Washington Times contributor Robert Knight reacted this week to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s suspension for his role in “Deflategate” by explaining that the scandal is really like Benghazi.
Despite the fact that all of the official reports have debunked the conspiracy theories surrounding the 2012 attack, Knight still insists that administration officials, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were deliberately lying about the incident, and like Brady, must be punished.
If nothing really painful happens to Mr. Brady or the Patriots, it would be one more high-profile example of people in public life getting away with dishonesty, which is culturally corrosive. I say this in sorrow, having rooted for the Pats for many years.
Cynicism and misconduct grow when certain people seem to be beyond accountability.
The cultural damage was enormous when Bill Clinton not only was caught in lies about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, but also that he got away with it and has prospered mightily since leaving office. Think of the messages sent to America’s children: Character doesn’t count, marital vows are a joke, and changing the definitions of words like “is” are just something you do to get people off your back.
On April 14, we learned that the Internal Revenue Service, whose wrath knows no bounds for “everyday American” taxpayers who make mistakes on their tax forms, has retained thousands of IRS employees who violated the tax code and even gave many of them promotions and raises. Above the law? It certainly seems to be the case.
This is the same IRS whose officials flatly denied that orders had come down from the top in Washington to target Tea Party groups before the 2012 elections and deny them nonprofit status. It was just some rogue officials in Cincinnati, we were told.
The head of the nonprofit division, Lois G. Lerner, not only refused to testify under oath to Congress about the IRS jihad against conservatives, but somehow also managed to “lose” thousands of pertinent emails. Hillary Rodham Clinton one-upped her by not only ditching thousands of emails from her stint as secretary of state but also by wiping her personal server clean.
And while we’re on the subject of cover-up, nothing has happened to those who got caught brazenly lying about what triggered the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
For two weeks, Obama administration officials, most notably then-United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice, President Obama himself and Mrs. Clinton, insisted that an obscure anti-Islamic video triggered a spontaneous riot. Thanks to State Department emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests by Judicial Watch, it has become clear that officials in Washington knew about the nature of the attack in real time.
It had nothing to do with a video. Is anybody ever going to face any repercussions about the lies surrounding the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans?
Compared with these scandals, Deflategate is small potatoes, despite the outsized media attention it’s getting because of America’s obsession with sports and celebrities.