Sound and fury
May 23, 2013
This might have been the shortest cover-up in history.
General knowledge that the attack Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others did not spring spontaneously from protests in Cairo over an American video disparaging Muhammed came what, three weeks into this scandalette?
By the presidential election debates, we could understand that President Obama's explanations were lame, but hardly criminal. And this episode was well digested by election day.
His political fate did not turn on the war on terror. If it did, W. would have lost in a landslide back in 2004, when the wound was still raw and Osama was still alive.
‘Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.’
John F. Kennedy
Now it turns out that overeager Republican aides were lying in an effort to expose the lying liars among the aides serving Democratic pols. And so an ABC scoop about heavy-handed editing of talking points for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice turned out to be pretty much baloney for lack of a journalist practicing, ahem, journalism.
Correspondent Jonathan Karl settled for listening to a GOP advocate's twisted characterization of the emails in question instead of seeing them for himself. Oops.
So those dummies in the White House did a brilliant thing last week. They released the actual emails to the public.
Oh well, another "worst … since Watergate" shot down. Almost makes you nostalgic for Abramoff, which is sort of like when Harold Minor was touted as the next Michael Jordan. As in … um, sure.
These days, every whisper of a scandal gets the "Watergate" hysteria.
Now those GOP lions on Capitol Hill are backtracking from their cover-up and Watergate loose talk.
Even the IRS thing is losing steam as liberal "progressive" groups talk about the IRS being difficult with them, too, over tax status, although the division chief in Cincinnati taking the Fifth before a congressional committee the other day was titillating.
The Justice Department sneaking around The Associated Press in hopes of finding a leaker similarly is weak sauce for a fresh scandal. Federal governments under either party have always sought to quell leaks. That's why the occasional journalist spends quality time in jail for declining to give up a secret source. I wish we cared more about that. But it's the biggest yawner of this holey trinity.
The upshot here is that once again the politicians have taken their eye off the ball of leadership.
That includes President Obama and the administration he presumes to lead with a remarkable level of ignorance about what's actually going on.
And it includes a GOP leadership that we already know has far less interest in leading our country than tarring the other guys for their own advantage. After all, in the depths of the Great Recession, these jokers declared that their No. 1 goal was not getting the country out of this catastrophe, but holding the Democrat to one term.
So everyone glosses over very real issues of security afield, and that's why the foreign service professionals are dismayed by the politicians of all stripes.
I'm talking about the career men and women who serve under either party's administrations.
They have their biases, too, to be sure. But in cases like this, their perspective is where our attention properly belongs.
They actually know what they are talking about.
We can almost define "politician" as one who has no clue, but seeks advantage anyway for his or her party.
In any case, the tragedy itself has gone largely overlooked. There are important issues here, and fingers of blame extend to both parties. No surprise there.
What America has chosen to fixate on, however, is Shakespearean. Alas, we've gone to sound and fury … and much ado.
Shame on us.
Editor and Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2920.