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Scandalous: Benghazi, the IRS and 2012

May 11. 2013 2:12AM

Last week was stunningly bad for the Obama administration. Whistleblowers testified before Congress that the administration misled the American people about the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks last year. Then the IRS admitted to having targeted right-leaning non-profit groups for additional scrutiny in 2012.

Were this a Republican President, demands for hearings and investigations (if not impeachment) would be on the lips of not only the far-left activists, but mainstream Democrats and many in the media. How these scandals affect President Obama will be a test of the value of the Democratic brand in deflecting well-deserved scrutiny.

First, Benghazi. When the No. 2 diplomat in Libya tells Congress that a) the attackers in a fatal assault that killed a U.S. ambassador were known immediately to be terrorists, b) he told superiors that, and c) they told him to keep his mouth shut, this is the stuff of genuine scandal.

Next, The Weekly Standard and ABC News revealed that the Benghazi talking points drafted by the CIA were changed by State Department officials to remove every reference to terrorism.

White House spokesman Jay Carney had said the revisions were merely cosmetic in nature. That was not true. They made it appear that terrorists had no role in a fatal attack on a U.S. diplomatic installation, when everyone involved already knew it was an act of terrorism. This was done less than two months before the election.

Then the IRS apologized for harrassing, during an election year, non-profit groups that had "tea party" or "patriots" in their name. Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division that oversees non-profit groups, confirmed that the IRS had targeted these specific right-of-center organizations for extra scrutiny. She blamed the "inappropriate" behavior on low-level staff members in Cleveland.

So in the months before a presidential election, IRS officials sought to undermine citizens' groups that opposed the President's policies, and the administration tried to prevent the American people from learning that terrorists had attacked us. How is this not cause for more investigation?

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