In light of these alternatives, Secretary Clinton’s recent announcement — that her State Department will not have definitive answers about what happened in the lead-up to and aftermath of Benghazi until (what are the odds?) some time between November and January — is unacceptable. A few weeks ago, we wouldn’t blame the administration’s spinners for assuming that a somnambulant media would let them get away with silence and obfuscation through the election. After all, it has until now only been able to whip itself into froth over Mitt Romney’s (thoroughly redeemed) early take on the eruption of violence, and not on real, proximate causes or the administration’s response.

But that might be changing. If the mounting evidence of malfeasance isn’t a smoking gun, it is at least one still warm to the touch, and at this point even CNN has called the administration’s behavior indicative of a “cover-up.” We hope the rest of the mainstream media can be persuaded — or shamed — into putting aside horserace politics to get to the bottom of Benghazi, and that the moderators at the October 16 and October 22 foreign-policy debates will zero in on Benghazi in their questions to Mssrs. Romney and Obama. The American people deserve to hear the truth from the president, in prime time. And the president’s foreign policy deserves a reckoning.