Why Benghazi Matters

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One year ago today, I wrote the following here at PJ Media:

No matter what happens with Darrell Issa’s congressional committee meetings this week, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Obama administration, and the cause is Benghazi. It’s impossible to overestimate the blowback that has been gathering steam for the past seven months, now about to erupt with full force. Few reputations will emerge unscathed, Obama’s presidency will be crippled, Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 candidacy will be destroyed — and perhaps some new heroes will be born...

That’s because, right from the jump, the administration has been lying through its teeth about what happened on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 — the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, as it happens. It transparently lied about the Mohammad video, threw the scapegoated filmmaker in jail (where, last time I looked, he still is), and convened a bogus “accountability” board to whitewash the whole damn thing so as not to disrupt the precious Narrative that Osama was dead and al-Qaeda was on the run.

It was all a lie, of course, and some of us knew it at the time. I wrote about it repeatedly on the Post’s Op-Ed page: you can find examples here, here and here. In this case, however, what happened in Benghazi, Foggy Bottom, the White House, and the Obama re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago was (as the saying goes) worse than a crime: it was a blunder. And that blunder may now bring down the man who never should have been president in the first place, for grotesque dereliction of his duty as commander-in-chief....

In the year since, we've learned a lot about Benghazi, including the extreme heroism of the brave men who put up the fight of their lives against hordes of savages armed with modern weapons. We've learned as well that the subject makes the Left profoundly uncomfortable, and that requests for more information by folks we used to quaintly call "decent Americans" have been met with the usual leftist mockery, eye-rolling, sarcasm, sneering and dismissal. We've even learned a little more about where the president might have been that night, before grabbing some winks and jetting off to Las Vegas the next day for the only part of the job he takes seriously, a campaign fund-raiser.

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You can read further thoughts on Benghazi and the latest developments by people I admire, including my friend and PJ colleague Andy McCarthy --

Benghazi is not an ordinary scandal — it involves an act of war in which our ambassador, the representative of the United States in Libya, was murdered (along with three other Americans) under circumstances where security was appallingly inadequate for political reasons, and where the administration did not just lie about what happened but actually trumped up a prosecution that violated the First Amendment in order to bolster the lie. Only in the Manhattan-Beltway corridor do people think Benghazi is a GOP concern driven by 2016 political considerations.

-- and the editors of National Review, who write: "The White House misled the American public about a critical matter of national interest, and it continues to practice deceit as the facts of the case are sorted out. That, to answer Hillary Clinton’s callous question, is what difference it makes."

But, before we get further bogged in lawyerly detail about who said what to whom about what when during the upcoming congressional investigation, let me cut to the chase:

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Benghazi matters because it was and is a matter of national honor. And the men and women currently in charge in Washington have no honor.

Honorable people do not let American diplomats twist slowly in the wind while they attend "debate prep" and rest up for a shakedown meeting with the One Percent. Honorable people do not suddenly go AWOL while American soil is under attack.  Honorable people do not fail to mobilize the formidable resources of the American military, even if it might not be possible for them to get there in time. Honorable people, under questioning by Congress, do not lose their temper and start shouting. Honorable people do not look the bereaved in the eye and lie about who and what killed their loved ones.

Further: honorable people do not go before the public on the Sunday talk shows and knowingly transmit a bald-faced lie. Honorable people do not continue to lie about what took place. Honorable people do not say "We are Americans; we hold our head high," and then hang their heads in shame as they cut and run at the first sign of trouble.  Honorable people do not continue to reward the dishonorable with ever-higher posts. Honorable people resign.

And until honorable people are restored to Washington -- not credentialed Ivy League lawyers with high name recognition steeped in cheap Marxism and fashionable anti-American contempt, but genuine patriots who understand that something has gone terribly wrong with America and needs to be redressed -- there will be no justice for the victims of Benghazi.

As the Left likes to say: no justice, no peace.