Reason: Three reasons Benghazi matters
posted at 4:41 pm on May 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
With the lid coming off of what very clearly looks like an attempt to cover up the nature of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Obama administration apologists have stepped up their efforts to flood the debate with paraphrases of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attempt to shut down discussion of the White House response — “What difference at this point does it make?” One even tried to shift blame onto the House GOP for the altered talking points. Nick Gillespie at Reason offers three basic reasons that the US needs an investigation into the attack and the administration’s deliberate attempt to shift the focus from terrorism to a YouTube video:
1.We still don’t know what really happened.
The Benghazi attack marked the first time in “more than three decades” that a U.S ambassador was killed in the field. Yet after these hearings and the State Department’s own “accountability review,” we still don’t know why the consulate was so poorly protected and why the military didn’t or couldn’t respond in a timely fashion. Pleading incompetence or “the fog of war” isn’t an answer.
2.U.S. officials keep attacking free speech as the cause of the attack.
Even after it became clear that the YouTube video “The Innocence of Muslims” had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack, Hillary Clinton invoked it as the cause of the attack at a memorial service for the slain Americans. And President Obama told the United Nations that everyone should condemn “those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”
3.We still don’t have a foreign policy in the Middle East – or anywhere else.
How does the murder of an ambassador to a country we helped liberate reflect on the way in which we got involved in Libya: President Obama dispatched forces without consulting Congress. As U.S. involvment in Syria and elsewhere heats up, the absolute lack of a coherent – much less constitutional – foreign policy will only lead to more tragedies both in the Middle East and throughout the world.
There are more reasons that just these three, but that last one is a big, big deal. Politicians in Washington, inside and outside of the administration, are demanding another US intervention in Syria of the same sort that produced a Libya we’re now preparing to flee, and where Americans can’t walk safely even in the capital. The false narrative had the effect, intended or not, of covering up the disaster that our intervention has created in Libya, and which led directly to the attack on our consulate by radical Islamist terrorists.
At this point, acknowledging that disaster would make a great deal of difference in what we do about Syria.
Michael Ramirez has an answer of his own to Clinton’s refrain at Investors Business Daily:
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.
Update: Paul Brandus at The Week (one of my colleagues there) acknowledges that the dam has burst with ABC’s revelation, and that Republicans turned out to be right all along:
The final talking points eventually given to Rice reflected State’s concerns, but Carney told us that it’s all on the up-and-up because the changes were signed off on by the CIA.
There’s a meatpacking-like quality to all this. You don’t really want to know how your hamburger is processed, do you? The administration’s defense — and it’s looking thinner than ice on a late spring pond — is that government bureaucracy is messy and multi-layered and that’s a big part of why Rice said what she did.
Benghazi occurred seven weeks before election day. The administration’s strategy was simple: Downplay the terror attack, change the narrative, and run out the clock. And that’s what it did.
But now the dam has burst. Carney’s “here at the White House” comment has essentially thrown Clinton under the bus. Republicans, who leaked the edited emails to Karl and Hayes, have succeeded on two fronts: They’ve got the administration on the defensive over Benghazi, and they’ve weakened the Democrat’s most formidable 2016 candidate.
Actually, most of us are more concerned over the fact that this administration manipulated information about a terrorist attack to hide its nature during the election, to their advantage. That’s corruption on a very deep level.