- - Monday, October 12, 2015


Sometimes the only defense is a good offense, with Hail Mary passes thrown on every down. Hillary Clinton readies for her showdown with the Benghazi congressional committee with a Hail Mary offensive to delegitimize that crucial investigation. The coordinated attack she brings to bear on the investigation demonstrates the fear she and her defenders anticipate when she is questioned under oath. Congress is political by design, but the committee should stick to getting to the bottom of what happened on that grim night in Benghazi. The pursuit of justice is not a mere game of politics.

The New York Times, which feels responsible for the care of Democratic candidates, supplied the Democratic talking point last week in an editorial titled “Shut down the Benghazi Committee,” arguing that in a year and a half the investigation has produced no new insight into the events of Sept. 11, 2012, and anyway, it has cost too much money.

Moreover, the newspaper warned, Mrs. Clinton’s appearance scheduled for Oct. 22 “will give Republicans another chance to attack the credibility and trustworthiness of the leading Democratic presidential candidate.” If Republicans won’t halt the proceedings, Democrats on the committee “should stop participating in this charade.”

Quickly heeding instructions, House Democrats offered a motion to disband the Benghazi committee. The Democrats got unexpected assistance from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boasted like a schoolboy to an interviewer that it was the work of the Benghazi committee, presided over by Republicans, that set Hillary’s presidential campaign on the slippery slope. The motion predictably failed, by a vote of 240-183. The newspaper that proudly boasts that all the news that fits the Democratic agenda, it prints, repeated Hillary’s frequent claim that the Benghazi investigation is “an insult to the memory of four slain Americans.”

The former secretary of state, as if trying to assuage guilt for her own misfeasance and malfeasance, repeats as a mantra that trying to find out what happened at Benghazi dishonors the memory of those who died there. This gets it upside down and backward. The way to honor their memory is to discover who is responsible for their deaths and hold him, or her, to account. It’s not the investigation that dishonors their sacrifice, but the cover-up of malpractice by the Obama administration’s failure to do the right thing.

When Hillary and her fellow candidates take the stage for the first Democratic presidential candidate debate they should know the names of the Benghazi dead by heart. We offer them here: J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Their families, without answers to their questions about how their kin died, urge a full accounting of the tragedy. Surely Hillary Clinton does not suggest that they, too, dishonor the memories of their own flesh and blood? The frantic attempt to quash the investigation in the 11th hour, to spare Hillary Clinton the embarrassment of disclosing what she knew and when she knew it, is irresponsibility at its most damaging. Americans have had enough no-fault governance. Hillary must answer for the record and for her responsibility to the nation that she insists, against all evidence, she is ready to lead.

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