There are three “scandals” supposedly “rocking” the White House this week. Really, I think it just goes to show how silly we all are.
The first, and oldest, of these scandals is Benghazi. Four Americans were killed, including the Ambassador to Libya, when an Al Qaeda affiliate attacked a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya in September, 2012. Since then, the conservative media has been pushing two separate lines of inquiry, seemingly in the hopes of embarrassing the president. The first, and the legitimate one, is whether or not those lives could have been saved. There have been numerous hearings on this, focusing on why various troops or planes were not called into Benghazi to assist that outpost during the attack; and while questions remain, it seems that the worst story that can be told is one of a lack of communication between the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon.
The second line of inquiry regarding Benghazi, and this one is just plain silly, is about the evolution of a set of talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice and others used in the days after the attacks to describe what was happening in public interviews to the American people. The first version of those talking points speculated that while there might have been some connection to the ongoing protests in Cairo and Yemen over an anti-Muslim YouTube video, that it was likely that the attack in Benghazi was carried out by an Al Qaeda affiliate. By the 12th and final version, all mention of Al Qaeda had been dropped–but not the mention of the ongoing protests. And of course, it eventually turned out that the Cairo protests had nothing to do with it, and that Al Qaeda had been planning the attack for months–which means that Susan Rice and others gave wrong information in those first few post-attack interviews.