One has to hope that this represents the nadir of suck-up spin from the media on behalf of the Obama administration regarding the Benghazi probe, but we’re just at the beginning of the select-committee process … so I’m pessimistic about the prospects. On the other hand, it’s difficult to imagine a dumber argument than the one presented by Eleanor Clift this weekend on The McLaughlin Group. Clift argued that Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn’t actually murdered in Benghazi, but merely died of smoke inhalation during an “opportunistic” terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi — and then blamed the YouTube video, resurrecting talking points that even the White House disavowed two weeks after their attempt to float them (via Gateway Pundit and Real Clear Politics):
ELEANOR CLIFT: I would like to point out Ambassador Stevens was not murdered. He died of smoke inhalation in the safe room in that CIA installation.
SUSAN FERRECHIO: I don’t think that’s a fact, Eleanor.
CLIFT: I think that is a fact.
FERRECHIO: I’ve heard a drastically different story from people who are also in the know about that. So, I don’t think it is –
PAT BUCHANAN: It was a terrorist attack, Eleanor. He was murdered in a terrorist attack.
Even if Stevens did die of smoke inhalation, that didn’t come from a wastebasket with a stray cigarette. The smoke originated from the building burning around him, because terrorists set fire to it during a terrorist attack. It’s sheer idiocy to argue that deaths in the attack were somehow just coincidences. Even in US civil law, deaths that take place during the commission of felonies are charged as murder, and usually first-degree murder in most jurisdictions, regardless of whether the deaths were intentional or not.
And attacking buildings with mortars and automatic weapons makes it a wee bit difficult to argue that any deaths were somehow accidental or just a coincidental medical condition. Or, for that matter, “opportunistic.”
It’s moments like these that prove the need for a comprehensive investigation into Benghazi. If media figures like Clift are still babbling out long-debunked talking points on national television, then the House needs to eliminate any more confusion or ambiguities in a decisive and authoritative manner.