Jonah Goldberg: Bad faith and Benghazi
That was how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously brushed off the question of when she knew that the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were, in fact, a terrorist assault and not a "protest" of an anti-Islam video that got out of hand.
What Clinton was really doing there was deflecting attention away from the fact that she lied. We now know, thanks to last Wednesday's congressional hearings and reporting by The Weekly Standard's Steve Hayes, that administration officials knew from the outset the video had nothing to do with it. Intelligence sources on the ground in Libya and officials in Washington knew that it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. The video was a "non-event in Libya" according to Gregory Hicks, the man who inherited Stevens' duties after the ambassador was killed by al-Qaida-linked militants. The false video story was simply imposed from above by Clinton, President Obama and their subalterns.
The hearings exposed another lie. Obama and Clinton have insisted that they did everything they could to help the Americans besieged in Libya; they just couldn't get help to them in time.
But even if that were true, it would still be a self-serving falsehood.
If you see a child struggling in the ocean, you have no idea how long she will flail and paddle before she goes under for the last time. The moral response is to swim for her in the hope that you get there in time. If you fail and she dies, you can console yourself that you did your best to rescue her.
Though an unmanned drone was there to capture the whole thing on video, which must have been reassuring as the mortar rounds rained down.
But we do know they deceived the public. Which brings us back to the lies over the video. In the wake of Benghazi, the country endured an intense debate over how much free speech we could afford because of the savage intolerance of rioters half a world away. Obama and Clinton fueled this debate by incessantly blaming the video — as if the First Amendment was the problem.
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