Thursday, DeseretNews.com compiled a round-up of opinions on the most recent House hearing on the Sept 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. With the May 8 hearing remaining the go-to topic for op-ed columns and editorials, here’s another look at explaining Benghazi.
“Before Wednesday’s hearing on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, Republicans in Congress promised explosive new details about the administration’s mishandling of the episode," said a New York Times editorial. "Instead, the hearing showed, yet again, that sober fact-finding is not their mission. Common sense and good judgment have long given way to conspiracy-mongering and a relentless effort to discredit President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
That Clinton was the target of a GOP attack or a perpetrator in the administration's cover-up is a central theme of many publisher opinions.
“But even while some of what [Former Deputy Ambassador to Libya Gregory Hicks] said was new and resonant, the Republicans on the committee weren't listening," wrote David Rothkopf at CNN continuing a common narrative that the hearing process is a GOP attack on potential 2016 Democratic nominee Clinton. "They focused less on learning what could have been done differently than on trying to establish that Clinton and her closest associates had tried to cover up the tragedy.”
Rothkopf said he believes the continuation of the trials is serving nothing more than allowing the republican party to attack a potential presidential candidate.
But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, a longtime critic of the then secretary of state's handling of the attack, wrote to a different tune, sticking to his claims that Clinton (and the administration as a whole) failed in its duty to protect Americans.
“During those hearings, I reminded Mrs. Clinton that multiple requests were sent to the State Department asking for increased security measures," Paul said in an op-ed for the Washington Times. "I asked if she had read the cables from Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens asking for increased security. She replied that she was busy and had not read them. I find that inexcusable.”
In her Wall Street Journal editorial, Peggy Newman accused the White House of putting politics ahead of the country's interest.
“The Obama White House sees every event as a political event. Really, every event, even an attack on a consulate and the killing of an ambassador," said Peggy Newman of the Wall Street Journal, who also noted that the administration was especially worried about making a wrong move with the election only eight weeks away. "Because of that, it could not tolerate the idea that the armed assault on the Benghazi consulate was a premeditated act of Islamist terrorism. That would carry a whole world of unhappy political implications, and demand certain actions. And the American presidential election was only eight weeks away. They wanted this problem to go away, or at least to bleed the meaning from it."