What Did Lew Do?
7:10 AM, Feb 13, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
There weren't many memorable lines in President Obama's State of the Union speech. Indeed, only one leapt out at me: "As long as I’m commander in chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad."
Was this statement in the future tense, an implicit acknowledgment that in the recent past the commander in chief had in fact failed to "do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad?" Was this promise of presidential action a kind of silent apology for his inaction on September 11, 2012? Or was the president unaware of the bitter irony of this perfunctory promise?
Who knows? The fact is we still deserve a complete and truthful account of what happened that night. The word Benghazi didn't appear in the State of the Union. Fortunately, though, Wednesday morning senators will have a chance to ask White House chief of staff Jack Lew at his confirmation hearing for treasury secretary about what the president did and didn't do in the White House on the night of September 11. We've heard a promise for the future from Obama. It's up to Lew to explain what happened in the White House on September 11, 2012: What, if anything, did the president choose to do that night, and when did he do it? And for that matter: What did Lew do?