About the Author
Benjamin Shapiro entered UCLA at the age of sixteen and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in political science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. The author of the national bestsellers, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future, and Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House, Shapiro has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the nation. He is married and currently runs Benjamin Shapiro Legal Consulting, based in Los Angeles. He is editor-at-large of Breitbart.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
People Vs. Barack Obama COUNT 1
Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, note, instrument, appliance, or information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life. . . . If two or more persons conspire to violate this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.
—18 U.S. CODE § 794
Their bodies were carried slowly off an American military jet by stiffly starched Marines in their dress blues. Their coffins were covered in American flags. And as they were loaded into the waiting hearses, which sat underneath an enormous star-spangled banner, the president of the United States and the secretary of state comforted one another. He wore a black suit and a striped tie; she wore a black pantsuit and a three-layered pearl necklace. Both wore solemn faces.
The president spoke first from the podium, flanked by the maternal-looking secretary of state. “Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” he said. “We will bring justice to those who took them from us.” He continued, “The United States of America will never retreat from the world. We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every [person] deserves. . . . That’s the essence of American leadership. . . . That was their work in Benghazi, and that is the work we will carry on.”
“Four Americans, four patriots,” he concluded. “They loved this country. They chose to serve it, and served it well. . . . Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
Then the secretary of state stepped to the microphone. “Today we bring home four Americans who gave their lives for our country and our values,” she said. “To the families of our fallen colleagues, I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude . . . we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and face the future undaunted.”1
As the bodies of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, State Department employee Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods lay before them, the president and secretary of state were already planning their own futures. President Barack Obama was planning a reelection campaign event in Washington, D.C.2 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was already planning her 2016 run for the presidency.
They were both planning a cover-up. For the people responsible for taking the lives of those four brave Americans were not merely the Islamist terrorists of Benghazi, Libya. They were present in that Andrews Air Force Base hangar. They were speaking from the podium.
The crime of espionage is a difficult one to charge. Historically, the government has reserved espionage charges for agents of foreign countries acting in the interests of those countries. Kenneth Wayne Ford Jr. was sentenced under the Espionage Act for carrying six boxes of National Security Agency papers back to his house. Former CIA agent Jeffrey Alexander Sterling was charged under the Espionage Act for leaking national security information to New York Times reporter James Risen. And most famously, both Private First Class Bradley Manning of WikiLeaks fame and NSA leaker Edward Snowden were charged under the Espionage Act.
But these crimes pale in comparison to the espionage of the Obama administration itself. American law still places us at war with “nations, organizations, or persons [who] planned, authorized, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” Obviously, that would include al-Qaeda and other assorted terrorist groups. But, as we will see, the Obama administration has completely reversed field, not only backing such groups, but supplying them with weaponry. One consequence of that supply chain, which likely ran through Benghazi, Libya: the caskets at Andrews Air Force Base.
That isn’t just illegal under the Espionage Act. Gunrunning is banned under multiple provisions of American law, including the Arms Control Export Act, which calls for a maximum sentence of twenty years.
Failing to protect U.S. diplomats abroad by refusing to arm protective forces—a situation that ended with Ambassador Chris Stevens’s body being carried through the streets of Benghazi—wasn’t just negligence, but part of an overall policy plan. That makes his death involuntary manslaughter, also known as negligent homicide. Typically, negligent homicide is governed by state statute, which is where Obama administration officials would be charged. Conviction for the crime requires three elements: someone was killed, the act leading to the death was inherently dangerous or recklessly disregarded human life, and the defendant knew that the conduct threatened the lives of others. Those elements describe Benghazi to a T.
And then the administration covered all of this up by silencing witnesses and threatening agents. Those are all predicate offenses under the RICO Act.
In contradiction to what you see on Law & Order, motive is not a necessary element to convict someone of a crime. Motive does, however, increase the probability that a jury will find a defendant guilty: it is important to understand just why someone in a position of power would break the law.
In this case, the motive is clear: the Obama administration’s vision of foreign policy required a defenseless presence in Libya, gunrunning to enemies of America, and, by consequence, the death of four brave Americans that fiery night of September 11, 2012.
