Benghazi Is Not A Scandal

Matt Steinglass delivers a reality check:

At the most fundamental level, the reason it is absurd to suspect the existence of a “cover-up” over the Benghazi attack is that such a cover-up could not have had any conceivable goal. Back to the beginning: the underlying accusation about Benghazi is that the Obama administration deliberately mischaracterised the terrorist attack there as having grown out of a spontaneous demonstration because that would be less politically damaging. Such a cover-up would have made no sense because the attack would not have been less politically damaging had it grown out of a spontaneous demonstration. The attack on the Benghazi compound would not have been any less politically difficult for the administration if it had grown out of a riot, nor would any normal voter have expected it to be less politically damaging, nor would any normal campaign strategist have expected any normal voter to have expected it to be less politically damaging. 

Translation: you’re sane. They’re crazy. Remind yourselves of that. At most, it seems to me, this involves a government failure to anticipate this kind of attack in Benghazi and some ass-covering after the fact from those on the ground responsible for such things. The attack was a tragedy. Governments – all the way down to security at consulates – make mistakes, miss things, and suffer the consequences. And the truth is that our intelligence in that region – once completely dependent on Qaddafi and other tyrants – is very weak. It’s all electronic and from on high. We need to develop more human intelligence on the ground to guard against these incidents that have always occurred and always will in troubled countries in the midst of revolutions. That’s what we need to learn from this.

But that’s not the debate the current GOP wants to have. Because they are not actually interested in government so much as in politics. And rather than figure out why they have strayed so far from sanity, and lost the support of an entire generation, they wallow in paranoia and conspiracy.