I already know right now that most of my readers won’t be even remotely interested in this subject, but it’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to. My stomach is turning over two opinion pieces published in the Miami Herald today and I am going to write about it whether anyone cares or not.
As I was reading the first column, Why the new Benghazi emails aren’t a ‘smoking gun,’ I felt the bile start creeping up into my throat as I gritted my teeth. I don’t think I’ve ever read such bullshit spin in my life until this morning. And that’s saying a lot!
On the one hand, author John Dickerson (Slate’s chief political correspondent) writes:
“The Obama administration’s story has never been straight on the Benghazi attack. Press Secretary Jay Carney once said the White House and State Department had only been involved in changing one word in crafting the first public response about the attack — the infamous Susan Rice talking points. Emails released in May showed that wasn’t the case. This new batch underscores the White House’s involvement in shaping the story. The Obama administration left the impression that everything related to the Benghazi attack had been released to the investigating committees months ago. That is also clearly false. There have been other instances where the White House line on Benghazi has also earned it Pinocchios.”
But not before he softened that blow with:
“Were White House officials desperate enough to make up a story? Or were they just embracing and pushing the most politically beneficial version? That is the heart of the matter, but it also raises a larger question about what we call a lie when we look at administration spin: What is willful deceit, what is willful blindness, and what is merely the tunnel vision that comes from constant partisan warfare?”
So when is a lie not a lie? Well, I guess that all depends on what your definition of the word “lie” is, doesn’t it? Obviously, White House Press Secretary Jim Carney’s definition is quite broad. The columnist smacks Carney by writing, “On Wednesday, Carney said that the Rhodes email had not been released because “this document was not about Benghazi.” I suppose it depends on what your definition of the word Benghazi is.” Then smooths over his criticism with, “But how far off was Rice to talk about the video when compared with the information being put together at the time by the CIA, presumably the administration’s best intelligence source?”
Dickerson then continues to carry water for the President by shifting the entire blame for the cover-up on the CIA by claiming, “It may now be laughable for anyone to suggest that the Libyan attack was spontaneous, but that’s a question for the CIA, which made spontaneity its first and most durable claim that weekend,” and on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. About her he wrote, “Previous reporting shows the revisions didn’t come from the White House, which had signed off on the first CIA version, but from the State Department, where staffers were trying to do damage control for other reasons — reasons that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have to explain if she runs for president in 2016.”
Interestingly, when George W. Bush went to war in Iraq under “presumably the administration’s best intelligence source,” he was accused of telling a “lie.” Apparently it was the same “lie” on which Congress also relied when approving the Iraq War Resolution. That would be the same Resolution that then Senator Hillary “What Difference Does it Make?” Clinton voted for. She justified her affirmative vote in 2004 by claiming, “The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.”
I guess the definition of the words “best intelligence source” all depends on what side of the aisle one sits.
The second Herald editorial I read, Release the CIA’s torture report, finally made me reach for the bottle of Nexium from its opening statement, “How much should the American public be allowed to know about the use of torture and other forms of cruelty practiced by U.S. interrogators against captives of the war on terror? Everything.”
The editorial then claims that a “6,200-page classified report produced by the Senate Intelligence Committee” about the use of torture was heavily redacted by “the White House — with the aid of the CIA and the Pentagon,” leaving out information that the public has a right to know.
I agree. The public does have a right to know exactly what’s in that report.
By the same token, the public has a right to know exactly what happened in Benghazi.
Without the spin and outright lies.
If I have to be honest (and I always am), I care less about the torture of “captives of the war on terror” than I do about FOUR DEAD AMERICANS, whose deaths could, and should, have been prevented.
Yes, I do realize that most of my readers are only interested in what goes on in North Miami and North Miami Beach. Knowing that, I usually limit my opinions to local matters.
But every once in a while I am forced to venture outside my comfort zone when something bigger than our little corner of the county hits me in the gut, as these two columns did this morning.
I do not apologize for my rant no matter how few of you will bother to read it. I care even less about how few will agree with me. Your opinion of me is none of my business.
The horrific deaths of four American patriots – J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods is my business.
It may not make a difference to Hillary Clinton, but matters to me.
“Spreading the Wealth”