Benghazi then and now

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Congressional hearings regarding the Benghazi terrorist attacks, you need to be. I think Michael Gerson and Peggy Noonan have summed up the meaning of all of it as well as anyone, and I recommend that you read both articles. As I was reviewing some of my Benghazi articles from last Fall, I came across a most prescient editorial from The Wall Street Journal. Keep in mind that this was written six months ago:

The President may succeed in stonewalling Congress and the media past Election Day. But the issue will return, perhaps with a vengeance, in an Obama second term. The episode reflects directly on his competence and honesty as Commander in Chief. If his Administration is found to have dissembled, careers will be ended and his Presidency will be severely damaged—all the more so because he refused to deal candidly with the issue before the election.

The issue has indeed returned with a vengeance, and we now know that the administration did indeed “dissemble.” The President’s involvement or lack thereof remains to be seen.

What is clear is that Benghazi is not going away. The media appear to be interested now, which is better late than never.

8 Responses to Benghazi then and now

  1. James Stanton May 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    I’m glad you posted an update on this topic after some feverish coverage in the week or two before the election followed by silence.

    The core critique of the Obama WH’s involvement in the Benghazi affair then and now seems to be this issue of “dissembling”. Other then that we have no proof or even a clear accusation that the Administration committed any crime.

    After countless hearings are we any closer to reaching agreement on what really happened at Benghazi. My cynical take is that the truth doesn’t matter. It’s almost 100% political at this point and aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton before the 2016 elections.

    I saw a number of politicians claim that this “cover-up” is worse than Watergate and impeachment is in order. It doesn’t get more partisan than that. By this logic President Bush should have been impeached over 9/11.

    Last point is that the media was always interested in the case. It was covered very well with the information available and became an issue in the debates. What you’re really complaining about is that the media coverage did not do any political damage.

    • Denny Burk May 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      James,

      As far as I can tell, there’s not any evidence of illegality at this point. Those who make accusations beyond the evidence are being irresponsible.

      Having said that, it’s not credible at this point to go on as if there’s nothing to see here, move along. The hearings speak for themselves as does the reporting from ABC News afterward.

      There are partisans on both sides of this thing, but let’s not pretend that’s an excuse for taking our eye off the ball.

      I couldn’t disagree more with your contention that “the truth doesn’t matter.” It certainly does matter, and I hope it comes out sooner rather than later.

      • James Stanton May 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        I’m with you that these kinds of things need to be investigated. But I think all the hearings accomplished was to reinforce the suspicions some people have about this event. There is no smoking gun as of yet other than incompetent security planning at the Benghazi site.

        Speculation that the Obama WH could have been involved in a cover-up is being trumpeted by many on the right. This is not some innocent fact-finding mission.

        I believe that several State Dept employees lost their jobs over Benghazi but that isn’t enough it seems.

  2. Rafe Semmes May 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Anybody who researches American interests and actions in the Middle East over the past few decades (minus all the idealistic rhetoric and such) would easily see why there is such animosity against US presence.

  3. Bill Griffin May 13, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    “I believe that several State Dept employees lost their jobs over Benghazi but that isn’t enough it seems.”

    Actually, I believe they didn’t lose their jobs in the way we think most people “lose their jobs”. They were like moved over to a desk on a different side of the room. As silly as it sounds I believe this is pretty close to the way it actually worked.

  4. buddyglass May 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Surprised at the link to Gerson considering one of his points is that administration was content to characterize Islam (and Libyan Muslims) in an unfairly negative light. Gerson:

    “…the administration was willing to feed an image of irrational Muslim rage that did not, in fact, apply to Libya. […] Did it serve U.S. public diplomacy to assert, as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did, that Libyans had joined ‘the tyranny of a mob,’ rather than being victimized by terrorist organizations?”

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