Monday, May 20, 2013

The Benghazi “Cover-Up”

I have been reading about the Benghazi attack on the American consulate for months. Four American tragically and violently lost their lives. It’s been agreed on that this was an act of terrorism. Like everyone else, I have been waiting for the truth to come out. There was a lot of finger pointing and blame. Susan Rice had to withdraw her name from consideration for Secretary of State because she was being blamed for misleading the country about what happened. Hillary Clinton is being blamed for not providing enough security under the circumstances. President Obama and his administration are being blamed for an alleged cover-up of the whole “scandal.”

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know all the facts and have not read the 100 or so emails that were released regarding the incident. But, what I am reading is that certain Republicans are now back-pedaling on the alleged “cover-up” theory, including Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who after reading the newly released emails, now feel differently. Perhaps more will come around in time. According to one source I read, the “leaked emails” months ago were allegedly doctored up and altered by a GOP source to make it look  like the truth was being withheld. Take a look at this:

“A leaked email adds new language to State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland’s email, including a specific reference to al-Qaeda:

“The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda.“

The actual email read:

“The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.“

A leaked email written by deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes suggests that he asked for the final draft to remove references to warnings about specific attacks, a demand made by the State Department:

“We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.”

But the actual email did not mention the State Department:

“We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.”

Since the congressional hearings last week, the White House on Wednesday released a hundred pages of emails from after the consulate attack. The full version undermines already-thin accusations that this is a White House scandal.”

Now, is anyone planning to get to the bottom of who exactly doctored the emails to mislead the country as to what happened in Benghazi? Is the GOP going to gloss over that, now that we know the truth? After all, for months the President and his administration have been badgered and maligned for “misleading and covering-up,” when that simply was not the case. Is anyone in the GOP going to apologize to Susan Rice, who has now been vindicated by the truth? And as for Hillary Clinton, I don’t know what part she played in what happened that day or if mistakes in judgment were made. Clearly, something went terribly wrong and she has said the buck stops with her. She accepts responsibility for that. However, I have been reading that she is being attacked not so much for her role in the events, but to prevent or dissuade her from running for president in 2016. Shocking, isn’t it?

This investigation should be thorough. We should get the answers we need about what happened in Benghazi and figure out how to make sure something like this never happens again. It’s a matter of national security. It’s a matter of leadership. It’s a matter of examining the facts to find out where things went wrong. It’s about getting to the truth, whatever it may be. It’s not about altering emails to mislead American citizens about the President and his administration. It’s not about trying to fabricate a “scandal” to win favor with voters and an election. It’s not about jumping to conclusions, ruining people’s reputations and careers, and conducting a witch hunt.

The families of the four men killed in Benghazi deserve to know the truth about what happened and why it happened. Politics should have nothing to do with that. I don’t care how it makes either party look. Frankly, the truth will probably make both parties look bad for one reason or another. Who cares? Both sides should be working together and making that goal their primary focus. I hope and pray these families get the answers they have been waiting so long to hear.

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