Rachel noted on the show last night that the controversy surrounding Benghazi effectively “went away” yesterday, and given the latest information, it’s hard to imagine how any serious person could disagree.
The White House yesterday afternoon released the inter-agency communications that went into crafting the “talking points” requested by Congress last September. Lawmakers already saw these materials months ago – they found nothing controversial at the time – but Republicans and the media decided it was time to see them again.
So, the administration, eager to put the matter to rest, released the documents. In turn, we learned what we already knew: there was no cover-up; State and the CIA engaged in a predictable bureaucratic “tug of war”; and this:
The internal debate did not include political interference from the White House, according to the e-mails, which were provided to congressional intelligence committees several months ago.
And with that, everything Republican conspiracy theorists desperately wanted Americans to believe – there’s a scandal; there’s a cover-up; there’s evidence the White House manipulated and lied about a crisis for political ends – suddenly evaporated before our very eyes.
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office issued a statement last night saying the revelations raised more questions. In fact, I have one myself: how is any fair-minded person still expected to take the Republican arguments about this non-scandal seriously?
What’s more, note that most sensible people realized the right’s conspiracy theories were wrong, which is why the so-called “controversy” was relegated to Republican media, until last Friday’s report from ABC News pushed the story into the mainstream. That ABC News report, we now know, was wrong.
There’s just nothing left. Trying to characterize this as a genuine political story worthy of attention has been a misguided partisan exercise for months, but now, it’s reached the point of ridiculousness. Every reporter saying the White House is engulfed in “three scandals” is misleading the public – there was a deadly attack against a U.S. diplomatic outpost last year, which left four Americans dead. It was a tragedy; it was not a political controversy.
Put a fork in the Benghazi story; it’s done.