Bengazi-gate A Political Affair
I devoted much of my day yesterday to watching the events unfold at the first Congressional hearing over the horrible security failures at our Benghazi, Libya compound last month. I have to say, it was an education.
First of all, I was a little surprised to hear ranking minority member Congressman Elijah Cummings and other democrats on the dais politicizing the hearings by accusing the Republicans on the committee of politicizing the hearings. Huh?
I suspect that, had the incumbent President NOT been in the political fight for his life when these deadly errors occurred, we might have heard the truth from the beginning. There were an insufficient number of armed guards at the compound to protect our Ambassador and our personnel. But, because this president seeks to go down in history as the man who “normalized” United States relations with Arab states, that truth could not be told.
Instead we voters were told that the “demonstration” was over a tasteless and deplorable video which mocked Mohammed got out of hand and resulted in the deaths of four Americans and the wounding of many others. Such was the story we heard for over two weeks. Of course, others, including the President of Libya’s infant democratic government, said it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. But, you see, the President, who promised the voters that relations with Muslim nations would begin to heal immediately upon his inauguration, might suffer in the wake of such a truth. So, he lied.
Here’s the deal – like it or not, wars and diplomatic relations are political animals. The troops and the diplomats who volunteer to serve our nation do so out of their commitment to the values of this great nation which are part and parcel of our political positions. Any president who sends soldiers into harm’s way must surely be haunted by the specters of the fallen every day for the rest of his life. But, even though there is no salve to erase the pain of the loss of a loved one in a political exercise, we must be comforted to know that those who serve do so out of their own belief that our political positions are good for us and good for the rest of the world.
I believe that those who pay the ultimate price for our freedom would have us hold their sacrifice in great reverence but, more importantly, to use that sacrifice to better the survival chances of the next soldier in line. Whether in the fields of Afghanistan or the streets of Benghazi, no death of any patriot ought to be taken lightly. I’m sure that Ambassador Chris Stevens would also want us to look closely into the circumstances of his death and make diplomatic course corrections as necessary.
Instead of quietly and reverently looking for reasons for the Benghazi failures, Democrats are whining that Republicans are politicizing the tragedy. Actually, it is they who are attempting to make political hay from this administration’s fatal mistakes. If you read between the lines of Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Elijah Cumming’s opening comments at the hearing yesterday, you can easily see that what he’s really saying is: “How dare you Republicans point out this president’s most egregious failure just days before an election?!”
War is political on its face. Lies which further a political campaign, however, are crimes.