Last Updated:November 27 @ 10:50 am

Sowell: Libya and Lies

By Thomas Sowell

It was a little much when President Barack Obama said that he was "offended" by the suggestion that his administration would try to deceive the public about what happened in Benghazi. What has this man not deceived the public about?

Remember his pledge to cut the deficit in half in his first term in office? This was followed by the first trillion dollar deficit ever, under any President of the United States -- followed by trillion dollar deficits in every year of the Obama administration.

Remember his pledge to have a "transparent" government that would post its legislative proposals on the Internet several days before Congress was to vote on them, so that everybody would know what was happening? This was followed by an ObamaCare bill so huge and passed so fast that even members of Congress did not have time to read it.

Remember his claims that previous administrations had arrogantly interfered in the internal affairs of other nations -- and then his demands that Israel stop building settlements and give away land outside its 1967 borders, as a precondition to peace talks with the Palestinians, on whom there were no preconditions?

As for what happened in Libya, the Obama administration says that there is an "investigation" under way. An "on-going investigation" sounds so much better than "stonewalling" to get past election day. But you can bet the rent money that this "investigation" will not be completed before election day. And whatever the investigation says after the election will be irrelevant.

The events unfolding in Benghazi on the tragic night of September 11th were being relayed to the State Department as the attacks were going on, "in real time," as they say. So the idea that the Obama administration now has to carry out a time-consuming "investigation" to find out what those events were, when the information was immediately available at the time, is a little much.

The full story of what happened in Libya, down to the last detail, may never be known. But, as someone once said, you don't need to eat a whole egg to know that it is rotten. And you don't need to know every detail of the events before, during and after the attacks to know that the story put out by the Obama administration was a fraud.

The administration's initial story that what happened in Benghazi began as a protest against an anti-Islamic video in America was a very convenient theory. The most obvious alternative explanation would have been devastating to Barack Obama's much heralded attempts to mollify and pacify Islamic nations in the Middle East.

To have helped overthrow pro-Western governments in Egypt and Libya, only to bring anti-Western Islamic extremists to power would have been revealed as a foreign policy disaster of the first magnitude. To have been celebrating President Obama's supposedly heroic role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, with the implication that Al Qaeda was crippled, would have been revealed as a farce.

Osama bin Laden was by no means the first man to plan a surprise attack on America and later be killed. Japan's Admiral Yamamoto planned the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, and he was later tracked down and shot down in a plane that was carrying him.

Nobody tried to depict President Franklin D. Roosevelt as some kind of hero for having simply authorized the killing of Yamamoto. In that case, the only hero who was publicized was the man who shot down the plane that Yamamoto was in.

Yet the killing of Osama bin Laden has been depicted as some kind of act of courage by President Obama. After bin Laden was located, why would any President not give the go-ahead to get him?

That took no courage at all. It would have been far more dangerous politically for Obama not to have given the go-ahead. Moreover, Obama hedged his bets by authorizing the admiral in charge of the operation to proceed only under various conditions.

This meant that success would be credited to Obama and failure could be blamed on the admiral -- who would join George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and other scapegoats for Obama's failures.


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is


VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
Rate this post:
Rating: 9.7/10 (202 votes cast)
Sowell: Libya and Lies, 9.7 out of 10 based on 202 ratings

Don't leave yet! Add a comment below or check out these other great stories:


  1. coertel1Comment by coertel1
    October 23, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    truth…how refreshing

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.9/5 (40 votes cast)
    • thecitizenComment by thecitizen
      October 24, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

      Yeah. Seem to get that a lot with Mr. Sowell.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  2. billwvComment by billwv
    October 23, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    Well said Mr. Sowell: Ozero has that habit of blame whoever can be blamed; only if something turns out well he will take the credit.

    I am looking forward to Mr. President Romney.

