The headline read: “GOP May Push Benghazi Attack Into 2016 Contest.” The terrorist attack that killed four people, including our ambassador to Libya, at the U. S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, continues to be in the news, especially due to congressional hearings. It’s not going to go away.
Yes, it’s a political issue since our secretary of state then was Hillary Clinton, and she has her eyes set on running for president in 2016. The Republicans and a few Democrats want an accounting on the complete story and where to lay the blame.
Democrats have taken the position that the matter should end since there has been an independent inquiry, several State Department officials have been fired and congressional hearings should be enough to put the issue to rest. The questions that still linger, though, are where does the buck stop in the blame of ignoring requests for more security in Libya, for not responding with help after the attack began, and the apparent cover-up by the administration that issued misleading reports on the attack.
This much is becoming clear. The requests for additional security may have gone as high up as the office of Clinton and to initially deny that it was a terrorist attack was an effort by the White House and State Department to play down the attack since supposedly we have the terrorists in the Middle East on the run. Whether we could have got help there during the attack still is not clear, along with the saving of lives.
To say the Republicans are playing politics with these questions can’t be denied, but there has to be an accounting and the blame has to zero in on the responsible parties. The Democrats would do the same thing. It’s our way of political life. But it’s also needed to make government accountable.
Since Clinton was running the State Department at the time, and is a probable presidential candidate, there is a focus on her and her part in the matter. President Obama’s role in the matter centers on the initial misleading statement on the attack and the White House’s role in trying to play down the entire event.
Some political strategists say the Benghazi affair may play a part in congressional elections next year. That may be true. The Republicans believe it may give them an edge while Democrats believe voters may see through the politics that are involved.
White House press secretary Jay Carney has been spending considerable time trying to dismiss GOP accusations, including those that the president sought to hide the fact that Islamic terrorists were behind the Benghazi attack. He rests his case in protecting the president by saying Obama did call it an act of terror early on. But he never used the words terrorist attack. He had to know beforehand about the State Department official who went on national television and called it a demonstration brought on by a video that was critical of Islam.
So far Clinton has escaped much damage but there undoubtedly is more to be disclosed. At any rate, Benghazi isn’t going to go away. We believe it still will be around next year and in 2016.
Cover-ups usually are uncovered in time.