The Benghazi Controversy, Explained
Follow the link for a good breakdown of events surrounding the Benghazi attack and aftermath. I know it’s just par for the course in American politics to use this as leverage against opponents, but I don’t really understand this outrage over the course of events here. Romney made a big deal over Obama not calling this an act of terror right off the bat (he did, but oh, well).
What it seemed to me was that the White House and the State Department were reporting what the intelligence was in real time for the American people, always qualified by the statement that these were just preliminary findings as the investigations proceeded.
The alternative could have been to say absolutely nothing until all the facts were in, which would also have outraged political opponents and the public. Or the President could have just shot from the hip, blamed Al Qaeda immediately, and strongly condemned “the terrorists” before knowing exactly what the hell happened, which seems rather GW Bush-esque. Maybe he could have jumped in a fighter jet and dropped a few bombs directly on Benghazi live on TV. That might have pleased the GOP. Or not. Probably not.
I think we need to be careful of what we’re asking for in this situation. It is a good thing for our government to keep the people apprised of national security events, not stonewall us OR make up some shit to sound tough. The Republicans have manufactured outrage over something that just isn’t true. The President’s measured comments the day after the attack made clear to everyone EXCEPT Romney and company that he felt this was an act of terror and that he would do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of the attack and bring the culprits to justice.
It may become clear that there were security failures in Benghazi, for which the President may have to answer. He has stated that he takes full responsibility for sending diplomats into harm’s way for the sake of foreign relations. This “controversy” distracts us from finding out what happened and how best to prevent it from happening again.