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Monday, February 3, 2014

Benghazi one more time

A little more than a year after the incident it now seems fairly certain that Administration officials all the way up to the President knew within hours, if not minutes, that the attack on our Embassy was a terrorist attack and not a reaction to a video.

Setting here calmly in 2014 and more than a year past the fervor of a pending presidential election Liberals feel that Benghazi is no longer a story.  Conservatives, on the other hand, think Benghazi is “the” story.   While some in both camps may be guarding their political turf I think most individuals are sincere in their expression of how they now interpret Benghazi.  The polarization of thought is astounding.


  1. I am also struck by the polarization on this issue - in the cable news media, I mean. I don't ever hear my conservative or liberal friends say a word about it (I have more liberal friends than conservative, to be sure).

    I am a pretty liberal young guy, but I frequently pay attention to conservative news outlets and try to answer the question - would I be as worked up as they are about this if it were President Romney? or President McCain?

    On the Benghazi thing, I'm pretty sure my answer is "no." It was a tragedy and we should figure out who the bad guys were and then get'em...but as I understand it, President Obama put it pretty well last night saying that it would have been a terrible cover up attempt to call it an "act of terror."

    Just thinking out loud.

    I don't think it is the worst thing in the world to have a news agency (Fox) that is trying to figure it out, but I don't think it is the most important issue of the day.

    1. As a distressed Obama voter I think:
      A) What in the world would Obama have us believe would have been being covered up by calling it an "act of terror"? What does that mean?

      B) I think that the reason folks find it troublesome is:
      1. It was an "act of terror" which happened while Obama was campaigning on having greatly reduced acts of terror.
      That is why the Obama people talked about Arab videos etc while making sure that there was a carefully circumscribed minimal reference to terror so that they could later plausibly claim that they had "called it terrorism".

      2. The mainstream media did an excellent job of covering for Obama. (see the debate moderated by Candy Crowley )

      3. The right makes a lot of it because of Hilary - i.e. the same reason the left makes such a big deal about that bridge (where no one was killed) i.e. Christie.

      C. A liberal friend of mine told me that it was quite appropriate for the IRS to target the Tea Party because the TP was opposed to taxation.

      D. That is the level of the debate.

    2. PS I commend you on your second guess yourself. I try to do that as well. I wish more people did.

    3. Speaking of Candy Crowley and the debate. Obama stopped Romney dead in his tracks with his “read the transcript Governor” comment. Was it serendipity or good preparation that Candy was able to immediately wave a piece of paper and claim “I have a copy of the transcript right here”. There is a third possibility but it is very ugly.

  2. Another down side to admitting that Benghazi was a terrorist attack (at the time) is that the response by the Administration could be characterized as appropriate for a demonstration, but would be clearly inappropriate for a terrorist attack. The same could be said for preparation or cautionary actions prior to the event.

    As Wayne alludes to, this may be Hillary’s albatross. Remember her primary challenge in 2012 of “who do you want to answer the phone at 3a”?

    Dan, your willingness to frame the situation with a reversal of players is a nice touch. I have often asked myself how I would have reacted if Gove v Wade in 2000 had been decided in reverse. The answer is that I would have been very “worked up”. I also recall that for the next 8 years some of my liberal friends claimed that Bush was an illegitimate President.

    Whether the Benghazi incident framed as a terrorist attack could have changed the 2012 election results is an unknown and I doubt that it would have. We shall see if it has an impact on the 2016 election.

    Dan mentions one other important item. I think we know who the bad guys are, but I see no effort to “get’em”. Perhaps that will be tomorrow’s headline.