In the world of philosophy, there are two prime schools of thought about action and consequence.
One, laid out in detail by Immanuel Kant, is deontology, a theory in which the goodness of an act is judged solely by adherence to a rule or set of rules. There are universal duties and obligations, and it is the motive of the actor that matters.
In the second, teleology, determining whether an act is morally right or wrong depends solely on the results of said act (good results, good act; bad results, bad act). In this sort of pragmatic ethics, the ends justify the means — always.
But unlike utilitarianism — in which all actions are deemed morally acceptable if they are directed toward achieving the greater good for the largest number of people — teleological ethics, with its pure moral objectivism, has a simple tenet: If it’s good for you, then it’s good.
Which brings us to Hillary Clinton and President Obama. And Benghazi.
Something bad happened that night, Sept. 11, 2012. Something terrible. A U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were murdered after a group of up to 150 terrorists descended on the diplomatic compound there, and later a nearby CIA annex. They came to kill, armed with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, assault rifles, machine guns and heavy artillery mounted on trucks. It was a bloodbath.
The White House refused for weeks to call the assault a “terrorist attack.” Instead, the Obama administration dispatched the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (for some reason), to detail what the White House “knew.” She said on Sept. 16 that the attackers gathered “spontaneously” at the Benghazi consulate and were “spontaneously inspired” by a “hateful video.”
After dodging for days, the president said on Sept. 20 that the attack was the culmination of “natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video” (a 14-minute film posted on YouTube — in July 2012). At the United Nations on Sept. 25, he blamed “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world,” saying, “There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.”
Meanwhile, on Sept. 12, Mrs. Clinton said the attack was “a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” The next day, ” the video circulating on the Internet that has led to these protests in a number of countries.” And the next day, at the “Transfer of Remains” ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, ” an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
But that wasn’t true — not even close. They were all lies. And the president and secretary of State knew it.
“Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a ‘terrorist attack,’ declassified documents show,” Fox News reported Monday.
“The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward,” reporter James Rosen wrote.
Indeed. The declassified documents show that Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, knew almost immediately that the attack was not spontaneous and did not stem from the video. “There was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack,” the general said.
And on Wednesday a new report by a bipartisan Senate panel said not only did the administration fail in initially blaming an anti-Islam video, it found the attack could have been averted. The committee said the State Department failed to take action or work with the Pentagon after diplomats in Libya repeatedly warned their superiors about the deteriorating security around Benghazi.