What happened in Benghazi? - chicagotribune.com Getting to the bottom of Benghazi Email print 455 U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks with the media after Security Council consultations at U.N. headquarters in New York U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks with the media after Security Council consultations at U.N. headquarters in New York (ALLISON JOYCE, REUTERS / June 7, 2012) Dennis Byrne November 20, 2012 Dennis, I'm in a pool trying to predict when (your) next column on Benghazi will come out. Now with the (retired Gen. David) Petraeus scandal, just give me a little clue ... OK? I'll split the winnings w/ya! email from reader G.H. G.H., you win if you picked today. Deliver my share in a plain, brown envelope. I hadn't planned to add to the cacophony generated by the terrorist raid at Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEAL commandos Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. After all, Obama apologists have so eloquently explained good reasons for dropping the whole thing: Only wacko right-wingers want an investigation. Well, there you go; if those loony Republicans and their ilk like loudmouthed Rush Limbaugh want something, we must automatically oppose it. You don't even have to know why they want an investigation. Just the fact that they want it is reason enough to oppose it. It's offensive. President Barack Obama said he "took offense" to suggestions that he or his administration tried to hide the truth about the raid. "Offending," as the high priests of correctness have informed us, is the gravest and darkest of all sins. Thou shalt not "go after" U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for maintaining the fiction that the raid was prompted by an insulting YouTube video and not a planned terrorist attack. Sayeth the president: " for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous." He added: "But when they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me." How gallant of the president to defend Rice. The election is over; we need to move on. Why waste our time fixing responsibility for the deaths of four Americans, the wounding of three others and the violation of the sovereign grounds of an American consulate? They're all fungible. The attacks on Rice are racist and sexist. So says a group of House women, The Associated Press reported. Pressing for how much Rice knew and when she knew it is thin camouflage of racism and sexism by old white men. No one in the military could have done anything to stop it. It's more evidence that we should mind our own business, stay out of foreign entanglements and slash military spending. It's not Watergate. It's a political witch hunt, designed to embarrass and discredit the newly re-elected Obama. It's a lot of Republican claptrap, another one of those conspiracy theories created out of thin air. Whoops. That's exactly what Republicans were saying when the FBI and newspaper investigators were closing in on President Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon for covering up the Watergate break-in by his operatives. Republican defenders of Nixon described it as merely a third-rate burglary and said investigating it would be a waste of time because nothing illegal or untoward happened. When Democrats begin sounding like Republicans, we know that the Earth's magnetic poles have shifted. But I digress. Any one of these points is reason enough to shut down any investigation of why the consulate was poorly defended, why Stevens' pleas for a stronger defense were ignored, whether someone issued orders for the quick-response military unit to stand down, whether the command and control structure so essential to national security broke down, if terrorists were prisoners being held in the CIA annex and what was the CIA's role there, and whether the Obama administration was trying to avoid responsibility. And how about the assertion that the CIA knew from the start that Benghazi was a terrorist attack but that references to al-Qaida involvement were removed from the agency's memo to the administration. No answer needed there, either. As Obamaphiles remind us, none of these questions are more important than avoiding hurt feelings.