Reflecting on Tobias Dirks’ letter on Wednesday, it appears that one scandal has not been satisfactorily investigated. The Sept. 11, 2012, attack at Benghazi, Libya, is tragic; the administration’s attendant actions have been equally egregious.
Reports arrived in Washington within minutes of the attack, while available American troops in the area were reportedly told to “stand down,” minimizing the incident and its potential impact on the presidential election. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice repeatedly characterized the attack as a spontaneous “demonstration,” yet those reporting from the site witnessed a well-planned and well-armed assault. The timing — on the anniversary of Al-Qaida’s 9/11 attack — is no coincidence. Ambassador Stevens had forewarned the State Department of threats to the embassy, yet he and three brave men with him were killed, and the public was not fully informed until after the election.
Many years ago, when the Watergate hearings were held, the public indignation was not so much over the stealing of documents by one party, but instead the obfuscations, the lying and the demeanor of the participants. Nixon Special Counsel Charles Colson reported that the climate in the White House placed these men above the law, and their attempt to cover up the Watergate incident was rationalized internally as an unquestioned right. We certainly now know enough of such history to avoid repeating it.
So where are the congressional hearings on Benghazi? Where is the public outrage?