The following definitely delegitimizes and arguably nullifies the results of the 2012 presidential election (bolds are mine):
The Benghazi Talking Points
And how they were changed to obscure the truth
… As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The frantic process that produced the changes to the talking points took place over a 24-hour period just one day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made her now-famous appearances on the Sunday television talk shows. The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.
The exchange of emails is laid out in a 43-page report from the chairmen of five committees in the House of Representatives. Although the investigation was conducted by Republicans, leading some reporters and commentators to dismiss it, the report quotes directly from emails between top administration and intelligence officials, and it includes footnotes indicating the times the messages were sent. In some cases, the report did not provide the names of the senders, but The Weekly Standard has confirmed the identities of the authors of two critical emails—one indicating the main reason for the changes and the other announcing that the talking points would receive their final substantive rewrite at a meeting of top administration officials on Saturday, September 15.
The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA. If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public.
The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes is being careful with the “if” in his final sentence. It hardly seems necessary. Republicans can read, and Democrat Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts agrees with Hayes’s assessment.
To answer Hillary Clinton’s supremely cynical, “you can’t touch me, and I dare you to try” question (“What difference at this point does it make?”):
- What about “senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, including the nation’s ambassador to Libya, in order to mislead the public” don’t you understand? That rewrite, whether or not successfully obscured from an apathetic electorate by the administration and press, is part of history.
- The misleading was done on purpose to protect the electoral viability of an incumbent president in a close election. If President Obama was involved in any way in this effort or was aware of it and didn’t stop it, we have an impeachable offense. It’s not arguable.
- If the massive dereliction of duty and deliberate lying had been exposed and accurately reported by a lapdog press on a timely basis, how many voters in key swing states would have changed their minds about pulling the lever for Obama, and how many sideline-sitting conservatives and libertarians would have woken from their slumber? Enough to swing the election in the direction of Mitt Romney? I think so.
Therefore, the 2012 presidential election result, based as it is on voters being deliberately and deceptively kept in the dark on an obviously critical matter, is presumptively illegitimate. Period.
UPDATE, 8 a.m.: Revised the opening sentence, rephrased the last bullet from statements to questions, and revised the final sentence to clarify why its conclusion is inarguably valid.
UPDATE, 8:30 a.m.: Revised the title and URL to be consistent with the conclusion.