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S “ARAB SPRING”
Shortly after taking office, President Obama traveled to Cairo, Egypt, to tell the Islamic world that the United States was turning over a new leaf. Obama had already made clear to Muslims around the world that he was not merely comfortable with Islam, he had a cultural affinity toward it; in March 2007, sycophant New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported, “Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as ‘one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.’?” Obama campaigned, at least in part, on the basis of understanding Islam in a way that other candidates could not, given that he had studied the Koran while growing up in Indonesia.3
In Cairo, Obama took that cultural affinity to a whole new level. “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings,” Obama stated. “There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.’ . . . I know civilization’s debt to Islam. . . . Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” Then he added, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
In that speech, Obama also called for liberalization of rule in Muslim countries, regardless of who came to power. “America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them,” Obama said.4 To underscore that principle, the Obama administration reportedly coerced the Egyptian government, led by dictator and American ally General Hosni Mubarak, to invite members of the Muslim Brotherhood—the ideologically Islamist group that routinely works with terrorists around the Middle East—to the speech. “I can tell you that invitations have gone out to the full range of actors in Egyptian political society,” said Obama adviser Denis McDonough.5 Middle Eastern news networks reported that the administration actually told the Egyptian government that at least ten Muslim Brotherhood members had to be sitting in the audience for Obama’s rigmarole.6
Obama’s commitment to hitting the reset button with the Muslim world was accompanied by signals of American pullback from strategic alliances. Because he ran as an antiwar candidate, Obama now engaged in a precipitous pullout from Iraq that allowed the Iranian regime to fill the gap. He began making overtures to the Taliban in Afghanistan. “If you talk to Gen. [David] Petraeus, I think he would argue that part of the success in Iraq involved reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us because they had been completely alienated by the tactics of al Qaeda in Iraq,” Obama said in March 2009 to the New York Times. “There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”7
When protests broke out in Iran in June 2009 over election fraud in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, resulting in a mass crackdown allegedly including murder and rape, President Obama remained silent for several days before announcing that it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” then stated that he believed that the Iranian government would “look into irregularities that have taken place.” Obama added that he was still seeking diplomacy with Iran. Even ten days later, Obama was still repeating that the United States had not decided on a real strategy for dealing with the protests in Iran.8 The United States had spent much of the Bush administration funneling money to antiregime groups in Iran. Obama undercut those groups.
Obama’s strategy of leading from behind while spouting platitudes about democracy culminated in the so-called Arab Spring—a massive Islamist uprising resulting in the overthrow of several pro-American regimes in favor of popular Islamist ones. The Islamist Winter led off with a self-immolation by a fruit vendor in Tunisia, which culminated in an uprising resulting in the ouster of dictator and American ally President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. The United States had provided Ben Ali some $347 million in aid since his rise to power in 1987. Ali had imposed stability and market reforms, despite his repressive regime.9
Initially, the United States said nothing about the protests in Tunisia, with Hillary Clinton announcing just three days before Ben Ali’s ouster, “We are not taking sides, but we are saying we hope that there can be a peaceful resolution.”10 Behind the scenes, though, the United States was signaling that Ben Ali should go. Internal U.S. government documents regarding Ben Ali had been released by WikiLeaks, and they showed that America wasn’t keen on its erstwhile ally. Recognizing the signals, the Tunisian revolutionaries seized their moment.
The left reacted to the news as though Ben Ali’s deposing were an unfettered good. Christopher Alexander of Foreign Policy wrote, “Once it became clear that the Islamists no longer posed a serious threat, many Tunisians became less willing to accept the government’s heavy-handedness.”11 Now the Obama administration responded with sunny optimism; Obama released a statement explaining that Americans “applaud the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people” and called for the new authorities “to respect human rights, and to hold free and fair elections in the near future that reflect the true will and aspirations of the Tunisian people.”12
Tunisia promptly elected an Islamist government led by the Ennahda Party, which had been banned by Ben Ali. Islamists began assassinating opposition leaders.13
The Arab Spring was under way.
A similar scenario played itself out in Egypt, where protests against longtime American ally Mubarak ended in the United States supporting his ouster. After initially doing nothing to support the protesters—Hillary simply called for restraint from “all parties,” and actually called the Egyptian government “stable,” saying it was “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people”14—the United States ended up joyfully celebrating Mubarak’s resignation. Ignoring the rise of the Islamist role in the opposition, the rapes in Tahrir Square, the hints at repressions of Christians, Obama began applauding. “There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place,” Obama cheered. “This is one of those moments; this is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken. Their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same. By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people’s hunger for change.”15
Mubarak’s government was quickly replaced with an elected Islamist government under the oversight of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi, a terrorist supporter and ally. Later, certain reports would link Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood directly to the attacks in Benghazi.16
The Obama administration was finally getting the hang of this thing. And so they helped bring the Islamist traveling road show to Syria, where thug Iranian ally Bashar Assad was in power. Up until the Syrian civil war broke out, the Obama administration had done its best to prop up Assad. Hillary Clinton appeared on national television on March 27, 2011, explaining, “There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.” Two days later, she reversed course, stating, “I referenced opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the administration.”17
The United States began debating the wisdom of arming the opposition to Assad. Ignoring all the evidence that the Syrian opposition was heavily in league with al-Qaeda, the United States eventually jumped in with one foot, deciding to arm the rebels. And as later events would show, one of the key links in the arms chain to Syria was in Benghazi—in violation of the Arms Control Export Act, and the Espionage Act.
“WE CAME, WE SAW, HE DIED”
If the Obama administration was willing to let allied dictators like Ben Ali and Mubarak fall on behalf of Islamists around the Middle East, it had no qualms about the uprising in Libya against neutered dictator Muammar Qaddafi. After the United States’ invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Qaddafi—a man with a history of ties to terrorism, including the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, and who had been bombed by the Reagan administration—decided to abandon his pursuit of nuclear weapons. He also renounced support for terrorism.18
In February 2011, an uprising against Qaddafi began....
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