    Someone who can shoulder responsibility.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.9/5 (54 votes cast)
    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 23, 2012 @ 11:19 am

      Well Barack can be offended all he wants for being called out in incompetence. We thinking, feeling, resourceful, successful Americans of the self-governing mindset are offended that when HE got that 3:am call on Libya, HE chose to either snooze like Rip Van Winkle hoping it would all go away by the time HE and the American people woke up,,,or HE chose campaigning over leadership. Americans do not elect Presidents to engage in Re-election campaigns 24/7 from the time they are elected, which is all that we got for the last four years. We choose leaders to lead, and to be on top of our world and economic problems and come up with workable SOLUTIONS, which Obama’s Liberal ideology is devoid of, other than coveting and taking from the thinking productive of American to cover the multitude of he and his party’s sins and incompetence. With this President the buck never stops where he is but gets bucked back to the cowboy that rode the horse before him. Now he wants to ride us for another 4 years, but still won’t pass the buck back to the guy who rode us during the last 4 years of bumps, bruses and entaglements with his political rodeo clowns,,,Barack Hussein Obama.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.7/5 (38 votes cast)
  3. ggpa63Comment by ggpa63
    October 23, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    Our government, especially our president, is trying to create a world with no consequences; get pregnant but don’t want the baby, get an abortion; buy a house but can’t afford the payments, the government will help you out; can’t afford contraceptives, no problem, we’ll make everyone else pay for them; want to spend your money on “stuff”, ok, we’ll give you food stamps; etc. etc. etc. BUT a funny thing is happening on the way to the November elections, our president is finding out there is a real world, with real consequences and it’s not pretty; over spend to the tune of trillions of dollars and our credit rating drops; neglect security at our overseas installations and people die; limit oil drilling permits and gas prices continue to increase; etc. etc. etc. The consequences and broken promises are catching up with our president.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.9/5 (57 votes cast)
  4. gopluvaComment by gopluva
    October 23, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    This president is not good for America. I believe Romney will be a very good president.If being liked by the muslims were all it took even obama loses that one. I dont know his religion but if he is any kind of christian I would be surprised.Romney believes in God. That is important.If his beliefs otherwise are different than mine I dont care.e is a good man and I dont think we will see Ann telling our children to make do with less food in school.Her kids all look healthy.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.9/5 (41 votes cast)
  5. ptbaaComment by ptbaa
    October 23, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Dr. Sowell is the platinum standard for clear concise insightful commentary! Oh that he would be in a prominent position in Romney’s administration. But, why would he want to lower himself to such a position? The only legitimate answer would be public SERVICE!

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.8/5 (25 votes cast)
  6. AMVoterComment by AMVoter
    October 23, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Thank you Dr. Sowell for your well thought-out excellent article.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.8/5 (33 votes cast)
  7. bna42Comment by bna42
    October 23, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    “What has this man not deceived the public about?”

    Questions like this should have been a major part of all three debates.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.8/5 (26 votes cast)
  8. billsComment by bills
    October 23, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    Obama’s only hope is that the US voters have Obamnesia….that is they will forget the devastation brought upon the US economy over the past four years by the Obama Administration and the Democrats during their first two years in total control and that will continue if he is reelected.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.8/5 (16 votes cast)
  9. Allen SComment by Allen S
    October 23, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    Mr. Sowell’s wisdom is keene and to the point. -0 has a history with communism…
    The first time I heard of Barack by Tom Fife 11.20.08
    During the period of roughly February 1992 to mid 1994, I was making frequent trips to Moscow, Russia, in the process of starting a software development joint-venture company with some people from the Russian scientific community. One of the men in charge on the Russian side was named V. M.; he had a wife named T.M.
    V. was a level-headed scientist while his wife was rather deeply committed to the losing Communist cause – a cause she obviously was not abandoning.
    One evening, during a trip early in 1992, the American half of our venture were invited to V. & T.’s Moscow flat as we were about to return to the States. The party went well and we had the normal dinner discussions.
    As the evening wore on, T. developed a decidedly rough anti-American edge – one her husband tried to quietly rein in.
    The bottom line of the tirade she started against the United States went something like this:
    “You Americans always like to think that you have the perfect government and your people are always so perfect. Well then, why haven’t you had a woman president by now? You had a chance to vote for a woman vice-president and you didn’t do it.”
    The general response went something along the lines that you don’t vote for someone just because of their sex. Besides, you don’t vote for vice-president, but the president and vice-president as a ticket.
    “Well, I think you are going to be surprised when you get a black president very soon.”
    The consensus we expressed was that we didn’t think there was anything innately barring that. The right person at the right time and sure, America would try to vote for the right person, be he or she black or not.
    “What if I told you that you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist?”
    The out-of-the-blue remark was met by our stares. She continued, “Well, you will; and he will be a Communist.”
    It was then that the husband unsuccessfully tried to change the subject; but she was on a roll and would have nothing of it. One of us asked, “It sounds like you know something we don’t know.”
    “Yes, it is true. This is not some idle talk. He is already born and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of Presidents. He is what you call “Ivy League”. You don’t believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That’s right, a chocolate baby! And he’s going to be your President.”
    She became more and more smug as she presented her stream of detailed knowledge and predictions so matter-of-factly – as though all were foregone conclusions. “It’s all been thought out. His father is not an American black so he won’t have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He’s gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America.”
    We sat there not knowing what to say. She was obviously very happy that the Communists were doing this and that it would somehow be a thumbing of their collective noses at America: they would give us a black president and he’d be a Communist to boot. She made it quite obvious that she thought that this was going to breathe new life into world Communism. From this and other conversations with her, she always asserted that Communism was far from dead.
    She was full of little details about him that she was eager to relate. I thought that maybe she was trying to show off that this truly was a real person and not just hot air.
    She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the legislature. “Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet.”
    At one point, she related some sort of San Francisco connection, but I didn’t understand what the point was and don’t recall much about that. I was just left with the notion that she considered the city to be some sort of a center for their activity here.
    Since I had dabbled in languages, I knew a smattering of Arabic. I made a comment: “If I remember correctly, ‘Barack’ comes from the Arabic word for ‘Blessing.’ That seems to be an odd name for an American.” She replied quickly, “Yes. It is ‘African’”, she insisted, “and he will be a blessing for world Communism. We will regain our strength and become the number one power in the world.”
    She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism and Barack was going to pave the way.
    So, what does this conversation from 1992 prove?
    Well, it’s definitely anecdotal. It doesn’t prove that Obama has had Soviet Communist training nor that he was groomed to be the first black American president, but it does show one thing that I think is very important. It shows that Soviet Russian Communists knew of Barack from a very early date. It also shows that they truly believed among themselves that he was raised and groomed Communist to pave the way for their future. This report on Barack came personally to me from one of them long before America knew he existed.
    Although I had never before heard of him, at the time of this conversation Obama was 30+ years old and was obviously tested enough that he was their anticipated rising star.
    Tom Fife

