SHILLS AND SHYSTERS WANT YOU TO INVEST IN THE BENGHAZI BUBBLE
By William Boardman Email address removed
"I think this is a cover-up, I think this is more significant
than Watergate -- no one died at Watergate."
Former Bush White House aide Ron Christie,
on MSNBC's The Ed Show, October 18, 2012
News bubbles are essentially the same as housing bubbles, stock bubbles, or tulip bubbles -- the longer they last, the more detached they become from recognizable reality. Like any other bubble, the current Benghazi news bubble started growing when a few people with a self-serving agenda decided to inflate the importance of something that does not have anything like the value that they claim it has.
If the administration's handling is a cover-up more significant than Watergate, then what is being covered up? Sean Hannity launched the cover-up meme on September 20 on Fox News, without explaining exactly what was being covered up or why, just that it would somehow help the President's re-election.
On June 17, 1972, the first day of Watergate, the issue was clear: burglars caught at Democratic headquarters were connected to the Nixon Administration, so inquiring minds wanted to know: what was the nature of that connection? The unfolding of Watergate was fact-driven, slow, painstaking, and long. But the crimes were real.
1. Mitt Romney Was Wrong From the Start
Mitt Romney said, in a prepared statement the night of the Benghazi attack: "It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks." This is documentably wrong.
Romney was wrong if the "first response" he meant was the Cairo embassy statement condemning attacks on "the religious feelings of Muslims," because that statement preceded any violence in Egypt or Libya.
Romney was wrong insofar as his statement implies that attacks on the religious freedoms of Muslims are appropriate national policy and should not be condemned.
Romney was wrong insofar as he implied that all Muslims are enemies of America by claiming that the embassy statement had sympathized with "those who waged the attacks" (which hadn't happened when the embassy issued its statement, and were going to be in a different country).
Romney was wrong if he was unable or unwilling to make the distinction between the routine communication of an Egyptian embassy seeking to head offdifficulty by responding locally to local conditions (before the attack in a different country) and the actual "administration's first response" by the Secretary of State (after the attack in Libya).