With Election Over, the News Flows Freely
9:30 AM, Nov 12, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
We heard throughout the campaign of President Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy. That was then. This is now. About 48 hours after he was assured of reelection, the president’s Interior Department issued a plan to close to oil shale development 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West to oil. These acres were targeted for oil shale exploration and development by the prior administration. Instead, only some 677,000 acres would be open for oil shale exploration, and an additional 130,000 for tar sands production. The reason for excluding so much acreage from development includes a desire to protect sage grouse habitats and land with “wilderness characteristics.”
Whether this decision is based on a careful analysis of costs and benefits I do not know. But it is reasonable to assume that the studies, if any, that underlie this decision were not completed immediately after, rather than before the election. They were almost certainly in hand, but their release delayed until after the results of the election were known so as not to cast doubt on the sincerity of the president’s devotion to “all of the above.”
Add this to the list of investigations—the murder of our diplomats in Benghazi, responsibility for the sale of lethal weapons to Mexican drug gangs—that could not be completed in time to inform the electorate before ballots were cast.
Even more important are the events that occurred but were not announced until after the elections. The Iranians shot down our drone, which was not in their air space. No release of that information until Obama learned he would not have to spend the next four years in Chicago. And we are asked to believe that he did not learn of CIA director Petraeus’s possible security breach until Wednesday—the FBI knew about it, House majority leader Eric Cantor says he knew about it in October, surely they told someone who told someone who had to tell or should have told the president. “By law,” says the Washington Post, “agencies are required to notify the [relevant congressional] committees of significant intelligence developments. Some questioned how a probe that turned up compromising information about the CIA director did not qualify.” Indeed.
Perhaps FBI director Robert Mueller, or Attorney General Eric Holder will let us know why (if?) they considered this too trivial a matter to report to the president or to CIA authorities who would be compelled to do so. Rather than immediately plug a hole in our security apparatus, a hole so gaping that the director had to resign to plug it, they, or perhaps (only perhaps, at this stage) the President allowed it to exist until immediately after the election. Why trouble voters with such disturbing news.
As Charles Krauthammer pointed out on Fox, Benghazi is no longer merely a massive foreign policy failure that the media could ignore in the interests of Obama’s reelection. It is a sex scandal, the meat on which the media Caesars feed. So we will sooner or later know more about Benghazi, and more about the time line of what has become a sex scandal, more worthy of coverage than the murder of an ambassador, and impossible to cover without raising questions about Benghazi.
All to come out now that the election is safely behind us.