By Bob Unruh
To this day, it is not known what role President Richard Nixon played in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel, but the tape recordings from the White House confirm he and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman discussed using the CIA to slow down the FBI investigation.
It was the cover-up, as history records, that eventually brought about Nixon’s resignation in disgrace.
Now, Congress is investigating an alleged cover-up of the terrorist attack Sept. 11, 2012, on the U.S. foreign service facility in Benghazi, Libya, amid predictions from prominent voices that the scandal will bring down the Obama administration.
Former Arkansas governor and onetime presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made the bold prediction this week, ahead of a House hearing Wednesday that will feature witnesses of the attack.
“I believe that before it’s all over, this president will not fill out his full term,” he said. “I know that puts me on a limb. But this is not minor. It wasn’t minor when Richard Nixon lied to the American people and worked with those in his administration to cover up what really happened in Watergate.
“But, I remind you – as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die.”
Meanwhile, John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has also declared the Benghazi scandal could lead to Obama’s removal from office.
“This could be the hinge point,” he told Newsmax. “It’s that serious for them.”
Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, wrote in a Washington Times column that “the dam seems to be breaking on the nearly eight-month-long cover-up concerning the deadly jihadist attack on Americans and their facilities in Benghazi, Libya.”
After the foreign service facility in Benghazi was attacked, the Obama administration initially claimed Muslims spontaneously rioted over a little-known online video that defamed Islam’s founder.
But now there is evidence that the administration knew from the beginning that it was a terrorist attack and altered its talking points.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is digging into the truth, holding a hearing that calls on those who were in Benghazi to explain what happened.
The questions will probe who created the story that was delivered to America and why.
Critics have asserted that in the heat of the presidential election race, Obama, who had been campaigning on the claim that al-Qaida essentially were defeated, was unwilling to provide ammunition to his GOP critics by confirming such a brazen terror attack on America, particularly on the anniversary of 9/11.
The witnesses include State Department career worker Gregory Hicks, who already has provided sworn testimony that American resources were told to “stand down” that day while four Americans died.
That statement would directly conflict with multiple statements by the Obama administration.
Rep. Darrell Issa, D-Calif., pointed out that the Obama administration specifically denied that anyone was told to stand down.
The Washington Post also reported that U.S. Embassy officials in Tripoli, some 600 miles away, tried unsuccessfully to get the Pentagon to scramble fighter jets in a show of force. The embassy also was unable to get permission to deploy four U.S. Special Operations troops in Benghazi during the attack.
Congressional investigators released a partial transcript of Hicks’ coming testimony. It includes his report that the lieutenant colonel in Tripoli who commanded the Special Operations team told him he was sorry that his men had been held back.
Hicks said he received communication from Stevens, saying, “Greg, we’re under attack.”
In an interview with the Fox News Channel, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said getting the information is going to be a chore.
“There are people who want to testify that have been suppressed,” he said, according to the Washington Times. “They’re scared to death of what the State Department is doing with them.”
Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack, has a huge stake in the outcome of the investigation, as she is considered the favorite for the 2016 Democratic Party nomination for president.
She famously unleashed an emotional outburst at an earlier hearing on Benghazi, dismissing questions about the reason for the attack with, “What difference does it make?”
Chaffetz expressed little confidence in what Obama and Clinton have told the public.
“We were certainly misled at every step of the way,” Chaffetz said.
In his Washington Times column, Gaffney noted the combination of congressional hearings along with reports that “long-silenced witnesses are determined to reveal what they know.
“At the instigation of Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, and with encouragement from more than 700 special operations veterans and family members of those lost in Benghazi, some 135 legislators in the House of Representatives and three U.S. senators are calling for a special investigatory committee,” he wrote. “To be sure, Team Obama seems as determined as ever to defy efforts to ferret out the truth about Benghazi. In this, they have been aided by the failure of Congress to date to mount a single, concerted investigation of what led up to, happened during and took place after the attack.”
Gaffney wrote that it’s critical to know the truth about where Obama was during the attack and what was he doing.
“He evidently did not order a rescue operation,” he said. ” … We need to know why not, and what the president was doing instead of his first responsibility: protecting Americans.”
Gaffney said there are also questions about Hillary Clinton’s role, particularly why she failed “to intervene on behalf of her subordinates in harm’s way.”
Huckabee acknowledged that if Democrats continue to control the U.S. Senate, nothing will happen.
“They won’t let it happen, not because they’re protecting just the president, they’re trying to protect their entire political party. If they try to protect the president and their party, and do so at the expense of the truth, their president and their party will go down. Now, here’s what I’m going to suggest will happen – as the information and facts begin to come out, it will become so obvious that there was a concerted and very, very deliberate attempt to mislead this country and its people to lie to Congress, as well as to you.”
Huckabee continued: “When a president lies to the American people and is part of a cover-up, he cannot continue to govern. And as the facts come out, I think we’re going to see something startling. And before it’s over, I don’t think this president will finish his term unless somehow they can delay it in Congress past the next three and a half years.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, once commander of missions for the Army Rangers and now executive vice president for the Family Research Council, said the truth needs to come out about Benghazi.
