Fox’s Peter Johnson, Jr. – a legal analyst who also happens to be Roger Ailes’ personal attorney – visited Fox & Friends this morning to “ask” if President Obama deliberately allowed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans to die in Benghazi in order to avoid antagonizing Libya. Johnson posited this theory even though he admitted he had “no evidence” for it. But, of course, there was no challenge from host Heather Nauert.
The discussion was supposedly in response to a report that a U.S. drone witnessed the last hours of the attack on the Benghazi consulate. Predictably, Fox has pounced on that in its neverending efforts to use Benghazi to bring down President Obama. Just as predictably, neither of the two chickenhawks here mentioned how sensitive and risky a military intervention would have been.
Even if Johnson had served in the military, you have to wonder why Fox would trot out a legal analyst instead of say, a national security professional, to make such an accusation. Could it be because nobody with a national security reputation to maintain would be willing to do it? Not that that was any kind of problem for Nauert. She treated Johnson as if he were a legitimate expert. But I guess when you’re the boss’ attorney who’s going to argue?
As Johnson and Nauert talked, a graphic blaring “TERROR ON THE RISE” appeared behind them. A banner on the screen read, “POLICY OF APPEASEMENT.” Just in case anyone didn’t get the message.
Have we become eyewitnesses, mere eyewitnesses to the attacks on America, without any action by us at all? Nothing… Did we trade off, and I have no evidence for this. Did we trade off the lives of our ambassador and three other Americans for that crowd? Were we afraid to fire into that crowd from above? (Were) we afraid to take on the militants in that crowd for killing other folks that were on the perimeter? Were these people expendable as part of a Mid East foreign policy? Were we afraid of inflaming the Arab street when we’re so concerned about the resilience of the Arab spring? These are the questions that need to be asked.
As the Fox Newsies beat their chests with showy patriotic concern for the deaths of the Americans killed in Libya, they seemed not to care a fig that Ambassador Stevens’ father has spoken out against the politicization of the tragedy and has said that it has no place in the presidential campaign. Apparently, that concern sits on the same dusty Fox News shelf as its concern for the thousands of “expendable” Americans in Iraq who died as part of George W. Bush’s Middle East policy.