William Boardman -- Reader
When it comes to Benghazi, the show must go on, and on, and on
What is "Benghazi," Washington's long-running kabuki circus. really about?
Is it about dead diplomats and CIA mercenaries? Foreign service security? Terrorist attacks and Islamaphobic movies? Emails and Sidney Blumenthal? Whether Hillary Clinton cares, or whether she spends the night alone? Does the Benghazi committee, or anyone else, really know what "Benghazi" is about?
On September 11, 2012, as Libya fell deeper into chaos, one of the organized and well-armed jihadi groups used outrage at an Islamaphobic movie as a cover for attacking the "special mission compound" (not the embassy in Tripoli, not a consulate) that served as a cover for the nearby CIA mission station. The jihadis in that attack killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and his information officer Sean Smith. One of the missions Stevens was working on was retrieving weapons in Libya before they fell into the hands of jihadi groups like the one that killed him. So far, for three years, no one has seemed to wonder whether the jihadis were aware of Stevens' mission and his presence in Benghazi that night.
What gave "Benghazi" legs from the start was not any curiosity about why things happened as they did, but why the Obama administration started obfuscating immediately. One obvious reason was the 2012 presidential campaign, which might be hurt by admitting a "terrorist" attack. Republicans and mainstream media greeted the event with accusations and blame for the President. So the administration bobbed and weaved and sent UN Ambasador Susan Rice out to TV land where she told a long line of talking heads an unforthcoming and variable story that was essentially inaccurate. Rice's talking points were vetted by the CIA, which had things to keep hidden. At the Benghazi hearing Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio cited evidence that Clinton spread the same false story while knowing it was false:
"You can't be square with the Amer ic an people. You tell your fam ily it's a ter ror ist at tack but not the Amer ic an people. You tell the Liby an pres id ent it's a ter ror ist at tack but not the Amer ic an people. You tell the Egyp tian prime min is ter it's a ter ror ist at tack but not the Amer ic an people."