La La How The Life Goes On

Benghazi Stand-Down

Posted on: November 25, 2014

Well Well Well.

The Republican-led House Select Committee (the SIXTH such entity to investigate) just released its findings exculpating everyone involved in the Benghazi embassy tragedy. Completely demolishing all of the truly disgusting accusations leveled against the Obama administration, from unforgivable incompetence to outright treason. It is a stain on the Republican Party that such baseless accusations were ever given credence. That it took SIX separate investigations to conclude what any unbiased investigator could have told us (and did) two years and $14 million of taxpayer dollars ago. Beyond the character assassination of Susan Rice, the vilification of the President and Secretary of State, the pain the uncertainty caused the families of the diplomats, this entire mishigas points to the lamentable state of political affairs in our country: the absolute lack of goodwill and human decency toward the President and towards those with whom we disagree politically.

Notwithstanding the fact that 11 embassies were attacked, 53 people were killed and 90 injured under the leadership of President GW Bush with nary a peep from the GOP, the instant four people were tragically lost in the line of duty under President Obama the immediate assumption was that deceit and obfuscation and ill will had to be involved (I’m looking at you, John McCain. The most disappointing senator and perhaps human in the history of the United States politics.) Any suggestion that this was a tragedy where no one in our government acted dishonorably was met with Republican derision. Which is disgusting. At a time of national crisis and mourning, the instant impulse of the GOP was to attack. And attack. And attack. Without a shred of evidence. Except for an abiding hatred for the man in the White House, this would never have taken SIX investigations, thousands of hours of FOX News time and millions of web hits on those Right Wing Nut web sites. With the ongoing corrosive effect of eroding trust in our public institutions.

I have worked in politics. Believe it or not, the majority of people enter politics because they care about our country and its people. Even the ones I heartily disagree with on the issues; I still have no doubt that they care. Politics, like any profession, has its share of assholes and douchebags. Every job you have ever had, you can point to That Guy or That Woman who are just awful. Politics has those people too. But by and large, the ones doing the work are decent people just like you. Even the ones you don’t agree with politically. At the height of the Benghazi drama, I remember asking someone who was parroting all the insane conspiracy theories, “Do you REALLY believe that the President of the United States, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of State willfully and intentionally put lives at risk? Do you REALLY believe, as human beings, that these individuals conspired to not aid their diplomats in time of distress? That they lied just for the joy of lying? Really?” Because if you do, there is little hope for our democracy. Because if we cannot see the humanity in each other, even those with whom we disagree profoundly, we are lost and this democratic experiment has failed.

I have no doubt that these findings will be ignored by those who just need to hate President Obama in order to get up in the morning. They will find some way to create a conspiracy about the investigation of the conspiracy. Because, when you feel the balance of power shifting under your (usually white, male, middle aged) feet, its curiously more comforting to believe that entire swaths of our sociopolitical structure are colluding to ruin the country and your livelihood, than it is to simply accept that the world is changing, change can be scary, and that the changes keep coming whether you are ready for them or not.

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