In an interview published by WND, he said there has been no acceptable explanation for not rescuing Americans under siege in Benghazi, and nothing less than a special House committee investigation will satisfy him.
He said the lack of answers since has been bothering him for months, and that’s why he worked on a letter to Congress.
“I’ve been working this since not long after the events on the 11th of September. That said, the U.S. Congress has been sort of ignoring all of our efforts to try and get some full accounting on this thing,” Boykin said. “I just simply reached out to some people that I knew had a deep passion for this, that would in fact bring a different dimension to it and that’s the retired special operations guys that spent a good portion of their professional careers preparing for and executing these kinds of operations. They’ve risked their lives for this. They’ve seen people that have sacrificed their lives to save other Americans, and I knew these people would come on quickly and would come on with deep passion.”
The letter to the House of Representatives called for the creation of an investigative committee. It was signed by hundreds of members of the military.
Boykin said what’s baffling is why there was no attempt to rescue the Americans.
“Why was there no attempt to recover the bodies before they fell into the hands of the Libyans? We find that perplexing and inexcusable that we don’t have those answers,” he said.
Issa’s committee praised Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counter-terrorism; Hicks; and Eric Nordstrom, diplomatic security officer; for agreeing to testify.
The committee’s analysis indicates Clinton cut her own department’s counter-terrorism unit out of the situation, and a source reported the U.S. military could have reached Benghazi in time to save lives.
It’s not the first time talk of of impeaching Obama has come up.
Lawmakers who have broached the subject of impeachment include Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; Walter Jones, R-N.C.; Trey Radel, R-Fla.; and Steve Stockman. Others include former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas; former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy; left-leaning investigative reporter Dave Lindorff; talk-radio host Mark Levin; former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; and author and columnist Pat Buchanan.
Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution states, “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The U.S. House of Representatives has the power to commence impeachment proceedings. If the House adopts an impeachment resolution, the U.S. Senate conducts a trial and determines whether to convict or acquit. If an official is convicted, he or she is removed from the position and may be barred from holding office again. The official may also face criminal prosecution.
Only two U.S. presidents have been impeached by the House: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. However, both presidents were acquitted in the Senate. Nixon resigned before the full House voted on his impeachment.
Besides the Benghazi disaster, issues that have prompted the impeachment discussions include Obama’s Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, his decision to order the assassination of an American-born Muslim cleric who joined al-Qaida, his “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board even though Congress was not in recess, his appointment of many unvetted “czars,” his fight against enforcing immigration laws, amnesty, U.S. involvement in Libya and gun control.
Specifically on Benghazi, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney accused an anti-Muslim video on YouTube of inciting the attack. On Sept. 16, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made five Sunday morning television appearances in which she claimed the attacks were spontaneous reactions to the obscure film. Obama mentioned the YouTube video six more times at the U.N. on Sept. 25.
However, there was never any kind of protest at the Benghazi compound that night.
WND also reported a March poll showed advocates for impeachment nearly equal to those against it. For example, regarding Obama’s campaign for amnesty to illegals, 44 percent said he should be impeached for it, while only 48 percent say he should not. And 46 percent said Obama should be impeached for launching the war to remove Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, while 49 percent said no.
“Taken by itself, any of these questions about President Obama could be ignored, but it becomes much more questionable when all of these … administration actions are taken as a whole,” said Fritz Wenzel, whose public opinion and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies conducted the poll.
“Obama appears to have found a way to split the nation directly down the middle on each issue, but, as his plummeting poll numbers may now indicate, the American public may well be catching up with the cumulative effect of this administration’s handling of the Constitution and the federal government,” Wenzel said.
Another recent call for impeachment came from rock legend and gun-rights defender Ted Nugent.
“There’s no question that this guy’s violations qualify for impeachment,” he said. “There’s no question.”
He blasted “the criminality of this government, the unprecedented abuse of power, corruption, fraud and deceit by the Chicago gangster-scammer-ACORN-in-chief.”
Rush Limbaugh said on his program that the Obama administration’s release of hundreds and potentially thousands of illegal-alien criminals from U.S. detention centers in connection with possible budget cuts is “an impeachable offense.”
“In what used to be considered (if we can remember this far back) normal, sane times, this is an impeachable offense,” Limbaugh said. “This is action being taken against the country. … It is sheer madness to be doing this. It is petulant, it is childish.”
Even Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin has called for the impeachment of Obama over his policy of permitting drone strikes on American citizens overseas who are members of terrorist organizations.
On WABC Radio’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” Benjamin said she believes the drone warfare is an impeachable offense.
The idea of impeachment actually seems moderate given the results of another recent poll.
The poll, conducted by telephone by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, found that 29 percent of Americans believe armed revolution may be necessary, with 5 percent saying they’re not sure.
While 18 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of independents believe that to be true, 44 percent of Republicans questioned in the poll said armed revolution may be needed.