The Benghazi terrorist attack was a debacle in three distinct stages. The fatal mistakes occurred in the first two — the failure to provide adequate security before the attack and the failure to provide help once it started. Those mistakes were tragic, but the Obama administration’s explanations are coherent, though hardly defensible.
The mystery always has been the third stage — the aftermath, or more accurately, the coverup. Even before the bodies of the four Americans came home, the White House was eager to tell any story except the real one.
Aides twisted and turned to create the false narrative that a protest over an anti-Muslim video was spontaneously hijacked by radicals. But two problems quickly emerged: There was no video protest in Benghazi, and the attack, which used heavy weaponry, was well planned.
So, why did the White House spin the web of deceit? Don’t they know the coverup is worse than the crime?
Finally, we have the answer, thanks to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. In his reluctant Senate testimony, he provided the missing piece of the puzzle: The commander in chief was MIA. The coverup was created to protect his absence.