Okay Republicans, Conservatives and any other Benghazi conspiracy theorists, hear these words from a proud liberal: the state department changed their messaging for political purposes.
Liberals should admit that Susan Rice and other State Department officials were too politically cautious with Benghazi. Republicans should admit the Bush team was far too politically aggressive with Iraq. PHOTO: Public Domain
Okay Republicans, Conservatives and any other Benghazi conspiracy theorists, hear these words from a proud liberal: the state department changed their messaging for political purposes. ABC got a hold of previous drafts of the Benghazi memos and they do indeed refer to terrorist attacks. This in itself is not damning, and neither is that there were twelve previous drafts. Reputable news organizations churn through drafts on short columns on tourism in Norway, so I don't begrudge the State Department for looking over these drafts many times. Nor is it inherently scandalous that they removed references to terrorism: that might have been the initial assumption, later revised when this assertion seemed less than completely solid (again, think of the standards that a reputable news organization would have to reach before labeling an attack "terrorism").
But then, after all that, we have this fairly damning paragraph in reference to why the paragraph on previous warnings should be struck. From Politico:
A State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, specifically asked the CIA to delete a paragraph citing prior attacks that could’ve been warning signs because that “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?”
Yes, the State Department was concerned about attacks from Congress, and they probably are all the time. They are engaged in constant diplomacy and that includes with the U.S. Congress. I still don't call this a massive conspiracy, more just the exposure of what likely happens all the time. Low level systemic conspiracy, perhaps, but let's take a step back. The State Department was likely covering their own asses, not trying to defend Obama in his reelection campaign. That exposed email above was clearly not meant for public consumption, and it did not mention Obama.
But that's all tangential to the larger point I want to make: I just admitted something that I didn't want to about Benghazi, granted with plenty of qualifiers layered over. The evidence demanded it, and we have to treat objective truth for what it is. So, related topic: the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, National Security Adviser and a slew of White House officials distorted, exaggerated and straight up lied to get us into war with Iraq. The evidence for that is as plain and undeniable as the email I quoted above. If we want to move forward as a country, each party has to admit more of their embarrassments.
So: one for one trade. I admitted that Benghazi was more of an embarrassment than I, as a biased liberal, previously realized. Will a conservative say the same about the lead up to the Iraq War?