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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Benghazi, IRS investigations and leak of classified information assail president

When it rains, it pours. Re-elected by a wide majority of the U.S. electorate, President Barack Obama is seemingly beset on three sides by swelling scandals and ongoing controversies. The 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, accusations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative non-profit groups and the leakage of classified information finds Obama under the gun.

Obama press secretary Jay Carney, in front of some antagonistic members of the press could only claim the White House was ignorant - or blame Republicans for the deep water the Obama administration has found itself in.

Obama press secretary Jay Carney, in front of some antagonistic members of the press could only claim the White House was ignorant - or blame Republicans for the deep water the Obama administration has found itself in.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Benghazi, scandal, investigations, Obama administration, Ap


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Is there a siege mentality back there in the West Wing?' one reporter asked. Obama press secretary Jay Carney, in front of some antagonistic members of the press could only claim the White House was ignorant - or blame Republicans for the deep water the Obama administration has found itself in.

Carney maintains that the Benghazi question is politically motivated and is fueled by House Speaker John Boehner, whom he accused of being "obsessed" with the topic.

Carney bristled at a question about whether it was fair to draw comparisons between the administration's responses and those during the Nixon administration, bemoaning "the rapid politicization of everything.

"I can tell you that the people who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history," Carney said, "Because, you know, what we have here with one issue - Benghazi - is so clearly, as we're learning more and more, a political sideshow. A deliberate effort to politicize a tragedy.

"If you look at the facts, and I think Benghazi is instructive on this, the real issue is that four Americans died," he said.

The Department of Justice's Attorney General Eric Holder, is currently under immense pressure following revelations that it secretly collected logs of phone calls made to, and by, AP reporters.

In an attempt to assure the U.S. public, President Barack Obama has said those responsible for any improper scrutiny of conservative groups' tax status would be held "fully accountable."

The Benghazi political melee had its beginnings in the Obama administration's tale, after the bloodbath in Libya, that an unplanned demonstration over an anti-Islam YouTube video, "The Innocence of Muslims" had sparked the attack.

Both Obama and Clinton referred to the video in public comments during the week following the attack, and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice blamed it for the attack five separate times on Sunday talk shows.

The fact that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist assault carried out by extremists including those from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia, emerged later. More recently was evidence that a talking points memo prepared by the CIA for members of Congress went through a dozen edits, including some directed by the State Department, which removed all references to terrorism.

But the IRS and AP tempests brought a refrain from Carney, which he cited in some form more than a half-dozen times during his 50-minute press availability, which the White House knew nothing at all and therefore wouldn't comment.

"I cannot, and he [Obama] cannot comment specifically on an ongoing criminal investigation," he would say repeatedly. "It would be wholly inappropriate."

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