At last, we have a Benghazi scandal that Democrats are willing to acknowledge — House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to form a select committee to investigate the administration’s handling of the 2012 terror attack in Libya.
This has been the occasion for outrage that Democrats haven’t been able to summon for any aspect of Benghazi to this point, including the lax security at the compound.
The Democrats and their allies are in denial. They think the Republican notion of a scandal is a complete hoax. Yes, a mistake was made here or there, but otherwise, nothing to see here.
The deniers evidently believe:
• An administration should be able to make erroneous statements about a terror attack that killed a US ambassador in the weeks before a presidential election and expect everyone to accept its good intentions afterward.
• An administration should be able to withhold a bombshell White House e-mail from congressional investigators and expect everyone to greet its long-delayed release with a yawn.
• An administration should be able to send out its press secretary to abase himself with absurd denials of the obvious and expect everyone to consider its credibility solidly intact.
No opposition party would ever accept these propositions, and of course Republicans (and a few intrepid reporters and organizations) haven’t. We presumably would never have learned of the e-mail from White House national-security official Ben Rhodes to then-ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice prior to her notorious Sunday-show appearances if Benghazi “obsessives” at Judicial Watch hadn’t zealously pursued records through a lawsuit.
It has long been the contention of Rice’s defenders that she was merely tripped up by bad intelligence. It is true that the Central Intelligence Agency wrongly maintained initially that the Benghazi attack grew out of a protest. Yet, there wasn’t any doubt from the outset that it was a terrorist attack.