It looks as if the Republicans are accusing Hillary Clinton and/or President Obama of the murder of the ambassador and his people in Benghazi. They are accusing them of deliberately choosing to send no support troops to Christopher Stevens and his staff and of pretending that what was going on around them was a demonstration against a movie about Islam. Well we know that President Obama did report, or at least Susan Rice reported, that this was the case. We even saw clips from the poorly made movie. We also assumed that Ms. Rice did not take it upon herself to interpret events in this way, but was probably speaking for the administration, i.e. President Obama. A false report about the events in Benghazi does not imply any further involvement in the frightening and tragic events that took place that day.
Records show that the budget to the State Department had been cut repeatedly. Christopher Stevens knew he was going to an unstable posting. He did send out a cry for help. This is where things get more uncertain. Testimony suggests that his first requests for help were made before anything dire was happening and they were denied on the basis that resources were not available. His next requests for help came in the middle of the night on 9/11 when the attack was actually in progress. By then, it was determined, I’m sure with great sadness and trepidation, that no forces could be put in place in time to defend the beleaguered staff at this diplomatic post. This hearing on Benghazi suggests that there were defense possibilities available if panicked dithering had not occurred. I doubt very much that there was any panicked dithering.
Not one atom of my being believes that either Hillary Clinton or President Clinton would deny help to our people in Benghazi for political or any other reasons. It is clear in hindsight that these people should not have been in Benghazi or that they should have been in a much stronger facility, better built and better protected. They were really out in a hostile field with virtually no armor and hardly any defenses. If we can’t afford to equip these diplomatic posts that are set in harm’s way then we need to think about not putting people in these places until they are more stable. There is certainly enough blame for poor judgment to go around; but to suggest that any one in our government, even you ever-crazier right wingers, would deliberately strand our people in a situation where they were overwhelmed by force and could not defend themselves is not acceptable. It would not happen. Hillary Clinton and President Obama would never conspire to leave a diplomat in extremis or to murder our people abroad.
While I am absolutely certain that no conspiracy exists that involves the death of our people in Benghazi, I am not as certain that the administration did not decide to put some spin on the announcement of these losses. It is entirely possible that while they could not save Chris Stevens and his staff, they could try to salvage the election. Please don’t even try to tell me that it is not business as usual to put spin on things and even to cheat a bit to get the outcome you want. The reason the Republicans have their teeth into this thing and will not let it go is because they are trying to say that Obama won the election under false pretenses and that Hillary doesn’t deserve a run at the Presidency. Republicans, you need to let this go. We all remember hanging chads and an election that ended up in the Supreme Court of all places. And yes, no one died, but spinning Benghazi did not cause any deaths either. You owe the Democrats one and then it will be even, for now. Stop making us go over the events in Benghazi again and again to establish that something happened when what happened is the usual stuff politicians do anyway.