The shifting narrative over the “hateful video” which allegedly provoked a lethal attack on the US consulate in Benghazi is chronicled in the videos shown after the “More”.
1. In the aftermath of the attack, the State Dept ran ads on Pakistani TV disavowing a video which purportedly played a role in provoking the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
2. Domestically Susan Rice went the round of talk shows to explain how a hateful video provoked outrage in the Muslim world leading to an attack on Western facilities.
3. The producer of the “hateful video” was carted off to the hoosegow.
4. Within a few weeks the narrative has subtly changed. Here Romney being told by Candy Crowley that the administration never thought a hateful video played a role in the Benghazi attack at all. How could he think that? Romney is roundly mocked for thinking that it should have ever been so.
5. Fast forward to House Benghazi hears of 2015. Hillary is asked about the video’s role in the Benghazi attack and becomes clear from her own correspondence that she never seriously believed it played a role at all.
The significance of point number 5 is the Benghazi narrative did not evolve over time under the effect of additional information which corrected earlier misimpressions. It was deliberately falsified from the start to serve reasons of state or what some cynics might call the partisan political agenda of the administration.
Three years later the political world is in the curious position of knowing what is false but no closer to knowing what is true. What happened that night in Benghazi? The Washington Examiner recalls that Rand Paul was pushing the theory that the station in Benghazi was funneling weapons into Syria. Perhaps it was that; perhaps it as something worse.
Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? Not her base at any rate. Hillary came away laughing despite her admissions all the way to the bank. Politico reports that “donations have been flooding into campaign coffers over the past 13 hours since her testimony in front of the House Benghazi committee wrapped late Thursday night, thrilling Clinton fundraisers”.
Hillary’s poll numbers have jumped in Iowa, where she lengthened her lead on challenger Bernie Sanders. “Clinton took 51 percent, up 11 points from the September poll, while Sanders remained statistically unchanged, at 40 percent.” MSNBC reports that Hillary “picked up the endorsement of AFSCME, the massive public sector union whose support was coveted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s top rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
To the relevant political audience cause and effect in matters of public policy are matters of indifference. What really counts is who shows himself king of the hill. Things some conservatives would regard as shameful are paradoxically impressive to Hillary’s voter base precisely because she can carry it off with impunity.
Benghazi wasn’t a screen test for the part of Ronald Reagan. It was for Richard Daley.
In some environments it is not following the law that impresses, but the ability to slug a cop and have him rise from the pavement only to clean your shoes. Hillary showed beyond any shadow of a doubt that she could utter the most improbable nonsense and make it stick, able to shrug off the puny efforts by Congress to bring her to book. In a world where power is the coin of the realm, her immense fortune was on display. All too often conservatives think that the prize goes to the fittest. In truth it often goes to the most ruthless.
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