Imagine for a moment…you’ve received word that your son/nephew/friend was killed on September 11th while defending American personnel in Benghazi, Libya. You quickly pack, get on a plane and make the long, sad journey to Andrews Air Force Base to receive his body.
All the while your mind reels with questions…How did this happen? Why did it happen? Why was my loved one in harm’s way not rescued by US Troops?
On September 14th you are sitting with the other families in view of the closed, flag-draped caskets which will not be opened. You will never see your loved one again.
One by one the President, the Vice-president, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense offer you their condolences. Empathy washes over you from hands, faces and voices that embody the power and prestige of the United States. Empathy and promises of justice.
Hillary Clinton tells Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, a retired Navy Seal killed in the attack, “We are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.”
She tells Kate Quigley, who lost her brother, Glen Doherty, that she and her family should feel sad for the Libyan people because they are uneducated, and that breeds fear, which breeds violence and leads to protest.
In front of the gathering Hillary tells everyone, “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
As a result of this week’s Benghazi hearings you now know the truth. You realize that, in that sacred, intimate gathering beside your loved one’s coffin, the Secretary of State looked you in the eyes, told you how sorry she was for your loss and deliberately deceived you.
Shortly after 11 p.m. on September 11, three days before the funeral, she had e-mailed her daughter, Chelsea, “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an al-Qaeda-like group.” Later that night when she spoke with the Egyptian prime minister, she dispensed with the video explanation: “We know the attack had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest. . . . Based on the information we saw today, we believe that the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al-Qaeda.”
The email and phone log confirm to you the truth: the way your loved one died in Benghazi is quite inconvenient for this administration. We can never know the motive for such deception for ssure, but we do know the attack happened just weeks before the election. Obama was running on the narrative that Al Queda was “on the run.” Hillary had advocated for the invasion of Libya which was clearly sinking into chaos with Al Queda on the rise.
The story about the video was endlessly repeated to the media by the White House press secretary and Susan Rice, even after an email sent from the Libya embassy in Tripoli on the day of the funeral warning US diplomats against blaming the Benghazi attack on the video. Many people believe that at the coffin service the Obama team rallied to get the President re-elected and protect Hillary’s future chances.
This all sounds so familiar. You can’t help but remember that back in the 70’s Nixon and his inner circle lied and covered up the Watergate break-in to the DNC headquarters. You ponder the difference between an administration that lied about breaking into an office to tap some phones and an administration looking you in the eyes and lying to you about why your loved one died.
Reflecting on his own motives to deceive in the wake of Watergate, Nixon aide Chuck Colson told the students at the Harvard Business School,
If you studied philosophy courses as an undergraduate, you read about Immanuel Kant and the categorical imperative. You read about rationalism and the ways in which people can find their own ethical framework.
When I went through law school, I had a love for the law. There was one thing about which I was absolutely certain—that no one could corrupt me. Positive! And if anybody ever gave me a present at Christmas time, it went right to the driver of my limousine.
I ended up going to prison. So much for the categorical imperative. The categorical imperative says that with our own rational process we will arrive at that judgment which, if everyone did it, would be prudential and the best decision for everyone. In other words, that which we would do, we would do only if we could will it to be a universal choice for everybody.
I really thought that way, and I never once in my life thought I was breaking the law. I was so sure.
But, you see, there are two problems. Every human being has an infinite capacity for self-rationalization and self-delusion. You get caught up in a situation where you are absolutely convinced that the fate of the republic rests on the reelection of, in my case, Richard Nixon. There’s an enormous amount of peer pressure, and you don’t take time to stop and think, Wait a minute. Is this right by some absolute standard or does this seem right in the circumstances?…In my self-righteousness, I was never more dangerous.*
When people believe that the absolute best decision for everyone would be to elect or protect the president, then anything is permissible—tapping phones, lying to bereaved parents—anything—as long as the fate of the nation is in the “right” hands.
This is immoral. And in their heart of hearts everyone knows it. Except possibly the mainstream media who, in the wake of the Benghazi hearing, completely ignored these lies to the families. In fact, they celebrated Hillary’s strong performance.
After last Thursday’s hearing Quigley said, “When I think back now to that day and what she knew, you know, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose, in that moment, to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue.”
Patricia Smith, mother of slain agent Sean Smith said, “She lies! Very simple…She’s trying to push her own agenda through.” Filled with fresh grief, Smith went on to say, “”I’ve got to know what happened. They don’t tell me. I still don’t know. The government has never told me. They have never contacted me, and I’ve got to know. That was my only child.”
President Richard Nixon once gave advice to a political associate: “You don’t know how to lie. If you can’t lie, you’ll never go anywhere.” Is that the morality we want from our leaders?
There is an absolute standard—the character of God. Truth and love. The apostle Paul said, “We speak truth in the sight of God.” Or not. It matters that Hillary or any of us lie because we lie in the sight of God. We lie to his face. We lie to advance our own agenda, the very opposite of love. Love lays down its agenda to serve the other person.
God is never more near than in the presence of the brokenhearted. If we can lie to the brokenhearted in the presence of God to get the “right” person elected, who are we? How can we be trusted?
Chuck Colson concluded,
I discovered what Solzhenitsyn wrote so brilliantly from a prison-that the line between good and evil passes not between principalities and powers, but it oscillates within the human heart. Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn’t the will to do what is right.
On my own—and I can only speak for myself—I do not have that will. That which I want to do, I do not do; that which I do, I do not want to do. It’s only when I can turn to [Jesus Christ] who was raised from the dead-that I can find the will to do what is right.*
May we be men and women of truth in a whatever world. In the sight of God.
How do you respond to the media’s deafening silence on the lies uncovered last week? Please leave your comment below…
*Excerpts from Mr. Colson’s speech reprinted with permission of Prison Fellowship.
You can read the Benghazi attack and spin timeline from Fact Check here.