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.8/5 (20 votes cast)
  10. ousaouComment by ousaou
    October 23, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    Looking at the intellectual honesty and more particularly at the character of the Obama team, without dough this team is missing the degree of excellence expected by a competent White House staff. Obama, himself, does not project the leadership of a leader. Obama is resolute in forcing on the US population the decisions of a big government with thousand tentacles reaching every corner of the US economy and population. He wants to eliminate risk, liberty to choose and success. Obama wants a single social class with a constant demand from “Uncle Obama”.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.3/5 (8 votes cast)
  11. larryl212Comment by larryl212
    October 23, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    Obviously Sowell is a racist! Oh wait. He is black. Never mind. Sorry… I’ve been watching waaaay too much Chris Matthews. (-:

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 5.0/5 (13 votes cast)
  12. centslessComment by centsless
    October 23, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    I look forward to your essays. Thank you Dr. Sowell for another taste of reality presented in the most clear of terms.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  13. heylottylottyComment by heylottylotty
    October 24, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    The points Mr. Sowell brings up are important. Yet, there are many others that also slide by. The proud posturing that mr. Obama does over his “bail out” of GM and Chrysler is admirable on one hand but going past the surface…. If any small business fails, it is the accepted way to make the lesser producing businesses leave so a better producer can take it’s place. To me, that is what Mr. Romney is aluding to. Also, a point missed so far is that Chrysler was soon sold to FIAT (a foreign company). Now GM is negotiating with China to build several plants there. How did GM suddenly get so much money so soon after a disasterous crash? China does NOT allow foreign companies to own land or structures there. The Chinese government owns it all. So, is GM “giving” the plants to China? Chrysler “divorced” itself of all debt by contract separating the orignal Chrysler Motors from the new Chrysler so all sales, warranties, and legal cases would not affect the new company (also leaving existing customers adrift). Were the jobs really saved (as the companies had options) or was it ALL a political move by the socialist gov’t to attempt ownership of major corporations?

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  14. drifterdanComment by drifterdan
    October 24, 2012 @ 12:59 am

    Let’s not forget his constant campaign pledge to close Guantanamo and his big press conference when he signed his executive order to supposedly close Guantanamo.

    Guess what? Not only is Guantanamo still open, it is now being refurbished!

    Gee, do you suppose he lied about that too? Or does he still have an “on-going investigation” on that too?

    No one is calling him out on that broken campaign Pledge.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Leave a Comment

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer