Right from the onset of terror at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 there seemed to be much ado about semantics rather than tragedy. From the beginning, this linguistic back-story never made sense.
On this day, the world learned that the consulate in Benghazi had been attacked in some fashion and that four Americans were dead: the American Ambassador to Libya, a computer specialist, and two former U.S. Navy Seals turned security contractors. But shortly after these unspeakable acts were committed, a debate began about how President Obama's administration was to blame, how they were trying to deceive the American public in some way, trying to cover up facts that would supposedly show appointed officials in a bad light, and Susan Rice was somehow the ring leader of it all.
Anniversary of terror
Was it an attack or wasn't it? Was the "incident" a form of protest against the United States for a group of actors unknowingly participating in an anti-Muslim film? Or was it simply terrorism?
The fact that the attack occurred on the 11 year anniversary of September 11 made it obvious to - I think everyone - that this was an act of terrorism. Susan Rice is the Ambassador to the United Nations and was chosen to speak on the information that was known at the time in a developing situation. When she said that the events at the consulate were in response to a video, it was understood, to me at least, that terrorism was implied, and I never gave it another thought.
Soon potential voters would see how Mitt Romney tried to use the Benghazi incident in his campaign speech, only to have that weapon in his arsenal blunted quickly by the family of Ambassador Chris Stevens. Despite requests to not politicize this horrific event, Congress continued to do just that, by calling for investigations, launching personal attacks of their own by denouncing Rice's character and her potential nomination to the cabinet position of Secretary of State.
Senator John McCain was, and continues to be, the ring leader of these deplorable antics. Click below for another great article about Sen. McCain's current position, seeded by fellow Viner EasyJJGrand3:
Inside the mind of terrorists
How is anyone supposed to know what makes terrorists carry out their nefarious plans? We know religious extremism plays a role, but where and when can be a roll of the dice. Furthermore, how are officials, like Ambassador Rice, supposed to predict the future in an unstable part of the world when details are still developing?
They don't. They act in good faith that the information they are getting is accurate and when new information becomes available they simply update the situation.
Currently, there have been investigations that have revealed security shortcomings and possible clues of growing instability after the fact, and Congressional hearings have brought to light specifics on the events that led up to the attack and what transpired during and after that night. When members of Congress make a bigger deal out of Benghazi semantics than actual facts, it makes the public wonder what those Congressmen know that they are not telling.
The double standard
The best comparison to the Benghazi tragedy and politicians trying to force everyone to live in their own partisan world are the events leading up to the Iraq war. CNN has pointed out that Condoleeza Rice, then Secretary of State under George W. Bush, was quoted in interviews stating that Saddam Hussein had acquired weapons of mass destruction, a fact that we now know to be untrue. In the years since, Dr. Rice has defended those statements saying that it is very difficult to get accurate information in those situations.
But that cannot enter the atmosphere of Partisan World for fear that a modicum of truth might become breathed into existence.
My point to this recounting of fact is what does it matter if it was a video or an attack, and who said what to whom? The fact remains that four Americans are dead and their family's lives will never be the same. Trying to capitalize on tragedy is a human flaw of the worst kind. Attacking others for making statements before all the facts are known, when the attacker is doing the same, is the definition of hypocrisy. The federal government will not be able to move forward and change for the better with these kinds of witch hunters roaming free in the halls of Congress, and that is another tragedy on an entirely different level.