn’t designate the group as a terrorist organization during her tenure as SoS, Boko Haram was emboldened enough to commit these recent acts. Of course, this makes absolutely no sense when we look into it deeper. First off, Clinton placed three leaders of the group on the individual terrorist watch list while she was in office. Second, there were a number of legitimate reasons why the group was not designated in 2011 or 2012. Finally, the group was placed on the watch list in 2013 by current Secretary of State John Kerry.
Regardless of the illogical nature of the argument, conservatives have tried their best to run with this story as a way of smearing Hillary Clinton due to their fear of her in 2016. Right now, Republicans have no decent candidate to run in 2016 and it is looking more and more likely that if Hillary Clinton does indeed run for President in 2016, she will cruise to an easy election victory. Therefore, it is imperative for conservatives to publicly slander Mrs. Clinton at every opportunity, hoping something sticks. This is why Benghazi has become the number one issue for Republicans to focus on.
Former one-term Republican Congressman, and current Fox News analyst, Allen West took to his personal blog to write about the Boko Haram kidnappings on Monday. However, he took a different approach than many of his conservative colleagues. Rather than hammer Clinton for ignoring the group (he mentioned it, but it wasn’t his piece’s main focus), he instead stated that President Obama is using this recent event to distract everybody from Benghazi, among other ‘scandals.’ Below is an excerpt from the blog:
Remember the movie with Robert Deniro and Dustin Hoffman called “Wag the Dog?” Funny thing, that film was released just before the Clinton-Lewinsky kabuki dance and the infamous pharmaceutical factory bombing in Sudan by President Clinton (and by the way, Monica is back in the limelight thanks to an article in Vanity Fair – but I digress – or maybe not).
Are we witnessing an Obama “Wag the Dog” moment with Boko Haram in Nigeria? I say yes.
Consider all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi and the Select Committee, which Rep. Nancy Pelosi referred to as a “political stunt.” Really? Four Americans die, we’re told it was because of an anti-Islam video, no one has been “brought to justice” and THAT is a phony scandal and a political stunt? Boy, if this had been a Republican president, he or she certainly would never have been reelected because the media would have been all over it. Instead the media is doing everything possible to protect Obama.
So, perhaps Obama, Rice, Clinton, Reid, Pelosi, Rhodes, and the cast of characters can tell us why was Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi on 9-11? Not to mention, why was he there without proper security, and who denied his request for security — and Libyan Islamist militia is not the answer.
We need to start at the beginning: why did we support Islamist forces in Libya in the first place? If it was a humanitarian crisis, then why not Syria? Or perhaps the intention all along was to support the Islamist forces in Syria as well?
If President Obama gave an order to Secretary of Defense Panetta and Chairman of Joint Chiefs General Dempsey to make sure those under attack got all the resources necessary — then why didn’t they get them? Or did Obama not give that order before he went to bed? And if it was given, who countermanded the order and told American forces to stand down?
Where are the weapons provided to the Libyan Islamists? Were we trying to collect and redistribute those weapons to the Syrian Islamists? And just as a last inquiry, why haven’t we heard from the 30 or so survivors of the terrorist attack? And who made them sign non-disclosure agreements precluding them from speaking about the incident?
This is sort of West’s thing now. He’s always been beating the drum on Benghazi. However, now everything is a distraction from Benghazi. Donald Sterling being accused of racism? Distraction. Revelations about General Patreus from a recent book? Distraction. Chemical weapons being used in Syria? Distraction. I am shocked we didn’t hear West claim that the climate change report released last week by the White House was a distraction to Benghazi, like some of his colleagues at Fox News claimed.
Anyway, it seems like West isn’t quite on the same page as some of his conservative brethren when it comes to Boko Haram. Many right-wing commentators want to use Boko Haram as a black mark with which to defame Hillary Clinton. West just sees it as yet another shiny object meant to distract us from the greatest tragedy and scandal that has ever occurred in the history of mankind, Benghazi. Not to tarnish a tragic event that led to the deaths of four Americans, but we’ve already had 13 hearings and 50 briefings that have included 25,000 pages of documents on this attack. How much longer do we have to keep parsing CIA talking points, non-existent ‘stand down’ orders and cartoonish expectations of our military’s capabilities before everyone just stands up and says, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?!?!”
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).