Editor's Note: This was intended for publication on Wednesday. We apologize for the delay.
It's on. As the White House grapples with a growing backlash over its Libya lies and lapses, President Obama's apologists are gearing up for battle. Put on your hip-waders. Grab those tar buckets. Get ready for Operation Smear Benghazi Whistleblowers.
Capitol Hill hearings this Wednesday on the deadly 9/11 consulate attack by jihadists will feature three compelling witnesses, all State Department veterans: Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in the country at the time of the Benghazi jihad attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine who now serves as deputy coordinator for operations in the agency's Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the top security officer in Libya.
Nordstrom first testified last fall about how State Department brass spurned his requests for increased security at the compound. Hicks and Thompson are coming forward publicly for the first time this week with more damning evidence contradicting Team Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's claims about the administration's response the night of the attack and in the ensuing months of cover-ups.
According to the House Oversight Committee, Hicks reportedly will refute Team Obama's claims that nobody was told to stand down and that all military resources available were used in the rescue efforts. As Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi to save lives during the attacks, Hicks says the team received a phone call from the U.S. Special Operations Command Africa telling them "you can't go" and that the decision was "purely political."
The State Department press office already has accused Victoria Toensing, attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, of "lying" about administration pressure on her clients. Left-wing operatives funded by billionaire George Soros have taken to Twitter to mock reports of fear and intimidation among the new witnesses. White House press secretary Jay Carney continues to sing "Long, Long Ago" and deny all wrongdoing.
And one anonymous State Department official told Fox News reporter James Rosen that Hicks and Thompson have "axes to grind."
Gee, who wouldn't have an "axe to grind" if your bosses lied to you, blocked you from saving your co-workers and friends, and lied shamelessly and repeatedly to the American public about the reasons for their deaths?
It's this corrupt and vengeful White House that wields the sharpest axes and biggest grindstones. The casualty count in Obama's war on whistleblowers is double-digit.
ATF insiders who testified before Congress about Obama's Fast and Furious gun-running nightmare faced systemic retaliation and harassment — both from government supervisors who openly declared witch hunts against them and from liberal media water-carriers.
Maverick journalist Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News faced White House retaliation of her own over her Fast and Furious investigations. Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler "was just yelling at me," and White House spokesman Eric Schultz "literally screamed at me and cussed at me," she told radio talk show host Laura Ingraham in 2011.
Former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams, who blew the whistle on Attorney General Eric Holder's rule of law-perverting, race-baiting reign, was basely smeared as a "liar" and perjurer by DOJ proxy and Washington Post tool E.J. Dionne — who ignored Adams' stellar career record at DOJ and unassailable sworn testimony.
Gerald Walpin, former AmeriCorps inspector general, was pushed out of his job by the Obamas after exposing fraud and corruption perpetrated by Democratic mayor of Sacramento and Obama friend Kevin Johnson. The White House baselessly questioned the veteran watchdog's mental health and never apologized for slandering him.
The Pleasanton (CA) Weekly was bullied by the White House press shop over a benign article that irked the administration because it made Michelle Obama look snooty. The San Francisco Chronicle was punished by the White House because a print pool reporter used a cellphone to record video of protesters at an Obama Bay Area fundraiser.
And in case you needed reminding: Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threatened to crack down on health insurers for candidly tying Obamacare mandates to rising premiums — something that Sebelius herself now acknowledges. Team Obama lambasted other whistle-blowing companies such as Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon and ATT for speaking out about the cost implications and financial burdens of Obamacare — and then cheered from the sidelines while Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman attempted to haul the firms up for a congressional inquisition.
If you thought Chicago-on-the-Potomac was dirty, you ain't seen nothing yet. No stone will be left unturned in the effort to slime, sully and squelch the Benghazi truth-tellers. Mark my words: This is how Obama's thugs roll.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.